God bless America? – Seven US election night events in the Netherlands

us flagThe United States is in the middle of one of its most bitterly contested presidential elections and, as ever, the Dutch are taking a keen interest in the race to become the most powerful man – or woman – on the planet. Who will emerge victorious after America votes on November 8 – Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton or Republican nominee Donald Trump? If you’re willing to pull an all-nighter or wake up early, Brandon Hartley has a round-up of where you can watch the results emerge in real time.

‘Who’s the President?’ Breakfast
Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus – Scheveningen

The organisers include the US Embassy and the Overseas Americans Remember group. Together they’ll create an elaborate election headquarters in the main hall of the Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus. Flags representing all 50 US states will adorn the balconies and TVs broadcasting the election returns will be packed into every corner. A jazz band and Uncle Sam himself are also slated to appear. Attendees can enjoy an American and/or Dutch breakfast after things kick off bright and early at 5am.

President’s Night and All American Breakfast 2016
Melkweg – Amsterdam

The Melkweg and the BKB Academy will once again host their renowned all-night event for the election. Prior editions in 2004, 2008 and 2012 sold out and tickets are expected to go fast for this one as well. Along with live coverage from America, the organisers will discuss the results as they come in, while Dutch correspondents located stateside offer their own takes. Political pundits, celebrities and others will be on hand as well. An American-style breakfast with lots of coffee and doughnuts will also be served and the political chatter will be interspersed with musical performances, comedy bits and films.

Wie Gaat er Winnen?
Paradiso – Amsterdam

Everybody’s favourite Amsterdam church-turned-concert venue will host a series of presentations about American politics and this unprecedented election cycle in its upstairs performance hall. Speakers will include Ghent University professor Kees van Minnen, artist Claudia Sola and photography analyst Hans Aarsman. Along with moderator Tracy Metz of the John Adams Institute, the ever-lively and engaging Dan Hassler-Forest from Utrecht University will be there to lead a discussion about current political developments and their connections to the fantastical realms of TV programmes like Game of Thrones. Doors open at 8:30pm but it looks like the event will conclude at 1am, shortly after the first exit polls are published.

Election Night with Maarten van Rossem
The TivoliVredenburg – Utrecht

Dutch historian Maarten van Rossem has devoted his career to analysing American history and politics. Needless to say, he’ll have a lot on his mind and plenty to discuss when he hosts this event at the TivoliVredenburg. He’ll share his insights and knowledge while the first exit polls roll out over in the states. Van Rossem will be joined by The Blue Grass Boogiemen, an energetic bluegrass band, and Dutch comedians Wilco Terwijn and Jurgen van Ginkel.

US Election Night @ Nieuwspoort
Press Centre Nieuwspoort – The Hague

Nieuwspoort is usually the location for prime minister Mark Rutte’s Friday press conference and is considered the nerve centre of Dutch politics in The Hague. On the night of 8th November, its hive of pundits, journalists, lobbyists and others will gather to turn their attention to political events across the pond. They’ll follow the election results as they come in via CNN and attendees can enjoy a midnight snack in addition to a Great American Pub Quiz. As of press time, the event is sold out but there is a waiting list for reserve tickets.

Democrats Abroad: All-Night Election Fun
Boom Chicago – Amsterdam

The local chapter of Democrats Abroad, which promotes the US Democratic party in the Netherlands, will be setting up shop at Boom! Chicago. Their event will include live music, pub quizzes, prizes and plenty of hula dancing in addition to continuous live coverage on the comedy club’s big screen. They’ll be getting started at 10.30pm but if you get there early you can enjoy the Boom Chicago show Angry White Men at 8.30. Republicans Abroad Netherlands doesn’t appear to be hosting an Election Night event, judging from the information available on its Facebook page and website.

Election Night USA
Groninger Forum – Groningen

The Groninger Forum and student associations SIB, CLIO and EPU will host the third edition of their lively Election Night event. They’re planning to keep things going until at least 4am. Highlights include discussions led by election watchers Maarten Kolsloot, Tim Jelfs, Kirsten Verdel, Randy Snoyl and Greg Fuller, along with a speechmaking competition and an American English workshop. To make sure everyone stays awake into the wee hours of the morning, the organisers are also planning fitness lessons, a cheerleading workshop, comedy interludes and performances by The Hot Dogs, a local cover band. If that wasn’t enough, there will also be plenty of ‘truly American’ snacks available like doughnuts to help the crowd (hopefully) power through until the winner is announced.