Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ weekly weekend event guide for Europe: 11 May through 14 May 2017

It’s a glorious weekend for Europe! The French have rejected nationalism for a new unity; South Korea has a new leader who would like to connect with North Korea if possible; and a beach near Dooagh, Ireland has returned home after a three-decade absence.

How to celebrate? We have a few ideas, including another beer festival in Amsterdam; the start of the Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris; and Vikings in Stockholm. Let’s go!

Amsterdam – Bier-Oost Festival: Busy this Saturday? If not, and you’re in Amsterdam, then head up to Jaap Eden Ijsbaan for the Bier-Oost Festival!

The 2017 edition of the festival boasts a wonderful lineup of beers and food trucks, including: Amsterdam Brewboys; The Sisters Brewery; Sierra Nevada; Pasta Joe; The Beef Chef; and Hieper de Pieper.

There’s also a silent disco, beer pong, karaoke, and all sorts of fun.

But don’t delay! Ticket are nearly sold out, with only a few €12 late-bird tickets remaining. Beer tokens are available, too: 10 for €18, 20 for €36.

If you prefer flowers over suds, though then this is your last chance to check out the annual Tulp Festival, set to conclude this Sunday! Sixty locations around Amsterdam will blossom with color of 500,000 tulips, including: the Amsterdam Tulip Museum; NEMO Science Museum; and the Van Gogh Museum.

Our own Terry and Cheryl Boyd checked out the festival a while ago, and they say it was divine!

A guide to where you can see every tulip planted can be purchased for 2€; the map with purchasing locations is here.

Barcelona – Automobile Barcelona: Starting today and running through next Sunday, the annual Automobile Barcelona (formerly the Barcelona International Auto Show) kicks off at Barcelona’s Fira Montjuic Exhibition Center.

This year’s debuts include the Ateca FR from Spain’s own SEAT; the Abarth 595 Competizone; and the Spanish debut of the Lexus LS 500h.

The show opens to the public Saturday. Tickets are €12 via special offer, €14 for the weekend.

Berlin – XPOSED Queer Film Festival: From today through Sunday, the 12th edition of the XPOSED Queer Film Festival will continue its mission of celebrating queer film in all of its forms: “glory, shame, distaste, trash and beauty.”

The festivities kick off with an opening party tonight at Südblock beginning at 23:00, filled with a programme of short films, a Q&A panel, and live music. An awards show concludes the festival Sunday.

Tickets to XPOSED start at €8 per seat.

Brussels – Les Nuits Botanique: Are you ready for one of Brussels’ biggest music festivals of the year? From now through next Sunday, the Les Nuits Botanique will be popping off with music from established, up-and-coming, and virtually unknown acts over the next 10 days!

The lineup for this year includes: Agar Agar; Caballero & JeanJass; Hydrogen Sea; Moaning Cities; Stereo Clip; and Zebra Katz.

You can create your own five-concert pass for €40, or one for 10 shows for €75. Tickets for individual shows can be purchased by looking through the festival programme.

Copenhagen – City Obstacle Run: What is it with the Scandinavians?

The Swedes are all practicing to become Vikings (see below). The Finns like to sleep outside all the time. Now, the Danes are testing themselves by running an obstacle course through middle of Copenhagen.

On Sunday, 14 May, “give your normal run a twist” with Obstacle City Run, an obstacle race in an urban environment, according to the website.

You will be facing high walls, tires, cars, ropes, ramps, and other fun and challenging obstacles on an 8k run in the middle of the city.

Tickets are 500 Danish krone ($75 … hey, it’s Denmark), and you can get your tickets here.

London – London Clown Festival: None of the clowns you’ll meet at the London Clown Festival today through next Sunday at Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre: are insane; boast a posse; turn into demon spiders; or will eat you.

Instead, they’ll likely take a few pages from Charlie Chaplin, with lots of physical comedy, satire, puppetry and more.

Tickets for each show can be found through the programme guide; price vary. Information and tickets for family friendly shows can be found here.

Paris – Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris: If you’re looking to jazz up your weekend in Paris, then you can do no wrong by attending the Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris!

From today through 22 May, the festival will bring together established and emerging artists alike at several venues around Paris, including: Avishai Cohen; Jowee Omicil; Kicca; and Baptiste Trotignon; the full programme can be had here.

Tickets for individual shows can be purchased here; three- and five-show passes can be had from €59 to €88.

Stockholm – Tough Viking: Are you metal enough to be a Viking? This Saturday, you can find out for sure at Tough Viking!

Tough Viking is the leading and largest obstacle race in Scandinavia. The obstacles are massive, and consist of fire, water, electricity, mud, monkey bars and barbed wire set out along a challenging route. Obstacles are designed together with the Swedish elite maritime special forces unit Kustjägarna.

And if you can’t prove yourself worthy of the legend this time, you can give it a go when the event returns in late August, all for a fee of SEK 795.

Vienna – This Saturday is the 300th birthday of Queen Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (Maria Theresia auf Deutsch), the only female ruler of one of the Habsburg dominions, and the last of her kind; her son, Joseph II, would be the first to rule under the merged House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

During her four-decade rule between 1740 and 1780, the House of Habsburg saw its final golden age, Maria Theresa becoming the mythical “great mother” of Austria through her reforms in education, finance, commerce, agriculture, civil rights (unless you were Jewish or Protestant during the first 20 years of her rule), medicine, and the military.

Thus, the City of Dreams and Music celebrates the complicated portrait of their beloved queen with its months-long exhibition, 300 Jahre Maria Theresia. Strategist – Mother – Reformer. Through 29 November 2017 (the day of her passing from this mortal coil at the age of 63 from long-term effects related to smallpox), the exhibition will be split between four locations and four themes (one per location).

The focal point of the exhibit is a portrait of the queen by Jean-Étienne Liotard, “the result of a spontaneous encounter between the monarch and the artist during his first sojourn” to Austria.

Tickets and information for the exhibition can be found here; a combined ticket for all four venues is 16€ for children between 6 and 18, 29€ for adults.


Barcelona – Primavera Sound: Coming to Barcelona’s Parc del Fòrum 31 May through 4 June 2017, the 2017 edition of Primavera Sound — which also takes place at Oporto, Portugal 8 through 10 June 2017 — will blow your mind with the vast collection of pop, indie, and electronic sounds on tap, including those from the likes of Front 242, The Afghan Whigs, Saint Etienne, The Damned, and the 50th anniversary performance celebration of Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies.

Tickets are going quickly, with €80 day tickets for 1 June remaining. However, you may still be able to pick up a ticket or pass for the day(s) you want through Primavera’s Safe Marketplace.

Frankfurt: Opera Square Festival: The inscription on the magnificent facade of Frankfurt’s Old Opera House reads “Dem Wahren Schönen Guten” – “To the true, the beautiful, the good”. The Opernplatzfest – a culinary festival annually held on Frankfurt’s Opera Square – certainly holds true to this principle.

It pays homage to what is one of the most beautiful plazas in Frankfurt, filling the city space with urbanity and pure vitality. This feast for the senses offers visitors many colourful culinary delights and a wonderfully diverse stage programme featuring everything from jazz to pop music.

The festival runs 28 June to 7 July.

Isle of Wight – Isle of Wight Festival: From 1968 to 1970, the Isle of Wight Festival was one of the biggest counterculture festivals around. Alas, the British Parliament passed legislation in 1971 specific to the island, preventing overnight open-air festivals of 5,000+ without special permission from the island council.

Thus, things were quiet until the Isle of Wight Festival was revived in 2002 at Seaclose Park. Since then, The Rolling Stones, R.E.M., The Police, Queen, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and more have all performed at the annual open-air music festival, which will be held from 8 through 11 June this year.

This year’s lineup includes main-stage headliners David Guetta, Arcade Fire, Rod Stewart, Run DMC, Texas, and Jon Stevens. Other acts on the bill include: The Pretenders; Melanie C; The Alarm; and The Germein Sisters.

Tickets to the festival are £195 for the full weekend, £80 for each day. Camping options are available, as well.

Landgraaf – Pinkpop: We’re less than a month away from one of the Netherlands’ biggest music festivals, Pinkpop! Held on the Pentecost (Pinksteren in Dutch; thus, the festival’s name) weekend annually (3 through 5 June in 2017) in Landgraaf.

The three-day festival attracts 60,000 per day to its four stages. Rush, Muse, U2, Bruce Springsteen, and Van Halen are a handful of acts to have grace Pinkpop with their presence over the nearly five decades the festival has occurred.

This year’s Pinkpop lineup includes: Justin Bieber; Green Day; Kings of Leon; Live; System of a Down; Liam Gallagher; and Ronnie Flex & Deuxperience Band.

A total of 40 acts are on this year’s bill.

Tickets are €95 per day, €195 for a three-day pass. You can also obtain a collector’s ticket for an additional €4.95, the perfect keepsake for the fun you will have at Pinkpop!

Luxembourg City – ING Night Marathon Luxembourg: Starting at 7 p.m. Saturday night, 27 May, you can run a marathon through the middle of this jewel box of a city in Europe’s wealthiest duchy.

Monaco – Grand Prix of Monaco: While your friends in Indianapolis and Charlotte wait to start their big day of racing, you can spend your Memorial Day weekend rolling the dice on the action during the 2017 Grand Prix of Monaco. The famed street circuit has been a mainstay of the Formula 1 schedule since 1929.

Tickets range from free to €5,800.04; some tiers have already sold out. We’re thinking there are plenty of the €5,800 tickets left, though.

Paris – French Open: Officially known as Roland-Garros (named after the host venue Stade de Roland-Garros, which, in turn, is named after famed WWI French aviator Roland Garros), the French Open is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament played on red clay.

A total of 104 men and 108 women will battle on the court for a chunk of over €30 million prize money, including Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the men’s side, and Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova on the women’s side.

Tickets are selling out fast, though the only way to purchase is by first registering with Roland-Garros. Prices range from €15 for those attending the evening matches, to €605 for a package deal which allows you backstage access to the French Open.

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