Every year, the Netherlands celebrates its liberation from German occupation on May 5th 1945, but it’s also a day where we think about freedom, democracy and human rights in general. For example, this year’s theme is “Choose Freedom”, celebrating the 100th anniversary of universal suffrage, achieved in part by the struggle of women’s and workers’ movements.
Already got plans for Liberation Day? In addition to the countless liberation festivals, many other activities are being organized in cities around the country. Here are some of our recommendations if you’re having difficulty choosing:
The Hague Freedom Week
The Freedom Weeks in The Hague have no less than 50 events on the program. From April 12th to May 10th, you’ll be able to attend a variety of activities around the city, from exhibitions, debates and lectures to walks, films and, of course, concerts. Would you like to see the inside of an atomic bunker from the inside, for instance?
There’s a lot on offer, so take a look at the Freedom Weeks program for the full list. If you’re planning to attend the Liberation Day Festival in The Hague, this year will see the Malieveld be transformed into a festival site from noon, with performances from Tumbleweed & Friends, Toontje Lager and Racoon. Of course, there are also many other events such as a DJ contest and the traditional silent disco to enjoy.
The Free West Festival in Amsterdam
Celebrations are already being prepared in our capital again. For theater lovers, the Theater na de Dam will be hosting many different performances to check out on May 4th. Or, perhaps you’d like to join in on one of the 90 Freedom meals on May 5th. Immediately after the meal, continue to the Liberation Festival in the Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek, because there’s plenty to experience during the festival run of 11am to 11pm. Eat at one of the many food trucks, visit workshops and mini debates and dance to music from Kraantje Pappie, New Cool Collective, Kuente i Tambu, among others.
Liberation Day 2019 will finish in the evening with the Amstel concert, taking place on the Amstel, between 9pm and 10:30pm: make sure you get there early to get a nice spot along the quay.
Tip: Planning to go to a Liberation Festival with more than four friends? Request a Van to get your squad to the event with each. There’s no search for a parking space, no need for a designated driver and you can split the fare.
Celebrate freedom in Utrecht
There’s plenty to experience in the Domstad on May 5th as well. How about Sushi Festival JOY at the Lucasbolwerk, where you can learn to make sushi before enjoying the evening at their pop-up cocktail and wine bars? Of course, you can always go to the famous Lombok Street Parties where residents sell second-hand and homemade items. We could go on, but, in short, there’s just too many Liberation Day events to mention!
Utrecht’s Liberation Festival in Park Transwijk begins at 12am, which will be opened this year by Kraantje Pappie, one of 2019’s Ambassadors of Freedom. You can enjoy performances by, among others, Ellen ten Damme, Bettie Serveert and much more. If you want to keep the party going all night, swing by pop venue EKKO and sing along to the best songs from the 90s and 00s during the Afterparty Fluff Disco from 11pm to 4pm.
It’s time to celebrate freedom, so let’s enjoy it and have lots of fun!