Weekend Fun for Everyone
Over four weekends – including Fridays, of course! – every July and August, 300,000 locals and visitors enjoy themselves at the Kwaku Summer Festival, a multi-cultural event offering all kinds of activities and entertainment. Stages feature live acts, DJs and dance workshops, while the well-established tradition of a football tournament, the Kwaku Cup, attracts players of all abilities, ages and nationalities. There is a dedicated area for families, with literature, film and theatre events completing the line-up. A Caribbean market complements food stalls offering international produce from countries such as Suriname, Africa, the Middle East and Korea.
Background of Kwaku Summer Festival
The Kwaku Summer Festival is held most years since 1975 to commemorate the end of slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles on 1 July 1863, its name (previously Kwakoe) is taken from a statue created to mark the date. Starting as a Surinamese football tournament, it developed into a multicultural festival, with the word taken from the Asante of Ghana.
Since 2008, one Sunday has been reserved for the flamboyant Roze Zondag, celebrating LGBT culture. Large crowds flock to this multicultural event, which has not surprisingly become an important date in the Amsterdam Gay Pride calendar. Roze is Dutch for pink, and some of the stages are given “pink” programming for the day.
This colourful extravaganza of music, street and celebrations all happens in Nelson Mandelapark, formerly Bijlmerpark, which is situated in the south-east (zuidoost) of the city. As with everywhere in Amsterdam, it’s within easy reach.
Transport to the Festival and Elsewhere
Get there by train, metro or bus – aim for Station Amsterdam Bijlmer, from where it’s a fifteen-minute walk via the shopping mall of De Amsterdamse Poort. There is plenty of public transport in the city, but taxis are also available. Private taxi tours such as those at taxi Amsterdam 24 will help you to explore Amsterdam and further afield once your festival weekend has ended.