The many facets of Zuid-Limburg can also be seen in the large number of cultural events on offer. Zuid-Limburg is virtually bursting with events and cultural activities! There are events that occur every year, transforming Zuid-Limburg into a world full of music, theatre, song and dance. Well-known events are for instance Pinkpop pop festival and the Limburg Festival, a 5 day performing arts event.
There is something for every taste, from opera to pop and from fine arts to dance festivals. One thing they all have in common is a very special event programme, which is why a visit to them is such a rewarding experience. Have we piqued your interest? We have listed a few of the events for you below.
TEFAF Maastricht (March)
TEFAF Maastricht is universally regarded as the world’s leading art fair, setting the standard for excellence in the art market. The Fair truly is an event not to be missed by collectors and museum representatives.
Amstel Gold Race (April) and Limburgs Mooiste (June)
The Amstel Gold Race is a road cycling race that first took place in 1966, a classic one day race, which was named after the Dutch beer brand Amstel. It is part of the newly established UCI ProTour, a series of major cycling races throughout the year. On the day before the race, amateur racing cyclists are being given the opportunity to cycle the route.
For amateur race cyclists, we can also recommend Limburgs Mooiste, which is an amateur road race. This sporting event attracts thousands of cycling enthusiasts from all over Europe every year, after Pentecost, and is one of the largest events of its kind.
Pinkpop pop festival is the oldest and most popular open-air festival in Europe and takes place every year on the Pentecost weekend in Megaland*, the festival ground of Parkstad Limburg in Landgraaf. The Pinkpop festival was first held in 1970. Many internationally-famous bands have already played there, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dire Straits, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine and the Rolling Stones.
Orlando Festival (July)
For almost 35 years, the Orlando Festival has been bringing together musicians of different levels. It is the oldest chamber music festival in the Netherlands. Young and adult amateurs get lessons from famous musicians and in the evening they listen in to the concerts given by their teachers. They make music together in the former abbey of Rolduc in Kerkrade.
André Rieu Summer Concerts (July)
Every year, André Rieu enraptures the entire Vrijthof square in Maastricht, filling a fabulous outdoor theatre with beautiful melodies from operas, operettas and musicals, as well as classical music, thrilling waltzes and tunes to make you laugh and cry, but most of all: plenty of romance. An evening to remember.
Cultura Nova Heerlen (August/September)
This annual festival in Parkstad Limburg is a fascinating summer event which is surprising and captivates those who attend it. Over the course of ten days, Cultura Nova boasts an extremely diverse program for adults and children alike, with theatre, music, dance, art and film. Regional, national and international artists and ensembles come to perform here. During all the special artistic performances, you will frequently find yourself surprised by their often unexpected and highly unusual settings that have been picked from among the various Parkstad Limburg municipalities. The heart of the Cultura Nova festival is in downtown Heerlen, in and around Schunck, Heerlen’s cultural centre, located in the Glaspaleis (Glass Palace in English).
Gulpen Beer Festival (August)
Zuid-Limburg is proud of its beer culture! Each year in August, it's all about beer in the small town of Gulpen. Whether young or old, the comprehensive program offers something for every taste, such as a children’s fun fair or the senior citizen luncheon.
Sint Rosa Festival Sittard (August)
A religious town festival, consisting of special Sunday church services and processions. As was customary in ancient times, the Sint Rosa Festival also boasts a nostalgic carnival, matching the former "rich Roman life“. This program is supplemented by cultural events for young and old alike.
Kunstdagen Wittem (September)
Both for the inhabitants of the region and, increasingly, also for the tourists, the Kunstdagen Wittem (Wittem Art Days) have become a major fixture in their calendar of events. Here, each year in September, a diverse program of chamber music, literature, visual art and readings is on offer. The Art Festival will be held in the monumental library of the monastery of Wittem, an incredibly beautiful setting with excellent acoustics. The library has even been declared by the administration of the province of Limburg as a cultural stage.
Musica Sacra Maastricht (September)
The Sacred Music Festival is dedicated to religious music. For three days, there are concerts, film screenings and theatre performances that deal with religious themes. The stages will be erected at different, unusual venues in the city centre of Maastricht.
Kerststad Valkenburg (November/December)
Each year, from late November, the town of Valkenburg dives head-on into the Christmas spirit. The festive lighting of downtown and the beautifully decorated shops create a peaceful atmosphere. A special highlight are the caves in Valkenburg. The Community Cave and Velvet Cave serve as an extraordinary underground scenery for the Christmas markets. Another highlight is the Christmas parade with beautiful floats, dancers and entertainers.
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