What could be better than FREE entertainment in a beautiful park? Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from May-August the Vondelpark Open Air Theater hosts shows by world-class performers.
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from May-August the Vondelpark Open Air Theater, centrally located in Amsterdam’s favorite park, hosts concerts, recitals, and shows by world-class performers. The performances range from modern dance on Fridays, to jazz and cabaret on Saturdays, and classical music, pop, rock, and world music on Sundays.
Vondelpark Open Air Theater • Vondelpark Openluchttheater
The theater manages to maintain a perfect balance between quality and innovation, class and easy-going friendliness. A typical show consists of a main act by professional performers preceded by an opening act by young up and coming musicians, dancers, or comedians looking for a breakthrough. And even the type of performances generally considered ‘serious culture’ can be watched while enjoying a drink in a relaxed ambiance. There is a bar, as well as a kiosk selling hot and cold food, but it’s also acceptable to ‘bring your own’ and often people will bring a well stocked picnic basket to enjoy with the family or a group of friends while attending a world class performance.
Unlike most of Amsterdam’s open air events, the Open Air Theater has a rain or shine policy, and any performance is well worth attending regardless of the weather. While the immense dedication of the performers who continue to play in heavy rainfall is impressive in itself, the willingness of the audience to brave the elements, often in stylish and colorful raingear, creates a truly special atmosphere. Add to this the fact that the audience typically consists of a healthy mix of locals from all walks of life and that the vibe is typically easy-going, and you’ll understand why this venue manages to attract a crowd even in ghastly weather.
The performances are of such continuously astounding quality at times its hard to believe its all free, but as performers tend to regard the Open Air Theater as an opportunity to promote themselves they have been willing to delight the public free of charge since the 1970s.
The Open Air Theater is an Amsterdam favorite and it isn’t hard to understand why. Particularly the Saturday afternoon jazz concerts are a real treat on sunny days, while the Sunday lunchtime concerts are a perfect way to start a laid-back Sunday and soak up some culture.
And as all this takes place in the open air in a beautiful park this really is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the summer.
Thanks to Sophia Hendrikx for this informative article!
Visiting the Vondelpark? Check out some of our favorite places to grab a drink and things to see including ‘t Blauwe Theehuis, Vondelbunker, and Vondelpark 3.
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