Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Weekly Weekend Event Guide for Europe: 12 Oct. thru 15 Oct. 2017

Last week, Catalonia (where Barcelona is located) voted to break up with Spain; no one in Madrid was amused, to say the least. This week, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont acknowledge his people’s cry for independence, but is opting for a negotiation with Madrid; no one in Madrid is amused. Again.

Meanwhile, our home nation The Netherlands has finally put together its newest coalition government after 208 days of negotiation, while Germany wonders how long it will take for Angela Merkel to head hers.

Wondering what you’ll do amid the craziness October has brought thus far?

This week, you can dance the night away in Amsterdam (or Ibiza); experience Munich’s biggest fun fair in a smaller size in Barcelona and London; and check out Copenhagen’s culture over the course of one night.

But Berlin is the place to be with four events including Berlin Food Week.


Amsterdam – Amsterdam Dance Event: Whether you’re looking to party the night away or conduct business with future collaborators, there’s something for you at the fifth edition of the Amsterdam Dance Event this coming Wednesday through next Saturday.

ADE bills itself as “the leading electronic music platform and the biggest club festival in the world for the whole spectrum of electronic sub-genres,” gathering over 375,000 fans to watch more than 2,500 artists drop the bass at more than 450 of Freestate Amsterdam’s nightclubs and performance venues, while over 550 speakers help music pros up their professional game away from the wubs and pulsing lights.

Those seeking to party can buy tickets for each individual show here. Music professionals can buy their conference passes here.

Barcelona – Darkness and Light: As his last name suggests, John Legend is fast-becoming a legend in R&B, soul and pop music. Tonight, he’ll make his second-to-last stop on the European leg of his Darkness and Light tour with a brief break over the weekend.

In support of his current album, 2016’s Darkness and Light, Legend will bring down the house Thursday at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi, then taking Friday off before concluding the European leg of his tour in Lisbon, Portugal’s MEO Arena.

Tickets to see John Legend in Barcelona are now down to reserved seats for €77.50 as of this writing. If you’re willing to head west, though, tickets to see him perform his final show in Europe before closing out his tour in South Africa are between €39 and €55.

Barcelona – Oktoberfest Barcelona: Instead of heading to Germany to experience the craziness of Oktoberfest, the beer and brats circus can come to you, should you happen to be in Barcelona right now through next Sunday.

It may not be as long as the big show in Munich, but Oktoberfest Barcelona manages to pack everything that makes Oktoberfest wonderful into the 12 days spent at Barcelona’s Plaza Universo de Fira Barcelona Montjuïc. There’s lots of beer and food from Bavaria, live music, a VIP space, a children’s space… all you need if weren’t able to make it to Munich this year.

Admission is free, but be sure to reserve a spot in the big tent if you want the full experience.

Berlin – Berlin Food Week: Compared to Copenhagen, Rome, Barcelona or Paris, you don’t hear that much about Berlin’s foodie scene. Starting Saturday trough 21 Oct, Berlin’s top chefs will be center stage at BFW’s headquarters at Kaufhaus Jandorf department store, as well as at restaurants across the city. Chefs, restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs show their stuff … and food bloggers will spread the word.

This is another of the increasingly popular public/industry mashups. So there will be both events for diners and events for people in the biz.

From the website:

Berlin Food Week has been taking place since 2013 with the aim of establishing the city as a food metropolis of international standing. More than 65,000 visitors since the first Berlin Food Week show the success of the event, which is now entering the fifth round in 2017.

Tickets are a la carte based on the events you want to attend, and you can get them here.

Berlin – Berlin Oktoberfest: Missed Oktoberfest in Munich? Why not head over to Berlin for the final days of its own take on the biggest fun festival in the world through Sunday?

Aside from the usual trappings of Oktoberfest (rides, tents, beer and food for days, lots of singing), there will also be live music every Sunday at 18:00.

And the best part? Admission is free every day (though admission to the Festzelt, not the Volksfest, is €5 on Fridays and Saturdays).

Berlin – Festival of Lights: Light up your autumn with the annual Festival of Lights in Berlin through Sunday. The festival is one of best-known such light art festivals in the world, attracting national and international artists to transform the heart of Berlin into a world of color.

FOL attracts over 6 million to its various installations, all of which can be found with this map.

And the cost of admission? Free.

Berlin – Venus Berlin: This one is NSFW, so you’ll want to view the website at home.

Anyway, if you’re into BDSM, enjoy adult entertainment, or looking for the hottest in erotic products, then you’ll want to visit Venus Berlin between Thursday and Sunday. The erotic expo is the world’s largest such expo, drawing over 30,000 each year to the Messegelände.

While the first night is industry-only, the rest of the expo is open to all adults who don’t mind turning up the heat in the bedroom while the rest of the world cools outside. Shopping, shows, panels, autograph sessions, if it has to do with sex, Venus Berlin might have it.

Tickets to Venus Berlin range from €34 to €999, depending on what experience you want out of the erotic expo.

Brussels – Festival FrancoFaune: Through Sunday, check out 50 shows at 15 venues around Brussels during Festival FrancoFaune. The multi-day music festival has something for everyone, with one thing in common among all of the performers: the French language. Every word you’ll hear during Festival FrancoFaune will be in French

This year’s lineup includes: Adieu Gary Cooper, Claire Louise, Klô Pelgag, Mortalcombat, Saso, and more.

Tickets can be purchased for each individual show, with prices ranging from free to €26; there’s even one where you can name your price (minimum €1). There’s also a festival pass for €40, which grants you access to nearly every show on the program.

Copenhagen – Kulturnatten: Kulturnatten (Culture Night på dansk) is more than yet another “museum” night. Aside from the museums, all sorts of music venues are participating, as well as a number of institutions normally closed to the public, such as the Danish Bar and Legal Society, and Copenhagen University’s Department of Biology; if you can name it, it’s open.

See the whole program (and it’s amazingly huge at more than 150 events) here.

The pass for Kulturnatten is DKK 95 (€12), and can be purchased at any 7-Eleven; children under 12 can receive a free Children Culture Pass.

Ibiza – Ibiza Closing Parties: If you’re an expat living in Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Stockholm, it’s hard to believe it’s still summer somewhere. That somewhere until the middle of October is Ibiza, where the Closing Party season continues through this coming Tuesday.

There are so many we don’t have room to list them individually, but you can check the handy list via the link above for information on where to dance the night away on the Mediterranean island off the east coast of Spain.

Ibiza: where the party never stops… until it does.

London – Erdinger Oktoberfest: Want to experience Oktoberfest without going across the Channel to Germany? German brewery Erdinger Weissbrau has what you need through next Sunday at Erdinger Oktoberfest on London’s Greenwich Peninsula next to O2 Arena.

Not only will there be fine brews from Erdinger on tap at its 3,000-capacity tent, there will also be over 40 waitresses from Germany and a lineup of Munich’s famed Oktoberfest bands to make Brexitland feel more like Deutschland, as well as plenty of food and fun to enjoy over the final week of the fun festival.

Tickets to Erdinger Oktoberfest are £5 to £30 (€6 – €35), while those looking for a VIP experience can put down £187.50 (€213) for the privilege.

Paris – Fetes des Vendange à Montmartre: If you’re a wine connoisseur, then you need to head over to Montmartre Mairie for the Fetes des Vendange à Montmartre now through Sunday to watch every grape be harvested to become part of 500 bottles of Clos Montmartre wine made annually at Paris’ last working vineyard.

Aside from the harvest itself, the festival will welcome Portugal as the guest of honor this year. Tastings, exhibitions, and other events round out the full program.

Most events are free to attend. For everything else, register here.

Stockholm – Stockholm Jazz Festival: Stockholm Jazz Festival is one of Sweden’s oldest festivals and one of Stockholm’s biggest events, one set to conclude after 10 days of smoothness on Sunday.

Unlike most jazz festivals, there isn’t just one location. During the festival, there will be about 160 concerts at 36 different venues are held all across Stockholm.

Attendance is expected to top 21,000 and some of the notable highlights included Jamie Cullum, Angelique Kidjo and the Wayne Shorter Quartet.

The Shorter concert was broadcast live by the renowned French television channel Mezzo to over 16 million households in 46 countries!

Tickets are available by combing through the program for the performers you want to see.

The majority of the website is in Swedish, so Google Translate will be your friend here… unless you want to try your newly acquired language skills gained via Babbel (what this writer is using to learn Dutch, by the by), Rosetta Stone, Berlitz et al, of course.

Stuttgart – Cannstatter Volkfest: Is Munich’s Oktoberfest too much Oktoberfest for you? Then head up to Stuttgart for Cannstatter Volkfest now!

Cannstatter Volksfest is a smaller version of the famed Oktoberfest, which means less people, and thus, less time in the queue for beer and brats. The fun festival takes place through Saturday, and features carnival rides, parades, beer tents, and German and regional food, just like your favorite state fair back home.

And best of all: admission is free.

Vienna – The Jesus and Mary Chain: Some three decades ago, two brothers from East Kilbride, Scotland put together a band which took their influences (The Ramones and The Shangri-Las, to name a couple) to new levels through creative use of noise and feedback, giving birth to what would be known in the late 1980s and early 1990s as shoegaze (due to the guitarists and bassists pushing on their effects pedals to create their sounds; thus, they were looking at their shoes a lot).

Jim and William Reed — The Jesus and Mary Chain — will make their third-to-last stop on the Continental European leg of their The Damage and Joy Tour at Vienna’s Ottakringer Brewery this Saturday, playing gems such as “April Skies,” “Just Like Honey,” and “Snakedriver.” New York/Los Angeles-based Cold Cave is the duo’s supporting act

Tickets to this wayback machine are €43.10. Show starts at 20:00.

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