St. Patrick's Festival Amsterdam is an annual festival celebrating Irish Arts & Culture, with a special focus on music. Held in the heart of the Dutch capital in The Netherlands, it is the only celebration of the richness and range of Irish culture in Amsterdam. The festival celebrates not only Irish traditional music, but also Irish music and musicians from other genres such as classical, pop, jazz and world, collaborating to present unique programs with Irish music as the inspiration. Spoken word, cuisine, dance, film and animation have also been featured in the programme for this Festival which first took place in 2014. The Festival is for all the family, which also includes Irish dancing and music workshops for children, film, sport and tastes of Ireland.
Audiences also learn about the impact of Irish music on great European composers such as Beethoven and Chopin, through talks and performances. In the informal setting of the venue, Splendor Amsterdam with a cosy bar/cafe and multiple performance spaces, audiences of all nationalities and all ages can easily connect in a fun and friendly atmosphere with a definite Irish feel!
On March 16th 2014, the Splendor music centre 'went green' for the first time and welcomed an Irish, Dutch and international audience of all ages to join a community celebrating Ireland’s culture. This was the first edition of an Irish cultural celebration of this kind in Amsterdam. Since then support has come from, among others, the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts with additional assistance from Culture Ireland, the Embassy of Ireland in The Netherlands, Bord Bia, Barry's Tea, Aer Lingus, The River Lee Hotel Cork and the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Come and join the next edition on 16th - 17th March 2018.
Cork-born oboist Aisling Casey, Principal Oboe of The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, had been living in Amsterdam for 19 years and saw each year go by in Amsterdam with no celebration of Ireland's rich culture on St. Patrick's Day.
Instead of letting yet another year go by, she decided to do something about it, and together with fellow Irish redhead Deirdre Daly, organised this unique and high calibre event in the heart of Amsterdam. Together as Stichting DeeAispora (The DeeAispora Foundation) they are committed to sharing the rich cultural heritage of Ireland in Amsterdam and connecting Dutch and International audiences of all ages, primarily through the medium of music.
Music is an essential part of Irish identity and one of its greatest exports. As a member of the Irish diaspora and a part of Ireland’s musical export, Aisling wants to promote the richness and impact of Irish Culture through music in a very special location in the heart of Amsterdam. This special location is the prize-winning music centre Splendor, and in 2018 also De Uilenburger Sjoel closeby. Aisling is one of the 50 top musicians based in Amsterdam who helped transform Splendor from a dilapidated bathhouse into a beautiful, multi-purpose, intimate performance venue, which opened its doors in September 2013.
Watch Aisling and Deirdre explain in their own words what the Festival is, the motivation and vision for creating this unique Festival of Irish culture in The Netherlands.
Videos by You're Just Zealous