Amsterdam Roots Festival returns in July; First open-air festival since pandemic began
The Roots Open Air will return on July 4 for the first time in two years in its physical form. It is the first known open-air festival set to take place in the Netherlands since the outbreak of the coronavirus put large-scale events on hold.
Starting on June 30, visitors can attend plays, art exhibitions, dance and music performances in multiple indoor and outdoor venues Amsterdam including the Bimhuis, Oosterpark and Tapas Theater. The closing event of the five-day festival is Roots Open Air in Oosterpark with a full slate of performances and food trucks.
The theme this year is ‘vulnerability’ which is meant to reflect on the events of the past one and a half years, said Danka van Dodenwaard, the festival director. “Over the past year, all of humanity has been confronted with vulnerability. We want to highlight the strength that lies in this vulnerability with this edition”, Van Dodenwaard said to the AD.
Attendees this year will have to either show a negative coronavirus test or proof of vaccination prior to entry. Visitors will be let in for one of three time slots. There is currently room for 900 visitors per time slot but the Van Dodenwaard hopes to increase capacity to two thousand. “We have more than enough space because it is a big park and there are four stages”, Van Dodewaard said.
The first Roots Festival took place in 1983 in Melkweg under the name Africa Roots Festival. Last year the event had to be canceled due to coronavirus measures.