Amsterdam's Cannabis Cup: 25th edition

When in can access and use small amounts of soft drugs, cannabis and hashish in licensed businesses.  Once a year the industry holds a week long event to share ideas and network. People from all over the world travel to Amsterdam for the event, which culminates in the Cannabis Cup awards on Thanksgiving Day. This year the event was held surprisingly close to Amsterdam's centre at Roest.

Participants of the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup vote on categories such as best seeds, hash, and cannabis products. This year the main Coffeeshop prizes were all taken by the GreenHouse, with GreenPlace and Grey Area filling the minor rankings.

Many coffeeshops were absent from the event this year. (Note: Coffeeshop is a term in Amsterdam for a licensed business where you can buy small amounts of soft drugs). At the exhibition hall no Coffeeshops had stalls. This was a major departure from previous years.

In 2011, police raided the event that was held just outside Amsterdam to check stall holders and participants were adhering to strict amounts allowed to be carried; 5 grams per person and 500 grams per stall. This was the first time in 25 years the event had been raided by the police.

No major incidents were reported this year and the event ran smoothly. The biggest problem When in Amsterdam saw was security having to remind event participants that they could not smoke in the wonderfully industrial Roest bar and restaurant.

Many are critical of the The Cannabis Cup which is now in its 25th year. From an industry perspective some believe the judging model is influenced by the large Coffeeshops who invest in the event. All participants are judges and determining which is the best product can be hard due to the influence these soft drugs have on your body and mind.

People not involved in the Cannabis Cup believe it is just a marketing exercise by the small number of financially interested parties involved. This argument surrounds all award competitions even the Oscars.

When in Amsterdam's favorite booth was the hemp clothing. A plant the world has not used widely since the creation of synthetic fibers in the early 20th century. On a cold Fall Amsterdam day they were a well made natural product.

Despite the criticisms Amsterdam is the real star of the event. Amsterdam, its people and authorities, have allowed a space that is safe and free for industry people of soft drugs to discuss their passion and business in the open. Few other cities in the world demonstrate such maturity and tolerance as Amsterdam.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Museum Night 2012: diary

When in Amsterdam....Museum Night is when 50 museums are open to 2am. After a good home cooked dinner with friends we mounted our bikes and headed off to experience Amsterdam museums by night. Here is is our diary of the night.

Museumnacht Amsterdam 2012 Day After Movie from Stichting n8 on Vimeo.

Het Grachtenhuis (The Canal House): Message in a bottle.

The Canal house is a private funded museum located in the heart of Amsterdam's world heritage listed canals. The museum has a small exhibition on how the grand canals of Amsterdam were built. This year it was also the location to sign up for the Museumnacht canal cruise.

We skipped the long line and decided to write a message to the Mayor in a bottle. Our suggestion was that Amsterdam city bring back the large free concerts on the Dam Square.

Message in a bottle to the Mayor of Amsterdam

Arti et Amicitiae is an closed Amsterdam art-society founded in 1839.

The society created an art in the dark exhibition. Visitors were given a simple bike light to view art. Dancing robots, photography and installations were brought alive with small lights. The large black ball in a small room was a highlight. Visitors could push the ball around like a reverse jumping castle. Fun. In the wonderful bar of the 19th century building we listened to poetry readings and enjoyed a beer.

Black fun ball in a black room. Art in the Dark at Arti et Amicitiae

Oudekerk (Amsterdam's Old Church) presents Rocket Cinema

The Gothic style church hosted old black and white Gothic movies from the late 1920s and 30s. The church, located in the middle of the Red Light District was filled with a Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack composed by a local artist. The organ concert was chilling. A wonderful little mobile cinema was also parked inside. The piccolo cinema had room enough for two.

Oudekerk Museumnacht 2012

Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Amsterdam's Our Lord in the Attic)

Amsterdam's oldest museum is a hidden Catholic church in a 17 century canal house.There was no special exhibition but to spend time in the hidden church while the rain came and went outside was a religious experience.

Hidden Catholic church Museumnacht 2012

De Apple Arts Centre

The Apple is a internationally orientated arts centre. Since 1975 it has been a place to research, explore and present contemporary art.

Museum night was the end of the Apple Centre's "Vote Back" exhibition.

The political exhibition highlights were the Geert Wilders Webshop and political Karaoke. We had great fun being Martin Luther King, Obama and Margret Thatcher. One of our group was considered the best Thatcher of the night and walked away with a free t-shirt with political patterns.

Politic Karaoke, Apple Arts Centre

Verzetsmuseum (Dutch Resistance Museum)

Amsterdam's Resistance Museum sometimes sits in the shadow of the Anne Frank House but it is the premiere World War II museum.

For museum night a special exhibition of WWII propaganda cartoons called "(Anti) Hero:  Captain America". Comics and cartoons were dusted off and brought to the museum hall.

The old Donald Duck cartoons of the famous duck taking on the Nazis was a rare insight into the war years of the 1940s. The rock band was also great with people jigging and jiving the night away.

WWII American Jeep with the Museumnacht light

On the way home we finished with the Portuguese Synagogue for a moment of peace underneath the 700 natural candles.

As always the event was a great local night. A big hearty thank you  and thumbs up to all those involved in organizing Amsterdam's Museumnacht 2012. See you next year.

Amsterdam Museumnacht 2012 gets a big thumbs up.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Museum Night Amsterdam 2012

When in Amsterdam...Museumnacht is once a year. Museum Night is an event when 50 museums throughout Amsterdam are open until 2am. Museum's fill with Djs, bands and special events. One big cultural party is held all over Amsterdam. In 2012 Museumnacht is November 3. The first weekend of November always experiences cold and possibly wet weather.

Have a read of what When in Amsterdam got up to on Museum Night 2011.

This year highlights will include:
Portuguese Synagogue with a jazz trio naturally lit

  • The Applesap people are holding a music extravaganza in the Tropenmuseum.
  • Amsterdam's new film museum, Eye, will hold a zombie party.
  • A midnight Yoga session will be held in the New church surrounded by Andy Warhol art work.
  • The Portuguese synagogue will be lit with hundreds of candles. If like last year a tasty falafel can be pickup up. Men have to wear a yarmulke (skull cap) which is supplied.
Ticket can be bought online at the N8 website or at Primera newsagents through out Amsterdam. There are only 27 500 tickets. Do not leave to the last minute as this event is always sold out.

Museum Night Tickets 2012

Primera shops will be selling Museum Night tickets in 2012.
When in Amsterdam....enjoy!