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Top European Festivals this July

27 June, 2008 17:31  EasyExpat EasyExpat

The sun is shining, the hem lines have risen, the beaches are packed and the holidays have begun. Summer is here and there are loads of festivals happening all across Europe. Here are some of the famous ones.  

Barcelona Summer Festival
1st June – 30th August

Popularly known as the Grec, this festival takes place in a Greek-styled amphitheatre near Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium. It is one of the most famous art festivals in the world. It hosts well-acclaimed dance, theatre and music performances ranging from contemporary music and performance arts to classical and traditional acts. Popular among local and international visitors.


Festival d’Avignon
4th July – 26th July

A fusion of avant-garde theatre, drama and dance, Festival d’Avignon is one of France’s oldest and most prestigious cultural festivals. It was founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, a controversial French director and has now gained international acclaim. Performances take place all across the city – in churches, cloisters, squares and the Palace of the Pope. If you’re interested in modern theatre, dance and drama, it doesn’t get better than this.


ImpulsTanz, Vienna, Austria
10th July – 10th August

ImpulsTanz is a major contemporary dance festival held in Vienna every year. Thousands of dancers, choreographers and teachers from around the world come together at ImpulsTanz making it an event you’re unlikely to forget. If modern, bold, unconventional and contemporary describe the kind of event you’re looking for, look no further.


Love Parade, Dortmund, Germany
19th July

Love Parade is the largest techno gathering in the world. About 1.5 million ravers joined this mobile party in previous years. This year, the party is scheduled to take place in Dortmund. So  book your tickets now and join one of the world’s largest street parties.

Salzburg Festival
26th July - 31st August

The Salzburg Festival is a show for the classics lovers. This year’s show is set to host well acclaimed names in opera, concert and drama. Held in Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg, there’s hardly a more fitting location for it. During the festival, for five continuous weeks, the city attracts world class talent and audience alike.


Medieval Spectacle, Carcassonne, France
7th July – 29th August

As the name says, the Medieval Spectacle is in fact, just that. Set against the backdrop of UNESCO’s World Heritage site of Carcassonne, this event lets you experience the old days as it once was. Artists and troubadours entertain visitors in the walled city - jousting, fencing and acrobatics performances abound. For a day trip back in time, this might be the perfect option.

Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
4th July – 19th July

This star-studded jazz festival boasts of big names in the business from R.E.M to Quincy Jones. If you’re planning to hit some of the main performances, be sure to book tickets well in advance. For some free fun, join the street parties and free entertainment that sprouts up all over the city.


Festival of the Near Death Experience, Las Nieves, Spain
29th July  - to be confirmed

Now, here’s a weird one. Ever have a near death experience? Well, these guys in Spain have a rather bizarre way of sharing their tale and expressing gratitude. Every year, at the Festival of Near Death Experiences, people who’ve had near death experiences attend church in a coffin carried by their family members. The perfect time and venue to discuss and exchange stories, don’t you think? This strange festival takes place in the little town of Las Nieves on the border of Portugal. After service at the packed church, a procession carries the statue of Santa Maria to the cemetery and back.

Please note that there may be changes to the dates, events and line-ups at the festivals. For detailed information, check the official websites.


Sidd Lobo
Freelance writer based out of Munich



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