Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Advance Notice Event Guide for Europe: 3 August 2017

The holiday season is upon us at last! All of Europe is going on vacation this month, which means things are going to be slow for a while.

What better way to spend this month by getting ready for what’s coming ’round the bend! This is our first-ever Advance Notice Weekend Event Guide, which will be published every Thursday morning.

Each week, we’ll let you know what’s coming up during the next few weeks, as well as all of the events and happenings you need to know about now so you can be ready for the first ticket sales later this year and beyond. Because every big music festival in Europe seems to sell out these days!

•AUGUST 2017

Amsterdam – Camp the Night, 12 Aug.:  The world is a campground. Well, that’s the thinking as transforms the city center of Amsterdam into one big pop-up campsite. From camping in the Olympic Stadium to sleeping in an art installation. Where do you sleep during the night of August 12?

You can check out tickets and all the locations here.

Blackpool – Livewire Festival: Coming in late August 2017, Blackpool, England’s Livewire Festival will seem like a blast from the past. The headlining acts this year are The Jacksons, Peter Waterman’s Hit Factory, and the reunion of DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith.

Tickets to this nostalgia trip begin at £85 for a three-day pass; single-day tickets range from £30 for general admission (The Hit Factory), to £200 for a VIP seat (DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith). The Livewire Festival runs from 25 to 27 August 2017.

Göteborg – Way Out West Festival: Is the summer heat a bit much? Still want to enjoy one of Europe’s many music festivals with a few thousand of your friends? Head up north to Göteborg, Sweden for the Way Out West Festival next Thursday through Saturday!

The 10th anniversary edition has three programs to satisfy your music needs: the main Way Out West program, featuring Lana Del Rey, Major Lazer, Frank Ocean, and The Afghan Whigs; the Stay Out West program of after-hours shows, including those by Death Grips, Diplo, Let’s Eat Grandma, and Young M.A.; and the Dungen program with performances from Anna Kholin, Cashmere Cat, Sandra Mosh, and The Black Madonna.

Festival passes to Way Out West range from SEK 1,440 to SEK 4,040 (€150 to €421); single-day passes are also available.

Hasselt – Pukkelpop: Another big music festival for your consideration, this time in Hasselt, Belgium, the home of Pukkelpop.

The “progressive and contemporary” four-day music festival — scheduled for 16 through 19 August 2017 — has welcomed the likes of The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Sonic Youth, Eminem and more for over three decades.

The 2017 lineup continues to live up to Pukkelpop’s mission: The Afghan Whigs; Cypress Hill; Editors; The Flaming Lips, Interpol (who are performing the entirety of their debut full-length, Turn On The Bright Lights); and PJ Harvey are among the 165 acts set to perform this year.

Tickets to Pukkelpop 2017 are going fast! Fees range from €99 for a single-day ticket (Saturday tickets are sold out), to €199 for a full festival pass. A 20-piece food/drink voucher pack is €50 per pack.

Helsinki – Helsinki Festival: Coming to the Finnish capital of Helsinki is Finland’s largest arts festival, the Helsinki Festival!

From 17 August through 3 September 2017, you can be one of over 200,000 guests at the festival to check out the many performances all over the city. From dance and cinema, to classical and contemporary music, whatever your passion, you can find it at the Helsinki Festival.

Some events are free. For everything else, tickets can be purchased here.

Hildesheim – M’era Luna: If you happen to be in Hildesheim, Germany on the second weekend of August, and you see a wave of goths, headbangers, and rivetheads descending upon the Drispenstedt airfield (formerly occupied by the British Army), have no fear; they’re all going to M’era Luna! The annual dark music festival attracts between 20,000 and 25,000 fans every year, all coming out to see artists like The Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, Killing Joke, Placebo, Skinny Puppy, and Ministry.

This year’s lineup includes: Korn; And One; Blutengel; DAF; Front Line Assembly; KMFDM; and The Crüxshadows. Around a total of 40 artists will gather to welcome the moon next Saturday and Sunday at Drispenstedt, along with a medieval market, a gothic fashion show, a disco, and more.

Tickets to M’era Luna range from €55 for a single-day ticket, to €429 for a place among three other friends at the Gothic Garden Phobos.

Northamptonshire – Shambala: The hippies live! At least in late August in the heart of England. This music festival crosses generations, combining the peace-and-love philosophy (the theme is, “Adventures in Utopia” and everyone shares in the effort to keep things cool) with DJs and EDM. The dates are 24 through 27 August and you can get tickets here.

Reading and Leeds – Reading Music Festival and Leeds Music Festival: Any plans to visit Brexitland in late August? If not, you need to add the Reading Music Festival and Leeds Music Festival in Reading and Leeds, England to your calendar!

Both festivals occur at the same time with the same bill during the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, which this year is 25 through 27 August 2017. Together, Reading and Leeds pull in around 90,000 guests annually at Richfield Avenue and Bramham Park, with big names like The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and Metallica gracing the stages over the years.

This year’s lineup will be no different: Eminem, Korn, Liam Gallagher, Muse, and Two Door Cinema Club are some of the acts gracing the main stage.

And if you want to see any of them or the other dozens of artists at both festivals, you better jump on it now: Saturday tickets for Reading and Sunday tickets for Leeds are already sold out.

Tickets for Reading can be had here, those for Leeds over here.

Valkenswaard – Longines Global Champions Tour: Valkenswaard, Netherlands is an equestrian’s paradise, as our own Terry Boyd knows first-hand. Thus, it’s the perfect place for the 13th round of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour.

Coming to Tops International Arena next Friday through Sunday, experience the best show jumpers from around the world — including those who took home tonnes of Olympic medals — compete for thousands of euros and the title of Champion of Champions 2017.

Tickets to the 13th round of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour begin at €5, but don’t delay, as tickets are selling out fast.


Le Castellet – Bol d’Or: When most think of endurance racing, they think Le Mans, Daytona, or Sebring. When it comes to endurance motorcycle racing, however, one name sticks out: Bol d’Or.

Returning to Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France 15 through 17 September, teams of three will push themselves and their motorcycles to the limit over the course of 24 hours during the first round of the 2017-18 FIM Endurance World Championship.

Tickets to the 81st edition of Bol d’Or can be had for €62 to €82 from now through 31 August; prices jump to €69 – €85 thereafter. VIP packages are also available.

Munich – Oktoberfest: Only the largest beer and fun festival in the world, but we know what you’re thinking (aside from how many beers and sausages and dances you can stand in a sitting): shouldn’t Oktoberfest be in Oktober?

It once was. The first was held 12 October 1810 “in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen,” then moved up to September over the years to take advantage of the warmer weather.

Are you ready to fill your belly full of beer, sausages, and fun? Then head over to Munich between 16 September and 3 October for the 184th edition of Oktoberfest, which kicks off with a parade to the tents and the tapping of the first Oktoberfest keg by the Munich mayor in the Schottenhamel Tent on the first day. Admission is free, beers hover around €11 per Mass (1 litre).

Reykjavik – Iceland Airwaves: The sun may not stick around once the clock strikes noon, but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying one of Reykjavik’s biggest music festivals, Iceland Airwaves (founded and sponsored by the airline this writer hopes to take when she finally moves to Eindhoven, Icelandair).

From 1 through 5 November, check out several artists representing Iceland’s music scene — such as Sigrún, Ásgeir, and Kælan Mikla — as well as international artists like Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, and Jo Goes Hunting.

Tickets for Iceland Airwaves run from ISK 8,900 to ISK 21,900 (€77 – €189).

Rome – Longines Global Champions Tour: If you can’t make it to Valkenswaard next weekend, Round 14 of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour will be your final chance in Europe to see the best show jumpers from around the world before the season concludes in Doha.

The Eternal City’s Stadio del Marmi will serve as the setting for the penultimate chapter of the 2017 season come 21 through 24 September. And if you want to experience this majestic equestrian magic, all you need to do is show up, as admission is free, first-come, first-served.

West Sussex – Goodwood Revival: Most of the year, the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England is quiet. Three times out of the year, though, the estate comes to life with the sound and fury of two- and four-wheeled horsepower.

From 8 through 10 September is one of those times: the Goodwood Revival. For one weekend at Goodwood Motor Circuit, relive (or experience for the first time) the spirit of motorsport through history with a full slate of vintage monsters from 1948 through 1966 battling each other over the 2.38-mile, seven-corner circuit.

Tickets to the 2017 edition of the Goodwood Revival ranges from £53 to £76; a weekend pass is £173.


Boom – Tomorrowland: Tomorrowland is one of the largest and most outrageous electronic music festivals in the world, born in Boom, Belgium in 2005. The affair has grown so large, it needs two weekends in late July to properly entertain the hundreds of thousands in attendance. It’s also so popular tickets are sold out within minutes of going on sale, never mind the millions who end up on the waiting list thereafter.

Tickets usually go on sale in the first couple of months of the year. We recommend checking up on the festival’s website around Christmas time for updates on when to pre-register to buy tickets, as that is the only way you’ll have a shot at attending Tomorrowland come next July.

Pilton – Glastonbury Festival: Originally called the Pilton Festival in 1970, the five-day Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England has welcomed thousands of guests to see the likes of David Bowie, The Smiths, Johnny Cash, Oasis, Adele, Leonard Cohen, Lorde, and Radiohead over the five decades since T-Rex banged a few gongs as the headliner of the first festival.

However, Glastonbury — named for the town and hill near Pilton — is going to bed for 2018 — the festival goes through a “fallow year” every six years — in order for the grounds to heal up in time for the 2019 edition, scheduled for 26 through 30 June. If you want to be the first to know when tickets go on sale, you can pre-register here.

In the meantime, the BBC is holding a festival to fill the void: The Biggest Weekend. Taking place across the whole of Brexitland during the May 2018 bank holiday (25 through 28 May), the one-off festival plans to offer the same variety of artists as Glastonbury. Over 175,000 tickets will be available when sales open at a later date. We’ll keep our eyes peeled as the months roll by.

Wacken – Wacken Open Air: The reason this guide exists. Yours truly wanted to add this annual hard rock and metal festival in 2016, but it was sold-out before I even had the chance. Though the 28th edition is happening right now (and is, again, sold-out), this is your advance notice for the 29th edition in 2018.

For most of the year, the tiny village of Wacken, Germany is quiet and serene. Come the first weekend of August, though, and the village welcomes thousands of headbangers who are there to make everything metal, blacker than the blackest black, times infinity.

Wondering who you might see at Wacken? Motörhead, Slayer, Ministry, Napalm Death, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, and Judas Priest are but a few of the heaviest examples to grace the stages at this long-running thrash-a-thon. Your best bet to enter the pit within the wall of death come 2018 is to keep your eye on the website for updates near the end of the year, including when to buy your tickets.

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