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Out & About: The Netherlands - Land of Festivals!

by Jurandy Lucas in Nightlife & Reports , 03 August 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Each month, Jurandy Lucas (creative producer of Backdoor Amsterdam) and Dave Koster (photographer) report on GLBTQIA+ events in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the country. The summer season has started, and that means festivals! This month we went to the Liberation Party at the Amsterdam Homomonument and Utrecht’s “Eurovision Alley.”

Liberation Day

The Dutch summer season has started. Temperatures are rising and the Dutch find themselves going to outdoor festivals in great numbers. Who doesn’t like a large open-air party? Well, not all the time. But as we are the party reporters here, we needed to get going.

The first festival on our list was the Liberation Day party at the Amsterdam Homomonument. The orange disposable caps and scarves from King’s Day the week before had been exchanged for more idiosyncratic fashion. It was a rainbow of colors. The message: we are free to be who we are. That is what Liberation Day is all about. The weather being extremely human-friendly did help. You felt the onset of summer. The square was filled to the brim with a liberated crowd of people who clearly felt like having a party. People were in a good mood. Perhaps it was the weather, the cold beer, or the entertainment provided by Superball and the G-Team. Or perhaps it was a combination of the three.

After doing a promotion round for the next Backdoor party on June 9, we could finally relax among the many friends we met there. But do not forget that it is because of the casualties of war we had commemorated the night before, we are now free to party here.

Eurovision Alley

We had to hurry to travel to Utrecht for what has become the largest outdoor Eurovision Song Contest (ESF) event in the Netherlands. For the fourth year in a row, the alley in Utrecht Café Kalff is on was renamed Eurovision Alley.
From the very beginning, Café Kalff has been a magnet for the seasoned ESF enthusiast. Especially the campiness and the abominable songs were an excellent excuse for a party. In the year that Anouk took part and Conchita Wurst won, it became clear that the café was too small for everyone to enjoy it. In huge masses, the visitors watched through the window of the bar. The organizers then had the idea to place a huge screen in the adjacent alley and rename it Eurovision Alley.

From a few hundred visitors in the first year - with Trijntje making the news with a luxury potato bag - this alley’s banks were flooded. It was great then and certainly now, with some 1,500 visitors singing along, sometimes familiar with the songs or making them up as they went along. Of course there were the regulars of Café Kalff, but also local residents, occasional passers-by and dedicated ESF fanatics from all over the country. All in all, Eurovision Alley brings a unique atmosphere to the heart of Utrecht.

Photo's Dave Koster

  This was Dave Koster's last photo report for Gay News & Gayamsterdam, would you like to publish your photos in Gay News and continue our column Out & About, and avoid queues and be invited, email us at



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