Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Advance Notice Event Guide: 30 November 2017 Edition

There’s but one more month before we bid farewell to the year that was 2017 …  and welcome 2018 into our lives, a blank slate for us to recast our lives upon, as well as your social calendar.

Wondering what you should do to prepare for the coming month and into the new year?

We’ve got you covered with our Advance Notice Event Guide. Whether it’s Christmas markets, festivities in the first month of the new year, or everything thereafter, you’ll never be bored.

Let’s go!


Amsterdam – Valhalla Electronic Music Parade: Need some wubs in your life? Looking for a way to enter Valhalla without fighting a horde of fierce warriors? Want to start your Christmas a bit early?

Then head over to Amsterdam’s RAI Amsterdam 23 December for the 2017 edition of Valhalla Electronic Music Parade.

Take a journey through the “Circus of Myths” the night before Christmas Eve with a lineup of 37 headlined by: Fritz Kalkbrenner; Hot Since 82; Kölsch; Paco Osuna; Speedy J; and Yellow Claw.

Want to see your friends and loved ones in Valhalla? Tickets to the EDM carnival are €57.25, e-lockers are €7.50 and €9.50, depending on size.

Bad Goisern am Hallstättersee – Krampuslauf: In the United States, naughty children become President, their stockings filled with delusions of grandeur and a flock of Minuteman missiles ready to turn North Korea into the world’s largest glass sculpture with a single 240-character tweet at 3 in the morning.

In the Netherlands, a racist caricature whisks naughty children off to Spain to prevent Catalonians from bidding adios to Madrid… and maybe attend foam parties in Ibiza, too.

But in Austria, Czechia and Germany, naughty children are condemned to burn in Hell for all eternity WHEN THE KRAMPUS COMES TO TOWN ROOOOOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRR!!!!

Every December, roving bands of Krampus — half-goat, half-demon, all-blackened death metal eldritch abominations… or just drunk people in costume, usually — follow behind St. Nicholas to flog and snatch every naughty person they can find (well, not snatch, but scare the little ones while flogging the adults with birch twigs) in many an Austrian, Czech, and German town, including Austria’s own Bad Goisern am Hallstättersee, home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut.

The festivities begin 17:00 on next Thursday, the terror follows at 18:30.

Barcelona – La Ciutat dels Somnis: Formerly known as El Festival de la Infancia (The Children’s Festival en español), La Ciutat dels Somnis (The City of Dreams en català) in Barcelona’s Fira Barcelona – Recinto Montjuïc will give your little ones the opportunity to live their dreams of being what they’ve always dreamed they’d be when they grow up.

Whether your children wear the big shoes of a doctor, engineer, draftsman, or inventor, they will learn how each profession and trade functions in the adult world in their interactions with the family and the community.

Tickets to La Ciutat dels Somnis are €6, free for children under 4 years of age. The career festival runs from 27 through 30 December.

Berlin – Lost – 48 Hours Artfestival: By mid-December 2017, the Willner Brewery in the heart of Berlin will become a fading memory, the result of a booming real estate market.

Before this happens, though, the brewery will host its final art festival, Lost – 48 Hours Artfestival, from 18:00 to 18:00 15 through 17 December. The 3000 m2 space will host 80 artists involved in three exhibitions, while performances and talks take place on two stages, and electronic music from three Berlin-based labels fills the air.

And the best part? Admission is free; all you need to do is register.

Berlin – Berlin New Year’s Eve Party: Berlin has thousands of NYE parties at every club, bar and pils stubbe. However, the city also has a huge official New Year’s Eve Party that’s free and features big-name artists, both live bands and DJs.

Last year, they included Jermaine Jackson and Fun Factory. And of course, 2018 will be ushered in with a giant fireworks show.

Did we mention this is free?

There is one catch: As you can imagine, this is pretty popular and Politzie shut off the area once it gets to capacity. Berlin New Year’s Eve Party is literally in the middle of the city on a two-kilometer long stretch of Straße des 17. Juni between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column.

The “official” party doesn’t start till 19:00, but the area is open during the day and you can stroll down the Straße des 17. Juni and watch rehearsals.

Brussels – Be Film Festival: If you want to see the best in Belgian cinema, the 13th edition of the Be Film Festival is for you.

Taking place at Palais des Beaux-Arts and La Cinémathèque Royale in Brussels from 19 through 24 December, the annual film festival “offers a cinematographic and festive meeting in the company of some of the leading lights of Belgian cinema.”

A number of the films on the programme have already been seen at some of the biggest film festivals in Europe, including Cannes, Berlin, and Venice, so you can see them again or catch them for the first time.

A pass to the Be Film Festival is €20 through 12 December, €28 from 13 December. Tickets to the opening ceremony — featuring the film Une Part d’ombre by Samuel Tilman — are €8 through 12 December, €10 from 13 December. Tickets for individual screenings will be available online soon: €4 for screenings at Cinematek, €7 at BOZAR.

Copenhagen – Christiana Christmas Market: Within the heart of Copenhagen is Freetown Christiania, a self-proclaimed anarchist autonomous city housed in the former military barracks of Bådsmandsstræde and parts of the city ramparts, home to around 1,000 residents.

The city is the fourth-largest tourist attracting in Copenhagen, and is the mascot for Denmark as Amsterdam is for the Netherlands: that of a free, progressive society where you can do nearly anything you want.

For almost as long as Christiana has existed – it was founded in the early 1970s – the city has hosted an annual Christmas bazaar every December in The Grey Hall.

More than 100 stalls filled with handmade gifts, clothes, jewelry, decorations, and more await visitors to this anarchist enclave from this coming Wednesday through 20 December.

Deventer – Dickens Festijn: Expats in the Netherlands know about this. For the rest of you, the Netherlands has this obsession at Christmas time with the author of A Christmas Carol.

For example, our own Terry and Cheryl went to a festival in Thorn last year and guess what? There was an entire village of people dressed up as characters from the Christmas classic greeting visitors. They thought it was cool, to say the least.

You, too, can experience the Dutch Dickens at the Dickens Festijn 16 and 17 December in Deventer, which is about 60 miles east of Amsterdam. This is about more than A Christmas Carol. This festival encompasses the whole charming town of Deventer, where over 950 characters from Dickens’ novels come to life, including those from Oliver Twist and his first novel, The Pickwick Papers.

This is a huge deal, with a Dickens Museum and big celebrations in several locations, including a theater. And about 125,000 visitors show up each year for a bit of the Christmas spirit. And if this doesn’t do it for you, nothing will!

One tiny detail: You can expect to wait about an hour in line to get into the village at the height of the festival; it’s that popular.

There are dinner and hotel packages if you want to make it a weekend, too.

Geneva – Geneva Lux Festival: The city of Geneva, Switzerland will be awash in light when the Geneva Lux Festival returns this Friday through 14 January 2018.

An initiative of the Mayor of Geneva since 2014, artists from around the world will bring their festive light installations to the heart of the city, including: Jardin Anglais; Rue de Rhône; Place Bel-Air; Place Longemalle; Ile Rousseau; Rue de Mont-Blanc; and Place Simon Goulard. Six new installations will be among the 22 on display this year.

And the best part? Admission is free.

London – Greenwich Winter Time Festival: Christmas and London go together like Scrooge and epiphanies, and if you ever wanted to be the first to experience some of that British Christmas magic along with a few thousand others, then the first-ever Greenwich Winter Time Festival is for you and yours.

Held on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College from this Friday through New Year’s Eve, “London’s new contemporary festival” packs brings together “all the best traditions of the season packed full with contemporary twists” against the the backdrop of Cutty Sark and the River Thames for “the perfect Christmas destination.” The festival’s daily schedule is divided into three three-hour sessions, each filled with ice skating performances, live music, buskers, a curated Christmas market, and lots of holiday cheer to go around.

Tickets to any session during the first-ever Greenwich Winter Time Festival range from £15 (€17) adult and £8 (€9) child admission, to a full festival package for a family of four for £65 (€74).

London – Christmas at Kew: Celebrate the holiday season under the sparkle of over 1 million lights draped over heritage trees and buildings during Christmas at Kew at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew now through New Year’s Day 2018.

This year, the annual display has a new mile-long trail through the garden, where trees will sing to you while lights dance under the ethereal waters of the garden’s lake. Little ones can also see Santa and his elves hard at work, while the adults can warm up with some mulled wine or hot chocolate.

Tickets to see this magical wonderland range from free for those under four, to £60 (€68) for a family ticket.

Luxembourg City – Luxembourg Light Festival: Another light festival to add to the calendar, this time the Luxembourg Light Festival in Luxembourg City 15 through 17 December from 18:00 to 23:00 each night.

Organised by the City of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg City Tourist Office, the light festival will feature artists from all over the world “exposing their light artworks along a set itinerary along the various sights of the city”; this map will help you along the way.

Should you wish to book a guided tour, though, you can do so here for €12; the price includes a drink voucher at the Christmas market at Place d’Armes.

Munich – Tollwood Winter Festival: For 10 years, the biannual Tollwood Festival has been bringing concerts, performances and exhibitions to the center of Munich, one of Europe’s most exciting cities. The music and arts festival occurs in the summer and winter, the latter occurring now through 31 December.

This year, the festival topics focus on mobility and a sustainable culture of mobility. The Tollwood theme is “Culture for all”; as a consequence, about 70 percent of all events at each Tollwood Festival has free admission, including entrance into the festival grounds.

This year, one of the big attractions is Cirque Èloize from Montreal; tickets can be purchased here. Their show iD is about the fight against the anonymity of megacities, according to the Tollwood website. The show is a mashup of West Side Story, hip hop, ballet, breakdancing, and poetry.

There are a ton of other events, many of which are in German only; check the calendar here.

Munich – Royal Christmas Gala: Any plans 14 December? Why not head to Munich’s Philharmonie im Gastieg for the next stop on the first-ever Royal Christmas Gala tour. Covering many cities in Germany, along with stops all over Eastern Europe, the tour brings pop and classical together for “a festive show, studded with opulent lighting effects.”

The lineup is headlined by famed soprano Sarah Brightman, and includes: Gregorian — the “Masters of Chant” heard on that Enigma you bought back in college — Mario Frangoulis, Narcis, and Fernando Varela.

Tickets to this performance are €69.90 through €93.90. The tour begins this Thursday in Kaunas, Latvia, and ends in Vienna 23 December.

Oslo – Nobel Peace Prize Concert: Held annually on 11 December to celebrate the year’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway’s Telnor Arena brings the best in jazz, pop, blues, rock, classical and more to the stage.

In the past, the concert has seen the likes of Ofra Haza, Joan Osbourne, Phil Collins, Willie Nelson, and Sting take the stage, with hosts like Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Helen Mirren, and Anthony Hopkins keeping things going. This year’s lineup includes Alan Walker, Sigrid, Zara Larsson, and headliner John Legend; the host will be named soon.

Tickets to the 24th edition of the Nobel Peace Prize Concert range from NOK 150 to NOK 1245 (€16 – €132).

Stockholm – Spanska Filmfestivalen: Looking for a bit of Spanish cinema to keep you warm on those long Scandinavian nights? Why not check out the eighth annual Spanska Filmfestivalen (Spanish Film Festival på svenska) at Stockholm’s Kulturhuset Stadsteatern this coming Wednesday through next Monday.

Organized by Instituto Cervantes since the beginning, Spanska Filmfestivalen has a full programme of Spanish films in every genre, with a strong emphasis on comedic works — gotta laugh the midnight-sun blues away, after all. Film on this year’s programme include: Selfie; Contratiempo; and No Culpes al Karma.

Tickets to each film are SEK 70 (€7), and can be purchased via the link above.

Vienna – Grand Christmas Gala: We have Christmas markets, Christmas festivals, Christmas horrorshows, so why not a Christmas Viennese ball, too? Coming to the Grand Hotel Wien 16 December is the 2017 edition of the Grand Christmas Gala.

Entertainment for the ball includes: violinist Barbara Helfgott; the “play of colors, light, movement, music and emotions presented with an expressive passion” of Joumana Dance Show; and live music to waltz to by Cheer Up!. As always, be sure to wear your finest ball gowns and tuxes, and get ready to dance the night away from 19:30 Saturday through the early morning hours on Sunday.

Tickets to the Grand Christmas Gala are €180 for the regular VIP package, €240 for the Super VIP package, which can either be purchased in-person at the organizer’s office, or via email at

Vienna – Hofburg Silvesterball: If a Christmas ball isn’t your bag, why not instead ring in the New Year in your most fabulous ball attire at the Hofburg Silvesterball 31 December, held at Hofburg Vienna (Imperial Palace).

What to expect during the Silvesterball? “Top-class performers from Vienna’s opera houses, big-name bands and orchestras, as well as catchy rhythms from waltz to jazz to dj sounds,” as well as “a fantastic midnight show and a firework display above the old town.”

Tickets to ring in the new year at the Hofburg Silvesterball range from €165 for access to all ballrooms and a glass of sparkling wine during the welcome portion of the ball, to €680 for a seat reservation in the Festhaal with a four-course meal w/ red or white wine and mineral water, and a glass of champagne for when the clock strikes 2018; the €720 Festsall tickets are already booked up.

The festivities start at 18:30, and continues until 4:00 the following year.

Zurich – Silvesterlauf: If you’re in Zurich, Switzerland next Sunday, you might want to check out the Silvesterlauf.

The marathon began in 1977, taking inspiration from Brazil’s Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre, a road race held 10 minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Unlike the São Silvestre, though, the Silvesterlauf is held under the stars of a chilly winter night, more than 20,000 runners charging from the Limmatquai to the Kapplergasse through the heart of Zurich.

If you wish to run in the Silvesterlauf, online registration is available through this Sunday; the schedule of fees (in CHF) is here.

Zwolle – Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival: If you’re ready to take your Christmas to the next level, check out the 2017-18 edition of the Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival 23 December 2017 through 4 March 2018 at the IJsselhallen in Zwolle.

Already Europe’s largest ice sculpture festival, this year’s outing is larger than ever with over 100 sculptures of ice and snow towering as high as six meters, displayed over 3,000 m² of show space in temps of around -8 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit).

Works from 42 ice artists cover this year’s theme of world-famous stories, such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and more.

Tickets to the Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival are €14.50 regular admission, €10 for children between 4 and 10, €11.50 for adults above 65; fast lane tickets — meaning a shorter wait in line — are €5 more.

• JANUARY 2018

Amsterdam – Carla Bruni: Do you remember Carla Bruni, the First Lady of France when her husband, Nicholas Sarkozy, was at the helm as the nation’s president?

Did you know she also is a singer-songwriter?

Bruni has put out a handful of albums since her first, 2002’s Quelqu’un m’a dit, and is currently touring on her new album, 2017’s French Touch. The new album is a cover album, featuring works from artists as diverse as Depeche Mode, The Rolling Stones, Tammy Wynette, and AC/DC.

Bruni will bring her French Touch to Amsterdam’s Koninklijk Theater Carre 16 January. Tickets range between €38.50 and €71.50, depending on how close you want to get to the former First Lady.

Amsterdam – Nationale Tulpendag: Besides Freestate Amsterdam, a few tropes about the Netherlands spring up when one thinks about the country: windmills, dikes, wooden clogs, cheese … and tulips. The third Saturday of January (20 January this year) is the start of tulip season, when more than 1.7 billion bulbs will be planted, growing into the beautiful flowers known all over the world by the time spring rolls around.

In Amsterdam, you can celebrate Nationale Tulpendag (National Tulip Day in Nederlands) at Dam Square, where farmers have constructed a temporary tulip garden with more than 200,000 flowers freely available for over 10,000 visitors to bring home.

The theme for this year’s Nationale Tulpendag is Romantic; thus, instead of a rose, why not a bouquet of tulips for the one you love?

Berlin – Tanztage Berlin: After the confetti has been cleaned up at Brandenburg Gate, you can check out Tanztage Berlin at the Sophiensaele from 4 through 14 January 2018. For 10 days, the annual dance festival features the best in contemporary dance from up-and-coming choreographers and their dancers.

The 27th edition will include two performances by Greek artists as part of the festival’s partnership with the Young Choreographers Festival in Athens. The forum “Let’s Talk About Dance” presents an opportunity for feedback from the audience following specific performances.

Tickets for most events range between €10 and €14; the feedback forum is free to attend. The programme and ticket purchasing information can be had here.

Gstaad – Snow Bike Festival Gstaad, 18 thru 21 January: For four days, the ultra-upscale Swiss resort town hosts a biking stage race in the Alpine snow. Snow Bike Festival is open to competitors of all capabilities, from total amateurs to professional.

The commonality is, these are people who love to ride bikes with big fat tires up and down mountains. And enjoy the spectacular views. Then, they all retire to their chalets, saunas and hot tubs before heading off to great food and drink in this (massively expensive) mountain paradise.

Bring your best game … and lots of Swiss francs.

Race packages start at about 600 Swiss francs (515 euros) and you can register here. There are also supporter packages for 300 Swiss francs.

London – London Short Film Festival: From 12 through 21 January 2018, the 15th annual London Short Film Festival will present a full programme of the best in cutting-edge independent short films from the United Kingdom and the world, along with workshops and live music.

No details have been announced thus far, but you’ll definitely want to start your new year right with this film festival.

Paris – Les soldes d’hiver 2018: There’s Black Friday, there’s Boxing Day, but there’s nothing like the biannual Les soldes (The Sales en français).

For six weeks every winter and summer, your favorite places to shop in France — and especially in Paris — will have everything on sale for as much as 70 percent off. Just imagine filling your newly purchased luggage with the best the French have to offer, all the while your wallet remains as stocked as a French bakery in the morning.

The winter 2018 Les soldes takes place between 10 January and 20 February. And though there isn’t an official one-stop site dedicated to this cultural festival of shopping, this guide from Paris Perfect might be all you need to help you prepare for the fun to come.


Athens – Young Choreographers Festival: If you happen to be in Athens, Greece 8 and 29 April 2018, why not check out the fifth edition of the Young Choreographers Festival at the Onassis Cultural Centre (no, not that Onassis, but her stepson, Alexander).

This year’s theme for the YCF is New Directions, New Arrivals: for the first time ever, the dance festival will feature first-time and rising-superstar choreographers, while continuing its original mission of being open “to a performing art which is forever changing and enriching itself with new tendencies and practices.”

No lineup or ticket information is available at this time.

Basel – Art Basel: The travelling art festival known as Art Basel returns to its namesake home of Basel, Switzerland 14 through 17 June 2018. Over 290 art galleries come together to show the works of over 4,000 artists from around the world. It’s a must-attend if you’re a fan of modern and contemporary art. More information to come as time marches on.

Barcelona – Primavera Sound: Barcelona’s Parc del Fòrum will come to life late May and early June with the 2018 edition of Primavera Sound, scheduled for 30 May through 3 June 2018.

Since 2001, Primavera has blown the minds of many with the vast collection of pop, indie, and electronic sounds to have graced the festival’s stages, including: Front 242; The Afghan Whigs; Queens of the Stone Age; Nine Inch Nails; LCD Soundsystem; and Mazzy Star.

Though no lineup has been announced for the 2018 edition of Primavera — which will also occur the following weekend in Porto, Portugal — tickets are available for €180 for a full festival ticket, €400 for a full VIP festival ticket.

Budapest – Sziget Festival: In 1993, a small music festival was established in Budapest, Hungary on the island of Óbudai-sziget, meant to be a low-cost affair for local students.

Twenty-five years later, Sziget Festival has grown to be one of the biggest music festivals in Eastern Europe, if not the entire continent; it has won the Best Major European Festival category twice during the European Festival Awards in 2011 and 2014.

More than half a million guests – spread out over several days– attend the multi-day festival annually, all coming from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and, of course, Hungary to see the likes of Prince, Iron Maiden, R.E.M., Fatboy Slim, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and so many more major artists rock the stages.

Not much is happening so far for the 2018 edition of Sziget, though you can sign up for their newsletter to learn who will be announced over the next few months. In the meantime, be sure to mark off 8 through 15 August 2018 on your calendar so you don’t miss out on one of Europe’s biggest festivals.

Copenhagen – Vinterjazz 2018: When the Danes throw a jazz festival, they really throw a jazz festival! Between 2 and 25 February 2018, enjoy over 700 concerts at 125 venues across Copenhagen when Vinterjazz returns to town.

Before you tackle this major marathon of jazz, check out the programme to see who’s performing on the nights you have in mind; you can buy tickets to each performance via the programme, also.

And who’s on the lineup thus far? Katie Thiroux, Randy Newman, Girls in Airports (who are all guys), and Sisters of Jazz (who are what it says on the tin) are among those schedule to perform.

Corsica: – Tour de Corse: Among the rallies to have been a part of the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, the Tour de Corse on the island of Corsica (a short ferry ride away from Italy and the south of France) stands out for its toughness: 20,000 corners, all on tarmac, no one spared of pain…

And, sadly, no lives spared, either: during the 1986 de Corse, Finnish rally legend Henri Toivonen — born in the home of Rally Finland, Jyväskylä — lost his life alongside co-pilot Sergio Cresto when his Lancia Delta S4 crashed into a ravine and exploded; the only remains were the spaceframe of the vehicle. The deaths of Toivonen and Cresto were the death knell of motorsport’s most insane– and legendary — set of regulations ever put to paper, Group B.

Things are calmer these days, but no less exciting. Why not spend some time 5 through 8 April 2018 watching the successors to the Group B throne drift their way through Corsica? Simply keep in mind to pay attention to your surroundings when you visit one of the stages! The Citroëns, Fords, Hyundais and Toyotas will buzz by you at 130 kph (80 mph); it is not worth injury or death for a closer look of the action coming toward you.

Gdynia – Open’er Festival: Eastern Europe needs more attention in these guides, so here’s another rock festival in the region for your consideration: the Open’er Festival in Gdynia, Poland from 4 through 7 July 2018.

Originally known as Open Air Festival (and held in Warsaw from 2002 through 2005), tonnes of big names have graced the stages of Open’er over the years, including: Lorde; Radiohead; LCD Soundsystem; Drake; Pearl Jam; Rihanna; Prince; and Muse.

It’s a while yet before the 2018 lineup is announced, but you can get your early-bird tickets right now for PLN 379 – PLN 579 (€90 – €137), depending on how many days and/or whether or not you want to camp at the festival.

The Hague – Grauzone Festival: What better way to spend a chilly winter evening at The Hague, Netherlands than at the fifth edition of the Grauzone Festival? The festival is “a multidisciplinary underground festival” with “a diverse and cutting-edge programme where music, film and art complement each other.”

The programme in question “consists of performances by (international) bands and DJ’s” — including this year’s lineup (to date) of Cabaret Voltaire, Michael Gira, and Dune Messiah — “a symposium with lectures and interviews, an exhibition and a film program.” A pre-party the night before rounds out the programme, with a lineup to be announced soon.

Hildesheim – M’era Luna: If you have plans to be in Hildesheim, Germany next August, why not join the wave of goths, headbangers, and rivetheads descending upon the Drispenstedt airfield (formerly occupied by the British Army) for one of the biggest dark music festivals in Europe, M’era Luna! The annual 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.

Pre-sale tickets to the 2018 edition of M’era Luna range from €15 for a camper badge, to €429 for a place among three other friends at the Gothic Garden Ganymed. There’s no lineup announced yet (you’ll find the lineup for the 2017 edition on the website), but it won’t be long before the first artists are made known. The 2018 edition of M’era Luna will occur 11 and 12 August 2018.

Jaroměř – Brutal Assault: What’s more metal than a European hard rock and metal festival? A European hard rock and metal festival inside a fortress! If this is your jam, then head over to Jaroměř, Czechia for the 23rd edition of Brutal Assault 8 through 11 August 2018.

Unlike most other extreme music festivals, Brutal Assault takes place inside Pevnost Josefov, an 18th century fortress designed by French architect Louis Querlonde de Hamel, and constructed between 1780 and 1790. Alongside Pevnost Terezín, Josefov was built to defend the Holy Roman Empire against invasion from the Kingdom of Prussia.

Today, though, the only invaders are the metalheads who come every August to see their metal gods rock the outer walls of the fortress from within. The 2018 lineup includes Ministry, Saint Vitus, and Behemoth (this writer’s official soundtrack to all things Krampus) among the 27 bands already scheduled to perform.

Tickets to the 2018 edition of Brutal Assault are €84 for a full four-day pass.

London – Wimbledon: The Championships, Wimbledon – Wimbledon, for short – is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, born on the grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on 9 July 1877. Wimbledon is one of the four jewels of the Grand Slam crown — the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open are the other three — and the only one to still be played on grass.

From 2 through 15 July 2018, around 100 men and 100 women (and their respective alternates) will compete for a share of £31.6 million (€35.2 million) in prize money.

Tickets to the annual strawberries-and-cream tourney range from £42 (€47) for a seat in the No. 3 Court on the first day of competition, to £210 (€234) for a chance to witness the winners raise the Wimbledon Cup (men’s singles) and Rosewater Dish (women’s singles) in the Center Court on the final day of competition. You’ll find what you need to know about purchasing a ticket here.

Menton – Fête du Citron 17 February to 4 March: Winter events aren’t all about snow and skiing.

On France’s Côte d’Azur next to Monaco, the city of Menton has a movie-worthy setting, its beaches ringed by mountains. So it’s fitting that lately, Menton has celebrated its citrus industry with a movie theme.

For 2018, its 85th year, its going full Bollywood for its Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival.)

From the Fête du Citron website:

… After Cinecittà and Italian cinema in 2016, Broadway and musicals in 2017, Bollywood will be, from February 17 to March 4, 2018, the third and final part of the triptych dedicated to a city and its cinematographic or visual art. Which was imported into India by the Enlightenment brothers in 1896 before becoming, not an art, but a culture now inherent in Indian daily life.

Check out the vid above for a look at the crazy creative things the citizens of Menton do with oranges, lemons and grapefruits. This is not a free event. Entrance starts at 12 euros and goes up to 32 euros for VIP packages.

You can get tickets here.

Montreux – Montreux Jazz Festival: The Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland — whose late founder, Claude Nobs, is name-checked along with Montreux in Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” — is one of the most famous music festivals in all of Europe, if not the world over. Miles Davis, Eric Clapton, New Order, and the aforementioned Deep Purple have all played at the festival in the five decades since the first in 1967.

No performers for the 52nd edition of Montreux Jazz Festival — scheduled for 29 June through 14 July 2018 — have been announced at this time, but you can pick up the perfect Christmas gift for yourself and/or someone you love with an All Music Pass for CHF 1,199 (€1,027); Montreux Jazz Insiders can get theirs for CHF 899 (€770). Both offers are good until 18 December 2017.

Norrkoping, Sweden  Where’s the Music?: WTM? has always been about discovering new music. But this festival on 9 and 10 February snowy Sweden is also one of the increasingly popular mashups of music and business. Which is what Sweden does best. Remember, Abba wasn’t a band, it was one of Sweden’s largest industries for a decade, with an estimated 500 million sales.


This year, confirmed artists include Amand Mair and a bunch of Swedish bands we don’t know, but probably will. During the conferences, speakers from all parts of the music industry talk trends including dgital trends and festivals. The full program for the festival will be announced closer to the festival.

Tickets start at 295 Swedish krona (30 euros) to 1,000 krona (100 euros) for the conference. Some tickets are already sold out, but you can give it a shot here.

Rome – Rome E-Prix: The future of motorsport is electric, and what better way to bear witness to the currency of change than when Formula E returns to Europe 14 April 2018 for the Rome E-Prix.

The seventh round of the 2017-2018 Formula E season is also the first European round on the schedule — the season having started months earlier in Hong Kong — the first-ever Formula E competition in the Eternal City, and boasts the second-longest circuit with the 1.77-mile (2.85-kilometre) Circuto Cittadino dell’EUR street circuit.

If you want in on this first, hit up the above link and sign-up for when tickets go on sale, including details on a 20 percent discount offer. Around 10,000 grandstand seats will be available for €35 adult admission, €1 for children under 16 years of age; discounts for students and those over 60 years of age will also be available.

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