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The Innovative Proposal of Amsterdam Open Air: More than a Music Festival

Amsterdam Open Air has announced an ambitious and diverse program that goes beyond music, including a series of activities and collaborations that will transform the event into a multidimensional experience. Held on June 1 and 2 at the picturesque Gaasperpark, the festival will not only offer music across ten stages featuring artists such as Partiboi69, Kerri Chandler, Argy, Cera Khin, Tjade, and FRENNA & THE GANG, but also art, immersive experiences, and interactive workshops. This year, the festival focuses on interaction and discovery through a new playground program, developed in collaboration with the city’s creative organizations. Thomas Gurney-Champion, creative director of Amsterdam Open Air, explains: «We want our visitors to experience magical moments not just in front of the stages, but also in those in-between spaces where they can explore, relax, and make new connections.»

NXT Museum, the first museum in the Netherlands dedicated to new media art, will curate the festival’s «digital arts» program. Attendees will enjoy visual shows on the iconic LED towers and an interactive art installation by Roelof Knol that responds to movement and reflects participants in multiple dimensions. For those seeking to deepen their experience, Ghetto Funk Collective and Patta Academy will offer workshops, talks, and theater performances. Patta Academy will provide a space for creative talent with live music, DJs, and networking sessions, while Ghetto Funk Collective will present dance workshops and theatrical performances.

Heesterveld returns with its popular playground, where Kiki House of Bodega will bring the vibrant ballroom culture of the queer community, including fashion, dance, and battles judged by a prestigious panel. Activities such as paint & sip and speedfriending will also be available. The Wondr Experience from Amsterdam-Noord will debut at the festival with a double-decker bus recreating multiple rooms from its original experience, along with the Pink Beach Cocktail Bar for refreshing drinks.

In collaboration with HandicapNL, the festival will launch the Sit Down Café, an inclusive space where people with and without disabilities can enjoy together. Equipped with a DJ, bartenders, and hosts, the café ensures that everyone can have fun, dance, laugh, drink, play, and sing on the same level. The Sit Down Café will feature a DJ playing pleasant songs, bartenders chatting with guests, a host organizing the show, and encouraging participants to interact with each other. Additionally, the café’s roof will lower several times an hour in a festive and spectacular manner, allowing everyone, whether in a wheelchair or not, to be on the same level. The DJs and café staff include people with and without disabilities, and an interpreter will be present to translate the MC’s words and music into sign language. Menus will be available in braille, and volunteers will be on hand to guide visitors to a low-stimulus room if needed.

The festival will take place on June 1 and 2, 2024, at Gaasperpark, Amsterdam. The complete Amsterdam Open Air program is available on the festival’s website, and tickets are on sale through the same site.

Words: @annaamaso