Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ weekly weekend event guide for Europe: 13 July – 16 July 2017

Welcome to the Ides of July, where President Donald Trump continued to build his wall of isolationism during the G20 Summit; Prime Minister Theresa May offered “a damp squib” to European Union nationals in the United Kingdom; and Tesla dropped its “affordable” luxury electric vehicle “for the masses,” the Model 3.

What about you, though? Have you any plans for this high-summer weekend?

If not, we have lots of last-minute ideas for you procrastinators including a beach party in Barcelona, the start of the BBC Proms in London, and a celebration of freedom all over France, plus a full list of upcoming events across Europe for the planners.

Let’s go!

Amsterdam – Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Amsterdam: While the Big Four of Fashion — New York, London, Paris and Milan — are exclusive to those in the industry, there are fashion weeks which are open to all, such as Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Amsterdam at Westergasfabriek.

From today through Sunday, you can have a chance to see the latest and greatest from top Dutch designers, including: Bas Kosters, Barbara Langendijk, House of Byfield, and j e n n e s k e n s.

While a few events are invite only, the rest can be seen with a ticket purchase; tickets range from €10 to €35.

Barcelona – Barcelona Beach Festival: Looking for some wubs on the beach? Then head over to Platja de la Pau late Saturday afternoon for the 2017 edition of the Barcelona Beach Festival.

Organized by Live Nation, the annual electronic music festival is the biggest of its kind in Spain, drawing over 100,000 to the beach to hear national and international DJs drop the bass and the beat.

This year’s lineup includes Armin van Buuren, Kittens, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Kygo.

Tickets to the 2017 Barcelona Beach Festival range from €85 for general admission to €560.50 for a full VIP experience. The doors open at 15:30. The wubs drop from 16:00 to 05:30.

Berlin – Lesbian and Gay City Festival: This Saturday and Sunday, enjoy what may be the most joyous edition of the Lesbian and Gay City Festival since its founding 25 years ago, as Germany is now the newest country to legalize gay marriage.

Held every year around Nollendorfplatz, the street festival is the largest of its kind in all of Europe, with over 400,000 attending annually. Live music and performances, food, booths full of information, goods and services… what’s not to like?

And the best part? Admission is free.

Brussels – Foire du Midi: Missing your county and state fairs? No worries! The de facto capital of the European Union has what you need with its annual Foire du Midi fun fair.

Beginning this Saturday and continuing until 20 August, the 137th edition of Foire du Midi will have lots of rides, food, an open-air market… over 120 attractions in all.

And the admission? It’s free. You can also print some coupons to use at the fair for a few discounts and freebies.

Copenhagen – Move: Though this is already sold out, we’ll still shine a spotlight on this event so you can be ready for next year.

From now through Sunday, head over to Copenhagen’s Refshalevej 151 for the 2017 edition of Move Copenhagen. The four-day festival is for everyone who wants inspiration for a new movement practice, or to explore new forms and shapes of movement. Once there, you can meet and learn from some of the best movers in the world by attending one of over 100 workshops; the full program can be had here.

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 kilometers.

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 114 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 this year’s running, 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 tour continues Thursday with an ongoing (and painful) climb through the Pyrenees, with more of the same expected on the way to Le Puy-en-Velay for the second day of rest this coming Monday. The big show concludes on the Champs-Élysées in Paris next Sunday.

London – BBC Proms: It’s finally time again for one of England’s longest-running celebrations of classical music around, The BBC Proms. If you haven’t been, 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.

Tickets for the 123rd edition of The Proms range from £6 for those who don’t mind queuing a few hours before the performance starts, to £100 for a seat with 11 of your friends in one of the Grand Tier Boxes at Royal Albert Hall.

The Proms start Friday with the first of four proms over the weekend: the world debut of St John’s Dance by composer Tom Coult; pianist Igor Levit performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor; and a performance of John Adams’ Harmonium in honor of the composer’s 70th birthday.

Should you not be able to make it this weekend, though, no worries; the show will continue through 9 September 2017.

London – Wimbledon: The Championships, Wimbledon – simply known as Wimbledon – 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 U.S. Open are the other three — and the only one to still be played on grass.

From now through Sunday, the top men and women will compete for a share of £31.6 million in prize money. On the men’s side, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are likely to make it to the final rounds, while Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams dominate the women’s side.

Tickets to the annual strawberries-and-cream tourney range from £58 for a seat in the No. 1 Court all day Thursday, to £190 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 this Sunday.

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.

This final weekend of performances at Montreux include: George Benson and Mavis Staples on Thursday; Passenger and The Lumineers on Friday; and Youssou N’Dour with LAMOMALI de -M-.

A full festival pass to Montreux is CHF 1,420 (around €1,300). Show tickets and program information can be had here.

The festivities come to a close for another year on Saturday.


Nürburg, Germany – 6 Hours of Nürburgring: Our own Terry Boyd loves the Nürburgring, so why not revisit it for the 6 Hours of Nürburgring?

Only the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2017 season, the six-hour competition sees the No. 2 Porsche LM P1 team of Bernhard, Bamber and Hartley looking to take the top podium again after their class and overall win in last month’s Le Mans 24. A total of 29 participants will do battle on the 5.15-kilometer circuit, including Jackie Chan’s DC Racing LM P2 team (who took the other two overall places on the podium at Le Mans, as well as the top and second places in their class), and the No. 66 and No. 67 Ford GTs of Ganassi Racing.

Tickets to the 6 Hours of Nürburgring range from €30 to €389. The festivities run from Friday through Sunday, with the main event held Sunday afternoon between 13:00 and 19:00.

Otok Obonjan, Croatia: During the last decade, Croatia has become quite the party destination. We all know about Dubrovnić and its crowds. But there’s an alternative. From now through 3 September, the tiny Croatian island of Otok Obonjan is the setting for a private-island summer party, limited to 500 people at a time.

This wellness/fun festival has an eclectic six-week program that includes music at a stone amphitheater overlooking the Adriatic Sea, workshops and great food.

There’s an underwater sculpture garden, an island cinema and a woodland well being centre. Imagine Cap-Ferrat at half the price.

It doesn’t look like there’s a hotel, but you can get a 2-person luxury tent (with a pool) starting at the equivalent of £60 per person per night, including access to all the activities.

Paris – Bastille Day: Miss all of the pageantry and patriotism of the Fourth of July? Well, replace your Stars & Stripes with Le Tricolore, and spend your Friday celebrating France’s national holiday, Bastille Day!

Known as Le quatorze juillet to the French, Bastille Day celebrates the day the people of France kicked off what would become the French Revolution by storming the largest symbol of then King Louis XVI’s tyranny, the Bastille, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789.

Today, the day is celebrated with a military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées during the morning, and a fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower late at night.

Paris – Paris Plages: While you’re celebrating France’s national holiday, you can also head down to Parc des Rives de Seine for some summer beach fun at the 2017 Paris Plages!

Though the sand won’t be around this year, the park will be open 24/7 through 3 September, and visitors can take a dip in La Villette basin for the first time since Plages began. There will also be 352 deckchairs and 52 palm trees, and all sorts of activities to enjoy.

And the best part? Admission is free.

Paris – Les soldes d’été 2017 (The Sales of Summer 2017 en français): And of course, you can be extra-patriotic by opening your wallet during the summer 2017 edition of Les soldes. Twice a year — once in January through February, and again from June through August — every shop in the City of Lights will be offering their wares for as much as 70 percent off!

The summer Les soldes will run until 8 August 2017, after which all of France goes on holiday, and you’ll have to wait until after the new year to snag those deals in Paris!

Until then, watch out for the tour companies herding their Chinese customers through the high street… at the expense of not instructing their groups about respecting French customs.

Vienna – Film Festival Wiener Rathausplatz: If you’re visiting Vienna, head over to City Hall for the 2017 edition of Film Festival Wiener Rathausplatz!

The summer-long film festival features concert and performance films covering classical, opera, dance, musicals, and pop music. A wide range of foods and beverages — like cheese spaetzles, NY flank steaks, tacos, cherry beer, iced coffee, and Arabic tea — will also be served.

This weekend’s film lineup includes Axel at Heaven’s Gate, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year’s 2017 performance, and Diana Krall: Live in Rio; the full program can be found here.

And the best part? Admission is free. The last day of Film Festival Wiener Rathausplatz is 3 September 2017.

Vienna – ImPulsTanz: From today through 13 August, check out Europe’s biggest dance festival, ImPulsTanz. The month-long festival has tons of performances, workshops, research projects, and a social program, all devoted to celebrating and furthering the art of contemporary dance.

Admission to any of the performances depends on the venue and the performance itself; check here for ticket information, and here for the full program of performances.



Boom, Belgium – Tomorrowland: Though everything has been sold out for the past few months — the reason why yours truly started writing about upcoming music festivals months in advance in the first place; it doesn’t make sense to talk about an event now if it’s already booked up, after all — we’ll still shine a spotlight on the upcoming Tomorrowland music festival in Boom, Belgium so you can be ready for next year’s ticket sales.

Tomorrowland is one of the largest and most outrageous electronic music festivals in the world, born in Boom in 2005. The affair has grown so large, it needs two weekends in late July to properly entertain the hundreds of thousands in attendance. It’s also so popular tickets are sold out within minutes of going on sale, never mind the millions who end up on the waiting list thereafter.

This year, they instituted a screening of ticket purchasers, and so far 38 people have been turned away. No idea what that’s about, but we can imagine this has to do with the New World of Security.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to spend the next couple of weekends (21 – 23 July and 28 – 30 July 2017) at Tomorrowland, you’ll be able to see hundreds of artists on nearly 20 stages, including: Steve Aoki; Armin van Buuren; Darude; David Guetta; Fatboy Slim; Paul Oakenfold; and Tiësto.

For everyone else, be sure to visit the website around Christmas time so you’ll know when to pre-register to buy tickets around February 2018; it’s the only way you’ll have a shot at going.

Cologne – Amphi Festival: We got another German dark music festival to tide you over until M’era Luna in Hildesheim occurs around mid-August: Cologne’s Amphi Festival!

The two-day festival on the Tanzbrunnen has hosted a number of electronic, gothic, and alternative artists over the past 12 editions, including: Project Pitchfork; And One; Front 242; and Skinny Puppy.

The 13th edition — scheduled for the 22nd and 23rd of July 2017 — has a wonderful lineup yours truly wishes she could see, as well, including: Die Krupps; Fields of the Nephilim; Eisbrecher; Combichrist; and VNV Nation.

A ticket for either day of Amphi Festival is €70, while the full weekend can had for €90. However, you must reserve your ticket, then pay and pick-up at the Amphi box office, as online purchases are no longer available for this year.

Francorchamps – 24 Hours of Spa: You’ve managed to stay awake through 48 hours of non-stop action at Nürburg and Le Mans. Now, it’s time to rest up for the final 24 hours of endurance racing during the European summer, the 24 Hours of Spa in Francorchamps, Belgium.

Born a year after the Le Mans 24 in 1924, the Spa 24 has been the stage for a handful of racing series over the past nine decades, including the European Touring Car Championship, the World Endurance Championship, and (since 2011) the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Like the Nürburgring 24, the Spa 24 is open only to non-prototype vehicles, specifically those of the FIA GT3 class. Thus, expect to see Audi R8 LMS/LMS Ultras, Bentley Continental GT3s, Lamborghini Gallardo G3 Reiters, and Porsche 911 GT3 Rs.

The fun starts with a parade and autograph session 26 July, followed by practice sessions 27 and 28 July. The green flag on the big show then drops 16:30 29 July, the checkered flag stopping the clock 16:30 30 July.

Tickets to the 2017 Spa 24 range from €27.50 for a two-day practice pass, to €550 for a two-day VIP weekend package.

Göteborg, Sweden – Way Out West Festival: 10 – 12 August:  Major Lazor and Lana Del Ray headline this year’s music festival.

Hasselt – Pukkelpop: Another big music festival for your consideration, this time in Hasselt, Belgium, the home of Pukkelpop.

The “progressive and contemporary” four-day music festival — scheduled for 16 through 19 August 2017 — has welcomed the likes of The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Sonic Youth, Eminem and more for over three decades.

The 2017 lineup continues to live up to Pukkelpop’s mission: The Afghan Whigs; Cypress Hill; Editors; The Flaming Lips, Interpol (who are performing the entirety of their debut full-length, Turn On The Bright Lights); and PJ Harvey are among the 165 acts set to perform this year.

Tickets to Pukkelpop 2017 are going fast! Fees range from €99 for a single-day ticket (Saturday tickets are sold out), to €199 for a full festival pass. A 20-piece food/drink voucher pack is €50 per pack.

Helsinki, Finland – The Helsinki Festival. This is another all things for all people festival scheduled for 17 August to 3 September in Finland’s capital city. The Helsinki Festival includes theatre, film, multiple types of music including classical and soul, dance, and circus acts and a lot of stuff for the kids!

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.

Passes and tickets to Rally Finland 2017 — held from 27 through 30 July — range from free for those under 12 with an adult, to €85 for a biker’s pass. Once there, pay attention to your surroundings! The Citroëns, Fords, Hyundais and Toyotas will buzz by you at 130 kph (80 mph), and we can’t have you getting hurt on us.

Stockholm – Stockholm Pride: Stockholm Pride has been the largest Pride Festival in Scandinavia since 1998. Like every other pride festival, Stockholm Pride has lots for all to check out, from family friendly workshops and performances, to a special area to explore your darkest desires in a safe manner.

And as always, there’s the parade through the heart of Stockholm, where some 600,000 will gather to watch the pageantry for over two hours.

Tickets for Stockholm Pride range from free for those under 15, to SEK 800 (around €83) for an adult.

The festivities run from 31 July through 6 August 2017.

Tisno, Croatia – Soundwave Festival: Looking for a summer getaway in Eastern Europe? The Garden in Tisno, Croatia has you covered with the Soundwave Festival 27 through 31 July!

The five-day festival brings hip-hop, jazz, funk and reggae to the resort’s Argonaughty ship, its open-air Barbarella’s night club, and three other stages, all surrounded in an intimate setting like no other. Performers on this year’s bill include: The Pharcyde; Horse Meat Disco; and Mall Grab.

Though tickets are now sold out, there’s a chance you can pick up a couple through Soundwave’s resale channel.

Verbier, Switzerland – Verbier FestivalNot into EDM? Enjoy classical music in the Swiss Alps at Verbier Festival, which runs from 21 July to 6 August. Sixty concerts over 17 days.

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