Welcome to the next transitional weekend of 2016, when the last warm days of September give way to the cool evenings and colorful leaves of autumn.
Wondering how you’ll spend this weekend in Europe? We at Dispatches Europe have your itinerary, featuring nothing but the coolest, most interesting events on the social calendar.
This week’s itinerary includes the swan songs of the 2016 British Touring Car Championship season and Oktoberfest, Amsterdam’s Buddhist Film Festival Europe, and the opening weekend of the London Restaurant Festival. Let’s go!
Ajaccio – Tour de Corse: Alizée’s hometown of Ajaccio, Corsica is the starting point for the 11th round of the FIA WRC 2016 season, the Tour de Corse! All of the stages are on tarmac, which will play havoc upon the tires of many a competitor over the weekend. A lack of experience with the stages among the majority of the field, and narrow, twisty mountain roads will only add to the challenge on this rally.
Admission is free, but as always, we at Dispatches Europe ask you to keep your eyes and ears open when watching the competition on a given stage; we want you to be safe.
Amsterdam – Buddhist Film Festival Europe: Heading up to Amsterdam this weekend? The Buddhist Film Festival Europe at the EYE Film Museum should be at the top of your list!
From Friday through Sunday, be seduced by films meant to explore “the training of heartfulness… in order to develop tools to create a more compassionate society.” The three films on this weekend’s program include A Touch of Zen, My Buddha is Punk, Tharlo and Hema Hema – Sing Me A Song While I Wait. Tickets available here.
Barcelona – Barcelona Tattoo Expo: Looking for a new piece of body art to add to your collection? If you’re in Barcelona, head over to Fira de Barcelona for the three-day Barcelona Tattoo Expo between Friday and Sunday. Dozens of tattoo artists from around the world will be available to work on you, while exhibitors will help you take care of your newest addition and/or provide you with the tools to create upon another.
A car show featuring U.S. and EU vehicles, music, dance and more will help speed the pain away, too. Tickets range from 15€ for a Friday ticket, to 40€ for all three days; discounts available if purchased in advance.
Berlin – Berliner Oktoberfest: Can’t make it to Munich for the big show? Want the beer to never stop flowing? Berlin has you covered with its own Oktoberfest. Through 16 October, wear your finest dirndls and lederhosen while drinking as much beer and eating as much food as you can stand.
Berliner Oktoberfest doesn’t run straight through the week like its bigger sibling, opting to open its tents from Wednesday through Sunday. Admission to the festival is free, while the tents charge 5€ only on Fridays and Saturdays.
Brussels – Nuit Blanche: Looking to spend the entire night in the de facto capital of the European Union? Nuit Blanche in Brussels is the way to go! Held on the first Saturday night of October, the city turns into “a real artistic laboratory” filled with art, performances, and a warm, festive atmosphere for a single night from 19:00 to 3:00. Admission is free, and the festival is designed to be open to all.
Eindhoven – The Big Draw Eindhoven: Bring your drawing skills and tools to 18 Septemberplein this Saturday through Wednesday, for it’s time for The Big Draw Eindhoven.
The annual event pays tribute to drawing, inviting all to allow their imaginations soar through workshops and exhibitions during the first few days of October. Most are free to experience, while a few only cost 1€.
London – London Restaurant Festival: What are you doing in London for the next month? If you’re looking to get lost among the city’s many restaurants, the London Restaurant Festival is your ticket to gastronomic happiness.
The festival is divided into festival-specific menus at over 250 restaurants, and restaurant experiences ranging from tastings to London’s Longest Lunch; the latter kicks off the festival, lasting from 11:00 to 17:30 Saturday. Restaurant menus range from £10 to £60, while experiences (most of which are already sold out) vary in ticket price.
Madrid – Grand Premio Camion de España: Want to see the big trucks dance around Circuito del Jarama this weekend? The FIA European Truck Championship is making its second-to-last stop on the 2016 schedule at the famed circuit north of Spain’s capital this weekend, which marks the 30th running of the (diesel) bulls.
Like Zolder in Belgium, Jarama will prove to be a challenge to both the tires and water-cooled brakes on the purpose-built big rigs over Saturday and Sunday.
Practice, qualifying and the first two races occur on Saturday, followed by the final two on Sunday; Clio Cup España fills out the rest of the dance card. Tickets range from 13€ for little ones between 5 and 14, to 38€ for a reserved seat.
Munich – Oktoberfest: Head over to Munich for the third and final weekend of Oktoberfest! As mentioned in our current food festival guide, Oktoberfest is the largest beer and fun festival in the world!
We know what you’re thinking (aside from how many beers and sausages and dances you can stand in a sitting): shouldn’t Oktoberfest be in Oktober? It once was.
The first was held 12 October 1810 “in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen,” then moved up to September over the years to take advantage of the warmer weather.
Oktoberfest in Munich is 16 days of beer, sausage, beer, dancing, beer, pretzels, beer, potato pancakes, and more beer, all under large tents and small tents as far as the eye can see.
Get there early to get a good seat – the tents close by 11:00 on the weekends due to overcrowding, early afternoon during the weekdays. Admission is free, as is the entrance fee to all beer tents. The party ends 3 October.
Paris – Mondial de l’Automobile: Want to see the latest and greatest from the auto industry? Beginning Saturday, spend the next two weeks doing so at the annual Paris Auto Show. Vehicles set to debut in Paris include the 2018 Mercedes E-Class, Audi Q5, Hyundai RN30 Concept, and the Lexus UX Concept.
An adult ticket goes for 16€, while an adult with two children (between 10 and 25) can be had for 34€.
Ross-shire, Scotland – Loopalu: This 2-day (30 Sept. through 1 Oct.) music estival is a five-hour drive from London in a picturesque spot on the west coach of Scotland beside Loch Broom.
As is now tradition, Ullapool Pipe Band kick things off at 3.50pm on Friday with Lional kicking off the main stage at 4.10pm
Hunter & the Bear
Ullapool Pipe Band
Then an earlier start on Saturday, with gates opening at 12 noon and the music starting at 12.10pm.
The Wonder Stuff
Eliza & the Bear
Mark Radcliffes Galleon Blast
The Van Ts
After the music, Loopallu heads to Ullapool’s pubs
Swanley – Brands Hatch Grand Prix: Get ready to wave the checkered flag for the final time this year! The British Touring Car Championship will make its 2016 swan song at Brands Hatch in Swanley near Kent, England.
The championship is down to the wire with 12 different winners vying for the gold, and will be decided by Sunday afternoon. Support races on Saturday’s dance card include Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Renault UK Clio Cup, Ginetta GT Supercup, Ginetta Juniors and British F4.
Admission ranges from free for those under 13, to £33 to catch Rounds 28 through 30 on Sunday.
Vienna – Waves Vienna: Makes some waves in Vienna today through Saturday at Waves Vienna in the 9th district. Electronic, alternative, rock and club music will fill your ears in between panels dealing with this year’s topic, “East Meets West.” Performers scheduled for the festival include Alex the Flipper, Gemma Ray, Monophobe, Parasol Caravan, and Warhaus. A festival pass will set you back 56€ while 22€ will net you a ticket for Thursday’s dance card.