Amsterdam Roots Festival is a festival with a long history of great artists and innovative collaborations. In 1983 the first edition took place in the Melkweg, under the name “Africa Roots Festival”. As part of Amsterdam Cultural Capital in 1987, the Amsterdam Roots Meeting ’87 took place: a large-scale festival at various locations with music not only from Africa but from all corners of the world. This gave rise to the first World Roots Festival: a musical journey around the world along the most diverse cultures and musical styles. In 2017, the format of Amsterdam Roots was expanded, from a world music festival to a multidisciplinary festival with a circus, dance, theatre and programs that provide more context in addition to music.
Amsterdam Roots focuses on art forms that are musical, and physical and connect audiences such as music, dance and circus and on art forms that tell stories, raise awareness and stimulate conversation such as theatre, storytelling, spoken word and in-depth programs.