Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ weekly weekend event guide for Europe: 4 May through 7 May 2017

The party starts in Europe this weekend, then travels across the globe.

Welcome to the first weekend of May 2017, where the only things on our minds are mint juleps, big hats, and how much money we’ll win (or lose) on our favorite ponies during the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.

Throw in Cinco de Mayo, and the whole weekend may as well be a blur.

Before we check out, though, we do have a few things happening all around Europe for your own weekend, including the Vrijland Festival in Amsterdam, Europe Day and the Iris Festival in Brussels, and a heads-up on a handful of upcoming events. Let’s go!

Amsterdam – Vrijland Festival: This is a mega-music festival on the Netherlands’ Liberation Day, Friday, 5 May.

That’s the day that marks the liberation of the country at the end of World War II. Not that anyone cares about that, because this is a strictly contemporary event where the freedom being celebrated is the freedom to par-tay!

For 2017 the Vrijland Festival‘s musical programming features seven main musical areas/stages. House, techno and bass ‘n beats are the genres that will be representing.

Here’s just part of the lineup:


Lucy (DE)
Answer Code Request LIVE (DE)
Jasper Wolff & Maarten Mittendorff
Jean Pierre Enfant
Mirella Kroes


Italo Johnson (DE)
Benny Rodrigues
Virginia (DE)
The Love Triangle ( Job Jobse, Elias Mazian & Luc Mast)
Brent Roozendaal


Gallowstreet Brass Band
Kuenta i Tambu
Tears & Marble
Fox & Mink

The festival features a market featuring pop-up stores, a mini theatre, a host of other performance surprises and plenty of food and drink.

The festival is held at Blijberg aan Zee, an island park/beach just on the east edge of Amsterdam.

There are already 4,000 people registered as going on the event’s Facebook page. And there will be a lot more than that show up, so get your tickets ASAP.

Tickets start at 25 euros, and you can get them here.

Amsterdam – International Jewish Music Festival: If you’re a little more into culture and big on Jewish music including Klezmer, head over to Amsterdam’s Uilenburger Sjoel and DeLaMar Theater for the 20th anniversary of the International Jewish Music Festival.

The festival runs today through Monday. Considered to be “the world’s only all-genre Jewish music competition and festival,” the IJMF “strives to promote Jewish Culture, especially Jewish music and everything that is associated with it.”

Festivities kick off with the biennial IJMF Competition quarterfinals at Uilenburger Sjoel, marking its fifth appearance in 2017.

Those who make it to the finals will perform before a crowd of 1,000 at DeLaMar Monday evening, which will also a feature a special performance by Israeli pop superstar Shiri Maimon.

Tickets to the IJMF range from free to €110, depending on what performances you want to see.

You can see the live stream here on YouTube.

Barcelona – World Press Photo 2017: This one started last weekend, but there’s still plenty of time to catch the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona’s newest exhibition, World Press Photo 2017, which runs until 5 June 2017.

From the website:
World Press Photo is considered the most important photojournalism exhibition in the world, both for the quality of the photographs and the debate it generates on the issues it addresses. The exhibition is the result of an international competition organized annually by the foundation of the same name and aimed at fostering a better understanding of the world through high-quality press photography.

Admission to the museum is €6, €8 for a guided tour.

Berlin – XJAZZ Festival: Jazz it up in Berlin now through Sunday at the XJAZZ Festival! The jazz festival will take place at 10 different venues around the city, including Funkhaus Berlin, Bi Nuu, and Watergate.

Artists on this year’s bill include: 10 AM; Act Tee & Kwam.e; Elektro Guzzi; Moses Boyd; and The Swag.

Tickets to the festival range from €11.70 to see Lammel Lauer Bornstein at FluxBau, to €179.50 for a festival pass.

And yes, it there will be live-streaming on YouTube.

Brussels – Europe Day: Every wanted to see the inner workings of the European Union in person?

If you’re in the de facto capital of the EU, you can do so this Saturday on Europe Day, the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration.

Several of the EU’s institutions will be open to the public that day, including the new House of European History, the European Parliament, and Station Europe.

Information booths will help you to better understand how and why the EU is (in the hopes to avoid another Brexit, if anything); food from all over the continent will fill your belly; and, at the end of the festivities, the Electro Night free concert – part of the concurrent Iris Festival – will fill your ears with lots of European electro!

Brussels – Iris Festival: And speaking of the Iris Festival, this long-running weekend-long festival is one of the flagship events on Brussels’ social calendar.

Free concerts and street activities await you and your friends and family, which concludes Sunday evening with the “We are Belgium” orchestral pop performance.

London – London Craft Week: From now through Sunday, check out the finest craftsmanship around during the annual London Craft Week.

The festival “showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands.”

This year’s programme includes a lecture by one of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Designers; demonstrations by the craftsmen of Alfred Dunhill; and an exhibition featuring the bespoke wardrobe of fictional character Jimmy Beaumont, created by Beaumont hotel founder and CEO, Jeremy King OBE.

Admission to LCW 2017 varies, depending on the event; most are free to attend.

Stockholm – Concealed Party:  Starting 8 May, Concealed Party opens a door between two worlds; the real physical world and the inner, fathomless dreamworld.

Tana Maneva’s interpretation of the Japanese dance form Butoh fascinates.

Everything can happen, the human beings’ light and darkness take a form in front of our eyes. Together with the composer Rikard Borggård Tana Manevas has produced a number of shows both in Sweden and abroad.

Tickets start at 100 Swedish krona, and you can get tickets here.

Vienna – Musikmarkt 2017: Starting this Friday and continuing every Friday and Saturday through May, the ninth annual Musikmarkt by Basis.Kultur.Wien will bring the party to select Viennese markets.

All performances are free, and take place between 11:00 and 13:00.

This weekend’s bill features Vila Madalena and Global Groove LAB at Rochusmarkt; and Wienerglühn and Circus Domino at Brunnenmarkt.


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.

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 – certainly holds true to this principle.

It 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 delights and a wonderfully diverse stage programme featuring everything from jazz to pop music.

The festival runs 28 June to 7 July.

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.

Landgraaf – Pinkpop: We’re a month away from one of the Netherlands’ biggest music festivals, Pinkpop! Held on the Pentecost (Pinksteren in Dutch; thus, the festival’s name) weekend annually (3 through 5 June in 2017) in Landgraaf.

The three-day festival attracts 60,000 per day to its four stages. Rush, Muse, U2, Bruce Springsteen, and Van Halen are a handful of acts to have grace Pinkpop with their presence over the nearly five decades the festival has occurred.

This year’s Pinkpop lineup includes: Justin Bieber; Green Day; Kings of Leon; Live; System of a Down; Liam Gallagher; and Ronnie Flex & Deuxperience Band.

A total of 40 acts are on this year’s bill.

Tickets are €95 per day, €195 for a three-day pass. You can also obtain a collector’s ticket for an additional €4.95, the perfect keepsake for the fun you will have at Pinkpop!

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.

Nürburg – ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen: Otherwise known as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen in Nürburg, Germany is unlike any other endurance competition around.

For starters, the N24 is open only to touring and grand touring cars; no LMP classes here. More than 200 cars and over 700 drivers will tackle the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife (something our own Terry Boyd has done before) and Grand-Prix-Strecke, ranging from the monsters of the FIA GT3 class, to the slower classes featuring the likes of Toyota CH-Rs, Hyundai i30s, and an occasional Opel Manta from the early 1980s.

And of course, the N24 is what happens when you mix the Le Mans 24 in a blender with Oktoberfest, Wacken Open Air, and Dippemess: one big party with over 200,000 of your closest friends, and over 200 acts performing on one massive stage (you’ll want to consult this guide from Top Gear to prepare for the madness to come)! We certainly can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Nürburgring’s 90th anniversary, can you?

The festivities run from 25 through 28 May, with the big show kicking off at 15:30 27 May. Tickets to the N24 range from €29 for a Sunday ticket and €64 for a four-day pass, to €359 for a 24-hour lounge ticket and €499 for a VIP ticket.

Nürburg and Nuremburg – Rock am Ring and Rock im Park: Of course, if you prefer the sound of guitars over engines, then wait until 2 through 4 June 2017 for two of Germany’s biggest music festivals, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park. The am Ring returns to the Nürburgring after a two-year absence, while the concurrent im Park keeps rocking the free world at nearby Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg.

Together, am Ring and im Park pull 150,000 fans together annually to watch around 80 performers bring the noise, including Alice in Chains, Marilyn Manson, and The Prodigy. This year’s lineup includes headliners Rammstein (who will perform on the first night of am Ring and the last night of im Park), Die Toten Hozen and System of a Down.

Other performers on the bill include: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Airbourne; Clutch; Liam Gallagher; and Alter Bridge.

Tickets start from €85 for a Friday ticket at im Park, €210 for a three-day camping pass at am Ring.

Paris – French Open: Officially known as Roland-Garros (named after the host venue Stade de Roland-Garros, which, in turn, is named after famed WWI French aviator Roland Garros), the French Open is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament played on red clay.

A total of 104 men and 108 women will battle on the court for a chunk of over €30 million prize money, including Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the men’s side, and Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova on the women’s side.

Tickets are selling out fast, though the only way to purchase is by first registering with Roland-Garros. Prices range from €15 for those attending the evening matches, to €605 for a package deal which allows you backstage access to the French Open.

Stockholm: Tough Viking: On 13 May, you can find out just how tough you are at Tough Viking.

Tough Viking is the leading and largest Obstacle Race in Scandinavia. The obstacles are massive and consist of fire, water, electricity, mud, monkey bars and barbed wire set out along a challenging route. Obstacles are designed together with the Swedish elite maritime special forces unit Kustjägarna.

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