Amsterdam Uit Markt

Well, this is my first accidental blog post! I went out tonight with B, sushi on the brain. We had a reservation for two at Bento, and preempting our sushi binge, had decided to first take a long walk around Vondelpark.

The sun was still shinning and it was great weather for an evening stroll, but half way to the park we got distracted by tall tents and a loud, heavy base thumping off in the distance. Intrigued and always up for a little adventure, we wandered towards the beating music at Museumplein, and to our delight discovered a big open air music festival, with several stages setup throughout the green.

IMG_3330We had stumbled upon Amsterdam’s Uit Markt, the largest cultural festival in the Netherlands. Musical acts sprawled across several stages, performing for the crowd who happily danced and lazed around on the grass. We walked by accordion shows and rock bands, smiling at our good fortune and chuckling at the acts. Date night had taken a turn for the interesting!IMG_3335At the end of the green, in front of the Concertgebouw, we found the biggest stage, with a crowd just starting to gather.
IMG_3343We made our way to the front, and discovered that the Shaffy Symphony was just warming up. We watched the maestro cue different string and wind groups, who all played the same melody one after another, tuning their instruments and harmonizing for the performance ahead. IMG_3344When the show started, we were surprised to find that there were vocals involved as well! Lisbeth List opened with a beautiful duet, followed by several other famous Dutch vocalists and personalities.
IMG_3348 IMG_3354The music was beautiful and the symphony really stole the show. All of the musical lyrics were in Dutch, but the dreamy melodies were able to transcend the language boundary, attracting a range of Dutch locals and tourists alike.IMG_3369We hung around until we had to leave for our dinner reservation, totally inspired by this free cultural festival the city had put on!IMG_3380I had been planning to blog about sushi, but when we got to Bento the ambiance wasn’t all that great, and it was clear that the best part of the evening was the surprise symphony show.

v v A cool, hacked road sign on the way to Bento.

IMG_3383Stumbling upon the Uit Markt was an awesome, unexpected surprise! Sometimes the best blog posts just happen. I love carrying around my camera – you never know when there will be a special moment, or even a free cultural festival worth capturing.

The Uit Markt takes place every year in the Netherlands, and there are even some acts today if you’re interested in catching the tail end of the shows. You can find more about the program and locations here.

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