Liberation Day

5th May: Liberation Day and festival

Following directly on from Remembrance Day, 5 May is a national day of celebration known as Liberation Day throughout Haarlem and the Netherlands. You will find a wide variety of entertainment and events taking place to commemorate the liberation of The Netherlands during World War II.

Celebrating freedom

On 5 May, all of the Netherlands will pause to commemorate the country’s liberation. The German army surrendered on this day in 1945, bringing the Second World War to an end for the Netherlands. Since then, the Netherlands has strived to be the capital of freedom, independence and tolerance. To celebrate its continual liberation and societal freedoms, various activities and events are planned throughout the city.

The Prime Minister launches the Day’s events, traditionally from a different province each year. Cultural readings and exhibitions reflecting that year’s topical theme follow. The theme for 2018 is: Freedom is something you should pass on”. The big event of the day in many Dutch towns is an open air pop festival featuring top acts. Liberation festivals have a long tradition, which started in Haarlem: since 1980 there are festivals in Haarlem, Amsterdam and Wageningen. Since 1994 Liberation Festivals are hold in more provinces. This year 14 festivals are organized in the Netherlands.  Liberation Festivals have become the biggest one-day cultural event in the Netherlands. Nearly one million people annually celebrate freedom. Festivals are also designed to get young people involved. In the evening in Amsterdam, there is an official, televised concert at the Amstel Bridge attended by the King and Queen and government ministers.


Liberation festivals

The Liberation Festivals taking place across the country are a highlight of Liberation Day. The festivals will have extensive musical programmes and big-name acts relating to the theme of freedom. At various spots in the city, Dutch bands and international musicians and DJs will perform live.


Bevrijdingspop (Liberation Festival Party) Haarlem 2018

Bevrijdingsfestival or Bevrijdingspop Haarlem 2018 is one of the biggest festivals in the Netherlands. This year it will be the 38th edition of the Haarlem Liberation Festival. Every year it’s a big party, with the best line-up! In Haarlem, the program starts at 12h and goes on until about midnight.

The line-up of 2018:


Winnaar Rob Acda Award 2018 | The Irrational Library | DI-RECT | MY BABY | Jacqueline Govaert | Ladysmith Black Mambazo | Rico & Sticks | Triggerfinger | Alain Clark XXL Band

Jupilerpodium powered by Sena

Traudes | Big2 | Jeangu Macrooy | Jack & The Weatherman | Tony Clifton | Michael Prins | Altin Gün | Gallowstreet | Bizzey

Rabobankpodium Kinderfestival

Joes Boonen | MADSCIENCE | 4Life | Ralf Mackenbach | 5voor5 moment o.l.v. Zwaanswijk Percussie & OfficieelBen | De Kinderfestival Haarlem Pianoshow

Plein van de Vrijheid i.s.m. Hogeschool Inholland Haarlem en Haarlems Toekomst

Elvira Smeenk | Absolut | Sebastian Crane | Venhill | UNIKID | Operation Hurricane | Tom L | MOWA | Arcando | Will Knox | LowaddictsSoundsystem | ET Explore Me | Bagjuice | Palmtra DJ Set

Children’s Festival, the Rabobankpodium Kinderfestival

Haarlemse DJ School | DJ Hitro | Meemaaktheater ‘Dpnder en de Draak’ | Joes Boonen ‘Ik zou wel een kindje lusten’ | Ruben Annink | Sarah & Julia | Parade 5 voor 5 moment | Wild ’n Out o.l.v. Isaac Bullock.

Shortly, a Bevrijdingspop for everyone! Enjoy!


(Sources: Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei and Bevrijdingspop Haarlem).

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