Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Weekly Weekend Event Guide for Europe: 26 Oct. thru 29 Oct. 2017

It’s almost Halloween … a tradition that started in Scotland, but wasn’t as big deal in Europe as it was in the States. Until recently ….

Now, it’s big on the way to being huge.

There are a couple of Halloween parties in this weekend’s guide, as well as Gary Numan in Berlin and Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. And you can’t forget the candy, as there’s a chocolate festival in Paris.

And of course, there’s magic to be found in London with Harry Potter. Trick or treat!

Amsterdam – Amsterdam Halloween Festival: Are you ready to play with a few ghosts and monsters? Through Halloween is the annual Amsterdam Halloween Festival, held all over Amsterdam.

Put together by Amsterdam Spook with the idea that Halloween should be every day, the Amsterdam Halloween Festival can get you ready for the fun to come with makeup workshops by Drop Dead Gory at Back Stage. There will also be an all-night horror film marathon; a Halloween-themed programme at Ripley’s, Believe It or Not! Museum; and, of course, two big Halloween parties at Tolhuistuin and Hard Rock Cafe.

Prices vary; click the link above to see the full programme and ticket information.

Amsterdam – International Storytelling Festival Amsterdam: Love a good story? Then the International Storytelling Festival Amsterdam is where you need to be this coming Wednesday through next Sunday.

The theme for the tenth edition of this festival is “New Narratives,” where featured performers will tell “new” stories “that build on existing or newly developed stories from the different cultures that meet in Amsterdam.”

Ten venues will host this year’s festival, the main venue being Podium Mozaiek with 13 events on the schedule; check the full programme here.

Most tickets can be purchased on the festival’s website, while the rest must purchased either at the box office of Podium Mozaiek or at the OBA.

Barcelona – Game of Thrones: The Exhibition: As a real-life Game of Thrones is taking place between Catalonia and Spain as of this writing, fans of George R.R. Martin’s doorstoppers can find a few parallels when Game of Thrones: The Exhibition makes its global debut at Barcelona’s Museu Marítim Saturday, taking up a temporary stay at the museum until 7 January 2018.

The 10,000-square-foot interactive exhibition gives visitors a chance to see all of the props, costumes and settings from the popular HBO series, imersing one and all in settings such as Castle Black, the King’s Road, and the Grand Hall of the Red Keep, where the Iron Throne resides.

Tickets to see the exhibition are between €10 and €12 for those between 3 and 14, €15.50 and €18.50 for adult admission.

Basel – Baloise Session: Back in 1986, co-founders Matthias Müller, Enrico Bonometti, and Stephan Werthmüller organized the first Rheinknie Session in Basel, Switzerland, featuring performances from Oscar Peterson, Albert Collins, and Koko Taylor. Two years later, the music festival’s fame exploded when jazz legend Miles Davis brought down the house, prompting Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs to become a patron of the festival.

Two name changes later, the Baloise Session continues its proud, three-decade-long tradition of presenting music in an intimate, club-like setting. Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Sir Elton John, Grace Jones, and Deep Purple have been among those to perform at the festival.

Who will be performing at the 2017 Baloise Session? Chris Rea and Imelda May open this year’s performances. Other artists scheduled on the programme include: Goldfrapp; Nelly Furtado; Alicia Keys (who will have back-to-back performances on the 1st and 2nd of November); Kool & The Gang; and Tim Bendzko.

If this lineup is up your alley, tickets are on sale right now. Ticket prices range from CHF 60 to CHF 270 (€53 – €237), and can be purchased via the programme linked above.

The 2017 Baloise Session continues through 9 November.

Berlin – Gary Numan: Most of our expat readership likely remembers Gary Numan from his biggest hit (in the United States), “Cars” from 1979’s The Pleasure Principle. Though he disappeared from U.S. airwaves sometime after 1982, Numan’s been evolving his style outside of the mainstream during the near-four decades of his career, abandoning pop entirely for gothic and industrial music by the mid-1990s.

Wondering what he’s done since 1979 (or at all, if you weren’t around at the peak of his pop career)? Then head over to Berlin’s Columbia Theater Thursday night when Numan makes his next stop on his The Savage Tour in support of his new album, 2017’s Savage (Songs from a Broken World). And who knows? You might even see his 12-year-old daughter, Persia, on stage singing the above with her father; she was 11 when the video above was filmed.

Tickets are €47.25, show starts at 20:00.

Brussels – Festival des Libertes: Freedom is a precious thing, and should always be celebrated. What better way to do so than to visit Brussels’ Théâtre National through Saturday.

The festival aims to “mobilise all forms of expression in order to offer an overview of the state of rights and freedoms around the world, to point out lurking dangers, to encourage resistance and to promote solidarity.” The programme has a full slate celebrating freedom — including an international film competition and concerts — as well as talks and debates about the state of freedom, and the ways to protect it.

Looking for tickets? Check the agenda in the link above to purchase tickets to whatever you want to see over the last days of the festival.

Copenhagen – Halloween Week at Tivoli Gardens: Europe’s oldest theme park is bringing back its huge Halloween celebration that includes 20,000 pumpkins. (Halloween week here only dates back to 2006, it’s been getting bigger ever since. The first Halloween season drew 250,000 visitors. Now, Halloween in Tivoli attracts half-a-million!

The biggest night is Saturday …. the Copenhagen Zombie Crawl featuring more than 150 monsters.

On Halloween night (Tuesday) children can buy special Halloween bags and go trick or treating at the stalls around the Open Air Stage, where there are treats and fun in store for them.

Halloween at Tivoli runs through 5 November.

An unlimited ride ticket is 290 krone, or about 40 euros and you can get them here. which includes the entry fee.

Note: Tivoli advises that children under 12 do not go on the Haunted ride. If they do, they must be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age. And they have to pay 50 krone extra above the unlimited ride ticket.

Eindhoven – Dutch Design Week: Dutch Design Week is the preeminent event in a city that seems to have something compelling going on every day. DDW is so big the “week” takes up nine days and 100 locations to welcome 2,500 designers from all over the Netherlands through Sunday.

If you really want to know what’s coming in every facet of design and art, from cars to clothing, this is the event. There are entire buildings dedicated to DDW, as well as entire sections of the city including Strijp-S, Eindhoven’s emerging collection of residential space, businesses, retail and labs designed to attract the Netherlands’ creative class.

Want to see the latest and greatest in design in Eindhoven? A DDW ticket will set you back €19 online, €19.50 at the door.

Eindhoven – DDW Music 2017: There has never, ever been a festival in Eindhoven that didn’t include music, and Dutch Design Week is no different.

As noted above, DDW is the preeminent event in this tech-and-design center. The music lives up to that global reputation, with more than 70 musical performances between 21–29 October, at more than a dozen venues around town. (Eindhoven has several large music halls, at least two or three big outdoor music facilities and about at thousand bars and cafes with sound stages.)

Though we have all musical genres, Eindhoven and the Netherlands as a whole is a center for EDM, with top DJs coming here from all over Europe. This is, in a lot of ways, like a mini-Berlin, so get ready to party like it’s 2017.

If you already have a ticket to DDW, you can attend DDW Music for free. Otherwise, it’s €5 at the door.

Frankfurt – 48th German Jazz Festival: Another well-established event, this festival is equally popular with established acts and up-and-coming jazz musicians. So the Frankfurt festival has both newcomers and local talents and international jazz greats.

This year, acts include Children of the Light from the USA, which includes Brian Blade, John Patitucci, Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington. Glasper and Washington worked with Kendrick Lamar on To Pimp a Butterfly as rap and jazz come together.

Mats Eilertsen Rubicon from Norway represents the more trad jazz. All jazz is pretty much experimental. But then there’s Roger Hanschel & Auryn Quartet, an unusual combination of violins and a sax.

Check out the website for the full lineup, which is organized by each day’s concerts.

The German Jazz Festival runs through Sunday at three venues: the famous Alte Oper; Artist House Mousonturm; and hr-Sendesaal. Tickets start at €40, which you can purchase here.

Frankfurt – Mainova Frankfurt Marathon: – Sunday, 29 October 2017, thousands of runners from around the world will line up for Germany’s most popular marathon, the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon; last year’s outing saw around 16,000 compete.

For 42 kilometers, this race winds through the coolest parts of the Mainhattan business district, the bar districts, and all the rest of the city center to the finish at the Festhalle, serenaded by live music along the way.

This is the 36th year for the event, and the Germans, being Germans, have all the logistics worked out. The marathon website is excellent and has pretty much everything you need to know. There are also multiple events and workshops leading up to the big race.

London – Harry Potter: A History of Magic: Coming to the British Library PACCAR Gallery 20 October 2017 through 28 February 2018 is Harry Potter: A History of Magic. Explore the origins of one of the most famous wizards of our time while celebrating the 20th anniversary of creator J.K. Rowling’s first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Tickets to see the exhibition — which can be purchased via the link above — range from free to little wizards 4 and under, to £16 for the grown-up graduates of Hogwarts.

Paris – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2017: We’re early with this, but only because of the opening act which comes before. The City of Light becomes the City of Sound for a few nights. Join The National, Run the Jewels, The Blaze, and more of your favorite indie acts for three nights at Grande Halle de La Villette – one of Paris’s coolest Right Bank venues – at the seventh annual Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2 through 4 November.

If a few solid hours of jamming in a former slaughterhouse doesn’t quite satisfy, good news: For the first two nights of the festival, you can keep the party going at Le Trabendo, a nearby club (with a 700-person maximum capacity) after the festival set officially ends.

If you’ve booked that hip Airbnb for the full week, check out the Avant-Garde soirées in the two days leading up to the festival this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. Initiated in 2016, these pre-parties invite festival-goers to check out new talent in venues across the Bastille neighborhood.

Tickets to Pitchfork Avant-Garde are €16 for each night. As for Pitchfork Paris, a three-day pass will set you back €110, while a single-day ticket goes for €50.

Paris – Salon du Chocolat: Chocolate lovers, what better way to enjoy one of nature’s best foods than exploring the many ways chocolate can be used under the Eiffel Tower?

From Saturday through this coming Wednesday, Salon du Chocolat will make your chocolate dreams come true. Over 500 participants from 60 countries — including 200 chefs — will converge upon the Porte de Versailles to chocolate-up your life in so many ways, including: cooking demos; fashion shows; workshops; live shows; chocolate art; conferences; children’s programmes; competitions; and so much more.

Tickets to Salon du Chocolat range from €9.25 for a family pack to €14 for a single adult admission; little ones under 3 enter free.

Poperinge – Poperinge Beer Festival: Belgium and beer have always been a classic pairing since the Catholic Church first gave French and Flemish abbeys permission to brew small quantities of suds in the 12th century.

You can experience the results of this long history of brewing Saturday and Sunday at the Poperinge Beer Festival in Poperinge, Belgium, located on the French/Belgian border 90 minutes west of Brussels.

Over two days, some 2,500 visitors will be able to try 100 beers from 25 breweries in Belgium and a few other European countries inside the Maeke Blyde event hall.

There will also be plenty of food and live music to enjoy at “Belgium’s coziest beer festival” in the nation’s proclaimed “Hops City.”

Admission to the 22nd annual Poperinge Beer Festival is free, but you’ll need €3 for a commemorative tasting glass — which you can return for a refund, or keep as yours — and €1.80 for a single tasting token.

Prague – Bloody Sexy Halloween VIII: Celebrate Halloween in style at Prague’s biggest dress-up party Saturday.

Go crazy with costumes and make crazy memories at this one-night-only event known for its outrageous get-ups, performances by local and international DJs, sexy dancers and majestic fire and lights shows.

Meet people from all around the world and party ’til dawn for an unforgettable, spooky and sexy night.

Reykjavik – Iceland Airwaves: The sun may not stick around once the clock strikes noon, but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying one of Reykjavik’s biggest music festivals, Iceland Airwaves.

From this coming Wednesday through next Sunday, check out several artists representing Iceland’s music scene — such as Sigrún, Ásgeir, and Kælan Mikla — as well as international artists like Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, and Jo Goes Hunting; here’s the full lineup.

Tickets for Iceland Airwaves run from ISK 8,900 to ISK 21,900 (€77 – €189).

Vienna – Robert Frank: From 25 October 2017 to 21 January 2018, The Albertina will host its newest exhibition, Robert Frank. The focus will be on his 1955-57 photo series, The Americans, 83 photographs illuminating “the post-war ‘American way of life’ in grim black and white, revealing a reality of pervasive racism, violence, and consumer culture.” The resulting photo book went against America’s self-image at the time, so it was first only published in Europe.

The exhibition will also feature Frank’s early work leading up to The Americans, as well as his later introspective pieces. Tickets to enter the museum are €12.90 for those above 26 years of age.

Vienna – Viennale 2017: The Vienna International Film Festival is Vienna’s highest-profile film festival in a city that’s very arts-forward.

To prove it, this year’s event has Hollywood A-listers like Christopher Waltz and Vanessa Redgrave, and the trailer for the festival is by Abel Ferrara, a tribute to Viennale director Hans Hurch, who died this past summer. About 100,000 people attend this event every October, so yeah … it’s huge.

The 2017 festival will have 300 films, with an emphasis on the newest feature films of every genre and structural form imaginable, though documentaries, international short films, and experimental works are the big draw.

The film festival runs through next Thursday, and the programme includes the debuts of films from around the globe, including: Austria; China; Germany; India; France; the United States; and Argentina. Tickets can be purchased either online via the programme linked in this paragraph, or at the box office; a single ticket is €9.50.

Vienna – Helena Rubinstein. Pioneer of Beauty: From now through 6 May 2018, Jewish Museum Vienna presents its newest exhibition, Helena Rubinstein. Pioneer of Beauty. The exhibit covers Rubinstein’s rise as a pioneer in female entrepreneurship, and the legacy she left behind by the time of her passing in 1965.

From the website:

Helena Rubinstein was a pioneer in female entrepreneurship. It did not come easily to her. She was born in the 1870s in Kraków as the oldest of eight daughters and grew up in modest circumstances in an orthodox Jewish family. After a stopover in Vienna, where she worked in her aunt’s fur store and collected the first ideas for her later career, she emigrated to Australia and worked initially as a children’s nanny. She began to sell creams imported from Poland and founded her first beauty salon. In order to develop her own products, she handed over the business to two of her sisters and left for Paris. In 1912 she invented the first system for identifying skin types. She founded beauty salons in Paris and London. In 1914, by now married, she emigrated with her two children and husband to the USA, where she continued to develop her own cosmetic line, which from the 1920s also bore her name.

Tickets to see the exhibition — as well as the other exhibits at Jewish Museum Vienna — are €12 for adults, free for children 18 and under. The museum is closed on Saturdays, as Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath.

To Top

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest news and updates from Dispatches Europe. Get lifestyle & culture, startup & tech, jobs and travel news dispatched to your inbox each week. Keep up with what's going on in Europe. Everything Expat.

You have Successfully Subscribed!