Like many European cities, Amsterdam has a strong festival scene during the summer. The yearly Appelsap (aka “apple juice”) festival has been a highlight on the calendar ever since its first edition in 2000. What started off as a block party has grown into a full-fledged one day festival, deeply rooted in hip-hop and electronic music. Musically, the festival is a great blend of up and coming local and international artists. This year’s lineup consisted of internationally respected rappers like Action Bronson and Travi$ Scott, DJs like Hudson Mohawke, DJ EZ, Rich Medina and Maseo (De La Soul) and a slew of local artists, including Vic Crez'ee, Bummy Boys, Typhoon, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Miggs de Bruijn and "Onder.
Every year Appelsap collaborates with local (and sometimes even international) brands to provide its diverse group of visitors with a wide selection of apparel, since the festival has always been fashion and street-oriented. This year’s collection, called “The Youth Is the Truth” included pieces by ONTOUR, Quality Blanks, FreshCotton (who once again recruited local artist Floor van het Nederend), Daily Paper (who were inspired by Game of Thrones), and (you might have guessed it) The Hundreds, who blessed us with a Cali meets The Netherlands graphic. The Hundreds also provided the must-have items of this year’s edition: A clean white and green stage towel, which wasn’t for sale (although I’ve had many offers for mine throughout the day). If you’d like to see the pieces up close, FreshCotton still has a couple of the limited run items up for sale.
Although branded as a music festival, the magic of Appelsap is not in its musical line-up. Throughout the years, it’s grown into such a tradition for many likeminded people from all over the country that it often feels like a reunion. All day you’ll bump into people you’ve met throughout the years at events, concerts, shops, and bars. This brings a unique, fun, and laid-back atmosphere to the festival, which is enhanced by the amazingly green location, situated in a park in Amsterdam’s up-and-coming east side. Add the summer sun, cold beers, and amazing food, and it’s not hard to see why Appelsap has grown into one of the must-visit festivals in The Netherlands.