From classical music to the latest dance sounds, and from insightful perspectives on art to big laughs, Amsterdam has brought the party to the small screen by providing a range of online activities for you to enjoy from the comfort of your couch. Use your home-time – whether enforced or by choice – to expand your cultural horizons. You could be an opera aficionado or classical piano fanatic in the making!
A night at the theatre
From the Leidseplein stage to your living room, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam is bringing highlights from its repertoire of contemporary theatre through its ITALive series. World-class actors and pioneering directors are putting on a host of shows, from musicals to compelling drama, promising to appeal to a wide range of audiences. Check the programme, book a ticket to a streaming session and grab a tiny tub of ice cream for an almost-authentic theatre experience.
In place of the usual free Wednesday lunch concerts at the Concertgebouw, music-lovers can tune into live shows every Thursday evening as part of the music hall’s Empty Concertgebouw Sessions. Join renowned conductors, orchestras and musicians as they showcase their talents in this majestic venue renowned globally for its unparalleled acoustics. Follow Concertgebouw’s Facebook page for details of upcoming shows.
A trip to the opera (or ballet)
If you’ve ever fancied dipping your toes into the wonderful world of opera and ballet, now is your chance. The Dutch National Opera & Ballet streams regular performances for a limited time and for a very friendly price. They also regularly stream highlights of previous productions so you can relive your favourite moments or open your eyes to new magic.
Rediscover live music
We’re the first to admit how difficult it is to recreate that feeling of being in a pumping club full of sweaty punters dancing to the sounds of awesome acts mixed by deft DJs. You can relive the moments by watching recordings of De Marktkantine’s livestream series or jump into a tasty digital stockpile of DJ sets, takeovers, talks and films via Amsterdam Dance Event Online 2020 and the inaugural Dekmantel Connects project which took place in December.
Alternative space OT301’s radio channel is streaming live DJ sets every Friday afternoon, helping you to get into the weekend spirit. Likewise, Radio Radio is bringing music from local producers into your home with regular lockdown streams. Keep an eye on their Instagram channel for updates including a playlist of tracks by Netherlands-based artists or record labels.
For bands, we can recommend visiting Dutch music platform 3voor12, which has done a great service by providing YouTube links to ‘50 legendary concerts at the Melkweg’ (from Kendrick Lamar to The Grateful Dead) and ‘50 legendary concerts at the Paradiso’ (from Prince to Captain Beefheart). Sure, the articles are in Dutch, but just scroll through for your favourite artists. For something a little more jazzy, world-famous venue Bimhuis is broadcasting regular live streams of its concerts featuring both well-established musicians and enticing new talents.
Many of Amsterdam’s galleries are providing insights into their exhibitions and collections online. Join curators from the Rijksmuseum as they share stories about their favourite works in short video clips or see detailed views of paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt on the museum’s new platform, Masterpieces Up Close. Rembrandt House Museum brings you Museum from home, an online tour of the museum plus an opportunity to delve into their current exhibition. The Van Gogh Museum also has an extensive selection of online activities to experience.
From the Stedelijk, Watch and Listen Online is a series of audio tours and minidocs sure to give you a unique perspective on contemporary art and the museum's programming from the last few years. For a dose of the most exciting up-and-coming international photography, FOAM has produced a digital rendition of their annual show Foam Talent 2020 with an array of corresponding audio and video content to explore, including artist interviews. Likewise Melkweg Expo have made an online version of their new exhibition, ‘A Story to Tell, or: Regarding Male Eating Disorders’ - a penetrating documentary project following 11 men affected by anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorders. And finally Galerie Ron Mandos have a curated selection of exclusive video available to watch online in their Lazy Sunday Viewing Room. Watch films by artists including Isaac Julien or Hans Op de Beeck exploring contemporary social issues such as climate change, the diaspora, displacement and Covid 19.
Laughter as medicine
Boom Chicago is the place to see top comedy in Amsterdam. But also online there’s plenty to enjoy with comedians relaying their funny anecdotes while you roll around on the floor in hysterics. Check out their YouTube channel for the latest offerings.
You can also check out the online offerings of the ‘House of Stories’ from cultural cafe Mezrab, where professional storytellers and musicians invite you to listen, be entertained and share your thoughts in a virtual room of people from around the world.
For something more highbrow…
If you’re out to be updated on the latest in creativity and innovation in Amsterdam and beyond, you can tap into an English-language Livecast from independent cultural platform Pakhuis de Zwijger that regularly hosts roundtables covering everything from entrepreneurship to the future of journalism.
Meanwhile, the University of Amsterdam-aligned Spui25 do regular livestreams of a more academic nature, and cultural centre De Balie has a jam-packed archive of debates, lectures and talks on a host of complex but fascinating socio-political topics.
Film nights in
While Netflix may be getting a workout, there’s another great way to catch a movie or two. For a reasonable fee, PICL gives you access to recent releases and classic films. Watch Pedro Almodovar’s latest masterpiece or the Oscar-winning Parasite, through to inspiring cinema from across the world. This one is for all the film buffs out there.
Don’t forget that Eye Film Museum has its own Film Player with an incredible library of arthouse cinema to watch for free. For 48 hours in exchange for a small fee, rent classic masterpieces and foreign language titles which have made waves across festival circuits in recent years.
We’re sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy. In the meantime, keep on eye on the Amsterdam Weekend Guide where you’ll find other events that you can join.