Those looking to attend a concert in Amsterdam are likely to find that there is almost always a good show on somewhere in the city. Amsterdam's location as one of Europe's major travel hubs means that touring artists from the USA and Britain often play dates here as they pass through on their way to the rest of mainland Europe. Of course, the city's relaxed attitude and reputation as a hotbed of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll helps too. In addition to the many Amsterdam concerts that happen here every year, the city has a number of regular music events that happen outside of specific venues, details of which can be found on our music page.
There are a large number of Amsterdam concert venues throughout the city, varying greatly in size and offering, so it is important to know where to look to find the concert for you. The largest and most well known venue is of course the Amsterdam ArenA, found to the south east of the city. This impressive stadium is most often used for football matches and is the home of Dutch team Ajax, although some truly huge international acts have played here when giving a concert in Amsterdam. Closer to the city centre, the Heineken Music Hall, part of the Heineken Experience at Stadhouderskade, also hosts big name international acts. This is a dedicated concert hall and as such the acoustics are often better than those of the ArenA, which are often complained about.
More regular Amsterdam concerts are often held at one of the city's two large central music venues, Melkweg and Paradiso. Both of these venues and nightclubs can be found close to the nightlife area of Leidseplein and play host to international acts that, while they may not be the superstars that play the ArenA, are often quite famous. Details of upcoming concerts in either of these venues can be found on the venue websites, and remember to book well in advance as tickets sell quickly in Amsterdam. Smaller venues for smaller gigs can be found throughout the city too, with The Winston on Warmoestraat and De Nieuwe Anita at Hugo de Grootplein being of particular notice for indie concerts.
Of course, there are more than just popular music concerts in Amsterdam, and those looking for something a bit classier than rock or hip hop can be sure to find something to entertain them too. The Amsterdam Concert Hall (Concertgebouw), or Stadsschouwburg, can be found on Leidseplein and here it is possible to attend classical music concerts, light opera and any number of high brow cultural events. Jazz fans, meanwhile may find that Bimhuis, the large venue between Central Station and the Amsterdam Passenger Terminal has what they are looking for.
If you're looking to find when a particular concert in Amsterdam is happening, or just see what concerts are on while you're visiting the city, there are a number of different options open. First, of course, is the websites of the individual venues, Melkweg and Paradiso in particular plan their schedules well in advance and the agenda's they present allow you to book a concert months before the date.
There are also a number of third party guides to Amsterdam concerts that can help you find what you are looking for. Time Out magazine is a publication that can be found all over the city in cafés, bars and coffeeshops as well as the lobbies of many hotels and it gives a decent guide to upcoming concerts as well as club nights and smaller gigs.
An agency dedicated to telling people what is going on in the city that can be very useful for hearing about upcoming concerts. They have an office in the city centre just off Leidseplein and their website has comprehensive details of upcoming concerts in Amsterdam, although it is unfortunately entirely in Dutch.