EXPAT ESSENTIALS Europe and beyond: Dispatches’ always updated list of the best fall-into-winter destinations for 2019
BydispatcheseuroPosted on July 26, 2019
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Unlike, say, Americans, Europeans have more down time and certainly are far more likely to travel to international destinations for festivals and events. If you’re a just-arrived expat in Europe, get ready: The party never ends.
Dispatches is essentially an expat lifestyle company, and the best part of our lifestyle is mobility whether we’re talking careers, beaches or festivals. That’s why we create multiple events lists to take you around the calendar from skiing in Gstaad to EDM in Morocco.
What we’d been missing was a list that includes the final summer bashes and fall events before the winter ski/music festival season starts. Now we have it ….
Obonjan Island, Croatia – No particular reason, anytime until 2 September: This 136-acre island is an adults-only getaway with stuff – yoga, music and water sports – to do, or you can do nothing but stare at the blue Adriatic and chill.
All our friends keep telling us there’s an Obonjan Music Festival in September, but damned if we could find it.
This is an island, so you choose between glamping and lodges. Prices start at about 62 euros per unit for a 2-person tent and breakfast and go up from there to about 200 euros per night for a “Forrest Lodge” with a sea view. You can see all the options here.
Budva, Montenegro – Sea Dance Festival: If you’ve never been to Montenegro, here’s a good excuse to rectify that oversight.
The sixth edition of Sea Dance Festival is coming up Friday, 20 August thru Sunday, 1 September on Buljarica beach in Budva, Montenegro.
The lineup of more than 100 international and regional stars includes “names” such as David Guetta, Disciples, Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath and a bunch more. You can see the full lineup here.
Sea Dance has five stages worth of entertainment.
Now here’s the cool part – because it’s held at a spot on the Adriatic just south of Croatia that’s a bit out of the way, tickets start at 44 euros/39 pound, with tourist packages starting at 89 euros.
Still, with these names and a low barrier to entry, expect a crowd.
Acid Punk Royale – Cagliari, Sardinia, 30 August thru 1 September
Okay, let’s have a word-association moment. When we say, “Sardinia,” what are the first words that pops into your head?
Wow, right! “Acid Punk.”
Acid Punk Royale comes up late this summer 30 August thru 1 September – in Cagliari, Sardinia. This event bills itself as “the king of Techno festivals,” promising 60 of the top DJs and producers. Not just the top DJs and producers from Sardinia, but “on the planet.” So there you go.
There are no acts announced yet on the website, but the APR Facebook page lists Dutch DJ Soulless. You can also ping the organizers on Gmail to get more info: email@example.com
Tickets are 50 pounds and you can get them here.
Dimensions Festival – Fort Punta Christo, Croatia, 28 August thru 1 September
Another big week in Croatia. Dimensions Festival is 28 August to 1 September at Fort Punta Christo. We just got the final list of artists and they include Nina Kraviz (the woman who plays every festival), Jeff Mills/Tony Allen and Objekt. In February, they added U.S singer and rapper Anderson Paak and The Free Nationals as 2019’s headliner.
This is an interesting festival in that it covers multiple genres from house, electro and techno to acid, DnB, ambient and jazz. The full list runs more than 100 acts. And organizers say this is the last year for the festival at the fortress overlooking the Aegean so they’re blowing it out with boat parties, etc.
You can get tickets here.
Outlook Festival 2019 – Fort Punta Christo, Croatia, 4 thru 9 September
One of the final summer mega-parties in Croatia … 10 stages, 300 acts. You get the idea. Outlook runs for a week, from 4 thru 9 September at Fort Punta Christo. Acts include Chase & Status, Bugzy Malone, Goldie (live) and Ghetts, Tickets start at 120 pounds and you can get them here. Outlook is the sister festival with Dimensions above, and this will be the final year for both at the fort.
BPM Festival – Portimão Portugal, 12 thru 15 September: A music festival in the Algarve? With established stars such as Adriatique, the Martinez Bros and Maceo Plex as well as relatively new stars like Patrick Topping from DC10? We’re in.
BPM Festival runs four days in September at two beach clubs with like, a million people playing. There has to be someone you’ll like. Here’s the full lineup.
Full festival passes start at 184.44 pounds and you can get them here. You can also book travel and accommodations through Travel Republic
Oasis Festival – Marrakesh, Morocco, 13 thru 15 September
The desert spring, not the band. As we always say, this isn’t Europe, but you can get there easily from here. The tagline for Oasis Festival – in Marrakesh from 13 thru 15 September – is, “Dance Somewhere Different.” We’re down with that.
This year, acts include Horse Meat Disco, Mall Grab and a ton of French DJs including Ciel and Apollonia.
Weekend passes start at 181 euros and you can get them here.
The Bubble – Għajn Tuffieħa, Malta, 16 thru 22 September
Do NGOs know how to party? This one does. The Bubble is a “celebration of contemporary music and arts,” according to the website. It’s also a gathering in Malta from 16 thru 22 September of people interested in awareness of worthy causes and issues such as climate change. And 100 percent of the money goes to humanitarian and environmental causes. This is a loooong way from those boat parties in Croatia.
Tickets start at 35 euros and you can get yours here.
Connect – Düsseldorf, 21 September
Connect returns to Düsseldorf for a second year. This is a partnership between Awakenings and Time Warp, two of the most influential electronic music festivals,
Big Names at Connect include Nina Kraviz, Boris Brejcha, Richie Hawtin and Solomun.
Tickets start at 67.50 euros and you can get them here.
HYTEx A Day at the Park – Rotterdam, 21 September
Underground festival brand HYTE is coming to Rotterdam for its Netherlands debut.
HYTE takes the main stage at “A Day at the Park” on 21 September with the Chris Liebing as the headliner.
Also on the bill are Nicole Moudaber, Nic Fanciulli and Green Velvet as well as Dutch stalwarts Adin and Wouter S. And there’s one more big headliner that’s TBA, according to the new release we just got from Chris Alderton. (Thank you, Chris.)
HYTE is a global company that puts on killer events from Miami to Berlin, so this should be pretty sic.
Tickets start at 44 euros and you can get them here.
Les Dunes Electroniques – Ong Jmal, Tunisia, 21 & 22 September
Les Dunes Electronique returns to Tunisia’s famous “Star Wars” set after a three-year hiatus. LDE is held at Luke Skywalker’s hometown, Mos Espa, from the original Star Wars flick. This year, 30 performers from Tunisia’s and France’s electronic scenes, along with international acts, are coming to the desert.
Mixmag is billing it as a “30-hour rave in the desert.”
Yes, this is Tunisia, and we’re well aware the issues. (Please … we survived six wars!) But LDE’s partner is Tunisia’s national department of tourism, so we’re thinking security will be optimal. Also, tourism in this North African country so close to Europe is way up this year. So far, so good.
Tickets start at 42.50 euros and you can get them here.
Oktoberfest – Munich, 21 September thru 6 October
This is sort of like the Tour de France … one of the definitive European experiences – a rite of passage if you will – though maybe one trip will do you for a lifetime. But you still have to go.
In case you’ve been living in a barn in Muskogee, Oklahoma your whole life, Oktoberfest is the biggest fall bash in Germany. There’s beer (really good beer), food (really heavy good German food) and music in giant event-built tents/temp buildings. But it’s mostly about the beer.
The very elaborate Oktoberfest website has all the info you need excluding places to stay in this pricy-but-worth-it city.
A tip: Book your stay now.
Kookeet 2019, Bruges, Belgium, 28 thru 30 Septembe
In the summer, the perfectly preserved city of Bruges isn’t really a recommended destination because it’s the Venice of the North … jam-packed with tour groups. In fall, travelers return, and this is worth attending.
Kookeet is a culinary festival … a showcase for 32 of Europes best chefs and pastry chefs. The guest chef this year is Jennes Brevet from Manoir Restaurant in Kruiningen in the Netherlands.
Three-star Michelin chefs are nice, but Kookeet is mainly about the glories of street food, with most dishes under 10 euros.
This is a free event, but 100,000 people typically turn out. Might be more this year as this is the final Kookeet as organizers refresh the concept.
A tip: Stay nearby in Antwerp, one of our favorite cities.
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