Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ weekly weekend event guide for Europe: 8 June through 11 June 2017

Today is Doomsday for Brexitland. No, no one is going to walk back from the divorce proceedings – not without a miracle, anyway. Instead, this is about how Brexit will be handled: either via scorched earth under the New Age Iron Lady, Theresa May, or a gentle cutting of ties under Jeremy Corbyn.

Either way, it will not end well for England.

In Europe, though, there’s plenty to celebrate, including an LGBTQIA+ film festival in Barcelona, the first day of the Le Mans 24 in Le Mans, a couple of music festivals to enjoy, plus a truckload of upcoming events for your consideration!

Let’s go!

Amsterdam – Bacchus Wijnfestival: Bacchus is visiting Amsterdam Bos over the next two weekends with lots of wine for the 2017 edition of the Bacchus Wijnfestival!

Open to casual fans and aficionados alike, the festival will boast a wide selection of wines from Amsterdam and the surrounding area, along with food, workshops, and music from DJ and live performers.

Tickets to the festival are €15 for regular admission, €50 for a ticket with 10 food and drink credits. Both tickets include an official wine glass. Food and drink purchases are paid with a creditpass, with each credit going for €3.

Barcelona – Mostra FIRE!!: From today through next Sunday, Barcelona’s Institut Français will host the 22nd edition of Mostra FIRE!!.

The LGBTQIA+ film festival – whose mission is to fight homophobia, transphobia and intolerance  – will have 52 films on the programme, including features like About Ray and Tom of Finland; documentaries such as Chavela and The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson; and short films like A Doll’s Eyes, FIRE!! In Shorts, and The Last Leatherman of the Vale of Cashmere.

Tickets to each session of Mostra FIRE!! begin at €6 per ticket.

Berlin – Her Damit im Exil (Here Dammit in Exile auf Deutsch): Berlin has more massive music festivals than any other city, including Melt and Fusion. The first this year, though, is the smallest, the most intimate, and also the most affordable at about €40. And the most mysterious.

Her Damit only had about 2,500 people last year on the island of Rügen. The “exile” part is that the festival had to move. But organizers found another location: The Secret Forest.

This year the festival will be held from Friday through Sunday somewhere within 50 kilometers of Berlin; you’ll have to watch the website to get the details including about transportation to the secret forest.

BUT, the video above seems to offer several hints. Or you can check out photos of the site here.

Here’s the full DJ lineup.

Berlin – Berlin ePrix: If you prefer electric motors over electronic wubs, though, head over to Templehof Airport this Saturday and Sunday for the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2017 Formula E Championship, the Berlin ePrix.

For the third time since its first running during the debut Formula E season in 2015, the Berlin ePrix will run on a different circuit, this time returning to Templehof on a reconfigured version of the 2015 course. A single lap is 2.27 kilometres in length now (from the original 2.47 kilometres), while the circuit itself is reduced from 17 turns to only 10.

Tickets range from free to €49 for each day of the Berlin ePrix. A weekend pass ranges from free to €79.

Donington Park – Download Festival: Need your music festivals cranked up to 11? Look no further than the famed Donington Park for the 2017 edition of the Download Festival, the top hard rock and metal music festival in the United Kingdom.

Headliners for this year are System of a Down, Biffy Clyro and Aerosmith. Other acts on the three-day bill include: Mastodon; Steel Panther; Rob Zombie; Exodus; Ministry; Slayer; Suicidal Tendencies; and more metal and hard rock than you can shake a stick at!

The headbanging runs from Friday through Sunday. Three-day passes and single-day tickets can be had here.


Greece – Athens & Epidaurus Festival: A theatrical event with drama, dance and music staged at ancient theatres including the 2,000-year-old outdoor Odeon of Herodes Atticus at the base of Acropolis Hill and the theatre of Delphi.

The Athens & Epidaurus Festival starts today, and continues through 19 August. Ticketing and programme information can be found here.

Isle of Man – Isle of Man TT: The legendary Isle of Man TT is not for the faint of heart. The annual motorcycle competition has claimed a total of 253 competitors since the festival of two-wheeled speed began in 1907, the most recent fatalities occurring Tuesday and Wednesday.

We expect nothing to change regarding the Grim Reaper on the Snaefell Mountain Course in 2017, with riders battling the 38-mile road circuit at speeds averaging over 133 mph, some going as fast as over 200 mph in the higher-speed classes.

The 98th running of the Isle of Mann TT draws to a close Friday. Tickets range from £20 to £60.

Isle of Wight – Isle of Wight Festival: From 1968 to 1970, the Isle of Wight Festival was one of the biggest counterculture festivals around. Alas, the British Parliament passed legislation in 1971 specific to the island, preventing overnight open-air festivals of 5,000+ without special permission from the island council.

Thus, things were quiet until the Isle of Wight Festival was revived in 2002 at Seaclose Park. Since then, The Rolling Stones, R.E.M., The Police, Queen, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and more have all performed at the annual open-air music festival, which will be held today through Sunday.

This year’s lineup includes main-stage headliners David Guetta, Arcade Fire, Rod Stewart, Run DMC, Texas, and Jon Stevens. Other acts on the bill include: The Pretenders; Melanie C; The Alarm; and The Germein Sisters.

Tickets to the festival are £195 for the full weekend, £80 for each day. Camping options are available, as well.

Le Mans – 24 Hours of Le Mans: In a few days, the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France will come to life as the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown of Motorsport arrives into town, the 24 Hours of Le Mans!

Since the first competition in 1923, the Le Mans 24 has served to test the mettle of many a competitor, team and car. Though speed is important, more important are fuel and tire conservation, as well as durability. Legends like A.J. Foyt, Jacky Ickx, and the sole Triple Crown winner, Graham Hill, have left their mark on the 14-kilometer circuit.

Tickets to the 85th running of the Le Mans 24 — scheduled for this Sunday through next Sunday — range from €39 for Thursday night’s practice session, to €3,059.50 for the Le Panoramic Semaine VIP package.

Lyon – Bruno Mars Can you feel the magic in the air? Is the uptown funk putting a few more bounces in your step? That might be because Bruno Mars is landing in Lyon, France’s Halle Tony Garnier Thursday night to splash a bit of 24-carat gold over your life on this, the latest stop on his 24K Magic World Tour.

Come on, who doesn’t like Bruno Mars? This half-Jewish, half Dominican singer/dancer/composer may be he the hottest act right now aside from Beyoncé.

“Just the Way You Are” was a No. 1 hit!

“Grenade”? Huge!

“Uptown Funk”? Really huge!

The few tickets to see Bruno Mars in Lyon can be had for €84. Doors open at 17:00. The show begins at 20:00.

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.

Now in the semi-final and final rounds, a total of 104 men and 108 women will battle on the court for a chunk of over €30 million in 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.

Some tickets are available, though the only way to purchase is by first registering with Roland-Garros; no tickets will be sold at the venue. 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.

The show comes to a close Saturday night.

Stockholm – Summerburst Stockholm: Yet another big summer music event – live house music with international DJs  A two-day music extravaganza set on Gärdet starts tomorrow. Acts include Justin Bieber, Deadmau5 and Axwell & Ingrosso.

Here’s the lineup.

Tickets start at 995 krona (101 euros) for students, and you can get them here.

Vienna – Vienna Pride: Raise your rainbows to the sky, and head over to City Hall for Vienna Pride this Friday through next Sunday.

Formerly a four-day LGBTQIA+ festival, the organizers have expanded Vienna Pride to a full week of all things wonderful, including drag shows, live music, comedy, parades, lectures, family activities and so much more.

Admission to most of Vienna Pride is free; the full programme with admission information can be had here.


Netherlands – The Best Kept Secret Festival is next weekend in Hilverenbeek, just outside the college town of Tilburg. The festival runs from Friday, 16 June through Sunday, 18 June. This is a HUGE festival, and acts include Arcade Fire, Radiohead, George Ezra and James Blake.

Tickets start at 79 euros and there are still camping spots. But don’t delay.

Basel, SwitzerlandArt Basel, Europe’s most influential art fair, is next weekend starting Thursday, and running through Sunday. Art Basel attracts the international art world with 291 of the world’s leading galleries showing the works of more than 4,000 artists. 

France – Le Tour de France: Only the most famous multi-stage bicycle race in the world, the month-long Le Tour de France is three weeks of pain, endurance and victory over 21 stages and 3,500 kilometres.

Born from a fight in 1903 between two French newspapers over the Dreyfus Affair, Le Tour has seen its share of conflict and scandal in the 114 years since then, including anything and everything related to disgraced ex-champion Lance Armstrong.

If you’re wondering how to watch any of the stages in this year’s running, this route map should help. From there, rally spectating rules (mostly) apply, as the 20 teams of nine cyclists are followed by motorized support crews and police. We say mostly because some “fans” just want to watch Rome burn, interfering with the competition however they can.

Hasselt – Pukkelpop: Another big music festival for your consideration, this time in Hasselt, Belgium, the home of Pukkelpop.

The “progressive and contemporary” four-day music festival — scheduled for 16 through 19 August 2017 — has welcomed the likes of The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Sonic Youth, Eminem and more for over three decades. The 2017 lineup continues to live to Pukkelpop’s mission: The Afghan Whigs, Cypress Hill, Editors, The Flaming Lips, Interpol (who are performing the entirety of their debut full-length, Turn On The Bright Lights), and PJ Harvey are among the 165 acts set to perform this year.

Tickets to Pukkelpop 2017 are going fast! Fees range from €99 for a single-day ticket, to €199 for a full festival pass. A 20-piece food/drink voucher pack is €50 per pack.

Hildesheim – M’era Luna: If you happen to be in Hildesheim, Germany on the second weekend of August, and you see a wave of goths, headbangers and rivetheads descending upon the Drispenstedt airfield (formerly occupied by the British Army), have no fear; they’re all going to M’era Luna! The annual dark music festival attracts between 20,000 and 25,000 fans every year, all coming out to see artists like The Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, Killing Joke, Placebo, Skinny Puppy, and Ministry.

This year’s lineup includes: Korn; And One; Blutengel; DAF; Front Line Assembly; KMFDM; and The Crüxshadows. Around a total of 40 artists will gather to welcome the moon between 12 and 13 August 2017 at Hildesheim, along with a medieval market, a gothic fashion show, a disco, and more.

Tickets to M’era Luna range from €99 for a Kombiticket, to €449 for a place among three other friends at the Gothic Garden Ganymed. Entrance to the disco is €5 Friday and Saturday night. The market opens at 19:30 Friday, while the first act of M’era Luna 2017 hits the stage Saturday afternoon.

London – BBC Proms: We’re a month away from 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.

London – Wimbledon: The strawberries-and-cream tennis tourney runs from 3 July through 16 July 2017.

Montreux – Montreux Jazz Festival: The Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland — whose late founder, Claude Nobs, is name-checked along with Montreux in Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” — is one of the most famous music festivals in all of Europe, if not the world over. 30 June through 15 July 2017. Miles Davis, Eric Clapton, New Order, and the aforementioned Deep Purple have all played at the festival in the five decades since the first in 1967.

Performers on the bill for the 51st edition of Montreux include: Herbie Hancock; Pet Shop Boys; Lil Uzi Vert; Ms. Lauren Hill; Grace Jones; The 1975; Fourplay; Somi; Yello; and Juliette Armanet.

A full festival pass to Montreux is CHF 1,420 (around €1,300). Show tickets and programme information can be had here.

Paris – Les soldes d’été 2017 (The Sales of Summer 2017 en français): Attention Kmart shoppers! It’s time once again for the biggest shopping extravaganza in all of Paris, the bi-annual Les soldes. Twice a year — once in January through February, and again in June through August — every shop in the City of Lights will be offering their wares for as much as 70 percent off!

The summer Les soldes will be held from 28 June to 8 August 2017. After that, you’ll have to wait until after the new year to snag those deals in Paris!

Rimini – EuroPython 2017: This one’s for the 24-hour IT party people who love to flex their 24-inch Python coding skills, brother! The largest Python conference in all of Europe, EuroPython, lands in Rimini, Italy this year. The festivities run from 9 through 16 July, and tickets are available now.

Roskilde – Roskilde Festival: Roskilde is Denmark’s opportunity to prove they’re more than just exceptional crime drama exporters, and bring some of the world’s best rock, pop, hip-hop and dance acts to Scandinavia.

This year’s lineup includes Foo Fighters, Ice Cube and Trentemøller among the headliners, as well as: Anthrax; Erasure; Gucci Mane; The Jesus and Mary Chain; Lorde; Neurosis; Cult of Luna; Princess Nokia; and Tvivler. A total of 175 acts will perform on Roskilde’s nine stages this year.

The festival runs 24 June through 1 July 2017. Tickets are almost sold out, so get yours now; a full festival pass is DKK 1,995 (around €268).

West Sussex – Goodwood Festival of Speed: Most of the year, the grounds of the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England are tranquil. Twice a year, however, the estate roars to life with raw horsepower from a wide variety of cars and motorcycles during the Goodwood Revival in early September, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed from 29 June through 2 July 2017.

This year’s theme for FOS is “Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers.” Thus, you’ll see iconic vehicles from the first turbo era of Formula One; the unhinged madness of Group B; and the two-wheeled terrors of MotoGP, Isle of Man TT, and the 500cc Grand Prix era.

Tickets to the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed range from £34 to £154, but don’t delay, as availability is dwindling fast!

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