Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ weekly weekend event guide for Europe: 15 June through 18 June 2017

We’ve left the Ides of June behind, and are now heading down to the end … and beginning of July. And speaking of endings, current UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s gambit to solidify her Hard Brexit strategy blew up in her face (and the faces of 13 others in her party) last Thursday, which could lead to May ultimately tapping out of the leadership role.

Also: Ireland has a new taoiseach, the youngest to hold the office; and model and Rolling Stone muse Anita Pallenberg left this mortal coil Wednesday at the age of 73.

Anyway, we have a full guide of fun for your weekend in Europe, including the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the return of Art Basel to Switzerland, and the thundering of hooves at the upcoming Royal Ascot, plus lots of upcoming events for your consideration. Let’s go!

Amsterdam – Streets of the World: For seven years, Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Swolfs collected stories and photos from the streets of 195 countries.

Swolfs is now going to spend the next seven years sharing all he’s found with his traveling exhibition, Streets of the World.

The starting point is the Hembrugterrin site near Amsterdam in the suburb of Zaandam, where the entire collection will be shown from Friday through 30 September 2017.

Tickets are €9.43 for adults, €6.50 for those 4 through 11.

Barcelona – Mostra FIRE!!: Continuing through Sunday, Barcelona’s Institut Français is the host the 22nd edition of Mostra FIRE!!.

The LGBTQIA+ film festival – whose mission is to fight homophobia, transphobia and intolerance – will have 52 films on the programme, including features like About Ray and Tom of Finland; documentaries such as Chavela and The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson; and short films like A Doll’s Eyes, FIRE!! In Shorts, and The Last Leatherman of the Vale of Cashmere.

Tickets to each session of Mostra FIRE!! begin at €6 per ticket.

Barcelona – Sonar+D: This international conference for digital creativity and innovation starts today and runs through Saturday.

This is three days of everything … tech, live performances, DJs, food, design and dance. Sonar+D attracts the world’s designers, developers, engineers, financiers and artists.

Or as one artist puts it, “The world comes to Barcelona to mix and learn and interact.” There are serious conferences and talks. Then, there are parties and non-stop music. It’s a tech conference without the greed, and with the best in creativity.

Tickets start at 54 euros and you can get them here.

Basel – Art Basel: Europe’s most influential art fair, Basel, Switzerland’s Art Basel, starts today and continues through Sunday. Art Basel attracts the international art world with 291 of the world’s leading galleries showing the works of more than 4,000 artists.

Tickets to Art Basel are CHF 50 (€46) online, CHF 60 (€55) at the door. Evening tickets (purchased at the door after 17:00) are CHF 28 (€26).

Berlin – Berliner Volksfestsommer: Once known as the German-French Fair, the 55th annual Berliner Volksfestsommer is full of fun for those missing their state and county fairs back home. Lots of rides, 150 performers, tonnes of food and drink, fireworks every Saturday… what more can you ask for?

Admission to Berliner Volksfestsommer is free.

The fair starts Friday, and concludes 16 July 2017.

Greece – Athens & Epidaurus Festival: A theatrical event with drama, dance and music staged at ancient theatres including the 2,000-year-old outdoor Odeon of Herodes Atticus at the base of Acropolis Hill and the theatre of Delphi.

The Athens & Epidaurus Festival continues through 19 August. Ticketing and programme information can be found here.

Hilverenbeek – The Best Kept Secret Festival: From Friday through Sunday, head over to Hilverenbeek, Netherlands — just outside the college town of Tilburg — for the fifth anniversary of The Best Kept Secret Festival!

The festival is massive, with four stages of music and over 100 artists to experience. This year’s lineup includes: Radiohead; Arcade Fire; Run The Jewels; James Blake; George Ezra; The Thurston Moore Group; Canshaker PI (who are also doing a DJ set); Vatican Shadow; and Yung Internet.

Nearly all ticket tiers have sold out, with only a few Friday tickets (€79) left as of this writing. Don’t sleep on this!

Le Mans – 24 Hours of Le Mans: We do recommend getting some sleep for this event, though. In a couple of days, the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France will roar to life as the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown of Motorsport thunders through town, the 24 Hours of Le Mans!

Since the first competition in 1923, the Le Mans 24 has served to test the mettle of many a competitor, team and car.

Though speed is important, more important are fuel and tire conservation, as well as durability. Legends like A.J. Foyt, Jacky Ickx, and the sole Triple Crown winner, Graham Hill, have left their mark on the 14-kilometer circuit.

Tickets to the 85th running of the Le Mans 24 — concluding with the main event this Saturday through Sunday — range from €39 for Thursday night’s practice session, to €3,059.50 for the Le Panoramic Semaine VIP package.

The green flag drops at 15:30 Saturday. The checkered flag stops the clock 15:30 Sunday.

London – Royal Ascot: This one starts Tuesday, but if you love to mix ponies with real poshness (Brooks Brothers and Vineyard Vines are for dudebros who like to throwdown in the mud at Churchill Downs), then head up to Ascot Racecourse for the 2017 edition of the Royal Ascot.

From the website:

Royal Ascot is Britain’s most valuable race meeting, attracting many of the world’s finest racehorses to compete for more than £6.58 million in prize money. Our eighteen Group races, eight of them in Group One, have made legends of the finest thoroughbreds…

Anticipated and revered, these five days are made for socialising. Long seen as a spectacle of fashion and style, they are referenced the world over. Each year the meeting is broadcast to audiences around the globe, yet to experience it in person is something altogether more special.

A few tiers have sold out already, so if you want in, now would be the time to get your tickets; prices range from £37 to £225.

The festivities run from 20 through 24 June 2017.

Milan – Bruno Mars: Can you feel the magic in the air? Is the uptown funk putting a few more bounces in your step? That might be because Bruno Mars is landing in Milan, Italy’s Mediolanum Forum Thursday night to splash a bit of 24-carat gold over your life on this, the last European stop on his 24K Magic World Tour.

Come on, who doesn’t like Bruno Mars? This half-Jewish, half Dominican singer/dancer/composer may be he the hottest act right now aside from Beyoncé.

“Just the Way You Are” was a No. 1 hit!

“Grenade”? Huge!

“Uptown Funk”? Really huge!

Tickets to see Bruno Mars bid arrivederci to Europe are sold out, so resellers like Ticketbis and Viagogo may be your best bet now.

Vienna – Vienna Pride: Raise your rainbows to the sky, and head over to City Hall for the final days of Vienna Pride!

Formerly a four-day LGBTQIA+ festival, the organizers have expanded Vienna Pride to a full week of all things wonderful, including drag shows, live music, comedy, parades, lectures, family activities and so much more.

Admission to most of Vienna Pride is free; the full programme with admission information can be had here. The festivities end this Sunday.


Eindhoven – Ultra Urban Festival: For whatever reason, Eindhoven has a serious urban music scene. Thus, Ultra Urban Festival is one of the biggest nights of the year, and it’s coming up 24 June.

How big? Try this ticket: the ULTRA VIP 15-person package for €3,000. The ticket includes: a VIP deck in the middle of the audience • Two bottles of Gray Goose 1.5L (or three bottles of 1L optional) • Soft drinks and RedBull • Finger food • Sushi • Your own… personal… hostess • VIP Entrance.

We’re thinking this is for all the PSV Eindhoven players. For everyone else, a ticket to see Ronnie Flex, Nafthaly Ramona, MK and everyone else on this year’s lineup ranges from &27.50 for a regular ticket, to €100 for a VIP ticket (perfect for partying with PSV, possibly minus seven players).

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 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…

The Opera Square Festival runs from 22 June to 7 July.

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 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 20 teams of nine cyclists 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.

London – BBC Proms: We’re a month away from 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 run from 14 July to 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 US Open are the other three — and the only one to still be played on grass.

From 3 July through 16 July 2017, 104 men (plus 53 alternates) and 108 women (plus 125 alternates) will compete for a share of £31.6 million in prize money. On the men’s side, Andy Murrary, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka are the top of their list, while Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep dominate the women’s side.

Tickets to the annual strawberries-and-cream tourney range from £41 for a seat in the No. 3 Court on the first day of competition, 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. Information and purchasing can be found here.

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. 30 June through 15 July 2017. 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.

Performers on the bill for the 51st edition of Montreux include: Herbie Hancock; Pet Shop Boys; Lil Uzi Vert; Ms. Lauren Hill; Grace Jones; The 1975; Fourplay; Somi; Yello; and Juliette Armanet.

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

Paris – Les soldes d’été 2017 (The Sales of Summer 2017 en français): Attention Kmart shoppers! It’s time once again for the biggest shopping extravaganza in all of Paris, the bi-annual Les soldes. Twice a year — once in January through February, and again in 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 be held from 28 June to 8 August 2017. After that, you’ll have to wait until after the new year to snag those deals in Paris!

Rimini – EuroPython 2017: This one’s for the 24-hour IT party people who love to flex their 24-inch Python coding skills, brother! The largest Python conference in all of Europe, EuroPython, lands in Rimini, Italy this year. The festivities run from 9 through 16 July, and tickets are available now.

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

This year’s lineup includes Foo Fighters, Ice Cube and Trentemøller among the headliners, as well as: Anthrax; Erasure; Gucci Mane; The Jesus and Mary Chain; Lorde; Neurosis; Cult of Luna; Princess Nokia; and Tvivler. A total of 175 acts will perform on Roskilde’s nine stages this year.

The festival runs 24 June through 1 July 2017. Tickets are almost sold out, so get yours now; a full festival pass is DKK 1,995 (around €268).

West Sussex – Goodwood Festival of Speed: Most of the year, the grounds of the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England are tranquil. Twice a year, however, the estate roars to life with raw horsepower from a wide variety of cars and motorcycles during the Goodwood Revival in early September, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed from 29 June through 2 July 2017.

This year’s theme for FOS is “Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers.” Thus, you’ll see iconic vehicles from the first turbo era of Formula One; the unhinged madness of Group B; and the two-wheeled terrors of MotoGP, Isle of Man TT, and the 500cc Grand Prix era.

Tickets to the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed range from £34 to £154, but don’t delay, as availability is dwindling fast!

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