With just a week to go before the biggest street party in the Netherlands kicks off, it’s time to get your orange on. The two-day bonanza celebrates the birthday of Holland’s first king in a century—Willem-Alexander, born Prince of Orange-Nassau in Utrecht on April 27, 1967 to the Netherlands’ former Queen Beatrix.
Because King Willem’s birthday falls on a Sunday this year, the party has been pushed back to April 26. Giving monarchs around the globe fodder for envy, towns throughout Holland will pull out all the stops for the royal fest. But the biggest bashes are in Amsterdam; everyone’s invited and there’s no charge to enjoy the wild street parties. Expect 36+ hours of orange-tinged patriotism, including goofy homages to the Dutch Royal Family throughout the festivities.
The fun kicks off on Koningsnacht (King’s Night, April 25), when street parties throughout town bring musicians, dancers, divas, DJs and giant porn dolls to pop-up stages. On Koningsdag (April 26), the entire city wakes up to the Vrijmarkt, a giant, city-wide garage sale―the one day each year when anyone can legally sell their unwanted treasures on the street and owe no sales tax.
At Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium, the first ever King’s Day Festival will take place on four stages manned with top DJs. Amsterdam-Noord joins the fun with NDSM Vrijhaven, a cultural festival including a giant kids’ street market. For older kids, These Guys King’s Day brings another top DJ lineup to NDSM Treehouse. Het Alternatief will attempt an atypical fest with ample personal space, food and drink, toilets and a music-loving vibe. No telling how they’re gonna pull it off, but that’s the lure.
In East Amsterdam, Oosterpark will be the backdrop for Loveland van Oranje, an outdoor music fest with DJs spinning tunes in diverse styles. Westergasfabriek presents The Union, offering indoor/outdoor revelry on three stages amidst the revamped industrial site’s recycled shipping containers.
At Riekerhaven Sports Park in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, King’s Day Madness promises “plenty of inflatable stuff, orange confetti, clowns, stilt walkers, crazy acts and banging techno…”. The city’s gay crowd struts their stuff on Reguliersdwarsstraat, where the beer will flow at King’s Day @ RGLRS. In De Pijp, the Arcade King’s Day party will displace Amsterdam’s famed Albert Cuyp Market near Eerste van der Helststraat. The Westerstraat Stage will pick up the tunes where it left off on Koningsnacht with Kingsize Festival action.
Café P.King will become P. King Op Straat, a free house/techno street party near the intersection of Vijzelstraat and Herengracht. Get truly f*cked up here or move on to the Magere Brug Café, where you can party for a good cause: go ape while saving one at ORANJE APEN! Throughout the holiday, all Magere Brug Café bar proceeds will go toward safeguarding endangered orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra.