Why Amsterdam Might Be Better Than London For Your Next Gig

Flights to Amsterdam from Doncaster Sheffield Airport

How many times does your favourite band announce a UK tour and you get all super excited only to find they’re only playing a date in London? We’ve been up and down to London so many times, grabbing the late night train after a gig or staying over to explore the city – I love London, but everything happens down there and I’m just a little bit bored of it.

When The Shins announced their tour I noticed they were playing the 6 Music Festival in Glasgow and a date in London, but then something caught my eye – they were hopping into Europe and playing a show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam… it can’t be that much harder to get to Amsterdam than to get to London from Yorkshire, right? I had a chat with my pals at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and they sent me out to Amsterdam as an experiment to see why Amsterdam might be better than London for your next gig.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Robin Hood Airport

Our flight to Amsterdam was leaving from Doncaster Sheffield airport at 3pm, so we jumped on a train to Doncaster at 12.15pm and arrived into the city half an hour later. From here we walked the three minutes from the platform to the bus station which is just through the bottom of the shopping centre to the left when you exit Doncaster train station. The X4 bus leaves from here every half an hour, it takes 22 minutes and costs £3 one way. We arrived at the airport at around 1.20pm with the perfect amount of time to check our suitcase, grab a beer and some chips and wait to board out plane.

The airport is really small, so all the facilities are within very close range. If you drive, it’s even easier to fly from here as the car park is literally outside the door of the airport, unlike similar airports where you have to park in a nearby lot and grab a shuttle bus to get your flight. Even though it’s small, DSA still has a duty free shop with a massive range of Benefit products, some fun designer sunglasses to try on while you’re killing time and a large WHSmiths to pick up a magazine if you fancy. There’s also a Subway if you’d rather another option to Wetherspoons.

Yorkshire to Amsterdam, Flights from Robin Hood Airport

The flight time to Amsterdam from Doncaster Sheffield Airport is around 45/50 minutes so there’s just enough time to enjoy a drink at your seat before the plane descends to land. Schiphol airport is the complete opposite to DSA – it’s huge!! We grabbed our bag from baggage claim and followed the signs for the train into Amsterdam.

It costs €5.50 for a single into the city and the journey was just 15/20 minutes into Amsterdam Centraal, from here we hopped on the ferry outside the exit to the station for the two minute journey to Amsterdam Noord where we had booked into ClinkNOORD, a fun hostel hotel with all the facilities you could ever need.

Amsterdam better than London for Gig

On our first night we settled into the room, looked up a tasty dinner option on Trip Advisor and headed out to explore the city. We had an accidental walk down the red light district, which is definitely interesting to see! The next morning we had breakfast at the hostel, which was just €5.90 if you book in advance, and popped next door to the A’dam Lookout for amazing 360 degree views of Amsterdam. We spent the rest of the day exploring the streets and canals and having a spot of lunch and coffee in the sunshine. We tried the popular snack Bitterballen for lunch which is really tasty. I believe it’s a fried ball of meat and roux, so not veggie friendly! I was also happy to find out that the coffee in Amsterdam is lovely and strong, unlike the excuse for coffee we get in the UK! Haha.

The Shins Live at the Paradiso Amsterdam 30th March 2017

Amsterdam better than London for Gig

After lunch and a wander, we got changed and caught the tram down to near the Paradiso. Trams are a really easy and quick way to get around the city. We had dinner at Dubbel, which is two streets across from the venue and I had an amazing butternut squash and goats cheese risotto before we wandered over to see The Shins at the Paradiso. The gig was amazing and the venue is gorgeous, set in an old church building with huge intricate windows above the stage. If you’ve never seen The Shins live, I highly recommend it!

The morning after we popped into the city to get brunch at Toastable, who offer triple layered toasties with a whole bunch of tasty fillings, perfect for soaking up your hangover! From there you could either head back home or spend a couple more days exploring Amsterdam like we did – more on that super soon!

I loved every second of our trip to Amsterdam and being in a new city definitely helped ease the post-gig blues. It was at least as easy to get to Amsterdam as it is to get to and around London – next time there will be nothing stopping me from venturing a little further to see my favourite band! Thanks to Doncaster Sheffield Airport for sending me to Amsterdam!

Flights from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to Amsterdam are from £29.99
Flight time is just 50 minutes, quicker than the train to London and often cheaper too!
The airport also flies regularly to Dublin and Paris, other amazing cities to take in a gig and soak up some of the local culture as an alternative to London.

Will you try a city break for your next gig? Loves x xx

posted by onetenzeroseven in Music,Travel and have Comments (2)

When Bruce Springsteen Changed My Life + WIN TICKETS

Win Bruce Springsteen Tickets

Bruce Springsteen isn’t one of those musicians who I grew up with, in fact I only actually got into his music quite recently. Seeing him open the new Leeds Arena back in 2013, however, was one of the best gigs of my life. So when Chill Home Insurance asked me if I would share their competition to win 2 sold out tickets to a Bruce Springsteen show I was like, “heck yes!” I would love to encourage you folks to spend a night with Bruce too!

My gig buddies for the 2013 tour were my boyfriend and his parents, who are divorced but friendly. My parents are divorced too and they have never been able to get along since they split up so I didn’t really put Stu’s parents in the same disaster category as mine; I never felt sad for them as they still forged on together as friends, as a unit to raise their boys.

Boyfriend’s parents saw Bruce Springsteen in Leeds together back in 1985, when Stu was just a little unborn baby in his mummy’s tummy, so it was amazing to be part of the Bruce Springsteen Leeds reunion with the three of them at the show together again.

I danced, I laughed, I cried at the beautiful lyrics in those heartfelt moments. Often when you go to a gig of music you don’t really know it can be quite boring, but Bruce was engaging, fun and each song felt like I’d known it all my life.

After the first encore, Bruce came back onto the stage solo and launched into two beautiful acoustic renditions that gave me all the feels: If I Should Fall Behind and Thunder Road. Clutching Stu, those moments were some of the best and most emotional of my life. Being there with his parents who had lived, loved and had three beautiful sons together only to find their relationship wasn’t working was so heartbreaking to me in that moment. The lyrics to those songs felt heavy on my heart.

“Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let’s make our steps clear that the other may see
And I’ll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me”
If I should Fall Behind, Bruce Springsteen

“Hey I know it’s late, but we can make it if we run ”
– Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen

In a way, it felt like the torch was being passed to us to try the hardest task there is. To try to stay together. If one of us should fall behind, to wait. To believe we can make it, if we run. I felt young and free and unweathered, like we were just starting out together, dreaming of a love lasting and true.

Music, Live Music, Best Gigs of my Life

Bruce Springsteen was incredible and when I listen to his music now, I ache to see him live again. The tickets were much pricier than I’d normally pay for live music (although well worth it, we got two encores and 29 songs. Twenty-nine.), but it was a special occasion at the time and so chances are we won’t see him play again. Please, take this opportunity to try and win some tickets, entry is free and no purchase is necessary. I’m sure it will change your life like it did mine!

// TO ENTER all you need to do is answer a question and pop in your details over at the competition page. Full T&Cs can be found at the bottom of that page and you have until 23.59pm on Friday 13th May 2016. Good luck!!

Loves x xx

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Music and have Comment (1)