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The ultimate Glamcult guide to this year’s Holland Festival

Here it is: The ultimate Glamcult guide to this year’s Holland Festival. With the kickoff just around the corner – June 3rd to be exact – this is our agenda selects that you don’t want to miss. The Holland Festival is a place for a vast group of artists to come together, meet and showcase their diverse work spanning across mediums and disciplines. Providing an inclusive space for open discussion, Holland Festival is a place to think. Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year’s iteration is a must-go, full of extra amazing international experiences that are bound to inspire. So without further ado, here’s our Holland Festival – must see – agenda. 

3rd June @Lofi

As you might have noticed from our OTHER article about this, we might be a little excited about this one… You can expect a western docklands night full of multidisciplinary live acts, DJ sets, and everything in between! So get your beater sneakers on because we are there to party. Okay okay, you might be wondering, ‘but what kind of music can we expect?’ Fear not, the Jazztronica duo Blue Lab Beats will be there, serving us everything from jazz, hip-hop, soul, funk and R&B. The Pink Oculus will also be making an appearance (with a special audiovisual installation just for this performance), singing of black and female empowerment. Not to mention the numerous other artists performing. All in all, thank you Holland Festival for starting off on a strong note we all need for the beginning of summer.

The Ways to Water
3 – 26 June @Melkweg

Water may seem like a basic, boring, everyday necessity but really, it’s a complex entity with an even more complicated relationship to humans. The Ways to Water explores this relationship, allowing different artists to explore the many faces of water and its relationship to us. Water can be a harmful force, a source of inspiration, something of healing, or a power we want to control. Add on the complexities of climate change and pollution – thanks to us wonderful humans – the topics and relationship between us and water appear endless. The exhibition combines photography and art installations and will make you rethink the power of water. Don’t believe me? Go check it out yourself, its free 😉

30 Appearances out of Darkness
8 – 10 June @Westergas

The masterful Arno Schuitemaker is blessing us at Holland Festival this year with a dark dance performance that’s bound to give you shivers – but in a good way. Essentially, Schuitemaker has created a new dimension from which darkness comes out. While yes, the dark can be terrifying (figuratively and literally) Schuitemaker challenges the audience’s natural assumptions, having the dancers move across the stage, not always visible, but always felt. As the dancers appear and disappear, they never return fully the same. But this is not necessarily seen as bad; “As ominous as it is, this darkness, this intense darkness, has become a place of endless possibility.”

8 – 12 June @Theater Frascati

For all our VR fanatics, this one is for you. Created by the designer collective Polymorf, Symbiosis is a full sensory experience – yes even taste – that enables you to leave the human body. By being wrapped in a specialised sensor-filled suit, you are able to go beyond the limitations of the human body and take on the form of another living creature. The goal? To hint towards a posthuman future in which life is in symbiosis with the other organisms and technologies of the world. Yes, Polymorf is inspired by the Posthuman queen Donna Haraway herself. So go become another organism, we dare you. 

The Murder of Halit Yozgat
15 – 16 June @Muziekgebouw

Have you ever wondered what a contemporary opera sounds – and looks – like? Australian composer Ben Frost has got your back. The Murder of Halir Yozgat explores the strange murder of Halit Yozgat in 2006, a man who was shot twice in the head in broad daylight at his family’s internet cafe. Amongst the five witnesses present was an undercover German spy who claimed he saw, well, nothing. The Opera was inspired by the video reconstruction of the murder where Frost melds electronic music and dark metal to highlight a sound that no one at the crime scene paid attention to. 

rock to jolt [ ] stagger to ash
15 – 26 June @Stedelijk Museum 

Last year’s Prix de Rome winning performance – which sadly could only be performed once due to covid – rock to jolt [ ] stagger to ash is a multidisciplinary performance that explores our uncontrolled emotions. The performance is an ode to lament, a practice that was banned in ancient Greece. Combining choreography, visual art, dance and performance, Alexis Blake reclaims the space of emotion on the monumental stairs of the Stedelijk. So come join us at this beautiful expression of that which has been suppressed and censored, it won’t disappoint. 

Moby Dick; or, the Whale
17 – 18 June @Muziekgebouw

We all know Moby Dick, the story of the dude who was obsessed with a whale. Now imagine that story but reworked into a performance that explores and comments on deputy liberation, social orders, and colonialism. That’s exactly what you can expect from this silent film. In this film, the viewers follow the whale both above and below the water which in turn creates a unique visual universe. If film is your thing, then trust us, Moby Dick; or, the Whale is for you. Rewriting stories from the point of view of the exploited is something we can always get behind, so get comfortable, because it’s movie time.

HF X Melkweg
20 June @Melkweg

Sorry – not sorry – to be predictable, but as you all know by now, anything at Melkweg is always on our must-go list. This June we are welcoming with warm arms the South-African singer, actress, rapper, and poet Sho Madjozi – and let’s just say, we’re ready to bring our all. Her energetic music and exquisite fashion sense is all we need. Like seriously go get hyped and listen to her music. Joining her on the lineup is the Nigerian underground royalty Aunty Rayzor. These two icons will be accompanied by more hot contemporary African musicians so get your dancing pants and let’s go party. 


Der Ring des Nibelungen
21 – 22 June @Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

Calling all the Wagner fans and critics alike – and anyone else who is just looking for a good time honestly – this performance is what you’ve been looking for. The question at hand: “Can you still perform Richard Wagner’s famous Der Ring des Nibelungen without discussing themes of racism, gender and identity?” Writer Necati Öziri and director Christopher Rüping grapple with this question, dealing with a great cultural object that has inspired countless artists yet is extremely flawed. What did they do in response to this dilemma? Naturally, they made an adaptation that gives a space for the voices that Wagner ignores, transforming the historical epic into a critical 21st-century piece.

24 June @Het Concertgebouw

Singing the myths of Benin in her native Yorubian language, the one and only Angelique Kidjo alongside Philip Glass will be performing their now-iconic IFÉ performance in the eponymous program. The program combines work from around the world such as the Belize-born composer Erroylen Wallen who combines baroque to jazz to minimal in Concerto Grosso. This lineup of groundbreaking music is for the history books and one of the grandest possible ways to round up the festival. So basically, be there or be square. 


Check out the full program here

Holland Festival from 3 – 26 June

Words by Glamcult