While far-right and hate speech continues to gain strength throughout Europe, safe spaces and meeting points that celebrate diverse identities are growing and consolidating as a necessary response to a worrying global phenomenon. The queer-owned and produced Tropikali Festival in Amsterdam has been bringing the community together for over five years in a fascinating event where gritty charm meets artistic innovation against the backdrop of repurposed shipyards and warehouses. The festival will make its return on June 22 and 23, expanding this year from a single-day event to a full weekend celebration. Get your tickets here!
“In times where populists are dividing us and form a threat to minorities' rights, the community needs to unite,” responds the co-founder of Tropikali, Diederik Broekhuizen, when asked about the importance and meaning of this project that is now finalising details to celebrate its 6th edition in the industrial-turned-creative space of the NDSM wharf in Amsterdam. “We hope that by being diverse in our musical genre and appealing to different groups within the queer community, we can bring people together to further strengthen bonds, and instead of looking at what divides us within different groups within the community, look at what we have in common and celebrate each other.”
The musical genres that will be featured on the four stages of the next edition of Tropikali, which this year not only expands to a weekender but also grows in terms of full control of the production, are very diverse and suitable for all tastes. “The Rosario stage will focus on electronic rhythms inspired by the sun-kissed shores of Latin America, with DJs like ketia, Nala Brown, Populous, Protopapa, and TAYHANA. Saturday brings forth the energetic beats of Latin and reggaeton from South America and the Caribbean as the Latinichta stage comes alive with DJs like Ben Santana and Maura V,” says Broekhuizen about the schedule.
And what can we expect from the second day of the festival? “Saturday's journey shifts eastward with the Kalinichta stage, embracing uptempo Balkan rhythms and Middle Eastern synths, headlined by DJs like KasbaH.” But there’s more! “Adding a new dimension this year, the Secreto Stage offers an intimate exploration of house and techno, showcasing emerging talents from the queer underground electronic music scene, including Cashu and Slim Soledad, alongside a stage takeover by "The Planet," a FLINTA* club night from Amsterdam featuring artists like DIORA, Slimfit, Adriana Lucid, and Sukubratz.”
Producing a festival experience that is fully queer and "Tropikali"-flavoured, as the festival organisers explain, the event held in Amsterdam is the result of hard work over many months to provide a more expansive musical experience for the community. “We try to incorporate each year's feedback to make it a more inclusive experience for all, and that's something we aim to continue to do so we can become and remain a place for the entire queer community,” adds the co-founder of Tropikali while talking about how the concept that seemed to be quite niche became popular year after year.
If you don’t want to miss this exciting experience, you can get your ticket here. They also launched the solidarity programme, so they can offer a festival experience to those who are unable to afford a ticket for the festival. “On top of that, a donation supports another ticket for someone. We are really grateful for our partners and visitors who make this possible.”