Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Advance Notice Events Guide Europe: Farewell 2017, Hello 2018 Edition

This is it! We’ve but a few metres to go until we cross the finish line for the year that was 2017, only to take off running once more in the new marathon that will be 2018.

What do we foresee in our crystal ball for your social calendar in the coming year? Why not have a look at this week’s Advance Notice Event Guide, which has a special section devoted to ringing in the New Year; lots of events for the first month of the New Year; and a monster month-by-month breakdown of what all will be happening throughout 2018.

So, for the final time in 2017, let’s go!

• NEW YEAR’S 2017/2018

Amsterdam – King of the Gypsies New Year’s Party: The King of the Gypsies NYEve party seems to be playing on the wildly popular “Peaky Binders” saga, with four gypsy families.

You can take this quiz to find out if you have a gypsy soul (see the featured vid at the top of the page); if you do, then you won’t want to miss this New Year’s Eve party in the center of Amsterdam.

This isn’t really a gypsy party. At least we don’t think it is. But the details are tantalizing: An old abandoned theater in the heart of Amsterdam “where we can wonder, take on a game of arm wrestling, listen to violin battles, drink absinthe and dance to Balkan bands and magnificent dj’s.” The best NYEve party that you’ll never quite be able to remember?

This just popped up in our email so we don’t know much about it. But someone spent a gypsy fortune on the graphics and video production.

About the group putting this on:

Lloyd-Acardi has been creating extraordinary New Years events in Amsterdam since the year 2004. Mission statement: Continuously seeking to open the mind of others, and bringing that special atmosphere back to life at this special date and time.

A single ticket to the King of the Gypsies New Year’s Party ranges from €65 to €150, ticket packs go for €51 and €53.

Amsterdam – The Grand Ball: Vienna can’t have all the fun, right? If you’re a fan of Viennese balls and happen to be in Amsterdam for New Year’s, then head over to Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam for the 2017 edition of The Grand Ball.

For €130 per person, you can enjoy a champagne toast at midnight, lots of beers and wines, and “luxury canapés” while waltzing in your finest black ties and silver, white and light blue gowns. The “Ice Cold Fever” infects the dance floor from 22:00 to 3:00.

Barcelona – La Noche Vieja: Want to ring in the new year with a few thousand of your newest friends? Head over to Barcelona’s Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina and Font Mágica de Montjuïc to experience the magic in Spain known as La Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve en español).

The festivities begin with projections and firework displays from celebrations of the past, followed by a majestic display of fireworks overhead and the fountain playing along. This is accompanied by eating a grape every time the bell rings at the stroke of midnight.

And speaking of grapes, the fruit is the centerpiece of the festivities, from structures built to resemble them, to the overall celebration of 2018’s arrival at midnight. The grape was chosen for its shape — the circle — “with its symbolism of a never-ending line with no beginning or end, evoking repeating cycles and, consequently, the passage of time.”

And best of all, it’s free to attend.

Berlin – Berlin New Year’s Eve Party: Berlin has thousands of NYE parties at every club, bar and pilsstube. 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 Polizei shut off the area once it reaches 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.

Berlin – Silvester Klubnacht at Berghain: Everyone wants to get in, but few are chosen at Berlin’s most famous non-stop nightclub. People don’t come here for a couple of house … many stay the entire weekend.

We’re not sure what’s different about New Year’s Eve (Silvester) other than more people will be lined up outside the 4-story colossal that used to be a power station. The club can accommodate up to 1,500 partiers. BUT, you gotta’ get past the door at this highly selective venue.

There’s the feared doorman Sven Marquard and his crew of bouncers who spend their time arbitrarily selecting who gets in from the line that generally starts forming in the afternoon. The Telegraph, of all publications, has the best post about how to get in.

Tips from that post:

  • Speak German
  • Convince the bouncers you’re there to see a specific DJ rather than to gawk at clubbers – knowing your Ben Klocks from your Marcel Dettmanns helps
  • Don’t dress formally – Berlin is a casual city and the only people you’ll see in Berghain in heels and fake nails are transvestites
  • Be yourself, especially if your self is over 25 years old

Special guest DJs schedule for New Year’s Eve include Mykki Blanco, Danny Tenaglia and B12.

Also, if you just fell out of the turnip container ship from New Jersey, this is famously the most debauched club in Berlin, and that’s saying something.

Brussels – Happy Brussels: Are you in need of lots of wubs to dance away 2017? Then Happy Brussels has what you need.

For only €59.80, one pass will grant you access to eight clubs and parties with over 50 DJs blasting open the way for 2018 to get down with its bad self with all the dropped basses and wub-wub-wub-wuuuuubs you can handle.

Should you need a break, the pass will also net you free entrance into Atomium — Brussels’ tribute to the iron atom, erected for the 1958 World’s Fair — a free screening and exhibition at Cinéma Galleries, a free welcome drink at the Brussels Tourism Info Place, and a free guide to all of the shops, restaurants and bars scheduled to be open for the fireworks to come.

Copenhagen – New Years Eve Copenhagen x Around The World x HIVE x 2017/2018: After watching the Queen’s New Year’s speech at 18:00 New Year’s Eve, put on those red shoes and sway to the sounds of HIVE’s New Year’s celebration.

From 22:00 to 5:00, the nightclub will ring in the New Year on the hour every hour, starting with Dubai at 22:00, followed by Moscow, Copenhagen, London, Reykjavik, Cape Verde, Rio de Janeiro, and finally, Buenos Aires. In between, acrobats and dancers will dazzle your senses amid the many champagne flutes and confetti rainstorms.

Tickets to HIVE’s Around The World celebration range between DKK 275 and DKK 2,400 (€37 – €323), depending on how fancy you want to be to ring in 2018.

Eindhoven – NYE 2018 at TAC: We can’t leave ourselves out of the New Year’s fun, yeah? Head over to the Temporary Arts Centre – TAC, for short – after the first hour of 2018 for its New Year’s celebration.

Whatever your jam – techno, reggae, house, dub, or hip hop – TAC will have it with Krackfree Soundsystem, Zodiak Commune and KADER on the night’s roster.

Regular tickets are available for €17.50, while late tickets are €20 at the door. The party across from Phillips Stadion starts at 1:00, ends with the first sunrise of 2018 at 7:00.

The Hague – New Year’s in The Hague: If you happen to be in the Netherlands’ seat of cabinet, The Hague, on New Year’s, there’s a few things you can do to welcome 2018, including:

  • New Year’s Day Dive at Scheveningen Beach: Ten thousand – yes, 10,000! – people tougher than we are show up for a swim (or a very quick plunge) into the frigid North Sea, where the average winter temperature is 5 degrees Celsius (42 degrees Fahrenheit). The chilly waters can spell doom for unprepared swimmers, as humans have about a 30-minute survival window before hypothermia and death do cannonballs. Watch the video and note how the crowd sprints into the water, then right back out.
  • The big bonfire on the Noorderstrand beach at Scheveningen: Volunteers work for days to build the biggest bonfire in the Netherlands, which is lit at midnight. And this being the Netherlands, the night includes fireworks and DJs, and about 120,000 of your closest friends.
  • New Year’s Eve party at the Hofvijver: This is at the big lake right in the center of all the ancient government buildings, which includes the Binnenhof and the Mauritshuis. One of the most photographed spots in the Netherlands. More fireworks. More music. And a huge video show thrown in, all for free.

London – A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party: You want to see the fireworks over Big Ben as the famed clock atop Elizabeth Tower briefly comes out of its four-year vacation for New Year’s, but tickets are sold out. What’s there to do now?

Go back in time, of course. Head over to Southbank Centre in your TARDIS for its A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party. Five pop-up vintage nightclubs playing hits from the 1920s to the 1990s, photo studios, hair and beauty salons to nail down the right look of choice, and views of the Thames as the big show pops off at midnight are all in store at the party.

Tickets to A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party range between £99 and £184 (€113 – €209), depending on how hungry you are or not.

Munich – Tollwood New Year’s Eve Gala + New Year’s Eve Party: 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 New Year’s Eve.

When New Year’s Eve arrives next Sunday, Tollwood brings everything to a close with its New Year’s Eve Gala and New Year’s Eve Party. At this year’s gala, Hannes Ringlstetter and Ecco DiLorenzo & His Innersoul bring comedy and funk together under the roof of the Grand Chapiteau. Meanwhile, the party on the Tollwood Festival Ground is five stages of live reggae, blues, rock, classical, and DJs.

Tickets to the gala are €142.80 – €152, which also grants access to the party outside. Tickets to the party, on the other hand, are €24.85.

Paris – Crazy Réveillon: There are many ways to spend La Réveillon de Saint Sylvestre in Paris next Sunday, but if a sexy celebration is what you’re after, then the famed Crazy Horse is the place to go for its Crazy Réveillon!

Crazy Horse is a cabaret unlike no other, and there’s no better way to experience the magic of Crazy Horse than during one of the three shows held during the last few hours of 2017 and first hours of 2018.

The 2017 shows will have half-bottles of upgraded champagne and 12 grams of Petrossian Eggxiting Caviar, while the first show of 2018 exchanges the caviar for a sweet delicacy. And of course, all three shows will have some of the finest burlesque performances you’ll ever bear witness to.

Tickets to Crazy Horse’s Crazy Réveillon are €210 for the 19:45 show, €250 for the 22:15 show, and €170 for the 1:00 show.

Paris – Concrete: Paris will never be confused with Berlin when it to its club scene, but it has its moments.

One of Paris’s most talked-about NYEve parties is at concrete, which is three-floor party boat on the Seine. Concrete is most famous for its all-day-all-night New Year’s Eve Party.

There’s not a lot of info on the website, which directs you to Facebook and Twitter for updates. And there aren’t any right now for New Year’s Eve.

But Resident Advisor has a list of the NYEve DJs:

Concrete (00:00-12:00):
Tom Trago
Leo Pol (live)
Grego G

Entry is 25 euros.

Stockholm – Nyårskonsert!: The nights are so long in Stockholm that the days are but brief moments of light in an otherwise darkened shroud of winter. But don’t let it prevent you from celebrating the new year, though.

Stockholm Cathedral will welcome 2018 next Sunday with Nyårskonsert!, featuring “two jubilant masterpieces for choir, soli and orchestra”: Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Coronation Mass KV 317.

Tickets to Nyårskonsert! range between SEK 80 and SEK 320 (€8 – €32). The performance runs from 16:00 to 17:30.

Vienna – Hofburg Silvesterball: Get ready to ring in the New Year in Vienna during the city’s ball season at the Hofburg Silvesterball next Sunday, 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 fireworks 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 with red or white wine and mineral water, and a glass of champagne for when the clock strikes 2018; the €720 and €385 Festhaal tickets are already booked up.

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

• JANUARY 2018

Amsterdam – Nationale Tulpendag: Aside from 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 in 2018) 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; check here for programme and ticket purchasing information.

Brussels – Brussels Jazz Festival: Get ready to jazz up your January at Brussels’ Flagey when the Brussels Jazz Festival comes back to town 11 through 20 January 2018.

The festival opens with the Archie Shepp Quartet (whose namesake celebrated his 80th birthday at last year’s BJF), and closes ten days later with the Matthew Herbert Brexit Big Band (a two-year project covering the period between the UK’s invocation of Article 50 in 2017, and the completion of the divorce between the UK and the European Union in 2019). In between will be DJ sets, artist talks, workshops, film screenings, and, of course, plenty of jazz to enjoy.

A festival pass to the 2018 Brussels Jazz Festival is €120, and can be purchased through Flagey’s ticket office or by phone. Individual and combi tickets can be purchased online.

Eindhoven – Storioni Festival: Are you ready for “the music festival that surprises with the finest chamber music”? Then Eindhoven, Netherland’s Storioni Festival is ready for you.

The 11th edition – occurring in various venues throughout Eindhoven from 17 through 28 January 2018 – continues its celebration of chamber music from around the world through its theme for 2018, Beyond Borders. Attention will be paid to refugee composers “and the influences of jazz, folk and Oriental music in their chamber music.” Scheduled performers include: Orkun Ağır; Ruth Gibson; Shaza Hayek; Lights Out Trio; and the Storioni Trio, who created — and lend their name — to the festival.

Admission to any of the performances range from free to €32.50, and can be purchased via the programme guide.

Gstaad – Snow Bike Festival: For four days between 18 and 21 January 2018, the ultra-upscale resort town of Gstaad, Switzerland hosts a biking stage race in the Alpine snow. Snow Bike Festival is open to competitors of all capabilities, from total amateurs to professional snow bikers.

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 CHF 600 (€515). There are also supporter packages for CHF 300 (€260).

Ischgl – Shapes in Snow: It’s the 25th year for Shapes in Snow, a giant display of snow sculptures by international artists held in the ski resort village of Ischgl, Austria. Sculptures up to 10 metres high will occupy the Silvretta Arena from 8 through 12 January 2018, turning the arena into an open-air art gallery of winter wonder.

The theme this year is “Best-of: 25 Years of Shapes in White,” where artists “will use the Ischgl snow to create their own, personal snow-version of one of the “Best-of” subjects,” of which there are 25. Judges will then select the piece which impresses theme the most at the end of the competition, while the pieces — which you can watch being created in between ski runs — will remain on display until the spring sun comes to claim them in April.

Karlsruhe – WinterWorld: Are you ready for “Day 1 in the Party Year”? Then get ready for WinterWorld, coming to Karlsruhe, Germany’s dm-Arena 20 January 2018.

This winter party will keep you and thousands of your friends warm with three floors and 20 acts over 10 hours of music. The complete list of DJs — most of whom are from Berlin — include:

Charlotte de Witte; Citizen Kain; Cuebrick; Deniz Bilgic; DJ Rush; Dominik Eulberg; Felix Kröcher; Gero Jansen; HUGEL; Junge Junge; Kerstin Eden; Klaudia Gawlas; Lexer; Lexy & K-Paul; LOVRA; MOSES MEHDI; Neelix; Netsky & Script MC; Sylvain Armand; andTom Franke

Tickets to WinterWorld are €38.

Kiruna – Snöfestivalen: You want snow? We got your snow right here! From 24 to 28 January, Kiruna, Sweden’s Snöfestivalen is only for those with antifreeze in their veins. The city of around 20,000 is Sweden’s northern-most city – slowly moving 3 kilometres east off of an iron ore mine over the next three decades, by the way – and its festival is a celebration of all things polar.

As Kiruna is 145 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, the sun barely makes it above the horizon before setting again during the winter. That doesn’t stop its residents from building a festival around snow and ice sculptures, reindeer races and music. Then, they throw in cultural events with the indigenous Sami people who live here.

Snöfestivalen may not be for everyone, but it’s an adventure you’d never forget, and it’s all free to attend.

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.

LSFF 2018 begins with We Dare to Fail: 15 Years of LSFF, featuring 12 short films shown during the first 15 years of the the film festival. From there, over 500 short films from the United Kingdom and the world will be screened at seven cinemas over the next nine days. Industry events, competitions, and awards round out the rest of the programme.

Tickets to each of the films can be purchased through the above-linked programme. Don’t sleep on the films and events you want to check out, though: 94 percent of the films shown are booked to capacity.

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 full 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.

St. Moritz – Snow Polo: Billed as “the world’s only high goal tournament on snow” – meaning the players are the best of the best under the sport’s handicapping system – Snow Polo must be cool because it’s held in Switzerland’s poshest resort town, St. Moritz.

People with more money than President Trump will come together to St. Moritz 27 through 29 January to watch specially bred polo ponies kick up the snow, then party like there’s a tomorrow after the competitions ends for the day.

We think you’d have to experience this affair at least once in life, so why not show up? It’s free to attend (if you don’t count the cost of flying your Gulfstream VI into Engadin Airport and your €1,000/night chalet, of course). If you have a couple of extra shekels and want to go VIP, though, you can for anywhere from CHF 500 to CHF 600 (€431 – €514); cheap seats in the Perrier-Jouët Chukker Club are CHF 60 (€52).


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, Makiko Hirabayashi Trio, and Omar Souleyman are among those schedule to perform.

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 of Cabaret Voltaire, Michael Gira, and Dune Messiah, among others — “a symposium with lectures and interviews, an exhibition and a film program.”

Tickets to Grauzone are €35. The festival takes place at the Paard van Troje 10 February 2018.

Menton – Fête du Citron: 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. Thus, it’s fitting for Menton to celebrate its citrus industry with a movie theme during its 85th annual Fête du Citron (Lemon Festial en français) 17 February through 4 March 2018.

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.

Admission to Fête du Citron starts at €12, €32 for VIP packages.

Norrköping – Where’s the Music?: Where’s the Music? in Norrköping, Sweden has always been about discovering new music. But this festival on 9 and 10 February is also one of the increasingly popular mashups of music and business, which is what Sweden does best.

This year’s confirmed lineup includes: Amand Mair; Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Children; JËLLY; Luxury Death; Satan Takes A Holiday; and Wy. On the conference side, expect panels on the industry’s effect on mental health; gaming as a platform for music distribution; how music fuels urban development; and the state of local music scene.

Admission to Where’s The Music? is SEK 395 (€40) for a festival pass, SEK 1295 (€131) for full access to the conference and festival

• MARCH 2018

Geneva – Geneva International Motor Show: Once the annual auto show season passes through Detroit and Chicago, the circus leaps across the Atlantic to Geneva, Switzerland for the annual Geneva International Motor Show, scheduled for 8 through 18 March 2018.

Geneva hold the distinction as being the only auto show recognized by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles to occur annually in Europe (Frankfurt rotates between production and commercial vehicles year by year, and Paris is held every two years), and is one of the top five auto shows in the world. And in an ode to Swiss neutrality, Geneva is considered a level playing field for the world’s automakers, as Switzerland doesn’t have an auto industry of its own.

Tickets to the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show are CHF 16 (€14), CHF 9 (€8) for those between 6 and 16.

Munich – Starkbierzeit: You already know about Munich’s most famous beer festival, Oktoberfest. Should you think that’s child’s play, though, then Starkbierzeit is for you.

From 2 through 25 March 2018, experience only the strongest (as in flavor, not in alcohol content) of brews with half the crowds of Oktoberfest from 18:00 through midnight each night of the festival, which is older than the biggest fun fair in the world by two centuries; it was founded by the city’s Paulaner monks in the mid-1600s.

For more information and to reserve a table, peep the FAQ on the site (though you’ll need to translate it if you can’t ready German).

West Sussex – Goodwood Members’ Meeting: 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.

One of those times is the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, occurring 17 and 18 March 2018 on the legendary Goodwood Circuit. The meeting was established by the Duke of Richmond, “which aims to recreate the atmosphere and camaraderie of the original BARC Members’ Meetings held at Goodwood throughout the 1950s and 1960s.”

A full programme of racing featuring everything from the earliest open-wheel cars and two-wheel Isle of Man TT terrors, to hardcore GT cars and Formula One screamers will be on deck, along with plenty of food, drink, festivities, and fun.

Tickets to the Members’ Meeting are £40 – £130 (€46 – €148) for a day ticket, £72 – £207 (€82 – €235) for a full weekend pass. Before you can buy any ticket, though, you will have to buy a GRRC Fellowship for £39 (€45); this is also the only way to gain full GRRC Membership when a spot opens up.


• APRIL 2018

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.

Belgrade – Resonate: Showing more love to Eastern Europe in our advance notice guide, we’ve found something you should check out in Belgrade, Serbia 18 through 21 April 2018: Resonate (don’t mind the dates on the front page – the 2018 site has yet to be created).

Held annually since 2011, Resonate “provides an overview of current situation in the fields of music, visual arts and digital culture,” bringing together “distinguished, world class artists, educators and musicians, with an opportunity of participating in a forward-looking debate on the position of technology in art and music.”

The festival is split into day and night programmes: the days are filled with lectures, workshops, and exhibitions; the nights are filled with live music. Stephen O’Malley, Mykki Blanco, Addison Groove, Feloneezy, and Nemanja Aćimović are among those scheduled to perform during the seventh edition of Resonate.

A four-day pass to Resonate will set you back RSD 14,746 (€125).

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 no lives spared. 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.

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.

• MAY 2018

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.

Isle of Man – Isle of Man TT: The Isle of Man TT is no ordinary motorcycle competition. The two-week-long festival of speed at Snaefell Mountain Course pushes man and machine to their limit and beyond, sometimes with fatal results; a total of 255 riders have lost their lives on the 37-mile circuit since the first Isle of Man TT in 1911, three more taken by the Reaper in 2017.

Tickets to the 2018 Isle of Man TT — set for 26 May through 8 June 2018 — are on sale now, ranging from £5 to £65 (€6 – €74).

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. The first two waves of ticket sales have come and gone, with two more scheduled before the madness of Eurovision kicks off once more. A seat at the grand finale of Euriovision 2018 will set you back €35 – €299.

Monaco – Grand Prix of Monaco: There are three jewels in the Triple Crown of Motorsport: Le Mans; Indianapolis; and Monaco. Only one driver has ever accomplished the feat of driving in all three competitions: British racing legend Graham Hill. Hill won all three races back-to-back in 1962 and 1968, and won each one on separate occasions over his storied career.

While your friends get ready to celebrate the start of summer with the Memorial Day 1100 (the aforementioned Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600), you can book your ticket to one of the most historic venues in all of motorsport when the Formula 1 circus comes to Monaco — Monte Carlo, to be exact — 24 through 27 May 2018.

Tickets to this crown jewel of racing are available now, ranging from free for little ones hanging out in Grandstand L, to €3,335 for a VIP experience in the Elite Terrace Saturday and Sunday. Some packages and tickets are already sold out, though, so if you’ve got the means, don’t wait.

Oberhausen – New Waves Day: If you need more darkness in your life as the summer’s heat approaches, head up to Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, Germany 26 May 2018 for the second edition of New Waves Day.

The 2018 edition will be headlined by British goth legends Fields of the Nephilim. Joining them will be their English comrades The Damned; Dutch dark music masters Clan of Xymox; French cold wave icons Trisomie 21; and many more.

Tickets to the 2018 New Waves Day are on sale now for €56.80.

• JUNE 2018

Ascot – Royal Ascot: About six months from now, the Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, England will come to life with the thunder of hooves and throngs of fancy-dressed party people when the centuries-old Royal Ascot welcomes the British summer 19 through 23 June 2018.

The horse racing extravaganza is known more for the thousands in attendance than the horses who compete for a share of nearly £7 million (€7.6 million) in total prize money over the course of the competition. In fact, the Royal Ascot is considered a major event in the British social calendar; thus, expect to see lots of wealthy, well-mannered, very important people in their finest there (aside from the Queen and her growing family, of course).

Tickets to the 2018 Royal Ascot are on sale now, ranging from £32 (€36) for a seat in the Windsor Enclosure on Tuesday and Wednesday, to £84 (€95) for a place among the royals in the Queen Anne Enclosure on the final day of competition Saturday. These prices are good until 27 March 2018, so don’t wait.

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.

Le Mans – 24 Hours of Le Mans: The 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France is one of the jewels of the Triple Crown of Motorsport — the other two being the Grand Prix of Monaco and the Indianapolis 500 — and every year, the headliner of the European summer endurance season proves why it has earned its place on the crown.

Since 1923, the oldest endurance race has tested many a driver, team, and car upon the Circuit de la Sarthe, as well as inspired many others to join the festival of speed, such as Daytona, Spa, and Bathurst.

There are many changes coming in 2018, such as BMW bringing their second-gen 8 Series to the big dance in the form of the M8 GTE; Porsche leaving the LMP1 class for Formula E; and the Le Mans 24 itself serving as the start-finish line for the 2018-19 World Endurance Championship Super Season.

Tickets for the 86th running of the Le Mans 24 — set for 16 through 17 June 2018 — are on sale now for €32 – €82, depending on how much you want out of the experience.

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.

Scheduled for 29 June through 14 July 2018, the programme for the 52nd annual Montreux Jazz Festival will be announced on the 17th and 18th of April 2018. Ticket information will be made known at that time, as well.

Paris – Les soldes d’été 2018: Should you miss out on the winter Les soldes in 2018, the summer shopping extravaganza — where shops sell their wares for as much as 70 percent off — kicks off in late June and runs through early August; last year’s dates were 28 June through 8 August. Les soldes only occurs twice a year because the sales are regulated by the French government; the rest of the time, you’re going to be paying full price for those faboulous finds.

If you need more information on how to make the best of both winter and summer Les soldes, this guide from TripSavvy should help.

Roskilde – Roskilde Festival: The long-running Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark is the country’s opportunity to prove they’re more than just exceptional crime drama exporters by bringing some of the world’s best rock, pop, hip-hop and dance acts to Scandinavia.

Originally created for Denmak’s hippies in 1971, Roskilde has grown to welcome all who have the pulse of the youth over the decades. Over 130,000 come to see the likes of U2, Pearl Jam, Leonard Cohen, Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Trentemøller, and The Weeknd perform at the festival’s many stages.

This year’s lineup of nearly 200 artists is coming together as of this writing. Thus far, Bruno Mars, David Byrne, Gorillaz, Myrkur, Watain, and Iris Gold are all scheduled to perform over the eight days of Roskilde.

The 2018 edition of Roskilde is set for 30 June through 7 July 2018. A full eight-day pass goes for DKK 2,100 (€283) outright, or six easy payments of DKK 350 (€48).

Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup: Assuming Trump and Kim Jong-un don’t start WWIII, 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.

The second phase of ticket sales began in early December, and will continue through 31 January 2018. Remaining tickets from the second phase will go on sale on a first-come, first-served basis 13 March through 3 April 2018. The third and final phase of sales runs from 18 April to the final match 15 July 2018. Check here for full ticket purchasing information.

• JULY 2018

Cologne – Amphi Festival: Get ready to welcome the dark within in 2018 at the Amphi Festival in Cologne, Germany!

The two-day dark music festival on the Tanzbrunnen has hosted a number of electronic, gothic, and alternative artists over the past 13 editions, including Project Pitchfork, And One, Front 242, and Skinny Puppy.

The 14th edition — scheduled for 28 and 29 July 2018 — has a few acts already on the bill thus far, including: And One; Assemblage 23; Funker Vogt; Oomph!; [:SITD:]; and Soviet Soviet; 29 acts have announced as of this writing.

Tickets to the 14th Amphi Festival are €82 for a two-day pass.

France – Le Tour de France: Only the most famous multi-stage bicycle race in the world, the month-long Le Tour de France is three weeks of pain, endurance, and victory over 21 stages and 3,500 kilometres.

Born from a fight in 1903 between two French newspapers over the Dreyfus Affair, Le Tour has seen its share of conflict and scandal in the 115 years since then, including anything and everything related to disgraced ex-champion Lance Armstrong.

If you’re wondering how to watch any of the stages in 2018, this route map should help. From there, rally spectating rules (mostly) apply, as the 22 teams and 198 riders are followed by motorized support crews and police. We say mostly because some “fans” just want to watch the world burn, interfering with the competition however they can.

The 2018 Tour kicks off 7 July 2018 with the Grand Départ from Noirmoutier-en-l’Île to Fontenay-le-Comte, located in the Pays-de-la-Loire region in west-central France. Twenty-one stages later, the riders will roll through the Champs-Élysées in Paris to finish Le Tour 29 July 2018.

Gdynia – Open’er Festival: Here’s another music festival in Eastern Europe for your consideration in 2018: 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; and Pearl Jam. The 2018 lineup is coming together as of this writing; Bruno Mars, Depeche Mode, Gorillaz, Kaleo, Massive Attack, and MØ are among those scheduled to perform.

Tickets to the 2018 Open’er Festival are PLN 259 – PLN 659 (€62 – €157), depending on how many days you wish to attend and/or whether or not you want to camp at the festival.

Jyväskylä – Rally Finland: If you ever wanted to experience rallying, there’s no better way than to head up to Jyväskylä, Finland in late July for the annual Rally Finland.

Dubbed the Finnish Grand Prix because of the fast speeds the stages allow, Rally Finland began in 1951 as a way to select Finnish entrants into the Rallye Monte-Carlo. The rally became part of the FIA World Rally Championship during the WRC’s debut season 1973 and has contributed nine of the 10 fastest WRC events to the record books since then.

A pass to Rally Finland 2018 — held from 26 to 29 July 2018 — is €75, and will be mailed in June 2018. Once you are any of the rally stages, pay attention to your surroundings. 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.

London – The BBC Proms: For eight weeks during the summer each year, London becomes the Mecca of Classical Music when The BBC Proms take over Royal Albert Hall.

If you’ve never been to The Proms before, the summer-long music festival has nothing to do with the proms of your high-school youth, but with the idea of holding classical music concerts — called promenade concerts — against the informal setting of London’s many pleasure gardens. The first Prom kicked off 10 August 1895 in the Queen’s Hall in Langham Place, helmed by impresario Robert Newman, and conducted by Sir Henry Wood, whose name would go on to become the official name of the festival: Henry Wood Promenade Concerts.

The 124th edition of The Proms is set for 13 July through 8 September 2018. Though nothing on the programme has been announced thus far, you can subscribe to the festival newsletter to learn when ticket sales begin — which you’ll definitely need to know if you want a good shot at attending Last Night of the Proms and/or Proms in the Park — and you can pre-order your Proms Festival Guide now, which will be delivered to your door starting in April 2018.

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.

Werchter – Rock Werchter: Starting off as a small rock and blues festival in 1975, Rock Werchter in Werchter, Belgium has grown to be one of the biggest rock and alt music festivals in Europe. The Cure (who shared their thoughts about having to cut their set short for Robert Palmer by playing a long version of “A Forest” before Palmer’s set in 1981), Lorde, Imagine Dragons, Radiohead, Triggerfinger, R.E.M., and Muse are among the many who have played Rock Werchter during the festival’s four decades.

The lineup for Rock Werchter 2018 is slowly coming together, but four acts have been scheduled to perform thus far: Queens of the Stone Age; Gorillaz; Pearl Jam; and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

A four-day pass to the 2018 edition of Rock Werchter — scheduled for 5 through 8 July 2018 — is €238; day tickets are €102. Camping and resort packages are also available.

• AUGUST 2018

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.

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.

Tickets to the 2018 edition of M’era Luna range from €105 for a combi ticket, to €445 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 Perturbator, At The Gates, Ministry, Saint Vitus, Wardruna, and Behemoth among the 45 bands already scheduled to perform.

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

Reading + Leeds – Reading Music Festival + Leeds Music Festival: Any plans to visit Brexitland in late August 2018? Why not 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 will be 24 through 26 August 2018. 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.

The 2018 lineup for Reading and Leeds has yet to be announced. That said, you can buy tickets to each festival right now for £205 (€230). Tickets to Reading can be had here, those for Leeds right here.

Roermond – Solar Weekend: The summer fun never stops in Europe, so why not get ready for Solar Weekend when it returns to Roermond, Netherlands’ Noorderplas 2 through 5 August 2018.

The long-running beach party features the best in house, electro, dubstep, hip hop, jazz, reggae, soul, disco, pop, classical… if you can name it, it might be at Solar.

Surrounding the stages are lots of games, party tents, theatre shows, and, of course, parties for days.

Tickets to the 2018 Solar Weekend are are on sale now, ranging from €49 for a day ticket, to €140 for a four-day holiday ticket. Don’t sleep on this, though; the three- and four-day ticket tiers are already on the last batch.

Wacken – Wacken Open Air: The reason the Advance Notice Event Guide even exists is because yours truly wanted to include this long-running hard rock and metal festival in Wacken, Germany in our (now-retired) Weekly Weekend Event Guide back in 2016, but remembered too late to add it.

Not this time! If you’re ready to bang your head in the new year, then now is the time to make your early August 2018 weekend metal, blacker than the blackest black, times infinity, as tickets to the hardest, heaviest, most brutal festival in all of Deutschland — if not the world — are on sale. The three-day, all-in pass is €221, and includes the festival’s new W.O.A. Card, which is your actual ticket; the cardboard one is a souvenir.

Would you like to know who’s been confirmed thus far? Check it: Arch Enemy, Behemoth, Dokken, Judas Priest, and Samael are five of the 72 acts already scheduled to rock the tiny German village of 2,000 like a hurricane 2 through 4 August 2018; about 30 more metal gods will be confirmed over the coming months.

To Top

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the latest news and updates from Dispatches Europe. Get lifestyle & culture, startup & tech, jobs and travel news dispatched to your inbox each week. Keep up with what's going on in Europe. Everything Expat.

You have Successfully Subscribed!