Introduction | Opening hours | Admission | Location | Short history | Artists who have appeared at the Tong Tong Festival | Info for artists | Do you wish to rent a stand at the Tong Tong Fair? | Publicity | Contact | Awards |
The Tong Tong Fair (1959) in The Hague is the biggest Eurasian fair in the world.
The event is a sensory stimulating blend of cultural festival, exhibition and food fest rolled into one, held in an archipelago of tents and stands. One of the biggest attractions is the Tong Tong Festival, with hundreds of performances spread over 12 days. The daily entry ticket for the Tong Tong Fair also includes a theatre pass for the Tong Tong Festival.
So, if you don’t have the time or money to travel all the way to Southeast Asia, come to the Tong Tong Fair in The Hague and imagine that you are in the East. The Tong Tong Fair comprises the immense Grand Pasar, the famous East-West exhibition with hundreds of stands offering Eastern merchandise and food. Many of the exhibitors come all the way from Indonesia especially for the event; a growing number come from Vietnam and Malaysia. Equally famous is the Food Court with dozens of restaurants and ‘warungs’; it is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe.
The international Tong Tong Festival takes place in four theatres on the fair site. The large Bintang Theatre is where the major music and dance artists perform. The Tong Tong Podium is used mainly for acoustic sets and dance. The intimate Bibit Theatre presents lectures, interviews and theatrical performances: mostly in Dutch, but increasingly in English too. In the Bengkel (studio) you are welcome to participate in all kinds of workshops: in music, dance, art, cooking and lots more. We have had the pleasure of welcoming artists, writers, lecturers and master chefs from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the United States in recent years.
Back to top
Daily 12.00-22.00 hours
Back to top
Reduced rates in advance
- Regular weekdays € 10,-
- Regular Sat or Sun € 13,-
- Senior citizens weekdays € 7,-
- Senior citizens Sat or Sun € 8,-
- Children 2-11 yrs € 4,-
- Cultural Youth Pass (CJP) € 8,50
- Regular weekdays € 12,50
- Regular Sat or Sun € 16,-
- Senior citizens weekdays € 10,-
- Senior citizens Sat or Sun € 11,50
- Children 2-11 yrs € 4,50
- Cultural Youth Pass (CJP) € 9,50
The Tong Tong Fair and the Tong Tong Festival are held on the Malieveld in the centre of The Hague (Koningskade 1, 2596 AA The Hague) at a five minutes’ walk from The Hague Central Station. It takes 30 minutes to reach The Hague from Schiphol Airport by train or car, and two hours from Brussels.
Show larger map
Back to top
The Tong Tong Festival is organised by the Tong Tong Foundation. The goal of the Tong Tong organisation is to foster Indies Eurasian culture and to broaden public understanding of its history.
Indies Eurasian culture is a centuries-old culture, which began when European traders sailed to the Indonesian archipelago and set up their trading posts.
Indies Eurasian culture, a fusion of East and West, is also related to other mixed Eurasian cultures which grew up along the route to the East, as in Malaysia (Cristang), Sri Lanka (Burghers) and Goa. Around the trading posts and European ‘strongholds’ in Africa too, mixed cultures grew up — in Cape Verde, for example. These links can still be heard, not least, in the musical genres of ‘krontjong’ from Java and ‘morna’ from Cape Verde, through the Portuguese influence. Similar links can also be found in the cuisine. Indies Eurasian cuisine, for example, is closely related to the Cristang cuisine of Malaysia.
Indonesia & The Hague
Three centuries of close association between the Netherlands and the Indonesian archipelago have left their mark on both present-day Indonesia and the Netherlands. This is particularly true of The Hague, popularly known as the ‘Indies Eurasian capital of the world’, not only for historic reasons but also because of the widespread familiarity among the people of The Hague with the Indies culture, the large number of Indies organisations, ‘tokos’ and restaurants in the city and, last but by no means least, the annual Tong Tong event.
From 1945 until the mid-sixties, roughly 300,000 people of all ranks and ages migrated from Indonesia to the Netherlands to start a new life there. Most of them were people of mixed descent (Eurasians, ‘Indos’), born and raised in the Dutch East Indies, repatriating to a country they had never seen before. Thousands continued their migration on to other countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States. The largest Indies Eurasian community outside the Netherlands is in California, where an estimated 35,000 people alone live in and around Los Angeles. Famous American Indos include Eddie and Alex Van Halen.
The integration of these migrants into Dutch society is often recounted as a success story in the ongoing history of world migration and decolonisation. Most Indos today are hardly considered an ethnic minority by the native Dutch, and nor are they classified as such by the government. The Tong Tong Festival is the largest annual Indies cultural expression: enthusiasts come specially from the surrounding countries, and more and more from further afield as well, such as the United States. In The Hague, the Netherlands’ seat of government, the Tong Tong Fair is the largest ticketed annual event.
Tong Tong Fair started out as Pasar Malam Tong Tong in 1959, was called Pasar Malam Besar since the nineteenseventies, and changed its name to the current Tong Tong Fair in 2009. The name Tong Tong Festival for the theatre programme was introduced in 2005.
Back to top
Artists who have appeared at the Tong Tong Festival
Rob Agerbeek, Anggun, I Wayan Balawan, Basily, Colin Bass, Keola Beamer, Boi Akih, Bob Brozman, Cafrinho Tugu, Izaline Calister, Brendan Croker, Inul Daratista, Dengue Fever, Dwi Mekar, Ensemble Gending, Gong Tirta, Anneke Grönloh, Chris Hinze, Institute of Arts and Music of Indonesia in Padang Panjang, Denise Jannah, Joko Susilo, Kasba, Fapy Lafertin Quintet & Tim Kliphuis, Benny Krisnawardi, Fernando Lameirinhas, Ki Ledjar, Julya Lo’ko & Erwin van Ligten , Mai’ana, Makana, Maya KDI, Dina Medina, Moana & the Tribe, Gerard Mosterd, National Theatre of Vietnam Music, Dance and Song, Matthew Ngau Jau, No Blues, Sabah Habas Mustapha, Rob Pronk Quartet, Luluk Purwanto, Rabasa, Mónica Triga, Rosenberg Trio, Daniel Sahuleka, Samba Sunda, Astrid Seriese, Sexteto Canyengue with Carel Kraayenhof, Singapore Malay Orchestra, Suara Maluku, Teck Voon Ng, Andy Tielman, Te Vaka, Lilian Vieira (Zuco 103), Widosari, Sinta Wullur.
Back to top
Info for artists
We have wide experience in the programming and support of foreign artists. If required, we can handle the entire logistics too: the visa, the trip and hotels. Our festival has been booking international artists since 1973. The first guest was Djoni Ginsir, a dancer from Bali. Since 1976 we have included musicians and dancers from Asia in the program every year from various provinces of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The number of foreign artists has grown in recent years, and musicians and dancers from the United States and Europe have also appeared at the festival by invitation.
Artists and agents wishing to contact our programmers, can e-mail us at email@example.com.
Or send material through the regular mail:
Tong Tong Foundation
att. theatre department
2594 AR The Hague
Artists in Southeast Asia can also contact our partner in Jakarta:
Do you wish to rent a stand at the Tong Tong Fair?
Participants in Southeast Asia may prefer to contact our representative office in Jakarta:
Vista Express Tours & Travel
Jl. Cikini Raya 58-A
Tel: + 62 – (0)21 – 31 92 34 32
Fax: + 62 – (0)21 – 31 00 00 4
or our sales representative in Yogyakarta:
Tursiwi Kartika Aji (Mas Ayik)
Jl. Krasak Timur 26-B
Yogyakarta Kota 55212
Tel: +62 – (0)81578816042
Participants from other countries, please contact our main office in The Hague:
Tong Tong Fair
2594 AR The Hague
You can download more information here:
- Rates and discounts 2014
- Terms and conditions 2014
- Application form 56th Tong Tong Fair 2014 (downloadable pdf)
- Application form 56th Tong Tong Fair (online form)
- Ground plan Grand Pasar
- Ground plan Eetwijk (restaurant district)
- Ground plan Indonesia Pavilion
- Ground Plan 56th Tong Tong Fair
The Tong Tong Fair, of which the Tong Tong Festival is a part, has for a long time been among the Top 100 Events. (Up to and including 2008, the event was called Pasar Malam Besar.) And not just because of the large number of visitors; in terms of media interest our ranking is even higher, in the top 40, to be precise.
The Tong Tong Fair is extensively covered every year by the national and regional media, in the newspapers and on radio and TV. Reports about the Tong Tong Fair and Festival are also included on websites at home and abroad, and in web logs. What is the secret of this wide appeal? The diversity of the event: editors catering to a wide audience can find something to interest their readers in the rich diversity on offer. Several times a year we send a general press information pack to our complete list of more than 1,200 editors and also approach various publications with information especially tailored to their field of interest.
Besides all this free publicity we also invest heavily in paid advertising. Apart from advertising in magazines and dailies, billboard posters are displayed all over the Randstad (West of the Netherlands). And we distribute tens of thousands of free-cards and advertise on national TV and radio.
We also publish our own magazines and flyers. The Indisch Anders (30,000 print run) ‘books edition’ is for visitors who want more in-depth information; the festival edition of the Pasarkrant magazine (print run 60,000 copies) includes the complete program of the Tong Tong Festival together with background information. The Pasarkrant is mailed directly to more than 43,000 interested people in our database. Indisch Anders is distributed throughout the Netherlands by more than 135 distributors, mainly bookshops and libraries.
In addition, we publish a glossy promotional magazine three times a year (print run 3,500) which is sent to our donors (more than 2,000) as well as to our other contacts in the media, museum, music and diplomatic worlds.
Artists performing at the Tong Tong Festival thus also benefit from this extensive publicity campaign!
Back to top
Tong Tong Fair
2594 AR The Hague
Fax +31 70 3504497
The Tong Tong Fair (formerly Pasar Malam Besar) won the Promotion Award of The Hague in December 2006 in the category Tourism and Economy.
This was followed in June 2007 by the presentation of the prestigious Grand Prix of the National Events Awards, the ‘Oscar’ of the Dutch events industry. The Grand Prix is awarded to an event, which in terms of size, standing and allure, has become a real phenomenon. Previous winners include the International Film Festival Rotterdam, North Sea Jazz and the Oerol theatre festival.
In 2008 the organizing Tong Tong Foundation was awarded the Stadspenning by the municipality of The Hague, the highest award of the city.
On January 2nd of this year, the Tong Tong Foundation received the ‘Haagse Pluim’ (The Hague Plume) from the hands of Mayor Van Aartsen, a distinction to honour citizens or organizations who promote a favourable image of The Hague.
Back to top