Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ weekly weekend event guide for Europe: 27 April through 1 May, 2017

Welcome to the final weekend of April 2017, where the French have decided to pit two candidates from the new order of French politics against each other to become France’s new president on 7 May; UK prime minister Theresa May prepares for a snap election of her own in early June; and Uncle Donnie rambled unintelligibly on a number of topics before the Associated Press.

Just another day in Outer Heaven, yeah?

Nonetheless, there is plenty of fun to be had across Europe as April gives way to May, including: King’s Day in the Netherlands; a HUGE bike race around Frankfurt’s financial district, a tribute to French pop icon Dalida in Paris; and a heads-up on a number of outings coming soon to a social calendar near you. Let’s go!

Amsterdam (and every city, town and village in the Netherlands) – King’s Day: Behold! The one day of the year when every Dutchie throws off their conservative façades to let it all out in their best orange and blue attire, King’s Day!

King’s Day (or Queen’s Day, depending on who is ruling) is celebrated on the birthday of the current regent of the Netherlands; as of 2013, this would be 27 April, the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. Our own Terry Boyd experienced his first King’s Day last year, and much like it was then, this year’s celebration is expected to be cold and wet.

How will this day be celebrated in Amsterdam?

You can take a cruise on the River IJ with around 600 of your friends; take your little ones to the Artisplein children’s market at Artis Royal Zoo; and lose yourself among the wubs at the Loveland van Oranje festival in Amsterdam Oost’s Meerpark.

And that’s only three of the many parties, markets, and other happenings in Amsterdam during this special day. Rain or shine, there’s never a dull moment when celebrating the birthday of the Netherlands’ reigning regent!

Barcelona – Barcelona Open: Are you ready for some tennis? Then head over to Real Club de Tenis Barcelona now through Sunday for the 65th edition of the Barcelona Open!

Part of the 2017 ATP World Tour 500, 48 of the top men’s tennis players will be throwing down on the red clay for the chance to raise the Barcelona Open trophy – designed in 1953 by jewelers Soler Calbot – and walk away with a chunk of the €1.99 million in prize money, including nine-time winner Rafael Nadal and two-time winner Kei Nishikori. Twenty-four doubles teams will also compete at the open.

Tickets for the 2017 Barcelona Open range from €43 for today’s “Round of the Last 16,” to €430 for an all-session event pass good for the entirety of the competition.

Berlin – Fashion Revolution WeekAgora Rollberg in Berlin has been the venue for the Fashion Revolution Week this whole week. The alternative fashion week started on Monday and is wrapping up this weekend with some cool events that are worth checking out.

This is a world-wide movement, by the way, that includes everyone from industry insiders to people who just love clothing. But its also a social-awareness campaign, and Berlin is one of the largest events.

On Friday, you can shop ‘till you drop at the VineKilo Vintage Sale which is followed by discussions with experts in the field of fashion at the EcoSessions.

You can continue your shopping on Saturday at the clothing swap party which is part of the Re:fash:festival, the closing event of the Fashion Revolution Week.

FRW events are happening across Germany including in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Heidelberg.

Red Bull Flying Illusion – This street dance extravaganza uses the tagline “Breakdance meets Illusion,” and sponsored by that ubiquitous Austrian energy drink, which also sponsors a Formula 1 team.

So we’re guessing this is going to be wild.

This is a multi-city tour  including Frankfurt and Munich by the Berlin-based Flying Steps, which stops in Berlin tomorrow and Saturday.

From the event website:

Twelve of the world’s best dancers – selected from all areas of urban dance – meet in a magical battle of the hostile powers. Flying Heroes against Dark Illusions, Good vs. Evil, the light of love against eternal darkness. Superb dancers’ abilities are unmistakably mixed with deliberate optical illusions.

Tickets run about 55 euros for the family pack.  You can get tickets on the event website here.

Brussels – BOZAR Night: Ever wanted to mix wubs with fine art? Brussels’ BOZAR will this Sunday with BOZAR Night!

The art center will host a quintet of DJs – Amelie Lens, Lone, Nathan Fake A/V, Front De Cadeaux, Clara ! – alongside some of its current exhibits, such as Yves Klein’s Theatre of the Void and Pol Bury’s Time in Motion.

Tickets are €10 online, €15 at the door on the day of the festivities. Show runs from 20:00 to 1:00.

Cheltenham – Cheltenham Jazz Festival: In association with BBC Radio 2, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival at Cheltenham, England’s Montpellier Gardens is one of the United Kingdom’s top jazz festivals, with big names like Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Van Morrison, and the late Eartha Kitt gracing the stage over the years.

This year’s lineup has a few heavy hitters of its own, including Meshell Ndegeocello, Ben Folds, and The Robert Cray Band performing in and around the festival grounds.

Admission to the festival ranges from free to around £50, depending on the show; full schedule and ticketing information can be had here.

Frankfurt – Eschborn-Frankfurt Bike Race:  This race around Frankfurt’s financial center is a HUGE event, and the first big WorldTour bike event in Frankfurt, Germany’s most underrated city. All the top German riders AND international stars have signed up for this classic race, scheduled for Monday, 1 May, according to the website.

From the website:

World Champion Peter Sagan starts on May 1 at the 56th Eschborn-Frankfurt. The 27-year-old is leading the German WorldTour team BORA-hansgrohe to the German classic. For Sagan, it will be the first participation ever at Eschborn-Frankfurt “Around the financial center.”

Check out the website, which is really detailed, for all the info about this Skoda-sponsored event. Because there are lots of things you need to know about traffic and safety since the race is on public highways.

And the teaser vid for 2017 is really good, as well.

Spring Dippemess: Say hello to spring in Frankfurt with the last days of Spring Dippemess!

Taking place at the Ratsweg Fairground through Monday, the spring edition of Dippemess will bring warm memories of state and county fairs gone by to many an expat, from the market full of wares to the fairground full of food and fun.

From the website:

The Dippemess is a traditional fair that dates back to the 14th century. At that time, the “Maamess,” as it was then called, was a medieval market proffering domestic articles. Potters from the Westerwald, Kannebäckerland and Urberach came here to sell their wares, especially their ceramic bowls and pots. These were known in the Frankfurt dialect as “Dippe,” from which the event soon took its name. Over the years, more and more fairground booths and popular attractions joined the market.

Entrance to the fair is free, while rides range from €1 to €3.

London – Underbelly Festival: Looking for something to do this summer in Brexit-era London? Then the new Underbelly Festival is what you need!

The festival is the result of two big festivals – the Underbelly Festival and London Wonderground – merging into one big festival full of comedy, live circus, cabaret, and fun for the whole family to enjoy. International street foods and after-work drink specials keep bellies full for the ride.

If you want to know what you can see during the months-long festival, look no further than right here! Tickets average 20 pounds per show, and each lasts no longer than an hour at most.

So head over to the Southbank of the River Thames this Friday through 30 September 2017, and let yourself go in the madness of the Underbelly Festival!

2._jean_desses_robe_1958_0Paris – Dalida, une garde-robe de la ville à la scène: Thirty years ago, French pop icon Dalida departed this mortal coil after a life full of great success in the public eye, and heartbreak behind closed doors.

Starting this Friday and continuing through 13 August 2017, the Palais Galliera pays tribute to the singer with its latest exhibition, Dalida, une garde-robe de la ville à la scène.

The exhibition features several pieces of her wardrobe, designed by the likes of Jacques Esterel, Balmain, Michel Fresney, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Tickets to the exhibition run between free and €12.

32_weanhean2017_banner_facebook_rgbVienna – wean hean – Das Wienerliedfestival: Will you be in Vienna?

If you’re a music lover, you can do no wrong by attending the month-long Wienerliedfestival wean hean, which started last Friday at the University of Vienna.

The 18th annual wean hean will feature 12 concerts at various venues around Vienna, ending at the Porgy & Bess Jazz Club with a swing jazz revue 18 May.

In between, all can experience works from Martin Luther, Ramsch & Rosen, Karl Kraus, and more! Lectures, a mini-jazz festival, and a first-ever children’s program round out the schedule.

Ticket prices range from free to €33, depending on the event; full program and ticket information can be found here.


Barcelona – Primavera Sound: Coming to Barcelona’s Parc del Fòrum 31 May through 4 June 2017, the 2017 edition of Primavera Sound — which also takes place at Oporto, Portugal 8 through 10 June 2017 — will blow your mind with the vast collection of pop, indie, and electronic sounds on tap, including those from the likes of Front 242, The Afghan Whigs, Saint Etienne, The Damned, and the 50th anniversary performance celebration of Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies.

Tickets are going quickly, with €80 day tickets for 1 June remaining. That said, you may still be able to pick up a ticket or pass for the day(s) you want through Primavera’s Safe Marketplace.

Isle of Man – Isle of Man TT: The long-running Isle of Man TT continue its reign in 2017 as the ultimate motorcycle racing event, with many a rider risking (and, sometimes, losing) their life on the famed Snaefell Mountain street course at speeds of over 200 mph.

The 98th edition runs from 27 May through 9 June 2017. Tickets range from £3 to £5.

Le Mans – 24 Hours of Le Mans: Only the most famous (and oldest) endurance race of all, dating back to 1923. Known as one of the jewels of the Triple Crown of Motorsport (the other two being the Indianapolis 500 and the Grand Prix of Monaco), the 24-hour race on the Circuit de la Sarthe is the mother of all 24-hour competitions, spreading the good word of endurance racing to Daytona, Nürburgring, and Bol d’Or.

Practice and the first round of qualifying occur 14 June, while the big show kicks off 17 June at 15:00. Tickets range from €14 to €3,095.50.

London – BBC Proms: It’s almost time 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 run from 14 July to 9 September 2017.

Monaco – Grand Prix of Monaco: While your friends in Indianapolis and Charlotte wait to start their big day of racing, you can spend your Memorial Day weekend rolling the dice on the action during the 2017 Grand Prix of Monaco. The famed street circuit has been a mainstay of the Formula 1 schedule since 1929.

Tickets range from free to €5,800.04; some tiers have already sold out. We’re thinking there are plenty of the €5,800 tickets left.

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