Festivals and events in Rotterdam


one of the best festival cities in the world

During Rotterdam Architecture Month in June the floating festival heart brought together complex challenges - photo Iris van den Broek

Festivals and events in Rotterdam

Renowned as one of the world’s premier festival destinations, Rotterdam stands out for its exceptional festival culture. The city’s reputation is well-deserved, owing to its rich array of festivals that span beyond the summer season into the chilly winter months. What sets Rotterdam’s festivals apart is the organizers’ boldness and innovative spirit, evident in the diverse offerings they curate.

From small and intimate to big and international

Rotterdam’s festival landscape boasts internationally acclaimed events such as the January-held International Film Festival Rotterdam and the July extravaganza of the North Sea Jazz Festival. Alongside these, the city embraces a growing number of smaller, intimate festivals, often taking place in remarkable corners of the urban fabric. From repurposed warehouses and silos to scenic rooftops, abandoned structures, and even ‘secret gardens,’ these unconventional venues inspire unique gatherings. The city’s port area also plays host, featuring concerts within factory halls, on wharves, within shipping containers, and tucked-away corners of transitional spaces where electronic music and avant-garde art find surprisingly fertile ground.

Furthermore, Rotterdam’s festival spectrum extends to iconic occasions like Rotterdam Art Week and the International Film Festival Rotterdam, as well as to the inviting allure of events such as Zomercarnaval and the annual New Year’s Eve celebration at the Erasmus Bridge. These diverse and dynamic happenings underscore Rotterdam’s unwavering commitment to providing an array of engaging and innovative experiences throughout the entirety of the year.

Festival agenda

Check out the festival agenda for more details. Staying overnight after a day of festival? View the hotels.