Why I Now Want to Go to King’s Day in Amsterdam.

By Posted in - Europe & Travel Blog on May 21st, 2015 DJ Hardwell playing at King's Day in Amsterdam.

Something happened to me last year in Amsterdam. Well, two things, actually. First, I fell for Amsterdam. It took a return visit to really get a feel for the city, and I really enjoyed our time there. In some ways, it reminds of San Francisco with canals instead of hills. Second, I finally heard electronic music. Let me explain. A joke in the film White Man Can’t Jump is that Woody Harrelson may listen to Jimi Hendrix, but he can’t hear Jimi, because, as Wesley Snipes explains, white people can’t hear Jimi Hendrix; they only listen to him. Well, Wesley, I hear Jimi loud and clear, and now I also hear electronic music too.

My epiphany came inside a two-story brick building at the reclaimed Westergasfabriek gasworks in Westerpark. Fog and smoke and light clung to the sweaty air. People gyrated, laughed, talked, and drank, as DJs twisted beats and samples, pushing the sound barrier all the way up to their elongated finale.

Pitch Festival_Double-Exposure

When I saw the new video from KLM and Heineken about the ultimate Orange Experience, it brought me back to the those two days in Amsterdam at the Pitch Festival. Before I even realized it, I was bopping in my seat. But DJ Hardwell wasn’t my only take away from the video. KLM and Heineken teamed up to share one of Holland’s best-kept secrets with the world: King’s Day (April 27). Word has it that the best celebration takes place in Amsterdam, where the streets run orange with Oranjegekte or Orange Madness, and the city shifts into overdrive with music festivals, club nights, and street markets. We were in the city last year during the fabulously long World Cup match with Amsterdam and Costa Rica, and there were human pockets of orange splattered all around, so I can only imagine how epic King’s Day is. After seeing the video, and then reading more about the holiday, I’d really like to go to King’s Day in Amsterdam.


The iconic Dutch brands surprised 10 people with the Orange Experience. The lucky few were chosen from Heineken venues in Shanghai, Cape Town, Rio, Los Angeles and Oslo. Upon ordering a Heineken they were asked if they wanted an orange experience. A “yes!” got them an orange outfit and the challenge to sing the classic Dutch folk song, Oranje Boven, in front of the crowded bar. For the brave, though, came the spoils: catching the next flight out to Amsterdam (not before stopping to pick up a bag and their best friend). The only thing the winners knew for sure was that they were going to Amsterdam, and really good things can happen when you drink Heineken.

So what exactly happened to those brave souls once they got to Amsterdam? Well you’ll just have to watch the video and see for yourself.

Have you ever been to King’s Day in Holland? Tell us about it in the comments below!

For more stories about Amsterdam, check out:

2 Days of Peace, Beats and Love at the Pitch Festival in Amsterdam

Where to Snack, Sleep and Smoke in Amsterdam

It Was Me Amsterdam, Not You (+3 Awesome Spots to Check Out)

Looking for Unique Lodging in Amsterdam? Check Out a Houseboat

Amsterdam After Dark (Photo Essay)

Modern Magdalene #1–Red Light District, Amsterdam–Somewhere in Time Photo

Behind Glass Doors–A Stroll Through the Red Light District

Amsterdam, I Can’t Find You–On the Road Journal Entries

Want to discover more unique festivals? Follow our friends and fellow travelers as they journey through Europe this year with Must Love Festivals and through the #MustLoveFestivals on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

We collaborated with KLM on this post. As always, though, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.

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(1) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Elaine -

    May 31, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    To sing a song in a language that many have no clue how to speak in the first place in front of a bar takes courage … hope they enjoy their time in Amsterdam!