• capital city: Amsterdam
  • population: 17,000,000
  • area: 41,528 sq. km.
  • languages spoken: Dutch, Frisian
  • annual record sales: $204,800,000 (USD 2014)
  • rank: 11th worldwide
  • currency: Euro € (EUR)
  • Gin (jenever) was invented in the Netherlands in the 16th century and was originally used for medicinal purposes

Looking back, Holland has had its share of international successes – Shocking Blue (Venus-1970), Golden Earring (Radar Love-1973), and 2 Unlimited (No Limit-1993) – but nothing like world-dominating EDM artists led by Armin van Buren, Tiesto, and Afrojack. In the Netherlands the EDM industry accounts for one in fourteen jobs in the creative sector, and reports that 29 of the Top 100 DJs of 2015 are from Holland.

Who’s who in the Netherlands music market

Amsterdam Open Air 2012

Dutch Association of Producers and Importers (Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs)

NVPI is the trade association of the Dutch entertainment industry and represents most of the music companies, publishers of audiovisual content on digital media and online publishers of games and other interactive software. NVPI Audio is affiliated with the international umbrella organization IFPI.
Visiting address: Hogehilweg 6 1101 CC Amsterdam
Postal address: PO Box 12040 1100 AA Amsterdam
P: +31 35 625 4411


Foundation for Independent Music Producers (Stichting onafhankelijke muziek producenten)

STOMP represents independent music producers in the Netherlands. STOMP negotiates on behalf of Dutch independents with all major new operating partners to collectively create the best possible conditions.
Postal address: PO Box 12040 1100 AA Amsterdam
E: michel.peek [at]
Project coordinator: Michel Peek



Buma/Stemra represents the interests of music authors. We help enforce copyright, on occasion alongside other organizations. In addition, Buma sets aside a reserve for financial support to our members and for promoting Dutch musical products.
Siriusdreef 22 – 28 2132 WT Hoofddorp
P:  +31 23 799 7999
E: info [at]


Netherlands Performers Union (Nederlandse Toonkunstenaarsbond)

NTB, founded in 1919, is the largest and oldest advocacy organization for musicians, actors and dancers in the Netherlands. It has the business and legal expertise for both self-employed and employees in all genres and styles.
Keizersgracht 317 1016 EE Amsterdam
P:  +31 20 620 3131
Technical secretary: Alex Torremorell



BV POP is the department of FNV KIEM for anyone who is active as a musician, vocalist or DJ. FNV KIEM is the trade union for employees, freelancers, small businesses, start-ups and dropouts in the arts, information industry, entertainment and media.
Visiting address: Jan Tooropstraat 1 1062 BK Amsterdam
Postal address: PO Box 9354 1006 AJ Amsterdam
P: 0900 36 854 36

Touring in the Netherlands

Incubate Festival

Bordered by Germany and Belgium and directly across the English Channel from the UK, the Netherlands is an ideal gateway to the European continent. Festivals are a vital part of the Dutch music experience, especially with the immense popularity of EDM.

One out of every seven people in the Netherlands attends dance music events and there are a lot of them – approaching 170 a year – with overall attendance of 2.7 million people.

And there’s more than just dance music. Classical, Jazz and Pop music feel the love and so does the Dutch spirit of exploration and adventure.

The Netherlands welcomes international touring musicians with a minimum of restrictions.

  • Canadian musicians are not required to have a work permit to perform limited time engagements
  • And, if you carry a valid Canadian passport and proof of permanent residence in Canada, you are exempt from paying the 20% withholding tax.

For more detailed information on these requirements, please download the Netherlands Work Permits for Musicians Overview.

For more information on the Netherlands’ major urban regions, please see the Key Regions in the Netherlands descriptions below.

For more information on live music festivals and conventions, please see the Netherland’s Major Festivals tab below.

North Sea Jazz Festival 2012

Buma Cultuur
Buma Cultuur supports Dutch music by organizing events such as Amsterdam Dance Event and Eurosonic Noorderslag. Buma Cultuur develops radio and TV programs, presents a number of special awards, compiles promotion CD’s and represents the Dutch music industry at international music conventions.


Open House
Electronic dance music (EDM) is one of the most successful export products of the Netherlands. Now the EDM industry and the Dutch government have launched Open House, an incubator and accelerator for startups in the event, dance and music sector.


Netherlands info websites

I amsterdam  – Your guide to visit, enjoy, live, work & invest in Amsterdam

Netherland’s official tourism portal

World Music Network – The Music of the Netherlands

DutchReview is a Dutch magazine for Internationalists with a Dutch appetite

Key Regions in the Netherlands

Rotterdam-The Hague population 2,660,000

Key venues/clubs: Bird (Rot), Baroeg (Rot), De Doelem (Rot), Grounds (Rot), Luxor Theater (Rot), Rotown (Rot), WORM (Rot), Paard van Troje (Hag), Zuiderstrandtheater (Hag)

Key Radio Stations: Radio West FM 88.9 (Hag), FunX Den Haag FM 98.4 (Hag), Hofstad Radio FM 99.4 (Hag), Radio Excellent FM 105.2 (Hag), FunX Rotterdam FM 91.8 (Rot), Radio Decibel FM 97.6 (Rot), Sky Radio FM 101.5 (Rot), Stanvaste Radio FM 107.9 (Rot)

Colleges and Universities: Erasmus University College (Rot), Rotterdam University of Applied Science (Rot), Netherlands Maritime University (Rot), Hotelschool The Hague (Hag), Royal Conservatoire (Music) (Hag), The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Hag), The Royal Academy of Art (Hag)

Amsterdam population 1,624,000

Key Venues/Clubs: Bimhuis, Bourbon Street, Het Concertgebouw, Heineken Music Hall, Maloe Melo, Melkweg, Musiekgebouw, OCCII, Paradiso, Winston Kingdom, Ziggo Dome

Key Radio Stations: SLAM! FM 91.1, Wild FM 93.6, Reflex FM 95.5, FreshFM 95.7, FunX Amsterdam FM 96.1, Radio Decibel FM 98.0, Dance Radio FM 99.2, Q Music FM 100.4, Radio 538 FM 102.1

Colleges and Universities: Amsterdam University College, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, INHolland University of Applied Sciences, VU University of Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam

Netherland’s major festivals

Amsterdam Dance Event

ADE is a five-day electronic music conference and festival held in mid-October at some of Amsterdam’s top venues, including Melkweg, Amsterdam Arena, Heineken Music Hall, and RAI Amsterdam.

The conference, based around ADE Pro, explores visual technology and stage design, marketing and media, bass and beats, sound design, sustainability, and mentorship for emerging EDM artists.

The festival includes over 2,000 artists at more than 450 separate events in one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the world.

Festival alumni include: Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, Fatboy Slim, Richie Hawtin, Afrojack, and Hardwell.

Amsterdam Open Air

It is written in the stars that after the previous sold-out editions, Amsterdam Open Air will return its most beautiful park recreational park, Gaasperpark.

During one weekend in June, the showpieces of Amsterdam’s nightlife are aligned and will merge into a musical, culinary and cultural adventure which reflects our capital’s nightlife to the fullest.

 You don’t have to miss a single moment of this thrilling twist of fate – as with prior editions you can stay the complete weekend on our campsite as well!

Pinkpop Festival

Pinkpop, Holland’s oldest and most famous pop festival, began life in 1970 on the Pentecostal weekend called Pinksteren in Dutch, hence the name. Nowadays, Pinkpop is a three day festival held in Landgraaf at the Megaland, a 27 hectare site with room for 40,000 campers.

Pinkpop attracts a diverse crowd of old and young, die-hard festival visitors and first-timers.

Festival alumni include: the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, the Foo Fighters, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits, Pearl Jam, Golden Earring, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arctic Monkeys, Linkin Park, Metallica, Ed Sheeran, Arcade Fire, and Pink.

North Sea Jazz Festival

For three days in July – Rotterdam becomes the jazz capital of the world!

Founded in 1976, the North Sea Jazz Festival is now Holland’s top jazz festival. More than 60,000 visitors can hear over 1,000 performers, covering genres from traditional New Orleans jazz to swing, bebop, fusion, blues, gospel, funk, soul and drum n bass.

Festival alumni include: Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Muddy Waters, Wynton Marsalis, Martha Reeves, Dave Brubeck, B.B. King, Mary J. Blige, Sergio Mendez, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, and Mavis Staples.

Lowlands Festival

Lowlands is a three-day music festival in August that attracts over 55,000 visitors every year. It takes place in Biddinghuizen, an hour’s drive from Amsterdam.

“A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise” is the festivals tag-line. And sure enough, your festival ticket includes camping at the regular festival campsite or you can drive your camper/caravan to a dedicated site – or you can Gllamcamp at one of the luxury campspots!

Festival alumni include: The Verve, The Smashing Pumpkins, I Mother Earth, Tame Impala, Iggy Pop, The Chemical Brothers, blink-182, Coldplay, Snoop Dogg, Alabama Shakes, Kendrick Lamar, and Nine Inch Nails.


Incubate is the annual celebration of cutting edge culture in Tilburg, the Netherlands. A diverse presentation of music, dance, film and visual arts, it brings more than 200 cutting-edge artists to an international audience.

Just a list of the festival’s music genres tells you all you need to know: ambient / drone, avant-garde / noise, electronic, free jazz, hardcore / punk, indie, industrial / EBM, metal, post-rock, psychedelic rock / garage rock.

“The most adventurous festival in the Netherlands.”

Netherlands biz news