Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Advance Notice Event Guide for Europe: 10 August 2017

Wondering what wondrous happenings are appearing along the horizon across Europe? We’ve got you covered.

Every Thursday morning, our own Advance Notice Event Guide for Europe will give you a glimpse into the future, whether it’s only a weekend away, or well into the year yet to come.

This week’s guide includes the 32nd edition of Baloise Session in Basel; the famed La Tomatina in Buñol; and the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon.

• AUGUST 2017

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.

Buñol – La Tomatina: Do you love tomatoes? Do you hate tomatoes? How’s your throwing game? These questions can be answered should you find yourself in Buñol, Spain on 30 August 2017, when the famed La Tomatina returns to paint the town red!

Though La Tomatina’s origins are murky, the food fighting extravaganza has grown since the first fruits were thrown in 1945. Not even a few attempts from Franco to ban the festival could stop the real-life precursor to Splatoon.

Here’s what you need to know: 20,000 tickets are made available (5,000 are reserved for those who live in Buñol), which you can purchase here. Wear clothes you don’t have much of an attachment towards. Then follow the rules of the game posted here. Afterwards, you can watch as the firemen wash away the red, then bask in the shiny gleam of Buñol’s streets; the acid cleans up the dirt.

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 next Wednesday through Saturday — 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 next Thursday 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.

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 on the waiting list 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 and weekend camping tickets for Reading are sold out, as are Sunday tickets for Leeds.

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


Basel – Baloise Session: Back in 1986, co-founders Matthias Müller, Enrico Bonometti, and Stephan Werthmüller organized the first Rheinknie Session in Basel, Switzerland, featuring performances from Oscar Peterson, Albert Collins, and Koko Taylor. Two years later, the music festival’s fame explodes when jazz legend Miles Davis brought down the house, prompting Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs to become a patron of the festival.

Two name changes later, the Baloise Session continues its proud, three-decade-long tradition of presenting music in an intimate, club-like setting. Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Sir Elton John, Grace Jones, and Deep Purple have been among those to perform at the festival.

Who will be performing this year? The lineup for the 2017 Baloise Session will be announced 23 August 2017. Tickets will go on sale 30 August, the festival will run from 21 October to 9 November.

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.

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.

Here’s the full lineup.

Rome – Longines Global Champions Tour: If you’re a fan of show jumping and always wanted to see the best of the best, then 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.

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

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 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 — the original period of competition at Goodwood Circuit — 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. Be sure to dress in period-correct clothing, too; it’s encouraged at the Revival.

• 2018

Lisbon – Eurovision Song Contest 2018: After the end of WWII, Europeans looked at themselves and realized they couldn’t allow their continent to endure another drop of blood shed on the battlefield. Seeking a way to come together, the Eurovision Song Contest was born in 1956.

Eurovision is hard to explain to anyone (i.e., Americans) who doesn’t watch the annual competition within the European Broadcasting Area; it simply has to be seen and experienced.

And the best way to experience Eurovision is to head over to MEO Arena in Lisbon, Portugal for the 63rd edition of the competition between 8 and 12 May 2018. Tickets are expected to go on sale either near the end of 2017 or the start of 2018.

Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup: Assuming Trump and Kim Jong-un don’t start WWIII (bringing in Putin and Xi Jingping to the collapsing domino table in so doing), soccer fans will gather en masse between 14 June and 15 July 2018 to 11 cities within European Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

This festival of football returns to Europe for the first time since 2006, and is the first time ever the World Cup has made an appearance in Eastern Europe. Thirty-two teams from around the world will compete to hoist the FIFA World Cup Trophy among the 81,000 fans in attendance at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium at the end of the month-long show, as well as a chance to compete in the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Tickets to the 2018 World Cup will go on sale soon; bookmark to buy a seat to history.

Valetta – Valetta 2018: Next year, the city of Valetta, Malta will celebrate its status as the European Capital of Culture 2018.

Seated between the cultures surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, Valetta, its home island of Malta, and its neighbour Gozo, will present a cultural programme centered upon life in the Maltese Islands, the hidden stories within, and the future of it all.

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