As the leaves start to change and the weather gets colder, there's a temptation to snuggle up in bed and hibernate for the weekend.
But one thing about being in a new city is that there always things going on and new places to discover. I've been loving immersing myself in Amsterdam culture and so going to a local music festival seemed like the perfect way to end September.
Over the weekend the 7 LAYERS festival returned to Amsterdam for its second year. And thanks to a heads up from my cousin, I managed to grab 2 tickets for the Saturday just before they sold out.
Lottie and I were practically the only non-Dutch people at the event which meant that the intro/welcome thing, which was in Dutch, went straight over our heads (although we made sure to laugh when everyone else did so as not to stand out too much) Thankfully Google has come to my aid, and I can actually tell you a bit about the festival:
It is organised by Dotan, a producer and singer-songwriter from Amsterdam, and it's basically a showcase of his favourite up and coming artists. The festival is named after his first album, which I guess is a great bit of self-promotion. Both days were packed with amazing musicians and if I could've got tickets for the Sunday as well I would've done.
The Saturday was headlined by Seafret, a duo from Yorkshire whose music I absolutely adore. Like a lot of people, I find solace in listening to music when things get too much and I need to escape. So being able to listen to those songs performed live is an incredible and emotional experience.
Chatting to Jack and Harry after their set about Yorkshire tea and how polite the Dutch are at gigs was a pretty cool way to end the day
I also got to see SYML and Dustin Tebbutt perform. Unlike Seafret I didn't know either of these guys particularly well. I had listened to a couple of SYML's songs but Dustin Tebbutt was totally new.
SYML was fantastic. The setup was really simple. Brian (sadly SYML is not his real name!) was on piano and was joined by a violinist and cellist.
I love the sound of strings and the emotion that they bring to songs. It's the reason why I put myself through 8 years of hell trying and failing to play the violin. Sadly I never could recreate that same beautiful sound...instead, it was more like I was strangling a cat!
I am now hooked on his music and have listened to his EP on repeat for the last 24 hours!
Dustin Tebbutt definitely had the best location for his set. He performed in De Duif, or The Pigeon, which is a church on Prinsengracht - so right in the heart of the canal area of Amsterdam.
His music is really chilled and the perfect soundtrack for a lazy weekend.
All in all the festival was the perfect distraction from all my essay deadlines.
The only downside of the day was that Lottie and I both got punctures, making the cycle home a little difficult. It's amazing how attached you can become to a mode of transport, we both felt as though we'd let our bikes down!!
Dotan has already announced there will be a 3rd 7 Layers festival the same time next year, so if you're in Amsterdam at the end of September 2018 definitely get tickets!