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Another Amsterdam Diary

June 2003 / Legalize Parade / 1 of 3

One of the things that I like about Amsterdam, or any city with character, is that you can walk around with the expectation that you never know quite what is going to happen. Today, Saturday, June 7, was one of those saturdays when after working a long week, I suddenly woke up a bit stunned at having nothing in particular
to do. It was a muggy morning, unusual for Holland,
so I put on sandals and a t-shirt and went for a walk along the Amstel river. I ended up near the beautiful
17th century Hortus Botanical Gardens - click to visit. I was wearing headphones and listening to a tape, but I kept hearing loud noises, which I assumed were trams or barge engines along the canals. Eventually I took off my headphones, and headed towards Waterlooplein and the sounds I was hearing, which were beginning to bear a distinct resemblance to music.

The ‘noise’ turned out to be the annual Legalisation Street Rave, which is a thing to behold. Imagine a convoy of thirty trucks all loaded up with stereo sound systems and DJs, then throw in several thousand happy people all dancing around the various trucks. Each truck has its own sound and message. Some are sponsored by sound equipment stores, clubs, record companies, party organizers, smart shops, etc.

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