June was food festival month in Amsterdam! First the Holland Food Festival and the Weekend of the Rolling Kitchens were jointly held at the Westergasfabriek. Then we had the Amsterdam Roots Festival in Oosterpark. And finally the Taste Festival is visiting Amsterdam this weekend.

While this is the end of food themed festivals, I noticed that other cultural festivals are putting more and more emphasis on food. Finally! It used to be that food was sparse, over-priced and poor quality. Nothing more than a money maker and fuel to keep festival visitors going. Now food is becoming a key element, vital to attracting visitors!

de-parade-logoDe Parade, a mobile theater and circus event touring Rotterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht and Amsterdam, was the first to combine food and shows. Comedy, drama, dance, song and other shows are taking place in circus tents around the festival area. The tent village is centered around a food plaza where visitors eat, drink and have fun and which the artists visit with little publicity stunts to promote their show. De Parade will be held in Martin Luther King park in Amsterdam 31 July to 16 August. And there will be no less than 15 food stalls including a tempura bar, a wood oven pizzeria and a soul food cantina.

over-het-ij-festival-logoNext up is the Over Het IJ Festival from 2 July to 12 July on NDSM wharf in Amsterdam North. It’s a theater festival with an extensive programme including performances by theater students. The location is great, across the IJ river as its name suggests and reached by ferry directly from Amsterdam Central Station. Food is actively being promoted as one of the key ingredients of the festival. Caterers One for the Road and bakery BCups will supply food on the festival terrain. And the neighboring Noorderlicht Cafe, housed in a cool glass hangar, is participating in the festival all week long.