Elfs, witches, wizards, orcs, dragons, the Ghost Busters, Darth Vader, faeries, vampires, steampunk, Finn and Jake, Alice, otaku’s, historical reenactment lovers and countless monsters all roaming around in a beautiful medieval castle. There are a few great fantasy themed festivals here in Holland, and that makes me a very happy girl.
Although I am somewhere lost in between a dark-mori-lolita-victorian-steampunk-goth outfit, I love dressing up! Somehow between my counter-culture brethren, I feel at ease. Maybe it’s the masked ball effect, revealing the one true self as eyes are covered in paint, intricate masks, neon contact lenses or other unworldly contraptions. But enough of this psycho-loco crap. Let’s see where the freaks are hiding:
SanCta Machina – 4&5 July
Get your cogs and gear ready, this one’s gonna be steamy. Back for the second edition in 2015, this steampunk lovin’ event will bring together The Steampunk Objective (Dutch Steampunk representatives) and the Sassenachs.
Venue: Kasteel Radboud Medemblik
Adult ticket price: €10
Why come: Automatons, top hats, Victorian contraptions and time-travellers.
FantasIafest – 25&26 July
With a delightfully rich story behind its castle venue, the 6th edition of Fantasiafest is the meeting place for vikings, wizards, celts, pirates, witches and adventurers. You will admire the works of artists who use the elements to create magical works of art. The Dutch European Steampunk Convention will make an apparance so I am looking forward in dropping by.
Ticket price: € 16 for both days
Why come: the market, the punks and the bands
Castlefest – 31 July&1-2 August
With 5 stages and numerous workshops and activities, Castlefest is marked with a big X on my calendar. Artists, storytellers and living history reenactments will become your reality, as they promise. It’s going to be my first time at Castlefest so I am pretty excited. Celtic and folk music lovers will get a kick out of the folk-punk, rock, heavy-metal, mandolin-playing bands. There’s also a winter edition in December.
Venue: Lisse, Kasteel Keukenhof
Adult ticket price: € 19, 95 per day
Why come: summer breeze in your hair, a cold mead shared with an orc and that sweet, sweet music
Elfia – 19&20 september
Elfia offers one of the most magical crowd I’ve ever witnessed. It is known. 22,500 visitors and travelers come from far away lands to be a part of this fantasy/ celtic/ manga brew. The entertainment value is great: enough exhibitors to leave your pouch empty and enough mead to fill-up your belly. This 2 days festival takes place 2 times a year, in April and in September. Oh and have I mentioned that last April you could take pics on the Iron Throne and chit-chat with Pypar (Game of Thrones’ Josef Altin), for a moderate price.
Venue – Kasteeltuinen Arcen
Adult ticket price: € 27,95 for both days
Why come: amazing venue, costume parade, international guests.
Gothic & Fantasy Beurs – 24&25 October
Goths, punks and moths, gather around! If you’ve missed the March edition of this exciting event, fear not. They have one installed for us cold weather lovin’ people as well. The organizers promise a great array of workshops, gothic and folk bands.
Venue: De Broodfabriek, Rijswijk
Adult ticket price: € 7,00
Why come: Because goth.