Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Advance Notice Event Guide for Europe: Mid-October 2017 Edition (updated)

We’ve hit the halfway point of October 2017, which means it’s time for a major refresh of our Advance Notice Event Guide, published every other Friday with emergency updates the following Friday.

This week, we’ve got some stories to tell in Amsterdam, a few parties to attend in Prague, a smaller version of Oktoberfest in Munich, and the most metal of all Christmas legends in Austria.

Let’s go!


Amsterdam – International Storytelling Festival Amsterdam: Love a good story? Then the International Storytelling Festival Amsterdam is where you need to be 1November through 5 November.

The theme for the tenth edition of this festival is “New Narratives,” where featured performers will tell “new” stories “that build on existing or newly developed stories from the different cultures that meet in Amsterdam.”

Ten venues will host this year’s festival, the main venue being Podium Mozaiek with 13 events on the schedule; check the full programme here.

Most tickets can be purchased on the festival’s website, while the rest must purchased either at the box office of Podium Mozaiek or at the OBA.

Eindhoven – GLOW: GLOW is a light and color festival held near the end of every autumn in the Dutch city of Eindhoven, which has a history of lighting innovation and electronic technology dating back to the 19th century.

Artists and designers from home and abroad present light art and design applications at GLOW by using new media technologies, such as computers, sensors, animations, and also the well-known projection techniques. The light art festival stretches from the city centre to Strijp-S, featuring at least 25 different displays to dazzle the eyes.

GLOW runs from 11 November through 18 November, concluding with the GLOW Run 6 kilometre fun run through the entire festival.

Europe: The Heaven Upside Down Tour: While our editor-in-chief Terry Boyd feels the magic in the air whenever he hears Bruno Mars, yours truly prefers to walk in the darkness with Marilyn Manson in her ears.

The industrial rock legend and visual artist will embark on the European leg of his The Heaven Upside Down Tour 12 November in Helsinki, Finland’s Ice Hall, assuming the injuries he sustained during his first few shows on the U.S. leg haven’t thrown a spanner in the works. He’ll also make an appearance at our home of Eindhoven, Netherlands 28 November, where he will take the stage inside Klokgebouw.

His tour — in support of his recntly released album, Heaven Upside Down — will conclude in London’s SSE Wembley Arena 9 December. To see where he will be in between Helsinki and London, as well as to purchase tickets, click the first link above.

Frankfurt – 48th German Jazz Festival: Another well-established event, this festival is equally popular with established acts and up-and-coming jazz musicians. So the Frankfurt festival has both newcomers and local talents and international jazz greats.

This year, acts include Children of the Light from the USA, which includes Brian Blade, John Patitucci, Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington. Glasper and Washington worked with Kendrick Lamar on “To Pimp a Butterfly” as rap and jazz come together.

Mats Eilertsen Rubicon from Norway represents the more trad jazz. All jazz is pretty much experimental. But then there’s Roger Hanschel & Auryn Quartet, an unusual combination of violins and a sax.

Check out the website for the full lineup, which is organized by each day’s concerts.

The German Jazz Festival runs from 25 through 29 October three venues: the famous Alte Oper; Artist House Mousonturm; and hr-Sendesaal. Tickets start at €40, which you can purchase here.

Frankfurt – Mainova Frankfurt Marathon: – Sunday, 29 October 2017, thousands of runners from around the world will line up for Germany’s most popular marathon, the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon; last year’s outing saw around 16,000 compete.

For 42 kilometers, this race winds through the coolest parts of the Mainhattan business district, the bar districts, and all the rest of the city center to the finish at the Festhalle, serenaded by live music along the way.

This is the 36th year for the event, and the Germans, being Germans, have all the logistics worked out. The marathon website is excellent and has pretty much everything you need to know. There are also multiple events and workshops leading up to the big race.

The Hague – Crossing Borders 2017: This is one of the rare festivals combining music and literature. Each year, Crossing Border Festival focuses on new pop music acts and literature, and is the largest combined music and literature festivals in Europe.

This year’s event from 2 – 4 November includes singer Nick Mulvey; filmmaker Omar Hamilton from Egypt, who just released his debut novel, The City Always Wins; novelist Ann Scott (Superstars); writer Rebecca Solnit, who created the phrase “mansplaining”; and the indie band Spoon.

Can’t say Crossing Borders doesn’t offer variety; check the full programme here.

Tickets to Crossing Borders are €51 for a full festival pass, €31 for a day ticket, €11 to see Rebecca Solnit.

London – Bonfire Night: “Remember, remember, the fifth of November.” This line is to commemorate the time Guy Fawkes and his crew attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I in what came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605..

Today, the day is remembered with tonnes of fireworks and effigies of the failed bomber going up in flames. There are plenty of places to celebrate the madness of a few men a few centuries ago; click the link above to know where to go.

Paris – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2017: The City of Light becomes the City of Sound for a few nights. Join The National, Run the Jewels, The Blaze, and more of your favorite indie acts for three nights at Grande Halle de La Villette – one of Paris’s coolest Right Bank venues – at the seventh annual Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2 through 4 November.

If a few solid hours of jamming in a former slaughterhouse doesn’t quite satisfy, good news: For the first two nights of the festival, you can keep the party going at Le Trabendo, a nearby club (with a 700-person maximum capacity) after the festival set officially ends.

If you’ve booked that hip Airbnb for the full week, check out the Avant-Garde soirées in the two days leading up to the festival (31 October and 1 November 2017). Initiated in 2016, these pre-parties invite festival-goers to check out new talent in venues across the Bastille neighborhood.

Tickets to Pitchfork Avant-Garde are €16 for each night. As for Pitchfork Paris, a three-day pass will set you back €110, while a single-day ticket goes for €50.

Paris – Salon du Chocolat: Chocolate lovers, what better way to enjoy one of nature’s best foods than exploring the many ways chocolate can be used under the Eiffel Tower?

From 28 October through 1 November, Salon du Chocolat will make your chocolate dreams come true. Over 500 participants from 60 countries — including 200 chefs — will converge upon the Porte de Versailles to chocolate-up your life in so many ways, including: cooking demos; fashion shows; workshops; live shows; chocolate art; conferences; children’s programmes; competitions; and so much more.

Tickets to Salon du Chocolat range from €9.25 for a family pack to €14 for a single adult admission; little ones under 3 enter free.

Poperinge – Poperinge Beer Festival: Belgium and beer have always been a classic pairing since the Catholic Church first gave French and Flemish abbeys permission to brew small quantities of suds in the 12th century.

You can experience the results of this long history of brewing 28 and 29 October at the Poperinge Beer Festival in Poperinge, Belgium, located on the French/Belgian border 90 minutes west of Brussels.

Over two days, some 2,500 visitors will be able to try 100 beers from 25 breweries in Belgium and a few other European countries inside the Maeke Blyde event hall.

There will also be plenty of food and live music to enjoy at “Belgium’s coziest beer festival” in the nation’s proclaimed “Hops City.”

Admission to the 22nd annual Poperinge Beer Festival is free, but you’ll need €3 for a commemorative tasting glass — which you can return for a refund, or keep as yours — and €1.80 for a single tasting token.

Prague – Bloody Sexy Halloween VIII: Celebrate Halloween in style at Prague’s biggest dress-up party 28 October.

Go crazy with costumes and make crazy memories at this one-night-only event known for its outrageous get-ups, performances by local and international DJs, sexy dancers and majestic fire and lights shows.

Meet people from all around the world and party ’til dawn for an unforgettable, spooky and sexy night.

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.

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

Utrecht – Le Guess Who?: This year marks the 11th year of Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, a unique festival held in a picturesque city. If you are looking for experimental, out-of-the-box music, then LGW? is the festival for you 9 through 12 November.

Fresh new talent and legendary acts combine to bring this lively city even more alive. A cool feature of Le Guess Who? is the fact the organization doesn’t fill in the line-up. They appoint bands to do it for them. Which means you’re going to see a lot of bands that musicians know, but are debuting to the broader public. Or more eclectic performers you won’t see at Glastonbury.

From the website:

During four days, Le Guess Who? takes over the city center of Utrecht with 100 performances set to electrify churches, galleries, theaters and pop venues. Side programs with music, film, art, photography and markets appear at cafés, hotels, restaurants, wharf cellars, de Neude square and the hidden corners of the city.

Out of 100 acts, we recognized … not one! Okay, maybe The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda performed by the Sai Anantam Ashram Singers.

Check it out!

Tickets start at €34, and you can get them here.


Amsterdam – Amsterdam Light Festival: Start your Christmas season right with the sixth annual Amsterdam Light Festival 30 November 2017 through 21 January 2018. The canals and city streets in the heart of Amsterdam will come to life with over 40 light sculptures from Dutch and international artists — including a light object by Chinese artist and activist Ai WeiWei — all evoking this year’s theme, “Existential.”

Whether on foot or on a canal cruise, you’ll definitely see the Netherlands’ most famous city in different light as the sun sets on 2017. More information about the Amsterdam Light Festival will come soon.

Bad Goisern am Hallstättersee – Krampuslauf: In Trumpvania, naughty children become President, their stockings filled with “clean” coal and delusions of grandeur.

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 7 December, the terror follows at 18:30.\

Essen – Christmas Beer Festival: Need some good Belgian brews to get you through the last bit of Christmas shopping this year? Why not head up to Essen, Belgium for the 2017 edition of Objectieve Bierproevers Essen Regio’s (O.B.E.R.) Christmas Beer Festival 16 and 17 December.

Last year’s festival saw 2,200 beer lovers from 30 countries partake of around 178 Belgian winter and Christmas beers, as well as some hot Gluhkriek (cherry beer, either sweet or sour). This year is expected to be the same, with 150 brews available, including 22 on tap.

Tickets to the Christmas Beer Festival are €20 for a single day. For that, you receive seven drink tokens, a bottle of water, a guide to the festival, and a tasting glass. Don’t delay, though, as only 900 tickets will be sold for each day, and 16 December is already sold out.

Europe – Global Spirit Tour: Right now, British legends Depeche Mode are close to wrapping up the first leg of their Global Spirit Tour, in support of their new album, 2017’s Spirit.

Starting 15 November, though, the Basildon Boys will kick off the European leg of their tour at Dublin, Ireland’s 3Arena, then hopping across the Channel to Frankfurt’s Festhalle 24 November; they’ll come to Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome in early January. The months-long leg will wrap up 25 February 2018 at Moscow’s Olyimpski, then it’s on to Latin America.

Want to see the trio in person? Click the link above to purchase your tickets now.

Helsinki – Slush: The sun may have gone down early, but don’t let it go down on your startup dreams. Take them to Slush in Helsinki, Finland 30 November and 1 December.

Despite the ice and snow bound to be around when you land in the Finnish capital, more than 2,300 startups, 1,100 venture capitalists, and 600 journalists from over 120 countries came to Slush in 2016 to drive business, and to experience the phenomenal atmosphere (and not just the northern lights).

This year, 17,500 people are expected in Helsinki for Slush, demonstrating that Europe is bumping up against The Valley as the dominant tech center. There will also be some heavy, heavy hitters giving speeches at the startup extravaganza, including: author, filmmaker, and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore (who will open Slush 2017); Mood Rowghani from the original Sand Hill Road VC Kliener Perkins; Trivago founder Rolf Schrömgens; Mark Pincus (Zynga); Illkka Paanenen (Supercell); Nicholas Brusson (BlaBlaCar); Monique Woodard from 500 Startups; and Kat Manalac from Y Combinator.

With that kind of star power, this ain’t gonna be cheap; tickets to Slush 2017 start at €395 euros for startups.

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 from 22 November 2017 to 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.\

Munich – Tollwood Festival 2017: For 10 years, this music and arts festival has been bringing concerts, performances and exhibitions to the center of Munich, one of Europe’s most exciting cities. There’s the summer Tollwood, and there’s the winter version, with runs from 23 November through 31 December this year.

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 per cent of all events at each Tollwood Festival the admission is free.

This year, one of the big attractions (not free, unfortunately, is Cirque Èloize from Montreal. Their show “iD” is about the fight against the anonymity of megacities, according to the Tollwood website. “iD” is “West Side Story” meets hip-hop, with ballet, break dancing and poetry.

There are a ton of other events, many of which are in German only.

Check out the complete schedule here.

Prague – Transmission Festival: On Saturday, 25 November 2017, the new edition of Transmission festival is coming. It is going to be the 12th edition and will take place again in one of the most modern multi-functional venues in Europe, the O2 Arena in Prague, where the magical dance music will be combined with a spectacular visual show.

Line-up (in alphabetical order)
ALY & FILA – One of the most popular DJs will represent both energetic and uplifting melodic side of trance.

COMING SOON!!! – The psytrance duo coming from Israel will follow up the big success of the last year’s Vini Vici set and they will heat up the O2 arena at the end of the night.

DRIFTMOON – Slovak DJ and producer will open the night with a very special ‘Ceremony of the Warriors’.

FERRY CORSTEN PRESENTS GOURYELLA 2.0 The classic trance project of Ferry Corsten – Gouryella will open the new chapter exclusively prepared for the Transmission festival.

MARKUS SCHULZ PRESENTS DAKOTA This audiovisual show of the Dakota project titled ‘The Nine Skies’ will be presented by the resident of Transmission festival.

PURPLE HAZE – The legend of dance scene Sander van Doorn ressurects his progressive alias which only the world’s biggest festivals have the honour to witness.

SIMON PATTERSON – The great return of the tech-trance banging set after seven long years.

SUPER8 & TAB – An expected premiere of the Finnish duo at Transmission festival.

THOMAS COASTLINE – Czech DJ and producer will warm up the crowd for the fourth time in a row.

VISION IMPOSSIBLE – This Dutch award VJ team will prepare the amazing visuals and the Transmix – one of the highlights of the night – with the perfect mix of music, lights, lasers and pyro show.

Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria (Salzburg) – Rave On Snow Festival: Rave On bills itself as the “ultimate mountain-top party.”

The music is non-stop EDM from 14 to 17 December,  and it looks like Boris Brejcha from Berlin is the headline DJ among at least 50 house and techno DJs and live acts.

To get to Saalbach-Hinterglemm, you have to fly into Salburg. So this really is up in the Alps. Bring you Uggs.

Weekend tickets start at 85 euros, and you can get them here.


Europe – Us + Theme: Pink Floyd alum Roger Waters will bring his Us + Them tour to Europe in early April 2018 with two dates at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi, wrapping up months later 31 August 2018 at Moscow’s Olyimpski; he’ll stop for a three-night stand at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome 18 – 19 and 22 June 2018.

What to expect? Songs from Pink Floyd’s best albums, including Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, and The Wall, plus a few new songs from Waters’ upcoming work, Is This the Life We Really Want?, due 2 June 2018.

Tickets can be purchased via the link above.

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, who won all three races back-to-back in 1962 and 1968; he also won all three races on separate occasions, but either way, he’s the only one.

While your friends get ready to celebrate the start of summer with the Memorial Day 1100 (the Indy 500 and the 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 are available now, ranging from free for little ones hanging out in Grandstand L, to €3335 for a VIP experience in the Elite Terrace Saturday and Sunday.

And yes, some packages are already sold out. If you’ve got the means, don’t wait.

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.

More information will come soon.

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