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Q-Factory music performance gig
Image from Rein Kooyman

Amsterdam's smaller music venues

Going out in Amsterdam is not all about big crowds and world-famous dance festivals. One of the musical thrills is that you can find a wide array of pop, R&B and singer-songwriters performing on small intimate stages all over the city.

Bitterzoet

Bitterzoet ("bittersweet") has established itself as one of Amsterdam's core music venues and clubs, both in collaboration with pop temple Paradiso, as well as an independent party location. Due to an incredibly varied daily music program, Bitterzoet attracts a musically eclectic fan base: from rock through punk, hip-hop, soul and funk to reggae – and everything in between. Make sure to check their event calendar ahead of your night out, or visit on spec and be surprised.

Music style: Various.

Bitterzoet // Spuistraat 2 

Tolhuistuin

The Tolhuistuin ('Tollhouse Garden') is one of Amsterdam Noord’s liveliest cultural hotspots. Cultural activities take place throughout the year, both in the idyllic garden and the three smaller concert halls inside. You will find the Tolhuistuin next to the former Shell site on the IJ, which is nowadays named the ADAM Toren, featuring subterranean nightclub Shelter.

Music style: Various.

Tolhuistuin // Ijpromenade 2

Churches

In Amsterdam, ancient churches are also used to worship the sounds of live music. Churches like the Vondelkerk, Waalse Kerk and De Duif are beautiful spots for delicate acoustic music. For example, De Duif regularly hosts a free afternoon organ concert. In this way, Amsterdam’s heritage remains open to the public

Music style: Opera, classical, acoustic, etc.

Vondelkerk // Vondelstraat 120

Cinetol

Cinetol is not only a working environment for creative enterpreneurs, designers and musicians, it is also a small pop venue where, in addition to live music, there is room for other cultures such as film and literature. In Summer, be sure to grab a drink at Tolbar's sun-soaked terrace next door.

Music style: Live music.

Cinetol // Tolstraat 182

De Nieuwe Anita

De Nieuwe Anita literally translates to 'The New Anita'. And we're not sure who Anita is, but we certainly like her style. From the welcoming living room at the front of the bar, which often hosts intimate acoustic nights and live entertainment, the space extends through to the back where it opens out into a large, two-tiered venue for larger gigs, club nights and other events. 

Music style: Live music.

De Nieuwe Anita // Frederik Hendrikstraat 111

OCCII

Once it was a horse tram depot, now OCIII (Independent Cultural Centre) is a venue for special arts, especially live music and theatre. You can drop in here most nights to delve into the underworld of the global music scene (think queer punk nights, hardcore, glitchcore, new wave, experimental hip-hop, metal, indie and obscure jazz). 

Music style: Various

OCCII / Amstelveenseweg 134

Other venues

One of the musical thrills in Amsterdam is that you can find a wide array of pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, electronic and singer-songwriters performing on any given day. Be sure to venture out to the greater Amsteram Area for the real hidden gems, like P3 in Purmerend, Patronaat in Haarlem and P60 in Amstelveen. Search all gigs & concerts in Amsterdam to explore all musical genres.