Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ weekly weekend event guide for Europe: 19 January through 22 January 2017

Welcome to the first weekend of the post-sense, post-truth, post-sanity era of history led by Donald Trump (who will be inaugurated 45th President of the United States this Friday), Theresa May (who will lead the U.K. out of the E.U. in March) and Geert Wilders (who could be the next Dutch prime minister at the same time as Brexit begins – assuming he can swing a coalition of the willing, of course).

Thankfully, there are a lot of things to do in Europe to forget such things, if only for awhile.

This weekend’s itinerary includes a ball thrown by pharmacists in Vienna, a photography exhibition of surreal advertising in Stockholm, and the start of the art world year in London. Let’s go!

Amsterdam – National Tulip Day: Outside of Freestate Amsterdam, a few tropes about the Netherlands spring up when one thinks about the country: windmills, dikes, wooden clogs, cheese … and tulips. The third Saturday of January is the start of tulip season, when more than 1.7 billion bulbs will be planted, growing into the beautiful flowers known all over the world by the time spring rolls around.

In Amsterdam, you can celebrate National Tulip Day at Dam Square, where farmers have constructed a temporary tulip garden with more than 200,000 flowers freely available for over 10,000 visitors to bring home.

This year’s theme is Mondrian to Dutch Design, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the De Stijl art movement.

Berlin – Six Day Race: Into bicycle racing? Head over to Velodrom on Paul-Heyse-Str. 26 in Berlin for the 106th annual Six Day Race.

Starting today through next Tuesday, world-class athletes from Germany and everywhere else will compete in teams of two for six consecutive evenings of speed and endurance events. The competition attracts 75,000 spectators each year including a few celebrities such as Jan Josef Liefers, Robert Harting and Vladimir Klitschko. Ticket information can be found

Ticket information can be found here.

urlBrussels – Djangofollies Jazz Festival: Visiting Brussels this weekend? Happen to be a jazz fan? Then the 23rd annual Djangofollies Jazz Festival is for you.

The festival – honoring the birth of jazz guitarist and composer Jean “Django” Reinhardt – stops in the de facto capital of the European Union today through Saturday at Cultural Centre Riches-Claires with a lineup featuring Les violons de Bruxelles, Lamoral and Minor Sing.

A pass for all three days can be had for 40€ here.

Motor Show Brussels 2017: The 95th edition of Motor Show Brussels takes over Brussels Expo through 22 January. The expo floor includes:

  • Rides in the latest and greatest SUVs and crossovers
  • The fourth annual Salon Dream Cars, where 40 dream machines will gather in a “Winter Chic” atmosphere
  • And more than 1,000 vehicles of all sorts to explore

Tickets go for 9€ for little ones between 6 and 12, 15€ for adults; discounts available for tickets purchased online


Frankfurt – The Art of Aardman: Wallace & Gromit. Shaun the Sheep. Rocky Rooster. All belong to the minds behind Aardman Animation – Peter Lord, Nick Park and David Sproxton – and all are a part of the exhibition at The Deutsches Filmmuseum, The Art of Aardman.

The exhibition, celebrating more than four decades of Aardman’s claymation, opened last June, but was extended from its October 2016 closing to run through 29 January.

Production pieces, full sets, and selections from the private collections of Lord, Park and Sproxton are on display, demonstrating the studio’s creative process from start to finish.

Tickets for this temporary exhibition range from 4€ for little ones 6 and up, to 7€ for adults.

Homepage-AP-32t1eoykgkxnqt2j15zbwqLondon – London Art Fair: Looking to add to your art collection? Wanting to start one? Then pop into London this weekend for the London Art Fair.

Beginning Tuesday and running through Sunday, the 29th edition of the fair kicks off the art world year in style with a wide selection of Modern British and contemporary art, as well as two curated sections dedicated to new works and contemporary photography.

Tickets range from free for those under 12, to £32 for a two-day pass.

Paris – Rembrandt Intime: Coming to a close this Monday, the Rembrandt Intime exhibition at Musée Jacquemart-André features 20 pictures and 30 graphic works by the famed Dutch artist from a handful of national and international museums.

The exhibit is centered around three pieces collected by Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart, each documenting a different creative phase in his life: “Pilgrims at Emmaus” (1629); “Portrait of Princess Amalia van Solms” (1632); and “Portrait of Doctor Arnold Tholinx” (1656). Tickets range from free for little ones under 7, to 13.50€ for adult admission.

Les soldes (The Sales): As noted by the museum, Musée Jacquemart-André is not far from the department stores along the Champs-Elysées, which means the exhibition is not far from the biggest shopping extravaganza of the season, Les soldes (The Sales)! From now through 21 February, Les soldes is the perfect time to build your new wardrobe for as much as up to 70 percent off regular prices!

The best shopping spots in Paris during the biannual bacchanalia of shopping (there’s another Les soldes in late June through early August) include the legendary department stores on Boulevard Haussmann, the aforementioned luxury outlets along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, and the luxurious Avenue Montaigne and Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré.

For “made in France” luxury brands, head to the Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Abbesses districts.

Prepare for the madness ahead with this guide.

screenshot-graphicdesignfestival-paris-2016-11-26-19-31-34Graphic Design Festival Paris: Whether you’re a graphic design pro, a student or a fan, Paris’ Graphic Design Festival has something for all, and it’s all free to attend.

Established by Association for the Development, Advancement and Outreach of Graphic Design, the five-week-long festival will have panels, exhibitions, workshops, and a 1,600-poster campaign by founder sponsor JCDecaux.

The festivities through 22 February.



Stockholm – Finally It All Makes Sense: In the early 1990s, U.S. denim giant Levi’s held 75 percent of the European jean market. Italian brand Diesel wanted to challenge the status quo, linking up with advertising guru Joakim Jonasson and the world’s top photographers to create adverts whose messages made no sense on the surface, but did so on a subconscious level.

Decades later, Fotografiska’s latest exhibition, Finally It All Makes Sense, pulls together the nonsensical ad campaigns championed by Diesel and Jonasson from 1991 to 2001. The works LaChapelle, von Unwerth and Winther are on display, of course, but there are also contributions from Swedish photographers and film directors, such as Peter Gherke, Ulf Johansson and Jörgen Lööf.

The exhibition began in November 2016, and is set to close 12 February. Tickets range from free for little ones under 12, to 130 SEK for a regular ticket.

ball_pharmacie_apotheker_walzten_eyanh3g820120123161837Vienna – Ball del Pharmacie: It’s ball season in Vienna! Wondering where you can waltz with the crowd this weekend? How about the Ball del Pharmacie (The Pharmacy Ball)?

That’s right: the Austrian Chamber of Pharmacists are throwing their 75th edition of the ball in the state rooms of the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) Saturday evening from 21:00 to 04:00.

Meet with pharmacists, government officials and pharmaceutical representatives, while waltzing to the music of Charly Hloch, Carla Natascha and Mosehammers.

Tickets are 75€.

Dress code is floor-length dresses for the women; tailcoats, tuxes, uniforms or black suits with smoking loop for the men. This is important because the dress code is rigidly enforced.

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