News from The Netherlands – March 2020

Current and future events and exhibitions

Alkmaar Cheese Market


Big Ferry Fortnight 2020 until 12 March 2020

The annual celebration promoting ferry travel began in February. A chance to discover what’s onboard ferry services from the UK to the Netherlands and special offers on sailings.

Masterly! Four Centuries of Drawing and Painting, Kunsthal, Rotterdam until 29 March 2020
‘Masterly!’, is a grand retrospective of four centuries of paintings and drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collection. In over 150 works, the exhibition showcases the mastery of 27 artists who all excel in both art forms. It features work by famous masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh, Delacroix, Pissarro, Saenredam, Goltzius and Basquiat, but also by lesser-known artists, including the Dutchmen Cornelis Saftleven and Josephus Augustus Knip. ‘Masterly!’ highlights the special relationship between drawing and painting and reveals the great masters’ love of drawing.

Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience, South Bank, London until 21 May 2020
This interactive experience – created by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – uses cutting edge audio-visual techniques to take visitors on an unforgettable journey in Van Gogh’s footsteps. See how the artist expressed his many emotions through heavy brush strokes and dramatic colours, step into life-size reproductions of Van Gogh’s paintings, come face to face with the Yellow House and learn about the science behind Vincent’s beautiful and intense paintings. The audio-guided tour takes you through the six most important stages of Van Gogh’s life, serving as a wonderful insight into his thoughts.

Rather than presenting Vincent’s original artworks, Meet Vincent van Gogh is a highly immersive, comprehensive and emotional look into van Gogh’s creative process. It also reflects on the personal challenges Vincent encountered during his short life – mental illness, the nature of friendship and creativity and the search for identity. This exhibition is both a narrative and celebration of Vincent van Gogh, showcasing the artist’s highs and lows and helping visitors meet the man behind the myth.

Stubbs, Mauritshuis, The Hague until 1 June 2020
This is the first time an exhibition has been dedicated to the English artist George Stubbs (1724-1806) in the Netherlands. Stubbs is renowned for his equestrian paintings and the exhibition includes his most famous work Whistlejacket, on loan from the National Gallery, London.


Postcards from Great Britain, Hotel Lion D’Or, Haarlem 5 March – 2 April 2020
Postcards from Great Britain is a large scale project from photography organisation Shutter Hub, which invites photographers to share their visions of British culture through photographic images to create conversations and exchange. At a significant time in European history, this project sets out to document and share aspects of British culture, spanning all genres of photography, and collating images which include social, political, historical, traditional and observational responses.

The exhibition will launch in Haarlem before going on tour across Europe. Highlights will include a Symposium at Cambridge University and a moving exhibition on the North Sea, in partnership with DFDS Seaways and their Newcastle to IJmuiden crossing. This will be the first showing of photographs from the project and will showcase the work of over 100 photographers.

Grasnapolsky Festival, Groningen 6-8 March 2020
The Grasnapolsky winter festival takes place in a former straw cardboard factory De Toekomst in Scheemda and hosts a range of experiences and things to explore. Experience different music styles, from rock to intimate songs, dance to electronic music and discover new bands and artists. The factory and its surroundings are part of the festival’s themes. Ketelhuis (boiler room), Bolkokers (bulb kettles) or Machinekamer (machine room), every space has its own ambience and unique purpose. There are art routes and ‘expeditions’ involving nature, the history and architecture of this extraordinary building and its surroundings.

Movies that Matter, The Hague 20-28 March 2020
The film festival is a moment where Amnesty International creates awareness for poignant situations around the world. The film festival is held in and around the ‘Filmhuis’ in the centre of the city. There is a complementary series of talks, debates and performances running alongside the film programme.

Alkmaar Cheese Market, Alkmaar Every Friday from 27 March – 25 September 2020
At the Alkmaar Cheese Market you can find out how cheese is traded according to a tradition that is centuries old, every Friday from 10am. It’s a colourful, spectacle taking place at the picturesque Waagplein.

In 1365, as there was only one set of scales for weighing, cheese was traded on the Waagplein. The cheese was delivered early in the morning, and the cheese market masters and traders would check to see whether the cheeses had been well stacked. Up to 30,000 kilos, or 2200 whole cheeses, are lined up and waiting for customers.


Black Album / White Cube A Journey into Art and Music, Kunsthal, Rotterdam 18 April until 23 August 2020
What would happen if the worlds of visual arts and pop music merged and musicians started using concepts from the art world? And what kind of images would emerge if artists were influenced by pop music? With work by over thirty international artists and musicians, the exhibition ‘Black Album / White Cube’ will present a broad range of crossovers between art and music. Over two hundred photographs, multimedia works, installations, sculptures, drawings and paintings reveal the relationship between music, video and visual art and show how artists and musicians can take concepts for each other’s worlds, use these as a source of inspiration and interpret them in their own ways. Contemporary classics – including the paintings by Emil Schult that the cover of the 1974 Kraftwerk album Autobahn was based on – are displayed together with, among other things, photography by Andrea Stappert, Thomas Ruff, Wolfgang Tillmans and Sven Marquardt, paintings by Kim Gordon and Albert Oehlen and impressive video installations by Mark Leckey and Arthur Jafa. One of the highlights is the work ‘We Buy White Albums’ by Rutherford Chang, an installation made from record bins that exclusively contain used copies of the Beatles’ ‘White Album’. Chang currently owns over 3,000 copies, and he arranges them by serial number. The exhibition is realised in collaboration with the Deichtor Hallen in Hamburg and will be accompanied by an extensive public events programme. Guest curator is the journalist Max Dax, the former editor in chief of the famous German rock and pop culture magazine Spex and Electronic Beats magazine.

National Museum Week – across the Netherlands 20-26 April 2020
During National Museum Week, hundreds of well-known and less famous museums can be visited. There are countless activities in museums throughout the country. You can attend a special guided tour or workshop, visit lectures, and explore the exhibitions created especially for the event.

From Groningen to Limburg, more than 300 Dutch museums open up their collections. Museum Week is an excellent opportunity to discover the art treasures of Holland.

King’s Day – across the Netherlands 27 April 2020
From the biggest cities down to the smallest hamlets, the entire country celebrates. There are street markets everywhere, where people sell all kinds of miscellany and (home-made) treats. Expect to see bands playing on street corners and people dancing in their orange outfits. Tradition dictates that the Royal family visits one or two municipalities in the Netherlands on this day.


Bevrijdingspop, Haarlem 5 May 2020
‘Bevrijdingspop’ (Liberation Pop) is a festival with a deeper meaning. First of all, it wants you to realize that the Netherlands is a country where people live in freedom. Secondly, Bevrijdingspop reflects on the fact that there are many places in the world where this is not the case. Bevrijdingspop is a free festival where everyone’s welcome. The programme contains a mixture of classical music, debates, poetry, rap and pop music from (inter)national bands and a ceremony with the liberation fire. Peace and freedom play a central role.

Eurovision Song Contest 2020, Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam 12-16 May 2020
The 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Rotterdam. This follows last year’s winning Dutch song Arcade performed by Duncan Laurence. Two semi-finals will take place on 12 and 14 May and the Grand Final will be held on 16 May. The slogan for this year is “Open up”, is intentionally incomplete: Open up to each other. Open up to music. Open up to Rotterdam. Open up to… whatever you choose! Feel the freedom to complete the slogan in your own way. That way we get to know each other better,” says Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer Event of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.

In the lead up to the event, free festivals, parties, singalongs and exhibitions will be held across the city and the Eurovillage will be located next to the Markthal.

The Eurovision Song Contest was established a decade after the Second World War with the aim to bring Europe closer together through music.

SPRING Performing Arts Festival, Utrecht 14 -23 May 2020
SPRING compiles a varied and daring programme every year, featuring both national and international artists. Visual art, music shows, workshops and debates – the creative groups bring new worlds to life.

What’s New?

Fair Ferry to sail from London to Rotterdam
Fair Ferry will be offering both single journeys and mini cruises. A mini cruise takes six days – 1½ days to Rotterdam, 3 days moored in Rotterdam city centre (onboard accommodation included) and 1½ days back to London. While in harbour, the ship will serve as a floating hotel – the perfect base from which to experience all that Rotterdam has to offer. Sail to Rotterdam onboard the Artemis – a barque and former whaler measuring 60 m (210 ft) in length.

The Artemis provides onboard accommodation for thirty‑six passengers in sixteen two‑ and three‑person cabins, all with en‑suite facilities.

For more information about visiting Holland go to