Europe Festivals

Photograph: Palio of Siena

Festivals in Europe

Narrow the Europe Festivals selection below using the intiutive search box to the right. It works a treat. Bon voyage!

24 Hours of Le Mans

24 Hours of Le Mans

Known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest and most prestigious motor sport endurance event. To stand atop the podium at La Sarthe, teams need to marry performance and durability over 24 hours of continuos racing. With the changeable early summer climate in the Pays de la Loire region of France, drivers are often at the mercy of the full gamut of weather and track conditions adding to the difficulty and the spectacle of the event. Part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which includes the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans is a place of pilgrimage for true motor sport aficionados. Over the week of the 24 Hours of Le Mans up to a quarter of million motor-sports enthusiasts visit the Circuit de la Sarthe.

More 24 Hours of Le Mans info...

Europe France Le Mans Motor Sports Events Sporting Events June
5 Days Off

5 Days Off

Inspired by Belgium's 10 Days Off, Amsterdam's 5 Days Off Festival is the first multi-day indoor dance event in the Netherlands. 5 Days Off attracts more than twenty thousand visitors annually and provides the capital with five days of top-line clubbing, live shows and performances. Since 2001, the programme has featured a diverse mix of acknowledged names and up-and-coming talent from the Netherlands and abroad. After a few hours sleep, set the alarm and head for the festival's art programme in De Balie — a diverse offering that gives a platform to art disciplines such as film, photography, media art, graphic design, fashion, and lifestyle.

More 5 Days Off info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Electronic Dance Music Festivals March
A Taste of Donegal

A Taste of Donegal

Treat your tastebuds at the annual, A Taste of Donegal Food Festival. For three days each August, foodies from near and far descend upon Donegal for a programme packed with cookery demonstrations, masterclasses and competitions featuring plenty of local produce. Be sure to catch the fireworks display over Donegal Bay at the end of the first day.

More A Taste of Donegal info...

Europe Ireland Donegal Food Festivals Community Festivals August
Aarhus Festival

Aarhus Festival

Since 1965, the Aarhus Festival has been presenting its own special blend of art and culture to locals and visitors alike. For ten days over late August and early September the streets, parks, clubs, stages, galleries and museum of Aarhus become a stage where dance, theater, exhibitions, cabaret, opera, urban design and art installations take on many forms.

More Aarhus Festival info...

Europe Denmark Aarhus Performing Arts Festivals Art Festivals August
Aberdeen International Youth Festival

Aberdeen International Youth Festival

Annually each July, the Aberdeen International Youth Festival showcases a wealth of home-grown and international talent from across the arts disciplines — from classical music to jazz, big band to choirs, soloists, opera, theatre productions and dance performances.

More Aberdeen International Youth Festival info...

Europe Scotland Aberdeen Performing Arts Festivals Classical Music and Opera Festivals July
Affordable Art Fair Brussels

Affordable Art Fair Brussels

The concept is simple, the name says it all really. The Brussels Affordable Art Fair is about making contemporary art available to the masses. Thousands of original paintings, prints, sculpture and photography all under the one roof and all priced between €50 to €6,000. By concentrating on relatively unknown artists not carrying a premium for reputation, the fair — and many others like it around the world — offer up art for prices at the lower end of the spectrum. It's proven to be a popular formula. Not only can you satisfy all your art-viewing and art-buying needs, you can grab a feed at the Fair's restaurant, or a little liquid refreshment at the wine bar. You can educate yourself with some expert advice, or even get your hands dirty at an exciting or workshop designed to help you unleash your creative spirit. Perhaps even take home a masterpiece of your own creation.

More Affordable Art Fair Brussels info...

Europe Belgium Brussels Art Festivals Photography Festivals February
Africa Oye

Africa Oye

Liverpool's Africa Oye has become the UK's largest free celebration of African music and culture. What started out in 1992 as a series of small gigs in the city centre, has grown in size and stature necessitating a shift in venue to Sefton Park, its home since 2002. Oye attracts artists from length and breadth of Africa as well as South America and the Caribbean for an energy-packed two day programme each June.

More Africa Oye info...

Europe England Liverpool African Music and Dance Festivals Multicultural Festivals World Music Festivals June
Air Guitar World Championships

Air Guitar World Championships

No guitar, never mind, take matters into your own hands — literally — at the Air Guitar World Championships. For four days each August rockers and metal-heads head to Oulu in Finland — the home of air guitar — with nary an instrument in sight. They strum, strut, thrust and pout to a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers in the hope of being crowned Air Guitar World Champion. A little tip: those in the front row beware, smashing an air guitar has been known to throw out some nasty air splinters. Rock on!

More Air Guitar World Championships info...

Europe Finland Oulu Bizarre Festivals August
All Tomorrow's Parties Iceland

All Tomorrow's Parties Iceland

Described as the ultimate mix tape, All Tomorrow's Parties Iceland is a boutique festival, renowned for its award winning sound and acclaimed organisation. Held at a former Nato Base in Keflavík, more than 20 acts will take to two indoor stages from 7pm through to 2am for three days each July. Throw in a bunch of DJs doing their thing, a pop quiz, a cinema showing some hand-selected classics and some round-the-clock Scandi sunshine and you got yourself a 72 hour good time pass.

More All Tomorrow's Parties Iceland info...

Europe Iceland Reykjavik Rock Festivals July
Amsterdam Dance Event

Amsterdam Dance Event

For five days and nights in October, Amsterdam is the undisputed capital of dance as 360,000 devotees of electronica descend upon the Dutch capital. The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) hosts 450 events and 2,000 DJ's over five days in 100+ clubs and venues across the city. The ADE attracts some of the biggest names in the industry as well as handing over the decks to a bunch of fresh, upcoming talent. But not all the action is in the clubs. The ADE Playground can be found all over the city centre during the event. The ADE Playground is a unique, dance-related lifestyle program offering five days of film screenings, music hardware presentations, art shows and exhibitions, exclusive fashion offers, interactive talk shows, promotional activities and pop-up musical performances at 25 creative hotspots around the city, including roof-top terraces, clothing shops, and art galleries, as well as outdoor exhibitions and cinemas.

More Amsterdam Dance Event info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Electronic Dance Music Festivals October
Amsterdam Gay Pride

Amsterdam Gay Pride

It's little wonder that Europe's most progressive city hosts one of the world's most eagerly anticipated pride celebrations. For nine days each summer, Amsterdam Gay Pride permeates Amsterdam's bars and clubs with celebrations building to a crescendo of colour on the water for the famous Canal Parade on Saturday. Eighty pre-selected floating floats take to the city's waterways in a gay parade like no other. Smaller craft line the sides of the canal, whilst thousands of spectators take up every vantage to watch the water-based party pass.

More Amsterdam Gay Pride info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Pride Festivals Street Parades July
Amsterdam Halloween Parade and Party

Amsterdam Halloween Parade and Party

Freaks take over the streets during Amsterdam's annual Halloween Parade and Party. Come All Hallows' Eve or Day of the Dead, a disfigured band of the undead, ghosts, goblins, pirates, vampires and zombies slash a swathe through Amsterdam, stopping only to suck the blood of spectators. Plot your plan of attack or download the parade route from the parade's website. For survivors, there's an after-party in the downright spooky, Westerpark. Tickets sell out early, so be prepared to sell your soul to get your hands on some. Either that, or plan ahead a little.

More Amsterdam Halloween Parade and Party info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Halloween Street Parades October
Amsterdam King's Day

Amsterdam King's Day

Amsterdam's streets, squares and canals come to life in a sea of orange — the colour of the Dutch Royal family — each 27 April for King's Day, or Koningsdag in the local lingo. Partying up a storm with friends is the royal order of the day (and the night before) as live music, DJs and spontaneous parties pervade the city's public spaces. Wearing orange is more than preferable, it's almost mandatory. If that ain't enough, the whole city becomes a huge, car boot sale for the day whilst street trading rules are relaxed.

More Amsterdam King's Day info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam National Festivals Street Parties April
Amsterdam Museum Night

Amsterdam Museum Night

Free on the evening of the first Saturday of November? Then get cultural at the Amsterdam Museum Night! Pick up a ticket to gain entry to 50 of the capital's finest Museums. Usually an entertainment aspect has been added to the regular exhibits making for a fun (yet educational) night out. Doors open at 7pm and many of the museums remain open until 2am. Ticket prices include free bus, tram, and metro travel.

More Amsterdam Museum Night info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Museum Nights Cultural Festivals Family Festivals November
Amsterdam Open Air Weekender

Amsterdam Open Air Weekender

Pack your tent and make your way to Amsterdam this June for one of EDMs biggies; the Amsterdam Open Air Weekender. Revellers can expect two days and nights of dancing under the stars to some of Amsterdam and Europe's best known DJs. Eight stages ensure a wide mix of styles from deep house, dubstep and electro through to hip-hop, tech-house and techno. When you just can't dance no more, re-charge with a little kip at the Weekender's camp ground. For those with a little life left in 'em, check out the silent disco or slump out at the Theatre of Music Lounge.

More Amsterdam Open Air Weekender info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Electronic Dance Music Festivals June
Ankara International Film Festival

Ankara International Film Festival

Since its establishment in 1988, the Ankara International Film Festival's objective has been to invest in the future generations of Turkish cinema and to promote local new comers who may shape the future of the industry. To that end, the festival's 11 day programme highlights a mix of locally produced and international short films, features, animation, experimental and documentary films.

More Ankara International Film Festival info...

Europe Turkey Ankara Film Festivals Short Film Festivals April
Antwerp Summer Festival

Antwerp Summer Festival

For two and a half months kicking off in in mid-June, all of Antwerp becomes a playground. Entertainment ranges from music and dance to circus and cinema. There's something for everybody. Some events fill early so download a brochure from the Antwerp Summer Festival website and start planning poste-haste.

More Antwerp Summer Festival info...

Europe Belgium Antwerp Summer Festivals Performing Arts Festivals June
April Fair

April Fair

What began in 1847 as a regional cattle market and later became a popular revolt against foreign culture and habit, has now grown into southern Spain's most anticipated (and attended) cultural event. April Fair or Abril Feria is an Andalusian institution, a round-the-clock extravaganza held annually in the city of Seville where up to a million revellers on any given night gather in a celebration of Spanish culture. Men dressed in traditional 'traje corto' (short jacket, tight trousers and boots) and women in 'faralaes' or 'trajes de flamenca' (flamenco-style dresses) gather in 'casetas' (marquees) to drink sherry, manzanilla or rebujito, eat tapas and dance flamenco until dawn.

More April Fair info...

Europe Spain Seville Traditional Festivals Cultural Festivals April
Arran Mountain Festival

Arran Mountain Festival

The majestic Isle of Arran is the largest island in Scotland's Firth of Clyde and a huge draw for hillwalkers, mountaineers and nature-lovers. For four days each May it's also home to the Arran Mountain Festival, Scotland's premier hillwalking and mountaineering festival. From wildlife-watching walks along the island's coastline to airy scrambles on towering granite ridges, The Arran Mountain Festival is an opportunity to meet like-minded people, discover a fascinating chunk of Scotland and enjoy unforgettable days in the safe hands of experienced local guides. With names to inspire the imagination, such as Ceum na Caillich (Witch's Step) Caisteal Abhail (Castles) and the Sleeping Warrior, the mountains of Arran are some of Scotland's most alluring landscapes.

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Europe Scotland Isle of Arran Mountaineering Festivals May
Art Basel

Art Basel

Since 1970 the Swiss city of Basel has staged one of the world's premier Modern and contemporary art shows, Art Basel. What can the visitor expect? Over 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa displaying works from great masters of Modern and contemporary art to the latest generation of emerging talent. Every artistic medium is represented: paintings, sculpture, installations, videos, multiples, prints, photography, and performance.

More Art Basel info...

Europe Switzerland Basel Art Festivals June
Art Goes Kapakka

Art Goes Kapakka

Part of the Helsinki Festival, Art Goes Kapakka takes performance art to the bars, restaurants and cafes of the capital. For ten days and nights each August, expect the unexpected from impromptu choir performances to burlesque shows and everything in between. Grab some mates a plot a route over a night or two after downloading a map of the participating venues from the Art Goes Kapakka website. Kippis!

More Art Goes Kapakka info...

Europe Finland Helsinki Performing Arts Festivals Art Festivals August
Art Market Budapest

Art Market Budapest

For four days each October, Budapest becomes the artistic capital of Eastern Europe during Art Market Budapest. Over 100 exhibitors display the work of some 500 contemporary artists to 20,000+ visitors who make their way through the doors of Budapest's impressive Millenáris Center and to a large nearby outdoor sculpture park. Art Market Budapest prides itself on its careful selection of up and coming work from still relatively unexplored artists. It has become a 'must visit' event for those in the industry looking for new artistic inspiration and fresh influences.

More Art Market Budapest info...

Europe Hungary Budapest Art Festivals October
Art on Ice Festival

Art on Ice Festival

Combine the music from some of popular and contemporary music's largest names (augmented by a full orchestra) with the agility, strength and grace of Olympic and world champion figure skaters and you've got Art on Ice — a travelling musical ice extravaganza. Since 1995, Art on Ice has been enthralling audiences to become one of the most attended indoor shows in the world attracting in the region of 80,000 spectators annually. Past musical acts have included Chris de Burgh, Seal, Robin Gibb, Ronan Keating, the Sugababes, Anastacia, Donna Summer, Mick Hucknall, Leona Lewis and Hurts.

More Art on Ice Festival info...

Europe Switzerland Zurich Winter Festivals February
Art Paris Art Fair

Art Paris Art Fair

Join more than 50,000 artists, art patrons and devotees for four days each March, as they descend upon the city of light for the annual Art Paris Art Fair. Art Paris brings together some 140 galleries from 20 countries under the celestial dome of the Grand Palais, presenting a wide-ranging panorama of modern and contemporary art that includes photography, design and art publishing.

More Art Paris Art Fair info...

Europe France Paris Art Festivals Photography Festivals March
Athens and Epidaurus Festival

Athens and Epidaurus Festival

Many of Athen's most spectacular theatres provide the backdrop for one of Europe's most anticipated annual cultural events, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. Each year during the sultry summer months of June, July and August, crowds gather at iconic venues such as the Theatre of Epidaurus for a rich programme of theatre (Greek tragedies, satirical dramas and Aristophanic comedies are staples), music and dance.

More Athens and Epidaurus Festival info...

Europe Greece Athens Cultural Festivals Performing Arts Festivals June
Avignon Festival

Avignon Festival

During the peak summer month of July, the entire city of Avignon turns into one giant vibrant theatre during the annual Festival d'Avignon. Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar during France's heady post-war years, today the festival is divided into two very distinct strands, the main festival — the In and the fringe festival — the Off. The main festival features between 35 and 40 different shows, a diverse mix of theatre, dance, comedy, film and mime — French and non-French — totalling about 300 performances in all. Many of them are world or French premieres. On the Fringe or Off side of things, more than 1,000 companies offer up their blend of experimental theatre, comedy and alternative music and dance wherever they can, from churches to schools, to parks and street corners. It all makes for a great time to visit Avignon.

More Avignon Festival info...

Europe France Avignon Performing Arts Festivals Fringe Festivals July
Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho)

Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho)

Ever harboured a secret desire to jump a baby? Then fear not, for you are not alone. In the Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos, men dressed as the Devil (Colacho) leap babies in the street in a time-hounered ritual that forms part of the local Corpus Christi celebrations. Although it's origins are hazy, the ritual of El Colacho can be dated back 1620 and is said to cleanse the unknowing infants (who have all been born in the previous 12 months) of original sin. A balmy, baby baptism if ever we've seen one.

More Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho) info...

Europe Spain Burgos Bizarre Festivals Religious Events June
Balaton Sound

Balaton Sound

Co-created by the organisers of Hungary's monster Sziget Festival, Balaton Sound packs the pedigree to compete comfortably for the crown of Europe's biggest summer dance festival. An around-the-clock juggernaut of electronica, Balaton attracts headliners of the calibre of Calvin Harris, Fatboy Slim, Kraftwerk and Massive Attack for four-days of thumping beats and dance anthems across a bewildering number of stages. Renowned for its creature comforts and chill out zones — along with its picturesque setting on the shore of Central Europe's largest lake — Balaton serves up a slice of luxury absent from the vast majority of summer festivals of its size. Pitch a tent and camp adjacent to the festival grounds or for an extra fee enjoy the lap of Lake Balaton from your plastic home away from home. There are more luxurious options too if the budget allows. Wi-fi zones, phone charging points, lockers, showers and even an on-site drug-store for those forgotten essentials all add to Balaton's rep'. To avoid disappointment beg, steal or borrow tickets but do it ridiculously early.

More Balaton Sound info...

Europe Hungary Zamardi Electronic Dance Music Festivals July
Barcelona Guitar Festival

Barcelona Guitar Festival

Finger picker or strummer? Doesn't matter at the Barcelona Guitar Festival where masters of the stringed art descend en masse to fill Barca's venues with genres ranging from rock and indie to classical and Spanish traditional. For more than a quarter of century, the Barcelona Guitar Festival has been attracting big local names and international acts for a programme that kicks off in February and runs through May.

More Barcelona Guitar Festival info...

Europe Spain Barcelona Guitar Festivals February
Barcelona Marathon

Barcelona Marathon

Breathtaking Barca provides the backdrop for the annual Barcelona Marathon or Marathon Catalunya. Runners begin their 42.195 kilometre odyssey below Montjuic Park from where they follow a route that takes in many of the Catalan capital's icons — from the Camp Nou Stadium to La Pedrera, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and Sagrada Familia. If you're planning to cheer on the runners, check in with the marathon web site to pinpoint one of the dozens of designated spectator points that dot the course, where entertainment and commentary add to the spectacle. Running the race? Grab a friend and carb load the day before at the marathon's pasta party.

More Barcelona Marathon info...

Europe Spain Barcelona Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs March
Barthelmarkt

Barthelmarkt

Don the dirndl or pop on the leather shorts and make your way to Manching near Ingolstadt for four days of beer-based fun. Though first made mention of in 1354, the roots of Barthelmarkt can be traced back to the 1st century BC when a cattle market was established in the district by the Romans. Today Barthelmarkt is a little more about beer than bovines, although there's still horse racing on the Saturday and a cattle market on the Monday. Just like it's Oktoberfest cousin, there's the ubiquitous behemoth beer tents and plenty of German oompah music, pretzels and general Bavarian revelry.

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Europe Germany Manching Beer Festivals Traditional Festivals August
Bastille Day (Paris)

Bastille Day (Paris)

France's national day, Bastille day, celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, and with it the start of the French Revolution. Formal celebrations kick off with a military parade beginning at 10am along, and fly-past at 11am above, the Champs-Elysees. In the evening red, white and blue fireworks light up the sky over the Eiffel Tower and River Seine as hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists cram the streets and set up picnics on every available square foot of grass within the 7th Arrondissement. The party continues late into the night as Paris' fire stations hold their annual Bats des Pompiers or Firemen's Balls, giving revellers the opportunity to drink and dance with the locals until the early hours of the morning.

More Bastille Day (Paris) info...

Europe France Paris National Festivals Street Parties Fireworks Festivals July
Batalla Naval de Vallecas

Batalla Naval de Vallecas

Round up your friends, an eye-patch, a peg-leg and a parrott and head to Madrid's Vallecas district come July for the Batalla Naval de Vallecas — Spain's largest pirate-themed water fight. Thousands make up the moist milieu which kicks off at five and goes through to nine — but being Spain, the onset of dusk means the party's just getting started.

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Europe Spain Madrid Bizarre Festivals July
Bath Literature Festival

Bath Literature Festival

Lovers of literature convene in the spectacular spa city of Bath for ten days come March for the annual Bath Literature Festival. Thousands of visitors join the journalists, novelists, poets, politicians, actors, comedians, writers and biographers who are on hand to teach, talk, discuss and debate all manner of things literary. The end.

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Europe England Bath Literature Festivals Book Fairs February
Beach Street Festival

Beach Street Festival

Lesbos' Beach Street Festival is an annual electronic dance music festival with a street art twist. For three days each August, the Greek isle plays host to 50 acts — from House to Hip Hop — across three stages, along with 100 graffiti artists creating themed murals to mark the event. For those looking to pick up the spray can and hone their graffiti skills, seminars will be held during the festival.

More Beach Street Festival info...

Europe Greece Mytilene Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
Belfast Children's Festival

Belfast Children's Festival

The Belfast Children's Festival has been entertaining Northern Ireland's youngsters since 1998. With a mission to bring artistic brilliance and adventure to children today and inspire creativity and curiosity for their future, the festival's organisers, Young at Art delivers through a programme of theatre, dance, music, visual and the digital, sonic arts.

More Belfast Children's Festival info...

Europe Northern Ireland Belfast Childrens Festivals March
Belgian Beer Weekend

Belgian Beer Weekend

The Belgian Beer Weekend sets up camp in one of Europe's most iconic locations — Brussels' magnificent Grand Place — for three days each September for a massive celebration of the amber nectar. With more than 400 beers on offer there's sure to be something for even the fussiest imbiber. Grab a serving of moules (September marks the start of the season) to go with your beer of choice and take in the surrounds. Beer and mussels in Brussels, does it get any better!

More Belgian Beer Weekend info...

Europe Belgium Brussels Beer Festivals September
Belgrade Beer Fest

Belgrade Beer Fest

Beer lovers rejoice! Each and every August, aficionados of the amber liquid descend upon the Serbian capital for their annual monster of a beer gathering, the Belgrade Beer Fest. Dubbed the largest beer festival in Southeastern Europe, the BBF attracts more than half a million revellers from all over the world for five days of merriment, live music and a range of local and foreign beers that'll make your head spin (if it wasn't already). Oh, and entry is free.

More Belgrade Beer Fest info...

Europe Serbia Belgrade Beer Festivals August
Benicassim Festival

Benicassim Festival

When the sun gets high in the summer July sky, bolt to Benicassim for one of Europe's biggest rock and indie music festivals, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, or FIB to its friends. For four days the Spanish Costa del Azahar — between Valencia and Barcelona, though closer to the former — plays host to some of the biggest names in rock. Past line-ups have included Radiohead, Kraftwerk, Oasis, The Chemical Brothers, The Killers, Sigur Rós and The Strokes. The music begins on the Thursday but camping kicks off on the Monday, for those looking to tune up before the big show.

More Benicassim Festival info...

Europe Spain Valencia Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals July
Bergenfest

Bergenfest

From rock to pop, blues to folk, electronica to hip hop, whatever your taste in tunes, Bergenfest is more than likely to deliver. For five days in June — yep, it's midnight and that is the sun — Bergenfest pushes the party around the clock in a range of open air venues — a medieval fortress and a castle, amongst others — and clubs in Norway's charming second city.

More Bergenfest info...

Europe Norway Bergen Rock Festivals World Music Festivals June
Berlin Carnival of Cultures

Berlin Carnival of Cultures

In Germany it's known as the fifth season, it's a time to shake off the winter blues, don some elaborate threads and take to the streets to usher in Spring. It's Carnival time and if you thought it was a predominantly South American celebration, think again. Berlin's Carnival of Cultures is a behemoth, a four-day urban celebration that embraces diversity and attracts in the region of a million revellers annually. There's beats aplenty on the festival stages from Caribbean Soca and Reggae to Brazilian Samba and African Roots and the international cuisine on offer is just as varied. For many the highlight of the Carnival of Cultures is the street procession on Pentecost Sunday when almost 5,000 participants from 80 countries parade through the capital's streets in traditional costume performing all manner of ritual and mashed-up dance styles.

More Berlin Carnival of Cultures info...

Europe Germany Berlin Carnival and Mardi Gras Street Parties May
Berlin Christmas Markets

Berlin Christmas Markets

Berlin lights up in the lead up to Christmas as sixty Christmas markets set up shop to usher in the festive season. From early November Potsdamer Platz kicks off the season with Europe's largest mobile toboggan run (complete with views of the Brandenburg Gate), an outdoor skating rink, curling and a number of traditional huts offering local seasonal treats. Head on over to the Dahlem Museum campus for the market of the continents where more than fifty dealers offer handicrafts from different regions of the world — from hand-woven African fabrics and jewellery from India to felt goods from Kazakhstan and colourful Mexican tin toys. For more than forty years, the small streets and squares in Spandauer Altstadt (Berlin's largest continuous pedestrian zone) have played host to more than 250 market stalls selling everything from handicrafts to the local Glühwein — a great way to keep warm on a cold December eve.

More Berlin Christmas Markets info...

Europe Germany Berlin Christmas Markets Christmas December
Berlin Design Week

Berlin Design Week

Anyone who's planted their foot on the accelerator of a finely-tuned Porsche or clicked the shutter button on a Leica camera, know that our German cousins have a real flair for design. For a week each May, numerous galleries, museums, studios and design institutions bring that ethos to the fore (and the public), during Berlin Design Week. A packed programme of design-themed exhibitions and events take place throughout Berlin. As part of the BDW, numerous Berlin-based studios and workspaces will open their doors and invite visitors to openings, concerts, studio tours and lectures.

More Berlin Design Week info...

Europe Germany Berlin Design Festivals May
Berlin Festival

Berlin Festival

This is Templehof Tower, you have clearance to party. Join Berlin's beautiful people at the runways and hangars of the iconic, Flughafen Tempelhof for the annual Berlin Festival. Two days, four stages and more than 70 acts (indie pop, rock and dance) do their thing on the tarmac and at Club Xberg at Arena Berlin. If you tire of the tunes, there's the Art Village with its abundance of artists and performers, the Church of Phonk, the Barkowski Pub, the art market and the poetry saloon to keep you entertained. Roger that.

More Berlin Festival info...

Europe Germany Berlin Indie Rock Festivals Rock Festivals September
Berlin Light Festival

Berlin Light Festival

For ten days during October, as the autumn months make way for another dark European winter, a vivid change comes over the landmarks, monuments, buildings and neighbourhoods of the German capital. It's the annual Berlin Festival of Lights, an extravaganza of illumination that attracts in excess of two million spectators each year. An ever-changing annual lineup of light installations that are conceptualised by some of Germany and the world's leading artists. Grab a program and hit the installation trail on foot, or for something different take a horse-drawn carriage, rent a Segway, or for the adventurous, take a hot air balloon trip and see Berlin in a whole different light.

More Berlin Light Festival info...

Europe Germany Berlin Light Festivals Art Festivals October
Berlinale

Berlinale

With in excess of 500,000 admissions to its 400 films, Berlinale is the largest publicly attended film festival in the world. Films on the Berlinale programme span a wide array of genres from arthouse and experimental to documentary and full-length features. The Competition section features full-length features yet to be released outside their country of origin that compete for the festival's prestigious Golden Bear Award and Silver Bear Awards for acting, writing and production. Held simultaneously with Berlinale is the the European Film Market, a film trade fair and an important meeting point for those in the film industry.

More Berlinale info...

Europe Germany Berlin Film Festivals February
BFI London Film Festival

BFI London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival (the UK's largest public film event) rolls into the capital's cinemas each October, screening more than 300 features, documentaries and shorts from over 50 countries. The Festival showcases the very best of world cinema from both established and emerging film-makers. For film insiders and aficionados there's also an extensive programme of industry events, public forums, education events, lectures, masterclasses and Q&As with film-makers and actors.

More BFI London Film Festival info...

Europe England London Film Festivals Short Film Festivals Documentary Film Festivals October
Big Festival

Big Festival

Biarritz' Big Festival brings an eclectic mix of local and international headliners to its French resort beaches on the Bay of Biscay, for five days each July. Past acts have included Moby, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and the Wu-Tang Clan.

More Big Festival info...

Europe France Biarritz Rock Festivals Popular Music Festivals July
Bilbao Live

Bilbao Live

Each July, more than one hundred thousand revellers make the trek to Bilbao in the Basque Country for a three day alternative and heavy rock blowout. Since 2006 Bilbao Live has been serving up some of the biggest names in rock with past headliners including Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Iron Maiden, R.E.M., ZZ Top, The Prodigy, Pearl Jam, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Black Keys and Radiohead. Its dedicated open air festival grounds at the base of Mount Cobetas, boasts three main stages, a DJs Tent, VIP zone, a food and drinks markets, and a stunning mountain-top camping area to punch out a few zzz's when you're all partied out.

More Bilbao Live info...

Europe Spain Bilbao Indie Rock Festivals Rock Festivals July
Birdfair

Birdfair

Ornithologists flock to Birdfair each August for three days of all things avian. Described as the ornithologist's Glastonbury, Birdfair covers the whole spectrum of the birdwatching industry, whilst supporting bird conservation projects worldwide. Indulge in a little watching at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve, which regularly holds in excess of 25,000 waterfowl, before browsing what's on offer from more than 300 industry exhibitors — everything from scopes and sculptures to binoculars and bird food.

More Birdfair info...

Europe England Egleton Birdwatching Festivals August
Bled Festival

Bled Festival

Dedicated to chamber music, but in more recent years featuring a crossover to jazz and other genres, the Festival Bled brings some of the country's finest classical musical talent to one of its most sublime locales. For three weeks each June and July, Festival Bled features a programme of competitions, masterclasses, concerts and dance performances.

More Bled Festival info...

Europe Slovenia Bled Classical Music and Opera Festivals June
Boardmasters

Boardmasters

For five long Cornish summer days in August, Boardmasters brings the very best of coastal entertainment to Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay in Newquay. Try your hand at surfing or kick back in the sand and watch the pros compete in the festival's surf comps. If you prefer your sports land-based, check out the action in the BMX and skateboarding comps. Or simply take in the tunes as a plethora of live summer acts provide the soundtrack to one of the UK's premier coastal events.

More Boardmasters info...

Europe England Newquay Summer Festivals August
Bologna Festival

Bologna Festival

Bologna has long held the reputation as a centre for cultural excellence. In 2000 it was declared the the European Capital of Culture. In 2006 the Global Alliance's Creative Cities Network — an arm of UNSESCO — granted it, 'City of Music' status. Events like the annual Bologna Festival, a three month celebration of classical musical, from March through June, go a long way toward forging that reputation.

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Europe Italy Bologna Classical Music and Opera Festivals March
Boom Festival

Boom Festival

Since 1997 near Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal, on the shores of an enchanting lake, near the Spanish border, BOOM Festival has been doing its thing for the PsyTrance faithful. Boom features five stages which play host to a range of psytrance, natural trance, house music, world music, chill-out music and electronic dance music. But there's plenty of art and theatre to take in too if that's your thang. To lend words from the Boomers, 'Boom is not only a festival, it is a state of mind. Inspired by the principles of oneness, peace, creativity, sustainability, transcendence, alternative culture, active participation, evolution and love, it is a space where people from all over the world can converge to experience an alternative reality.'

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Europe Portugal Idanha-a-Nova Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
Bordeaux Wine Festival

Bordeaux Wine Festival

The bank of Bordeaux' Garonne River and her Esplanade des Quinconces provide the stunning setting for one of Europe's most celebrated wine festivals, the Bordeaux Wine Festival. Over four days and nights in June, over a quarter of million people sample the delights of more than 80 of Bordeaux' vineyards.

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Europe France Bordeaux Wine Festivals Food Festivals June
Bournemouth 7s Festival

Bournemouth 7s Festival

Balls of all shapes and sizes fly at the annual Bournemouth 7s Festival. Since kicking off in 2008, the Bournemouth 7s has quickly established itself as the largest sport and music festival in the world. Today, the event attracts over 30,000 revellers who descend upon Bournemouth for a long weekend of rugby, netball, hockey and dodgeball and a wonderfully wicked programme of après sport.

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Europe England Bournemouth Sporting Events Rock Festivals May
Bournemouth Air Festival

Bournemouth Air Festival

Award winning and internationally renowned, the Bournemouth Air Festival has been thrilling spectators since 1998. Take in modern and historical aircraft from both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy as they blaze trails across the sky and open their cockpits to the public on the ground. A feature of the festival is the death-defying antics of the world famous, Red Arrows. When the sun goes down the night air celebrations kick in with a live music programme, dusk air displays and fireworks.

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Europe England Bournemouth Air Shows Family Festivals August
Brasov International Film Festival and Market

Brasov International Film Festival and Market

The Brasov International Film Festival and Market is a fest with a conscience and a cause; to promote the rights of women and children and to fight intellectual pollution, stupidity, racism and discrimination. No arguments here. They achieve this by selecting films to screen whose message actively promotes their stance. The BIFFAM programme spans 11 days in early September and attracts industry insiders and audiences from Romania and beyond.

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Europe Romania Brasov Film Festivals September
Bratislava International Film Festival

Bratislava International Film Festival

Sidestepping the sterile cinema multiplexes in favour of the old stone theatres of the historic city centre, the Bratislava International Film Festival maintains an intimate atmosphere. Apart from the international competition program, IFF Bratislava also regularly features renowned authors' film retrospectives, a European film program, independent film programs and various theme programs. For films showing at Batelier, entry is free.

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Europe Slovakia Bratislava Film Festivals November
Bremen Maritime Festival

Bremen Maritime Festival

Get nautical with the sea-loving folk of Bremen at their annual Maritime Festival. Join 60,000 revellers as they head to the harbour and maritime mile in the city's Vegesack district for a waterfront musical extravaganza. Don't miss the grand finale come Sunday when fireworks light the night sky over the River Weser.

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Europe Germany Bremen Nautical Events Rock Festivals August
Brighton Science Festival

Brighton Science Festival

For three and a half weeks during the darkest days of winter, the Brighton Science Festival does its very best to lift the gloomy mood. A sciencey smorgasbord of events designed to enthrall and enlighten the whole family — especially those pre- and early-teens — takes place at a number of venues across Brighton and the surrounding district. Exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops, performances, talks and debates aim to lift the profile of science and show the Sussex masses that it isn't all all lab coats and bunsen burners.

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Europe England Brighton Science and Technology Festivals Family Festivals February
Bristol Cycling Festival

Bristol Cycling Festival

Featuring nearly 50 events over nine days, the Bristol Cycle Festival is celebration of cycling, organised by volunteers and enthusiasts from the local community. The festival features a packed programme of two-wheeled fun including organised rides, talks, games, crafts, and films, ranging from family-friendly play sessions, to challenges for the toughest cyclist.

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Europe England Bristol Cycling Tours and Events Family Festivals June
Bristol Food Connections

Bristol Food Connections

For nine days each May, the city of Bristol comes together to celebrate its diverse food culture and community with a unique, citywide food festival. Visitors of all ages will be taken on a journey through the city to discover and enjoy new foods, eateries, discussions and opportunities. Producer markets, bread trails, debates, good food walks and cookery classes and demos are just some of what awaits the hungry visitor.

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Europe England Bristol Food Festivals May
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

From dawn to dusk, for four nights each August, it's all about the International Balloon Fiesta in Bristol. Early risers can grab a coffee and a bacon sarnie and catch Breakfast and Balloons — a mass dawn ascent where hundreds of hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes take to the early morning sky over the county. If you've been known to be a little heavy handed with the ol' snooze button, the evening ascents provide a second chance but the best vantages are snapped up quickly. Our suggestion, gather some friends, pack a picnic, get there early and settle in. As dusk descends the evening nightglows kick in — a spectacular display where 30 tethered balloons light up to a backdrop of fireworks and music.

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Europe England Bristol Ballooning Festivals Family Festivals August
Brno International Music Festival

Brno International Music Festival

Since 1966, the Brno International Music Festival has been enchanting Moravian audiences with a mix of symphonic and chamber music concerts, instrumental and vocal recitals and opera and ballet performances. The Festival's themes reflect significant current trends in music, historical issues and important anniversaries of figures in the world of composition. Each year, the festival comprises three events: the Exposition of New Music (June), the Easter Festival of Sacred Music (two weeks over Easter) and the Moravian Autumn (October). In the region of thirty performances are organised over an eight month period.

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Europe Czech Republic Brno Classical Music and Opera Festivals Year Round
Bruges Ice Sculpture Festival

Bruges Ice Sculpture Festival

Rug up and explore the wonderful world of snow and ice at Bruges annual Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival. Each year from the end of November to mid-January, the icy exhibition chooses a different theme and creates a winter wonderland around it. Shiver with delight as you take in works created by dozens of sculptors from around the world who have transformed hundreds of tons of ice into a cast of fantasy characters. Head to the ice palace bar, where you can grab a glass of something, on the rocks.

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Europe Belgium Bruges Winter Festivals Christmas November
Brussels Beach (Bruxelles les Bains)

Brussels Beach (Bruxelles les Bains)

A beach in Brussels? If you can't take the city to the sea why not take the sea to the city, well, the sand at any rate? During the month long Brussels Beach festival (Bruxelles les Bains), 3,000 tons of the stuff from the North Sea is transported to the European capital. The result, a one kilometre stretch of beach along the Brussels channel at the level of Place Sainctelette. It's a great summer meeting point with tons of entertainment on offer, from street entertainment to beach sports to concerts. So grab a deck chair, an ice cold drink and settle in at Brussels Beach. Don't forget the sunscreen.

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Europe Belgium Brussels Summer Festivals July
Brussels Jazz Marathon

Brussels Jazz Marathon

The Brussels Jazz Marathon takes place in every corner of the beguiling Belgian capital over three days in May. It's the perfect opportunity for the thousands of tourists to indulge in some of the sweetest tunes around in one of Europe's most exciting city centres. Stages at the Grand Place (Grote Markt), the Sablon Square (Sablon, Zavel), the St-Katelijne Square, the Fernand Cocq Square and the Luxembourg Square takes jazz to the streets whilst a number of Brussels clubs and bars will offer a feast of jazz, latino, funk, rock and blues well into the night.

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Europe Belgium Brussels Jazz Festivals May
Brussels Nuit Blanche

Brussels Nuit Blanche

Fancy pulling an all-nighter in Brussels? Then Nuit Blanche may be right up your alley. From 7pm through to 7am on a Saturday night in October, the Belgian capital comes to life in a sea of cultural light as the city itself turns into a de-facto art gallery, providing space for art installations, performances (music, film, dance and performance art) and themed social gatherings. Each year a different theme is selected. Every year audience participation is promoted.

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Europe Belgium Brussels Art Festivals Performing Arts Festivals October
Brussels Summer Festival

Brussels Summer Festival

Widely recognised as Belgium's premier summer cultural event, the Brussels Summer Festival mixes an eclectic music programme, with museum exhibitions, street theatre and more. Set predominantly on stages in the magnificent Royal Quarter (Place des Palais, Place du Musée and Parc Royal), over ten days visitors can expect everything from jazz, folk and world music, through to rock, pop, electro and hip-hop. Brussels museums get in on the act with a range of exhibitions tied in with the festival programme. There's great value for money to be had especially when buying tickets for the full ten days.

More Brussels Summer Festival info...

Europe Belgium Brussels Rock Festivals Popular Music Festivals August
Budapest Christmas Fair

Budapest Christmas Fair

Vörösmarty Square will again be festive season central in Budapest with a packed Christmas programme, guaranteed to delight the whole family. More than 100 carefully selected vendors will offer up a wide selection of arts, crafts and hand-made gifts including traditional leather and bone items, ceramics, blue-dyed textiles, felt goods and hand-made jewellery from cottage-style wooden huts. If you're feeling a little hungry, try some local Hungarian festive cuisine like stuffed cabbage, fried fish or fish soap. When you're done, wash it all down with a little mulled wine or a recent festive favourite, krampampuli. Two stages play host to a range of music styles from folk and jazz to world music and there's even puppet shows for the kids.

More Budapest Christmas Fair info...

Europe Hungary Budapest Christmas Markets Christmas December
Budapest Formula 1 Grand Prix

Budapest Formula 1 Grand Prix

The Formula 1 carnival again makes its way to Budapest's Hungaroring for round 11 of the F1 season. The circuit made F1 history back in 1986 as the location of the first Grand Prix to be held behind the Iron Curtain. The twisting, bumpy nature of the track makes overtaking difficult, whilst its physical location in a valley make for a great viewing experience for spectators who can see the majority of the track from just about any vantage. Expect the usual glitz and glamour and around the clock partying that accompanies world sport's most affluent competition.

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Europe Hungary Budapest Formula One Events Sporting Events Motor Sports Events July
Burn's Night

Burn's Night

January 25 is the (assumed) birthday of Caledonia's bard, Robert Burns. Burns, Scotland's most revered poet penned for the people many poetic treats including Tam O'Shanter, My Luve's like a Red, Red Rose, and To a Haggis. To Scots the world over Burn's Night is an institution; a chance to gather for tradtional fare — haggis, neeps and tatties — a little poetry and usually a wee dram of fine Scotch or three in honour of the champion of the common people.

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Europe Scotland Traditional Festivals Historical Festivals January
Burning of the Clocks

Burning of the Clocks

Each year on the 21st December — the shortest day of the year — residents of Brighton and Hove make their way through the city carrying hand made-paper and willow lanterns. The lantern parade ends at Brighton Beach where the lanterns are placed onto a blazing bonfire as a token of the year's end. Then the party begins. A massive fire sculpture is lit, live music plays and fireworks light up the night sky.

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Europe England Brighton Community Festivals Street Parades December
Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico

Steeped in almost 500 years of tradition and described loosely as a mix between football and rugby — with a good dose of bare-knuckle boxing added to the mix — Calcio Storico is not a game for those who flinch at the site of blood. Calcio Storico can be traced back as far as February 17, 1530, although different accounts have it dating back even further. At that time Florence had been over-run by the imperial troops of Charles V and at Florence's Piazza Santa Croce a match was played between the Bianchi and the Verdi as an outward sign of contempt and provocation. Today, players still dress in authentic period costume and parade to the Piazza through the historic centre of Florence where they are introduced to the spectators and the Seigniory — usually an important guest of the city. Then the game begins. There are two teams each made up of 27 combatants. The playing field is a giant sand pit with a goal running the width of each end. There is a main referee, six linesmen and a field master who intervenes in the very likely event of fisticuffs. Each game is played out for 50 hard fought minutes with the winner being the team that has amassed the most points or 'cacce'. So amidst a colourful display of period costume, blood and team coloured smoke bombs the battle unfolds in front of thousands of cheering locals and tourists in Florence for the spectacle. The prize? Well, the winning team receives a pile of steaks of a weight equivalent to that of a white calf. I'll take mine rare with a nice drop of Barbaresco.

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Europe Italy Florence Sporting Events Bizarre Festivals June
Cambridge Folk Festival

Cambridge Folk Festival

For five decades the Cambridge Folk Festival has been charming the fine citizens of Cambridgeshire with an eclectic three and half day programme of music loosely defined as folk. The vibe is relaxed, the entertainment often spontaneous. There are music workshops, sessions, tai' chi and healing workshops, plus opportunities to play onstage if you've packed your banjo. Get your tickets early, this one sells out quick!

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Europe England Cambridge Folk and Folk Music Festivals Family Festivals July
Cambridge Science Festival

Cambridge Science Festival

Sucker for science? Join 30,000 inquisitive visitors for the annual Cambridge Science Festival — a two week fact-filled celebration of science at the acclaimed education institution. A packed programme of more then 250 events includes talks, interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, film screenings and debates.

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Europe England Cambridge Science and Technology Festivals March
Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

Debuting in 1946, the Cannes Film Festival is arguably the most prestigious film festival in the world. Year on year it attracts the cream of the film industry crop to its award ceremony, its premieres, its parties and its industry events. For 12 days in May, Cannes is certainly the place to see and be seen.

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Europe France Cannes Film Festivals May
Cannstatter Volksfest

Cannstatter Volksfest

You gotta hand it to our German cousins, they sure know how to host a beer festival! Though if you ask a local, the Cannstatter Volksfest (or the Stuttgart Beer Festival to some less cultured souls) ain't just about the amber nectar. There's flashy rides, men in tight leather shorts with questionable rhythm, roast chickens, buxom beauties, barmaids with bulging biceps, fireworks, I could go on but I guess you'd rather I didn't. If the Volksfest were a beer festival — though it isn't — it would be the second largest beer festival in the world behind Munich's Oktoberfest. Prost...or not.

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Europe Germany Stuttgart Beer Festivals Fairs September
Canterbury Festival

Canterbury Festival

The Canterbury Festival — Kent's largest and longest running arts festival — has a colourful history that dates all the way back to 1920. For two weeks each October, Canterbury and her district turn on the entertainment with more than 200 events including all sorts of music from pop through classical to folk, cabaret, theatre, comedy and dance. Interesting tidbit; in 1935, T.S. Eliot popped on his playwright hat and produced, Murder in the Cathedral, especially for the festival. Whilst today murder may have been removed from the programme, the Canterbury Cathedral remains the festival's most iconic venue.

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Europe England Canterbury Performing Arts Festivals World Music Festivals October
Chamonix Adventure Festival

Chamonix Adventure Festival

The Chamonix Adventure Festival brings together adventurers, explorers, athletes and enthusiasts from near and far to share tales and showcase their talents through film, photography, art and displays over four days each July. A film programme packed with inspiring tales with filmmakers, explorers and athletes on hand to share their exploits and inspirations. Film and photography courses run by today's innovators offer the chance for festival-goers to gain valuable skills and experience in the world of adventure image making.

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Europe France Chamonix Film Festivals Photography Festivals July
Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Flower Show

For five five days each and every May since it first broke ground in 1913, the 11 acre gardens of the Royal Hospital of Chelsea in London have undergone a colourful transformation. The result, the Chelsea Flower Show — the world's most famous flower show. The Chelsea Flower Show is to floral enthusiasts, what Oktoberfest is to beer aficionados. Visitors travel from all corners of the globe to witness this floral extravaganza which features in excess of 20 show gardens (selected by a committee of horticultural experts), along with a number of small gardens and more than 100 floral exhibitors in the Great Pavilion. The event attracts the world's foremost horticulturalists and has long proved to be a barometer for gardening trends. Budding gardeners can shop to the heart's content and if you time your run right you can even pick up some of the floral arrangements themselves, which become available on the last day of the show. And when it all gets too bloomin' much, you can take time out at one of the many rest areas or designated eating areas. Be warned, this is London in May, book early, pack a brolly and expect anything.

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Europe England London Flower Shows Family Festivals May
Chestertons Polo in the Park

Chestertons Polo in the Park

Ever fancied brushing shoulders and sipping champers with the polo set but wondered just how you'd wangle that invitation? Never fear my proletariat friend for there's Polo in the Park, and for three days each June, Hurlingham Park is open to all and sundry. The event kicks off with 'Chukka Friday', featuring three afternoon polo matches. Saturday is Ladies Day with another three fixtures, whilst Sunday is Finals Day. There are bars with direct views of the polo field, a bunch of gourmet food outlets and the Luxury Shopping Village opens its doors (and its tills) for that must have polo field fashion. There's some modified rules in place to add the spectacle and to help newcomers understand the game. So get your affairs in order and make it along to Hurlingham Park for a quintessentially British summer sporting and social occasion. Bravo!

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Europe England London Sporting Events June
Chios Rocket War

Chios Rocket War

Churches have always been considered to be safe havens — a place where you could escape the madness outside. But come Easter in Vrontados on the Greek island of Chios, it's two local churches — the parishes of St. Mark's and Panaghia Ereithiani — at the centre of the madness. In fact, for one night a year they become targets for rocket attack during the annual Chios Rocket War or Rouketopolemos. Across a small ravine parishioners fire a volley of tens of thousands of home made rockets at each other in the hope of striking the opposing church's bell. Apparently the festivities date back to the Ottoman era. According to Vrontados lore the Rouketopolemos was earlier performed with real cannons, until the authorities of the day prohibited their use in 1889. I bet there weren't as many tourists then.

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Europe Greece Vrontados, Chios Bizarre Festivals Traditional Festivals April
Christmas Beer Festival

Christmas Beer Festival

It's Christmas and according to local sources, 'tis the season to be jolly. If you happen to find yourself in Essen in Belgium you can add to the merriment of the season at the annual Christmas Beer Festival. For two days each December, the Christmas Beer Festival serves up a seasonal selection of 170 Belgian Christmas and winter beers (and a little local gluhkriek to boot) to more than 3,000 annual visitors. Coming from out of town? Grab the shuttle bus from the Essen Railway Station straight to the festival venue.

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Europe Belgium Essen Christmas Beer Festivals December
Christopher Street Day

Christopher Street Day

Paying tribute to trailblazers of the LGBT cause, Berlin's Christopher Street Day is named (and held in memory of) the first substantial uprising of homosexuals against police assaults in Greenwich Village (New York) on 27 June, 1969. The riots on that day — dubbed the Stonewall Riots — took place in a bar called the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street. In Germany, Christopher Street Day was first celebrated in Berlin in 1979 and since then has grown to become known as one of Europe's largest Pride celebrations. Half a million revellers dance up a storm during the colourful street parade which kicks off at the corner of Kurfürstendamm and Joachimstaler Straße and ends at Brandenburg Gate. The after-parade party continues through the night at many of Berlin's bars and clubs.

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Europe Germany Berlin Pride Festivals Street Parades July
Cinque Mulini

Cinque Mulini

Each January, some 20 kilometres northwest of Milan in the Lombardy Region of Italy, the commune of San Vittore Olona plays host to one of the world's more unique cross-country running events, the Cinque Mulini or Five Mills. The prestigious event takes its name from the five mills that dot the course. Although the course layout has changed frequently since the event's inception in 1933, it still involves competitors running through at least one of the five mills. The event's popularity has grown dramatically in recent years and today Cinque Mulini attracts a world-class field of competitors from Europe, Africa and beyond.

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Europe Italy Milan Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs January
City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival

City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival

Join jazz junkies from over Ireland and beyond as they descend upon the bars, clubs and restaurants of Derry for the annual, City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival. For five days in May, more than 200 musicians blow, strum, pluck, brush, scat and croon to more than 30,000 visitors in 80 venues across the city centre.

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Europe Northern Ireland Derry Jazz Festivals April
Clarenbridge Oyster Festival

Clarenbridge Oyster Festival

If munching mollusks tempts your palate and you don't mind tipping back a pint of the black, then the Clarenbridge Oyster Festival may be just the gig for you. Down the road big brother Galway may have stolen a little of the Oyster Fest limelight of late but in Clarenbridge you'll get the original — the oyster festival where it all began. Held over three days in September, there'll be plenty of traditional Irish music and dancing, the Oyster Gala Celebration, barbeques and plenty of fun for the whole tribe.

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Europe Ireland Clarinbridge Food Festivals Community Festivals September
Cologne Carnival

Cologne Carnival

Get into the German spirit by downing a stein of some local Kölsch beer at a rowdy beer hall, before hitting the streets of the old town to fill your bags with Kamelle sweets and Strüssche flowers thrown from passing parade floats. Raucous brass bands, men's ties cut in half, and shouts of Kölle Alaaf! — Cologne, before all others! — work the huge crowds into a frenzy during Cologne Carnival. Official carnival celebrations kick off in Alter Markt on the Thursday before the beginning of Lent, marking the start of a week of revelry dubbed, the crazy days which end on Ash Wednesday. The highlight of celebrations is Monday's Rose Parade which attracts annual crowds of more than a million, making it one of Europe's largest street festivals.

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Europe Germany Cologne Carnival and Mardi Gras Street Parades February
Contemporary Istanbul

Contemporary Istanbul

Contemporary Istanbul — the leading international art fair in Turkey — brings both local and international focus to the dynamic art scene in the country's vibrant metropolis for four days each November. Contemporary Istanbul plays host to national and international galleries, artists from all over the world, collectors, museum directors, curators, art critics, members of the press and art lovers at the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Center. In addition to the main event, Contemporary Istanbul organises several side events through the year and art projects such as conferences, exhibitions with the aim of contributing to the country's contemporary art development.

More Contemporary Istanbul info...

Europe Turkey Istanbul Art Festivals November
Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll

Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll

Cheese rolling's origins are hazy to say the least. A common presumption is that the masochistic frolic began as a pagan festival hundreds of years ago — a celebration of the onset of summer. Other theories have it relating to age-old fertility rights, the hope of a successful harvest and even as a safeguard of the Commoner's rights for the people of Cooper's Hill. Wherever it's origins it's hard to argue that cheese rolling is a sport for the outrageously courageous or at least the dangerously demented. Contestants in the Cooper's Hill event (between Gloucester, Stroud and Cheltenham in the Cotswolds) on the last Monday in May, stand precipitously at the top of a 300 yard hill, that maintains a gradient of two in one for the most part whilst a Master of Ceremonies counts them down. What follows can only be described as dairy based carnage. Broken bones are a given and sprains and bruises are numerous, as up to twenty contestants in any given race tumble and roll their way headlong down the slope in pursuit of the elusive chunk of Double Gloucester. Keeping your feet is rarely an option, contestants just seem to go with the flow, tumbling out of control like rag dolls with a death wish. Inevitably the cheese wins.

More Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll info...

Europe England Coopers Hill Bizarre Festivals Community Festivals May
Copenhagen Blues Festival

Copenhagen Blues Festival

For five down and dirty days each September, the Danish capital discovers its deep south side, during the annual Copenhagen Blues Festival. Now well into its second decade, the festival continues to grow and today offers up 60 concerts at 20 venues all over town. All variations on the blues genre are represented and there's usually a nice balance between local and overseas acts and the old blues guard and new up-and-comers. Check the festival programme online to plot your moves. Traditionally, the blues fest draws things to a close with an acoustic Roots 'n' Blues Jam at Mojo on the Sunday night.

More Copenhagen Blues Festival info...

Europe Denmark Copenhagen Blues Festivals September
Copenhagen Chocolate Festival

Copenhagen Chocolate Festival

Chocoholics converge on the Danish capital for two days in February for the annual Copenhagen Chocolate Festival. The sweet-toothed amongst us can expect samples galore from the fifty odd chocolatiers in attendance. If you can drag yourself away from that all important task of sampling, there's a bunch of workshops and demonstrations that provide a glimpse into the chocolate industry and the highly skilled work of the chocolatier.

More Copenhagen Chocolate Festival info...

Europe Denmark Copenhagen Chocolate Festivals Food Festivals February
Copenhagen Culture Night

Copenhagen Culture Night

For one evening each October, Copenhagen goes cultural, opening up more than 500 institutions — museums, libraries, educational establishments, theatres, music venues and churches — to members of the public. It's a night when the whole city comes to life with entertainment, education and adventure for all ages. Grab a culture pass and head to the website for a full list of activities then plan your attack. Copenhagen transport comes to the party. A Culture Pass, gives you free transport on regional trains, S trains, the Metro and busses throughout the entire Copenhagen region from 5 pm and 5 am.

More Copenhagen Culture Night info...

Europe Denmark Copenhagen Cultural Festivals Family Festivals October
Copenhagen Photo Festival

Copenhagen Photo Festival

The Copenhagen Photo Festival is a 10-day celebration of photographic art scattered across venues in the Danish capital from galleries and museums to urban spaces, but centred on 'Photo City' (AKA Carlsberg Byen). Designed to highlight local talent, it features a number of diverse exhibitions from fine art photography to photos shot with apps on a phone from up and coming as well established photographers.

More Copenhagen Photo Festival info...

Europe Denmark Copenhagen Photography Festivals Art Festivals June
Copenhagen Pride

Copenhagen Pride

The travelling rainbow flag flies proudly above captivating Copenhagen for four days each August. Copenhagen Pride activities are centered on City Hall Square — renamed Pride Square for the week — where entertainment ranges from the ubiquitous drag show through concerts to the highly anticipated grand finale of Denmark's Mr Gay contest. Saturday is Parade Day where as many as 20,000 take to the streets in a sea of colour (and skin) strutting and dancing their way through the Danish Capital. Following the parade, international artists and DJs keep the crowd up and dancing back at Pride Square before the party moves on to the LGBT bars and clubs until the wee morning hours.

More Copenhagen Pride info...

Europe Denmark Copenhagen Pride Festivals Street Parades August
Corfu Beer Festival

Corfu Beer Festival

A slice of Bavaria comes to Corfu for five fun-filled days each October during the annual Corfu Beer Festival. Visitors to the village of Arillas have the opportunity to sample the amber offerings from a number of brewers. There's plenty of wonderful locally produced fare on offer too. Great for a little sustenance before breaking out those traditional Greek dance moves. Those looking for an educational angle to the festivities can take in either the beer or olive oil seminar on offer.

More Corfu Beer Festival info...

Europe Greece Corfu Beer Festivals October
Cork Cycling Festival

Cork Cycling Festival

Psyched for cycling? There's a little something for everyone who loves their transport two-wheeled and peddle-powered at the annual Cork Cycling Festival. Over a weekend and a bit come July, cyclists in Ireland's second city enjoy a featured packed programme that includes everything from themed city cycles, tourist countryside tours and bicycle parades, to DIY workshops, fashion events and a bike beauty pageant.

More Cork Cycling Festival info...

Europe Ireland Cork Cycling Tours and Events July
Coupe Icare

Coupe Icare

This is your captain speaking: strap yourself in for the thrills, colour and excitement of St. Hilaire du Touvet's, Coupe Icare — a four day fest of free flight featuring displays of aerial acrobatics, hang gliding, paragliding and hot air ballooning. In addition to flight competitions, there's live entertainment, street performances, plenty of children's activities, a flight museum to peruse, a commercial expo and film festival to boot.

More Coupe Icare info...

Europe France Saint Hilaire Du Touvet Ballooning Festivals Air Shows September
Cowes Week

Cowes Week

When the fickle British weather's on song and the breeze is light but consistent, there ain't no place like Cowes on the Isle of Wight come early August. Each year Cowes plays host to the longest-running sailing regatta in the world, Cowes Week. Held along the stretch of ocean between the English mainland and the Isle of Wight known as the Solent — a stretch of sea often made ticklish for yachtsmen and women by strong double tides. A typical Cowes Week now has over 35 starts a day for classes of cruiser-racers, one designs and keelboats; in which over a thousand boats and 8,500 competitors will take part. No yacht? No matter! Most of the 50,000+ in attendance wouldn't know a Carrick Bend from a Double Granny. It's the party on shore that they're there to see. So if you find yourself in the British Isles come late summer why not head down to Cowes on the Isle of Wight and join the strawberries and Pimms set as they talk tactics and get tanked. Bon Voyage!

More Cowes Week info...

Europe England Isle of Wight Nautical Events Sporting Events August
Cows' Ball

Cows' Ball

The humble dairy cow takes centre stage in the Slovenian city of Bohinj on the third Sunday of September each year, in one of Europe's quirkier festival offerings. The annual Cows' Ball is a celebration of the return to the Bohinj Valley of the town's beloved bovines after a summer spent grazing in the mountains. Draped in wreaths with bells a jingling, the cows make their homecoming to a celebration which includes folk music and dancing, log sawing and horseshoe casting.

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Europe Slovenia Ljubljana Folk and Folk Music Festivals Cultural Festivals September
Creamfields

Creamfields

Looking to shake ya groove thing this August bank holiday long weekend? Gather a gaggle of friends, pack your tent and make your way to Daresbury in Cheshire for four days of heavyweight DJs and dance acts at Creamfields. Originally held as an offshot to the popular Cream Nightclub in Liverpool, Creamfields has been doing its dance thing since 1998. Today's event attracts the cream (pardon the pun) of EDM for a four day blowout, considered by many in the know to be the UK's premier dance event. The festival has spawned myriad offsping over the years with Creamfileds being represented from far afield as Abu Dhabi, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro.

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Europe England Daresbury Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
Crufts

Crufts

For four days each March Birmingham goes barking mad during Crufts, a UK canine institution and the biggest dog show in the world. Up to 28,000 pooches from Affenpinschers to Great Danes take part in best of breed shows as well competitions in dog agility, obedience, flyball and heelwork to music. There's also an accompanying trade show for all your doggie needs.

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Europe England Birmingham March
Crystal Palace Overground Festival

Crystal Palace Overground Festival

The Crystal Palace Overground Festival is a free, family-friendly, four-day festival taking place in the Upper Norwood Triangle and Westow Park. The festival features wonderful food from all parts of the world, vintage bargains for savvy shoppers, eclectic music, comedy and film, fun family workshops and activities in art, theatre, music and sports as well as the chance to discover the heritage of a world renowned part of London. Events take place in the week leading up to and during the main outdoor event in Westow Park.

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Europe England London Family Festivals June
Cyprus International Film Festival

Cyprus International Film Festival

Film lovers gather in the leafy Cypriot capital Nicosia each October to enjoy the wide-ranging offerings at the annual Cyprus International Film Festival. The CYIFF program runs for 11 days and categories include features, short films, animations, music videos, dance, experimental films and video art. Selected films vie for the Silver and Golden Aphrodite.

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Europe Cyprus Nicosia Film Festivals Short Film Festivals October
Cyprus Marathon

Cyprus Marathon

Competitors in the annual Cyprus Marathon depart from Petra tou Romiou, the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite. If you're ever going to push yourself through 42 kilometres of tarmac torture can there be a better starting line motivator than the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation? For those looking to lessen the distress, there's a half-marathon and 10 kilometre road race. Competitors finish at the picturesque Paphos Medieval Castle where there'll be traditional Greek dancing and free beer.

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Europe Cyprus Paphos Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs March
Czech Beer Festival

Czech Beer Festival

Pining for a Pilsner? The Czech Republic and Prague in particular has long been a beer aficionado's Mecca. Per capita, our Czech cousins drink more of the stuff than any other nation in the world. Come May, for 17 days and 17 nights, up to 70 of the Czech Republic's best breweries offer up their signature suds at the annual Czech Beer Festival. There's plenty of live music and a selection of hearty local fare — served up by traditionally clad waiting staff no less — and quality beer aplenty served up in heavy glass mugs. Na zdraví!

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Beer Festivals May
Dance Week Festival

Dance Week Festival

Founded in 1982, Zagreb's Dance Week Festival is Croatia's primary international festival of contemporary dance, movement theatre and mime. For 14 days the festival offers up a selection of works by international names in choreography, alongside those of emerging local talent as well as round-table discussions, exhibitions, workshops, informal meetings and networking sessions.

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Europe Croatia Zagreb Dance Festivals Performing Arts Festivals May
Dijon International Gastronomy Fair

Dijon International Gastronomy Fair

Dijon has long been considered a French centre for gastronomic excellence — a point that is flaunted to full effect during the annual Dijon International Gastronomy Fair. Attracting more than 200,000 visitors through its doors, the 12 day event is widely recognised as one of France's finest food fairs. No small statement in a country that takes its cuisine so seriously. Hone your cooking skills with demonstrations and competitions featuring some of the best chefs in the business. Pack your pantry with the food and wine from over 600 exhibitors.

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Europe France Dijon Food Festivals Wine Festivals November
Dine in Dublin

Dine in Dublin

For a week this February, Dine in Dublin will again be dishing up the finest in Irish and international cuisine, along with a feast of cultural delights. Download a programme from their website and head along to any of a wide range of Dublin city centre's premier eateries to get involved with giveaways, special events and of course, great value offers on meals.

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Europe Ireland Dublin Food Festivals February
DMC World DJ Championships

DMC World DJ Championships

Since 1985 the world's freshest DJs have gone head to head, stylus to stylus spinning and scratching their vinyl at the DMC World DJ Championships in London. Mixmasters from the UK, Europe and beyond battle it out in three competitions, the World DJ Championship, the Battle For World Supremacy and the World DJ Team Championship. Dress loose and get ready to jump, jump.

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Europe England London Rap and Hip Hop Festivals October
DOK Leipzig

DOK Leipzig

Starting out life in 1955, as the All-German Leipzig Festival of Cultural and Documentary Films, Dok Leipzig (today's snappier title) was the first independent film festival in East Germany. In 1993 following reunification with the West, attendee numbers dropped significantly but things began picked up again after that and have been on the up ever since. In 1995 a separate competition for animated film was added to the line-up and in 2004 a number of industry-specific events also made their way onto the programme. Today's week long festival features a rich selection of hundreds of documentary and animated films, screened in cinemas across Leipzig.

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Europe Germany Leipzig Film Festivals October
Donauinselfest

Donauinselfest

Vienna's Donauinselfest looks at the word massive and laughs at it. It's a hearty chuckle. Colossal gets a sneer and huge doesn't even warrant a response. Each year, a 6.5 kilometre section of Donauinsel (a man-made island strip smack bang in the middle of the Danube) between the Reichsbrücke and the Nordbrücke, attracts more than three million revellers for a three day blowout like no other. On her 11 stages music ranges from metal to Mozart but it's often aimed more at the predominantly Austrian audience than any international visitors. From street theatre to circus to Latin dance and from sporting competitions to adrenaline attractions, away from the stages there's a little something for everyone. All concerts are free but if you're planning a visit, start thinking about accommodation early. Vienna's a tourist hotspot with accommodation options galore but during Donauinselfest all bets are off.

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Europe Austria Vienna Rock Festivals Popular Music Festivals June
Dour Festival

Dour Festival

They year, 1989; five up-and-coming French-speaking bands play to 2,000 attendees from the one stage at the inaugural, Dour Festival. Today the four day event is a comparative monster, spanning six stages, featuring 200 bands and DJs and attracting in the region of 150,000 festival-goers. It's a European biggie and Dour by name only. Renowned for its around the clock revellry, Dour caters to the tastes of a wide range of music lovers. Genres include electro, rock, drum and bass, pop, R 'n' B, reggae, house, punk, hardcore, metal, hip-hop, indie and techno.

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Europe Belgium Brussels Indie Rock Festivals July
Download Festival

Download Festival

For serious hard rock and metal fans the name Donington Park is synonymous with Download. Over three days each June, the Leicestershire venue becomes heavy metal HQ during the legendary Download Festival. Since 2003, Download has welcomed Gods of rock the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Motley Crue, ZZ Top and Guns N' Roses. Annually tens of thousands of metal and hard rock fans rightly follow in their wake. With 150 acts across five stages over three days, revellers are spoilt for choice.

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Europe England Castle Donington Heavy Metal Festivals Punk Festivals Rock Festivals June
Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

For three days each Spring, Dublin celebrates it's seaside locale and it's love of seafood during the annual Dublin Bay Prawn Festival. Prawns, yabbies, scampi or shrimp, however you label 'em, the delicious crustacean takes pride of place on the menus of local Howth restaurants. There's a food village featuring a ton of local fresh seafood (sample your prawns whole, shelled, barbecued, fried, skewered, marinated or sauced), cooking demonstrations hosted by local celebrity chefs and fish filleting and fishery skills demonstrations. Loosen your belt and take in the terrific Tasting Trail around Howth Village.

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Europe Ireland Dublin Food Festivals March
Dublin Fringe Festival

Dublin Fringe Festival

For 16 days each September, the Dublin Fringe Festival transforms the capital into an exposé of great creative talent from around the globe, featuring an eclectic programme of music, dance, theatre, comedy, spoken word, circus and film. Staying true to its fringey roots the festival takes its programme to Dublin's street corners and cafes, theatres and the Liffey Boardwalk. Past shows have even been performed on board a double-decker Dublin bus. Download the Fringe app from the website to plot your personal Fringe attack plan.

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Europe Ireland Dublin Fringe Festivals September
Dublin International Film Festival

Dublin International Film Festival

Established in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) has fast become Ireland's premier feature film festival. The festival takes place in the Irish capital over the course of eleven days and nights each Spring. Presenting over 120 films from the four corners of the globe, JDIFF is a citywide event that screens films in all the Dublin City centre cinemas including Cineworld, The Savoy, Screen, Irish Film Institute and Light House Cinema in Smithfield. The majority of films shown at the film festival are Irish premieres and for some of the films shown, the festival represents the only public screening that will take place in Ireland.

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Europe Ireland Dublin Film Festivals February
Dublin Marathon

Dublin Marathon

On the Bank Holiday Monday, during the relatively cool autumnal month of October, runners take to the the historic Georgian streets of Dublin for the city's annual marathon. The Dublin Marathon has been held since 1980 and attracts in the region of 20,000 participants from Ireland and abroad to take up the 42 kilometre challenge. Take in the action from one of the cheering zones or get your groove on at the music zone. Further details are available on the Marathon website where you can download a printable pdf version of the marathon course.

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Europe Ireland Dublin Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs October
Dublin Oktoberfest

Dublin Oktoberfest

Dust off the lederhosen and put your drinking shoes on as downtown Dublin gets set to sample a slice of Bavaria for 18 days each September and October, during the annual Dublin Oktoberfest. Gather some friends and settle in to down a stein or two of delectable German wheat beer served up by a traditionally-clad Bavarian waitress. Tuck into some Schmankerlteller or try some traditional sauerkraut or a pretzel as big as your head. There's a German market featuring more than 30 stalls, selling a range of Black Forest specialties. Learn to yodel or dance the polka, as traditional Bavarian musicians pump out all the beer-hall favourites. Check in with the website to make your table reservations early. Prost!

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Europe Ireland Dublin Beer Festivals Multicultural Festivals September
Dubrovnik Summer Festival

Dubrovnik Summer Festival

With many of the landmarks of its Renaissance-Baroque, UNESCO listed old town as a backdrop, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is a hugely popular event that attracts visitors from all over the world. Running annually from 10th July through the 25th August, the festival presents a rich programme of classical music, theatre, opera, ballet and dance. Many of the performances are open air, taking advantage of the balmy summer temperatures and the soothing Adriatic air.

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Europe Croatia Dubrovnik Summer Festivals Classical Music and Opera Festivals July
Dundee Literary Festival

Dundee Literary Festival

Lover of literature? Find your reading specs and head on over to the the Dundee Literary Festival and Comics Conference. For five days in October, the University of Dundee becomes a hotbed of literary discussion, readings and critiques as over 40 events take centre stage.

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Europe Scotland Dundee Literature Festivals Book Fairs October
Dusseldorf Christmas Markets

Dusseldorf Christmas Markets

Downtown Dusseldorf turns on the festive cheer each year from mid-November, during the annual Dusseldorf Christmas Markets. Make your way to Marktplatz, Dusseldorf's Christmas market quarter at the heart of her old town. Here you'll find lovingly created wooden huts modelled in the colour and style on the city's renaissance City Hall, from which artisans work iron, blow glass and turn wood in traditions dating back centuries. Pick out some hand-made traditional gifts for friends and family, marvel at the life-sized manger or take a spin on the antique carousel. From here it's only a short stroll to Heinrich-Heine-Platz for the Engelchenmarkt (Little Angel Market) where Market huts are adorned with floral motifs and angel figures in wrought iron. Here you can sample traditional or contemporary festive fare or warm up with a splash of fragrant mulled wine. Finish up with a skate at Gustaf-Grundgens-Platz where a winter workout on the 450m2 ice-skating rink will get you in the mood to sample some delicious Reibekuchen (potato pancakes).

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Europe Germany Dusseldorf Christmas Markets Christmas December
Dusseldorf Festival

Dusseldorf Festival

The Dusseldorf Festival will once again be serving up its exciting blend of dance, theatre, classical and world music, circus and performance art this September. With a packed programme of eclectic events spread over 19 days and as many venues, the festival promises something for the culture vulture in all of us.

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Europe Germany Dusseldorf Performing Arts Festivals September
Eden Sessions

Eden Sessions

Take a phenomenal venue in a stunning setting with acoustics to die for, and hand it over to a bunch of world-class musicians (and the occasional comedian) to do their thing on a balmy summer evening. Welcome to the Eden Sessions, the Eden Project's attempt to encourage concert audiences to think about how they can reduce their impact on the environment. Past performers have included Amy Winehouse, Pet Shop Boys, Snow Patrol, Elbow, Kaiser Chiefs and Eddie Izzard. All profits from the Eden Sessions go towards supporting their educational charity and programmes.

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Europe England Bodelva Rock Festivals Comedy Festivals Varies
Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Join the masses for 25 days this August as the streets and venues of Edinburgh come alive with unbridled creativity. Every year thousands of performers take to a multitude of stages (and soapboxes and street corners) all over Edinburgh to present a huge diversity of shows and performances that cater for every imaginable taste. From the biggest names in comedy, theatre and entertainment to unknown artists looking to enhance their fledgling careers, Ed Fringe never fails to deliver memorable performances across a multitude of genres ranging from physical theatre through to cutting edge satire. Take nothing for granted at the greatest cultural show on earth in one of its most spectacular cities.

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Europe Scotland Edinburgh Fringe Festivals Performing Arts Festivals Comedy Festivals August
Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh's International Festival presents a diverse and rich mix of classical, dance, drama and opera productions performed in some of the city's most loved and iconic venues, including the circular Usher Hall and the magnificent glass-fronted Edinburgh Festival Theatre. It's an invitation to the world's greatest artists to perform in one of Europe's most culturally active cities. The Festival rounds things off with a massive fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle that lights up the autumn sky above the crowds in Princes Street Gardens, to the strains of classical music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

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Europe Scotland Edinburgh Classical Music and Opera Festivals August
Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh's annual Science Festival was the world's first celebration of science and technology, and still one of Europe's largest. Each year hundreds of the best and brightest minds in science and technology gather in Edinburgh to debate and celebrate some of the biggest, and sometimes controversial ideas in science.The two-week event places emphasis on giving audiences of all ages amazing experiences through a programme of innovative and inspiring events.

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Europe Scotland Edinburgh Science and Technology Festivals Family Festivals April
Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

As Scottish as Sean Connery hoeing into a haggis or Robert the Bruce sipping a wee dram, it's Edinburgh's famous Military Tattoo, held annually each August. Get along and enjoy bagpipes by the bucket-full, the rattle of stick on snare and hundreds of large, hairy men in kilts marching in formation.

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Europe Scotland Edinburgh Celtic Festivals Traditional Festivals Cultural Festivals August
Elefest

Elefest

Elefest is a celebration of one of the best known but most misunderstood parts of London — Elephant and Castle. Elefest's programme celebrates the past, present and future of the "Picadilly of the South", mixing home-grown with national and international talent for four days each October. From pop-up cinemas and music events to night markets, photography exhibitions and skating events, Elefest's programme, like the neighbourhood, is constantly evolving year on year.

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Europe England London Community Festivals October
Elevate Festival

Elevate Festival

Looking for something a little more mentally challenging than your everyday festival offering? Up your expectations at Graz' annual Elevate Festival for Contemporary Music, Art and Political Discourse. Featuring an extensive programme of discussions, workshops, lectures, film screenings, concerts and live performances, the Elevate Festival aims to foster a better understanding of the most important issues of our time.

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Europe Austria Graz Performing Arts Festivals October
Estonia Song and Dance Celebration (Laulupidu)

Estonia Song and Dance Celebration (Laulupidu)

If you like your Baltic folk music, large, loud and part of a crowd (and I do mean a crowd) then it don't get much bigger than Estonia's Laulupidu — the Estonia Song and Dance Celebration. The 2004 event included 34,000 performers who strutted their stuff in front of a crowd of 200,000 spectators. Told you it was big! Local Estonians and an increasing number of outsiders make the trip to Tallinn for this folk extravaganza which is held only once each four to five years.

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Europe Estonia Tallinn Traditional Festivals Folk and Folk Music Festivals July
European Medieval Festival

European Medieval Festival

For two days each August, step out of Horsens city centre and into the former state prison — FÆNGSLET — and be transformed back in time; all the way back to the Middle Ages in fact, during the annual European Medieval Festival. The festival strives to replicate all aspects of medieval life as authentically as possible, from the art and crafts on offer, to the music being played and from the bustle of the market to the ways and customs of everyday life on display. Entrance to the festival area is free of charge.

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Europe Denmark Aarhus Medieval Fairs Historical Festivals August
Eurosonic Noorderslag

Eurosonic Noorderslag

An immensely popular event on the European music industry calendar, Eurosonic Noorderslag presents showcases by more than 350 acts alongside a conference programme featuring 150 panels, keynote speakers, interviews, and workshops, as well as dinners, pitches, parties and meetings covering the latest developments in the international music, media, production and interactive industries. Taking place over four days each January in Groningen, Eurosonic Noorderslag has a proven track record for helping to break new acts on to the international live music scene.

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Europe Netherlands Groningen Indie Rock Festivals New Media Festivals January
EXIT Magic Adventure

EXIT Magic Adventure

What began as a student movement fighting for peace and democracy in Serbia and the Balkan region has grown into one of the world's largest and most successful summer music festivals. Set in the epic Petrovaradin Fortress in Serbia's Novi Sad on the right bank of the Danube, EXIT has been peppered with awards from peers and media over the past decade. For four days each July, EXIT attracts the biggest names in indie rock and pop, electronica, metal, punk and hardcore on its six stages.

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Europe Serbia Novi Sad Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals July
Fantasporto

Fantasporto

Porto's Fantasporto is a world renowned international film festival dedicated to the genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror — there's usually a smattering of auteur offerings and experimental projects in the programme too. More than 100,000 cinephiles pack Porto's cinemas for ten days of fantasy film come early March. Some stay for the Vampires Ball — a closing party with bite.

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Europe Portugal Porto Film Festivals February
Festa al Cel

Festa al Cel

Take up your vantage on Badalona's beaches (about 30 north of Barcelona) and prepare for Festa al Cel, the oldest and largest airshow in Spain. Since 1992, hundreds of thousands of eager spectators have enjoyed two days of autumn aviation action. As well as the action in the air, there's plenty to do on the ground from paper plane competitions to a musical programme.

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Europe Spain Barcelona Air Shows Family Festivals September
Festa Major de Gracia

Festa Major de Gracia

Barcelona's Gracia district has a bit of a bohemian reputation. Things hang a little looser in Gracia. It has vibrant squares, a bustling bar and cafe scene and a thriving art scene — perhaps part-inspired by Gaudi's Parc Guell, which also calls the barrio home. And each August it has Festa Major. During la festa, Gracia really turns on it's eclectic charm as individual streets vie for the coveted best decorated street award. Festa Major is big news in Barcelona and competition to outdo the neighbouring street is fierce. Grab a glass of Cava and get lost amidst the colourful Gaudi inspired installations and the two story high paper-mache models. Be entertained by the myriad street performers or drawn by the competing rhythms of a hundred street musicians. In the squares keep an eye up for the spectacular castelleres, the Catalan human towers, that can reach staggering heights. Pack light and get ready to party; 1.5 million annual revellers and almost 200 years of tradition says you haven't been to a street party quite like Festa Major.

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Europe Spain Barcelona Street Parties Traditional Festivals August
Festes de la Merce

Festes de la Merce

During Festes de la Merce, the Catalan capital says goodbye to summer with a bang; literally. For four days nearing the shank of September, Barcelona puts on a street party in honour of her co-patron saint, the Virgin of Mercy. La Merce features free concerts and literally hundreds of events that filter through her streets and out onto her plazas. There are daily parades of synchronised dancing giants. There's the correfoc, literally translated as the 'fire run', a Catalan tradition where participants of questionable sanity dash through a maelstrom of pyrotechnics being chased by firecracker-breathing devils and other unworldly beasts. On a slightly disturbing note, there's even a correfoc for the kiddies, where, you'll be glad to hear, the pyrotechnics are ratcheted down a notch. There's local Catalan folk dancing and the ever-popular castelleres, the human castles which reach jaw-dropping heights.

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Europe Spain Barcelona Street Parties Traditional Festivals September
Festival d'Aix en Provence

Festival d'Aix en Provence

The post-war years in France were marked by an artistic renaissance that led to the creation of the Festival de Cannes in 1946, soon followed by the Festival d'Avignon in 1947 and the Festival d'Aix en Provence in 1948. Music, poetry, theatre, the visual arts — all the elements that make up the magic of opera — are still at the heart of the Provence offering. A three week annual summer programme attracts some of the biggest names in opera for a series of concerts (Mozart, Handel, Rossini) at a selection of d'AiX en Provence's most iconic venues. Accompanying the operas, the programme also features orchestral, chamber, vocal and solo instrumental music performances.

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Europe France Provence Classical Music and Opera Festivals July
Festival de Marseille

Festival de Marseille

The Festival de Marseille is a multi-disciplinary artistic event celebrating major contemporary creations, new disciplines and dialogue between artists and the public. Since 1996, dance in all its many forms has been at the heart of the festival but the three and a half week programme also includes a rich mix of theatre, cinema, music and visual arts.

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Europe France Marseille Dance Festivals Performing Arts Festivals June
Festival Mondial des Theatres de Marionnettes

Festival Mondial des Theatres de Marionnettes

Every three years since 1961 the town of Charleville-Mezieres in the Ardennes Region of France has played host to the Festival Mondial des Theatres de Marionnettes. For ten days the town is over-run by all manner of puppets — from glove to string puppets, shadow and Bunraku, from real objects to on-screen, ranging in size from small and intimate to giant puppets. So enamoured with puppets is the town that since 1981 it has become home to the Institut International de la Marionnette, a permanent place of training, creation and exploring of new ideas in the art of puppetry.

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Europe France Charleville-Mezieres Puppet Festivals Performing Arts Festivals September
Festival Morgana

Festival Morgana

The art of puppetry is alive and kicking in the Sicilian capital, Palermo — no strings attached. For two and a half weeks each November the Festival Morgana presents a programme of puppet and marionette theatre performed by local and international acts and organised by the Association for the preservation of folk traditions.

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Europe Italy Palermo Puppet Festivals November
Festival of 3 Continents

Festival of 3 Continents

The Festival of the Three Continents is a film festival held annually each November in Nantes, France. Founded by the Jalladeau brothers, since 1979 the festival has worked tirelessly to promote the cinema of Asia, and Africa and Latin America in France. Feature films compete for the festival's top award, the balloon shaped Golden Montgolfiere.

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Europe France Nantes Film Festivals November
Festival of Near Death Experiences

Festival of Near Death Experiences

Survived a near death experience in the past 12 months? Congratulations, you've earned the right to participate in one of Spain's more bizarre religious pilgrimages; la Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme. And the kicker is, you get to do it in a coffin. Come late July, thousands arrive in the tiny Galician town of Las Nieves to pay witness to a procession in honor of Saint Marta de Ribarteme, the patron saint of resurrection. Those near death survivors are loaded into coffins and travel the procession route borne by loved ones. Older men, those without family, lug their own coffins to Mass before the procession — overseen by a statue of the Virgin Santa Marta — continues on up the hill toward the local cemetery and back down to circle the Church.

More Festival of Near Death Experiences info...

Europe Spain Las Nieves Religious Events Bizarre Festivals July
Festival of the Artichoke

Festival of the Artichoke

The aphrodisiacal artichoke takes centre stage at the Romanesco Artichoke Festival held for three days each April in the Tyrrhenian Seaside town of Ladispoli. Since 1951 locals have been paying homage to the Mediterranean native vegetable with a programme including a conference on the economics and cultivation of the artichoke and artichoke cooking competitions. Local restaurants do their bit by laying on menus thick with the edible thistle. There's a music program, artichoke-themed decorations and plenty of free fried artichoke to be sampled before taking in the fireworks over the shore of Ladispoli.

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Europe Italy Rome Food Festivals April
Festival of the Virgin of Carmen

Festival of the Virgin of Carmen

Join the heaving throngs of devotees at the Festival of the Virgin of Carmen (the Patron Saint of Fisherman), held annually all over Spain and parts of Central and Southern America. At Puerto de la Cruz on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife, thousands pay witness to the statue of the Virgin of Carmen along with a likeness of Saint Telmo as they make their journey from the local chapel to the fishing harbour. A fanfare announces their arrival at the waterfront from where they are taken to a decorated boat and sailed along the coast.

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Europe Spain Tenerife Religious Events Traditional Festivals July
Fete de Ganesh

Fete de Ganesh

Paris' 18th arrondissement takes on a touch of Mumbai for a day each August during the annual Hindu, Fête de Ganesh. Following a ceremony at the Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam Temple a colourful procession takes to the streets in a celebration of the elephant-headed and human-bodied Lord Ganesh — the Remover of Obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom.

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Europe France Paris Religious Events Street Parades August
Fetes de Bayonne

Fetes de Bayonne

More than a million revellers descend upon the Basque city of Bayonne for five days each August for the eagerly awaited, Fêtes de Bayonne. With a history dating back to 1932, when a handful of locals tried to emulate a San Fermin style celebration in their own Basque neck of the woods, the Fêtes de Bayonne has grown to become one of Europe's biggest bashes. Like San Fermin, there's a strong bovine element to the celebrations including two official bullfights but there's so much more to the fêtes than that. The streets, squares, bars and bodegas become a sea of traditional red and white as for five days and nights a party of epic proportions pervades all public spaces. The renowned Basque hospitality and party spirit is evident in events ranging from tamborradas to the Bell Pepper Omelette World Championship. There's a strong children's programme in place including the Encierro Txiki (a bull run with bulls on wheels) and fireworks light the sky every evening. Stock up on sleep, pack light and prepare to party Basque style.

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Europe France Bayonne Traditional Festivals Street Parades August
Fiesta de San Isidro

Fiesta de San Isidro

If Madrilenos needed a reason to fiesta away the majority of May, their very own patron saint — San Isdiro — grants them just that opportunity. For a week or so either side of San Isidro's Feast Day on May 15th, Madrid and it's suburbs are celebration central as concerts and flamenco fill public spaces and party-hardy locals chow down on typical local dishes in honour of the Saint and wash it down with something frío. Keep an eye out for the chulapos and goyescos (locals dressed in Madrid's traditional garb) as they dance the chotis. See some of Spain's finest matadors in action at the Las Ventas bullring during The San Isidro Bullfighting Festival.

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Europe Spain Madrid Cultural Festivals Community Festivals May
Filmfest St. Anton

Filmfest St. Anton

Has there ever been a more appropriate setting for a mountain and adventure film festival than St. Anton am Arlberg? The picture-postcard, Austrian Alps village and ski resort plays host to the Filmfest St. Anton for four days each August. Film-makers, mountaineers, extreme skiers and lovers of the mountain and adventure genre, come together for a programme of films featuring a range of breath-taking outdoor sports, from extreme climbing, skiing and snowboarding, to paragliding and assaults on some of the highest and most difficult to climb peaks on earth.

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Europe Austria St. Anton Film Festivals August
Fira de Santa Llucia

Fira de Santa Llucia

Get into the Christmas spirit, Catalonian style with Barcelona's annual, Fira de Santa Llucia. With a traceable history dating back to 1786, today's Fira still maintains strong ties with the past featuring parades, performances by choirs and traditional dance. Take in the numerous nativity scenes or learn to create your own at one of the nativity scene courses or workshops. Shop for Christmas trees, knick knacks and decorations. There's plenty of arts and crafts, clothes, jewellery, decorative objects and traditional musical instruments on offer at the numerous stalls that may just make the perfect Christmas gift.

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Europe Spain Barcelona Christmas Markets Christmas December
Fish and Flavours Festival

Fish and Flavours Festival

Pescetarians rejoice! Over 11 days each April the Portugal Pavilion in Lisbon's Nations' Park hosts Lisbon Fish and Flavours (Peixe em Lisboa). A seafood gourmet extravaganza that attracts over 20,000 visitors annually from near and far. And whilst fresh local seafood remains the focus of this fishy fest, there's plenty to please the palate for all lovers of fine food and wine. Lisbon Fish and Flavours' wide-ranging program features live gastronomic presentations from some of Portugal's finest chefs along with a selection of visiting international chefs. There are also daily cooking classes were you can learn the tricks of the trade from some of the best in the business. And what seafood festival worth its salt wouldn't teach you a little about wine pairing. Wine talks and pairing sessions are held throughout the festival. Some big industry names take to the stage and take up the debate over topics such as frozen fish, canned fish and the place for fish in a healthy, balanced diet. There's a gourmet market featuring a range of 500 products and there's even a chance for the kids to join in with special Saturday afternoon sessions where 6 to 10 year-olds can learn the lessons of a healthy diet — including, you guessed it, fish.

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Europe Portugal Lisbon Food Festivals Wine Festivals April
Floralille

Floralille

During the Spring months from mid February through to the end of May, the residents of France's fourth city are encouraged to develop a green thumb during Floralille. Introductory workshops encourage Lille's locals to compose, plant and maintain their own flower boxes to hang from windows or create plant 'graffiti' on the walls of their courtyards or streets. Gare Saint Sauveur and Grand Place will be the focus of Lille's festival of flowers as giant floral installations add a bloom of colour to the city centre.

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Europe France Lille Flower Shows February
Flow Festival

Flow Festival

For five days each and every August join the beautiful people at Helsinki's world-class, Flow Festival. Set at the site of a disused former power plant close to the Helsinki city centre, since 1997, Flow has been providing revellers with an eclectic mix of up-and-comers and big names in rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, soul, funk and world music sourced from Finland, Europe and beyond. Flow has achieved that rare mix of size — there's always someone on a stage — whilst retaining a wonderful sense of intimacy. There's a great range of food, some creative nooks and crannies where you can re-energise and the bars are plentiful. If you get a chance to hit Helsinki in August you'll rarely be disappointed, time that visit with Flow and you'll leave positively aglow.

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Europe Finland Helsinki Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals Popular Music Festivals August
Football in the River Championships

Football in the River Championships

The Windrush River is the water in the English village of Bourton-on-the-Water and for one day a year, it's also the venue for one of football's strangest fixtures. Each and every August bank holiday Monday, the local Bourton Rovers F.C. field two teams that play to a bumper crowd in the annual Football in the River Championships. Forget your nine-a-side, for ninety minutes, on a pretty pitch of green. We're talking six-a-side, for half an hour, knee deep in a bubbling brook. As a spectacle it ain't pretty but it's a great laugh and when the weather's on song, this picture-postcard, Cotswold village is a most agreeable place to be.

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Europe England Bourton-on-the-Water Bizarre Festivals Sporting Events August
Forbidden Fruit

Forbidden Fruit

Set on the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in the centre of Dublin City, Forbidden Fruit is a relative noob on the electronica and indie rock festival scene, but don't be put off by its youth. It's already attracting big name headliners and fusing their offering with art, comedy and fashion for a three day, five stage (one open-air and four tented) extravaganza.

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Europe Ireland Dublin Indie Rock Festivals Rock Festivals June
FotoGrafia

FotoGrafia

Fotografia, Rome's annual photography festival is back again this September with a wide range of exhibitions being staged at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO). Lovers of the art form can take in thousands of individual images by some of the most respected names in the business as well as a range of photography lectures and workshops.

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Europe Italy Rome Photography Festivals September
Frankfurt Apple Wine Festival

Frankfurt Apple Wine Festival

In Frankfurt, apple wine is the local tipple of choice. Each August the city celebrates its love of the fermented fruit with the annual Apple Wine Festival. Typical Frankfurt folklore and dialect poetry provide old-time amusement for both the young and young at heart, while nearby Hessian cult bands get their audiences up and singing and dancing in the streets. For those who prefer a slightly more relaxed vibe to imbibe, there's a little lounge music on offer too, providing the perfect atmospheric background for enjoying an unconventional apple wine cocktail. Zum Wohl!

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Europe Germany Frankfurt Wine Festivals August
Frankfurt Autumn Dippemess

Frankfurt Autumn Dippemess

Frankfurt's autumn Dippemess (there's also a Spring Dippemess in April) is the largest folk festival in the Rhine-Main region, with roots dating back to the 14th century where it was a medieval market for domestic articles. Today the Dippemess maintains the market but doubles it up with a family-friendly parish fair featuring rides, games and food and drink.

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Europe Germany Frankfurt Fairs Family Festivals September
Frankfurt Book Fair

Frankfurt Book Fair

Frankfurt's history with the published word is well documented. Just down the road in Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable-type printing press way back in 1439. Book fairs have been a part of the city from that time on. In its current form, the Frankfurt Book Fair has been around since 1949, when Frankfurt's Paulskirche hosted the first post-War book fair. Today the Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest in the world, welcoming more than a quarter of a million visitors and 7,000 exhibitors from over 100 countries. It's a must visit event for those in the publishing industry as well as great place to stock up on reading materials for the long Northern European winter to come. The first three days are limited to those in the trade and on the weekend the Fair is open to the public.

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Europe Germany Frankfurt Book Fairs October
Frankfurt Christmas Markets

Frankfurt Christmas Markets

Join more than three million annual visitors as they take in the history and splendour of Frankfurt's age old Christmas market — believed to have been held as far back as 1393. Visitors can stock up on local gifts and decorations from the 200 stalls, warm up with a cup of mulled wine and enjoy the life sized nativity scene or the lovingly maintained carousel.

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Europe Germany Frankfurt Christmas Christmas Markets December
Fusion Festival

Fusion Festival

Birmingham's Cofton Park turns up the heat for two nights each August as a plethora of pop purveyors take to the stage top perform their hottest hits. Choreographed dance-moves a plenty and squealing on demand are a given.

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Europe England Birmingham Popular Music Festivals August
Galtres Parklands Festival

Galtres Parklands Festival

On the edge of the spectacular North York Moors National Park, Duncombe Park plays host to the Galtres Parklands Festival over three days each August. Galtres features more than 100 top acts on eight stages, with genres ranging from blues and folk through to pop and rock. As a celebration of Yorkshire's tradition of fine food and drink, there will be more than 100 local beers and ciders from all from Yorkshire on offer, along with a wide variety of fresh, local fare — a lot of it organic. A family friendly affair, Galtres also offers up a packed programme for the little ones.

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Europe England York Beer Festivals Folk and Folk Music Festivals August
Galway International Oyster Festival

Galway International Oyster Festival

Join in excess of 20,000 oyster aficionados at Galway's International Oyster and Seafood Festival. Local oysters are on high alert as festival-goers down tons of the slippery salty snacks during this late September extravaganza, the second largest event in Ireland after St. Patrick's Day. Test your hand at the Irish Oyster Opening (Shucking) Championship, your stomach at the Tribal Oyster Feast Off, Oyster Eating Competition or take in the fest's beauty pageant to select the annual, Oyster Pearl. Visitors can also enjoy seafood trails, oyster hot spots, foodie talks and tasting events in some of Galway's best restaurants. There's food producer tours, an intimate food village at the festival marquee, a Mardi Gras style gala event through the streets of Galway, along with live music and and a bunch of cooking demonstrations. And remember, it's okay to slurp.

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Europe Ireland Galway Food Festivals Family Festivals September
Galway Races Summer Festival

Galway Races Summer Festival

The smell of turf, the photo finish, the fashion, it can only mean one thing in Galway; it's summer festival time at the races. For seven action-packed days beginning on the last Monday of July, Galway's Ballybrit Racecourse is the place to be and the place to be seen. Wednesday features the much-anticipated Galway Plate and on Thursday, fashion becomes the focus for Ladies' Day. One of the west coast's biggest shindigs, if you get the chance, get along.

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Europe Ireland Galway Horse Racing Events Sporting Events July
Geneva International Film Festival

Geneva International Film Festival

For eight days in November the silver screen shares the limelight with its smaller cousin, the television, during the annual Geneva International Film Festival. In what's been touted as a one-of-a-kind event in Europe, the GIFF programme offers up a bounty of current feature films, television series, made-for-television films and interactive documentaries as well cutting-edge competitions, professional lectures and gala evenings.

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Europe Switzerland Geneva Film Festivals November
Genoa Festival of Science

Genoa Festival of Science

Since 2003, the Italian port city of Genoa has been attracting inquiring minds to discuss, debate and ponder all things scientific at their annual Festival of Science. The festival features ten days of talks, exhibits, shows, workshops and interactive events designed to challenge, educate and inspire members of the whole family. Each year's event sees a new guest country take scientific centre stage.

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Europe Italy Genova Science and Technology Festivals Family Festivals October
Gent Jazz Festival

Gent Jazz Festival

Lovers of jazz congregate in the beautiful Flemish city of Gent each July for a series of concerts and events featuring a range of local talent and international acts. Originally known as the Blue Note Festival, the event has been entertaining locals and visitors alike since 2002 and has quickly grown to become Belgium's premier jazz festival.

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Europe Belgium Gent Jazz Festivals July
George Enescu Festival

George Enescu Festival

The George Enescu Festival, held in honor of the acclaimed Romanian composer of the same name, is the largest classical music festival held in Romania and one of the most celebrated in Eastern Europe. The biennial event — held in odd-numbered years since 2001 — features a series of concerts in three Romanian cities, Bucharest, Iaşi and Sibiu and attracts some of Europe's finest classical musicians.

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Europe Romania Bucharest Classical Music and Opera Festivals September
Giornate FAI

Giornate FAI

Over a weekend each spring, the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (Italy's cultural heritage body) politely encourages institutional and private owners of historic properties to open their doors to the public and reveal their spectacular interiors. It's an event that is rapidly growing in popularity, last time out attracting more than half a million visitors who took advantage of free access to more than 750 Italian heritage listed properties.

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Europe Italy Cultural Festivals Historical Festivals March
Glasgow International

Glasgow International

For 18 days in April, Glasgow International showcases the best of local and international art for a wide array of audiences in various venues and locations across the city, including Glasgow's major art spaces and cultural institutions. As a world-renowned biennial festival of contemporary art, Glasgow International continues to evolve via an ambitious programme which includes exhibitions, events, talks, performances and projects by international as well as Glasgow-based artists.

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Europe Scotland Glasgow Art Festivals April
Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts

Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts

Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts — or simply Glasto to its friends — is a multi-headed behemoth of an event, a legendary hippie gathering and the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world. Today it's headline musicians are plucked from a pouch of the biggest players of the day but it doesn't stop with the live tunes. For four days each and every June 170,000+ festival-goers are treated to over 700 performances of music, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and a myriad of other arts on the 900 acre grounds — rain, hail or shine, though it's often the former. So if you're taste in music is eclectic, your need for sleep non-existent and there's a touch of hippie stirring somewhere deep inside, then a trip to Glastonbury is a must at least once in this lifetime.

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Europe England Pilton Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals Performing Arts Festivals June
Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival

Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival

The Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival is dedicated to the theme of Crossroads of Cultures and Civilizations. Over eight days in July the GAYIFF features a wide range of films representing various nations and religions, collectively depicting the richness of the human experience. Features, documentaries and Armenian productions compete for the coveted Golden Apricot.

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Europe Armenia Yerevan Film Festivals July
Gothenburg International Film Festival

Gothenburg International Film Festival

Held annually over 10 days in late January and early February and attracting an audience in excess of 200,000 visitors annually, the Göteborg International Film Festival is the leading film festival in Scandinavia and one of the largest film festivals in the world. As a platform for the promotion of Scandinavian film, each year leading titles from the region compete for the coveted Dragon Award for best nordic film. As well as the 450+ screenings taking place the festival also features a broad and comprehensive programme of seminars, lectures, master classes and meetings with filmmakers.

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Europe Sweden Gothenburg Film Festivals January
Grand National

Grand National

Arguably the most anticipated horse race in the world, Aintree's Grand National attracts racing fans and merrymakers from near and far. The card on the day features a handful of grade one listed races but it's the fifth race that jumps at 4.15pm that stops a nation. A deafening roar marks the start of the Grand National as anything up to 40 runners tackle the 7,141 metre-four miles, three furlongs and 110 yards-course which contains some 30 fences for horse and jockey to negotiate. For many visitors to Aintree, the day is as much about the glamour and the fashion as it is about the on-course action. If you're planning on making the trip, dress to impress; you can't be too formal. Between races there's plenty of off-track entertainment with a live music program designed to keep the party in full-swing.

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Europe England Liverpool Horse Racing Events Sporting Events April
Great British Beer Festival

Great British Beer Festival

Styled as the biggest pub in the world, the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) will once again welcome more than 55,000 beer lovers through her doors at London's magnificent Olympia Exhibition Centre for five days this August. With around 450 beers from British breweries, as well as another 200 foreign offerings from countries including Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic and the US on offer, there's little wonder it's the UKs biggest beer festival. On top of the suds, the GBBF also offers entertainment ranging from live music to traditional pub games, as well as a variety of food stands for when you need a little non-liquid sustenance.

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Europe England London Beer Festivals August
Great Christmas Pudding Race

Great Christmas Pudding Race

Take a chilly London December day, 120 contestants donned in fancy dress, give them a pudding and send them through an obstacle course and what have you got? The Great Christmas Pudding Race in London, silly. This fun family event takes place in London's iconic Covent Garden Market early each December and is organised by CRAC on behalf of Cancer Research UK.

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Europe England London Christmas Charity Events December
Great Cornish Food Festival

Great Cornish Food Festival

Now firmly established as one of the UK's favourite gastronomic events, the Great Cornish Food Festival is a celebration of the region's buzzing food and drink scene. Join 40,000 foodies as they descend upon Truro for a three day programme of pop-up kitchens and restaurants, live cooking demos, foodie talks, the Funky Food Zone for kids and lots of scrumptious samples from the dozens of exhibitors showcasing their fare — all locally sourced of course.

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Europe England Truro Food Festivals Community Festivals September
Great Gorilla Run

Great Gorilla Run

London's gone ape! Join a bunch of banana-munching, furry fun-runners as they lope their way through Ol' London Town in the annual Great Gorilla Run. Since the first Great Gorilla Run in 2003, thousands of people have donned their gorilla suits and joined the eight kilometre fun run route starting at Mincing Court in the City and passing some of London's most iconic landmarks, including the Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral. In the process you'll be helping The Gorilla Organization raise money to save the remaining 800 Mountain Gorillas living in the wild.

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Europe England London Charity Events Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs September
Greenfield Festival

Greenfield Festival

Like your rock heavy with more than a tinge of metal? Well pack your tent my head banging friend and head for the hills — well they're Alps actually, of the Swiss variety — for the Greenfield Festival. Switzerland's biggest rock and metal festival has been doing it's thing over three days in June in the ridiculously picturesque town of Interlaken since 2005. Some of the biggest names in rock have headlined over the years, including: Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Slayer, The Prodigy, Queens of the Stone Age, The Offspring, The Hives, Ramstein, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and The Smashing Pumpkins.

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Europe Switzerland Interlaken Heavy Metal Festivals Punk Festivals Rock Festivals June
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Join nigh on 100,000 visitors at the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, the capital's leading festival of free outdoor performing arts, an annual nine-day celebration of extraordinary outdoor theatre, dance, and street art in London's leafy maritime borough. The Festival has a particular focus on the commissioning and development of outdoor work led by deaf and disabled artists and artists from diverse backgrounds. Why not download a programme from the GDIF website and make a day of it.

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Europe England London Performing Arts Festivals Dance Festivals June
Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Night

The Brits love a liberal lashing of irony, and it's with that in mind that every 5th of November they go to great lengths to burn things to the ground and blast things into the stratosphere. Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night has been celebrated in the UK since that near fateful day in 1605 when a number of sneaky Roman Catholic conspirators (including Guy Fawkes) attempted to blow to smithereens the Houses of Parliament in London, England in a scenario now known as the Gunpowder plot. As history spells it out, the plot was foiled, Parliament was saved and to the present day Brits spend the anniversary of the event burning effigies (otherwise known as guys in reference to our Mr. Fawkes) and setting off fireworks in a celebration of the fact that nothing was burnt or blown up all those years ago. Strange!

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Europe England London Historical Festivals Traditional Festivals November
Hamburg Christmas Markets

Hamburg Christmas Markets

Hanseatic Hamburg turns on the Christmas charm each and every December with a wide range of Christmas markets and a packed festive programme. The most charming of Hamburg's Christmas markets takes place on the market square directly in front of their iconic Neo-Renaissance Town Hall (Rathaus). Take a deep breathe and savour the seasonal scent of roasted almonds, gingerbread and fir or grab a warming cup of gluhwein. Wander the stalls where you can watch artisans working their age-old crafts. Children will want to head straight for Spielzeuggasse (Toy Street) where merchants from around the world offer up a colourful range of gifts. If you time your visit well you might even catch a visit from Santa Claus hovering above.

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Europe Germany Hamburg Christmas Markets Christmas December
Hamburger Dom

Hamburger Dom

The Hamburger Dom is the largest public festival held in Northern Germany with a history that can be loosely traced back to 1329. If you missed it, never mind, there's three held each year (spring, summer and winter), so another will be along in no time. The Dom is an institution in Hanseatic Hamburg. Each year more then ten million visitors walk the Dom's three kilometre course, take to her rides, enjoy her colourful attractions, marvel at her show booths, feast on her fare and look towards the heavens at her fireworks (every Friday evening at 10.30pm above the Heiligengeistfeld).

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Europe Germany Hamburg Fairs Family Festivals Varies
Hay Festival

Hay Festival

Set amidst the staggering beauty of the Brecon Beacons with it's myriad antiquarian and second-hand bookshops, Hay-on-Wye has been attracting literary lovers since Byron was in britches. And since 1987, the Hay Festival has seen the town's love affair with literature grow to a whole new level. For 11 days at the beginning of summer, the Hay Festival hosts a programme packed with world-renowned writers, filmmakers, comedians, politicians and musicians to inspire, delight and entertain. Hay celebrates great writing from poets and scientists, lyricists and comedians, novelists and environmentalists, and the power of great ideas to transform our way of thinking. We believe the exchange of views and meeting of minds that our festivals create inspire revelations personal, political and educational. Hay is, using Bill Clinton's phrase, 'The Woodstock of the mind'.

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Europe Wales Hay-on-Wye Literature Festivals May
Heidelberg Spring

Heidelberg Spring

Since its first outing in 1997, Heidelberg Spring has established itself as one of Germany's most exciting and innovative classical music festivals, offering top-class performances by world-renowned musicians. Concerts, lectures, panel discussions, workshops and sometimes innovative sessions accompanying the concerts make up the packed programme of over 90 events. A highlight of Heidelberg Spring is their acclaimed String Quartet Fest where quartets perform, rehearse, experiment and debate different approaches, not behind closed doors but in the presence of enthusiastic audiences.

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Europe Germany Heidelberg Classical Music and Opera Festivals March
Heineken Jazzaldia

Heineken Jazzaldia

Lover of jazz, seeker of the sun? Get the best of both worlds at Spain's oldest jazz festival, the Heineken Jazzaldia — San Sebastián Jazz Festival. Since 1966, the sun-bathed Basque city of San Sebastián has been attracting thousands of revellers for a series of free and ticketed events held at up to a dozen venues across the city including Trinity Square and Zurriola Beach. The five day festival has attracted big names — Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis Ray Charles, B.B. King — and big numbers — more than 120,000 attendees last time around. A little advice? Book early and pack light.

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Europe Spain San Sebastian Jazz Festivals July
Helsinki Book Fair

Helsinki Book Fair

Lovers of literature rejoice. Each October as autumn descends on the Finnish capital, the country's premier literary event — the Helsinki Book Fair — opens its doors for four event-packed days. Over 200 exhibitors from publishers to antiquarian book dealers pack Helsinki's Messukeskus in an event that caters for all age groups and book-loving genres. If that's not enough, more than 1,000 performers will take to the Fair's stages to discuss all manner of literary and current affairs topics. It's a great opportunity to stock up on a little winter reading as many of the exhibitors offer up their products at a discount to usual shelf prices. But here's the kicker. Each year the Book Fair is held simultaneously with the Antiquarian Book Fair, the Helsinki Music Fair and the Wine, Food and Good Living event.

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Europe Finland Helsinki Book Fairs October
Helsinki Christmas Markets

Helsinki Christmas Markets

By December, the north's dark canvas of winter has descended upon Helsinki. The distant sun pokes it head above the horizon at about 10am, hangs around for a spell, before dipping again by 4pm. When there's a sprinkling of snow on the ground and you're wrapped up in your warm winter gear, it's a great time to wander the stalls of Helsinki's Christmas Markets. Large outdoor candles burn and there's the smell of cinnamon and wood smoke in the air. Meander through the Christmas stalls in Heslinki's Senate Square and you'll come across a wide variety of beautiful handicrafts, delicious baked goods and other uniquely Finnish Christmas gifts and delicacies. Those more energetic souls can head to the Railway Square and pop on the ice skates for a few laps. Hungry? Chow down on some hot salmon soup served with crusty bread and finish it off with some freshly baked pulla. But to really warm the insides, try glögi, Finland's delicious take on warm winter wine, at its best when served with almonds and raisins. Ho ho ho indeed.

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Europe Finland Helsinki Christmas Markets Christmas December
Helsinki City Marathon

Helsinki City Marathon

Join the lycra-clad throng as they take to the roads of Helsinki for the annual Helsinki City Marathon. Almost half the course follows the city's picturesque shoreline and during August the weather is almost always on song. Feel like a champ if you've finished first or five thousandth as you cross the finish line in Helsinki's historic Olympic Stadium — home of the 1952 games. And if running's not your thing, pack a picnic, pick a vantage and cheer the runners along.

More Helsinki City Marathon info...

Europe Finland Helsinki Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs August
Helsinki Coffee Festival

Helsinki Coffee Festival

Master baristas and thousands of connoisseurs of the sacred bean head for Europe's capital of cool for three days each April, for the annual Helsinki Coffee Festival. Setting up shop in Ruoholahti's iconic Cable Factory, the Helsinki Coffee Festival showcases the aromatic offerings of roasteries from around the world. Rub shoulders with coffee experts and learn how to make the perfect cuppa at home, as top DJs provide the backing beat and an excuse for energetically tapping your toes.

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Europe Finland Helsinki Coffee Festivals April
Helsinki Design Week

Helsinki Design Week

Even prior to receiving its World Design Capital status in 2012, Helsinki has long enjoyed a reputation as an international centre for design. And for 11 days each September, design once again takes centre stage in the capital during the annual Helsinki Design Week. Design-themed events take place at numerous venues across the city and include workshops, exhibitions, fashion shows, seminars and visits to studios.

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Europe Finland Helsinki Design Festivals September
Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (DocPoint)

Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (DocPoint)

The Helsinki Documentary Film Festival — Docpoint to its friends — is one of the largest documentary film festivals in Scandinavia, offering both a national and an international selection of the finest new documentary releases, celebrated documentary classics, and a range of documentary films for children. In addition to screenings, DocPoint also features a collection of seminars, lectures, workshops and masterclasses.

More Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (DocPoint) info...

Europe Finland Helsinki Documentary Film Festivals Film Festivals January
Helsinki International Film Festival

Helsinki International Film Festival

The aim of Finland's biggest film festival is to promote the artistry of filmmaking alongside inventive, controversial and visually stunning new films. The festival also seeks to screen films that would otherwise not be seen in Finnish theatres. Since it's humble beginnings in 1988, the Helsinki International Film Festival — locally known as Love and Anarchy — has expanded from two theatres to 12 screens and established itself as an 11-day homage to cinema. Today's programme consists of in the region of 180 feature films and 80 short films and attracts more than 50,000 visitors.

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Europe Finland Helsinki Film Festivals Short Film Festivals September
Hogmanay

Hogmanay

The Scots have always been a highly hospitable bunch proud of their tradition. And for the brave, what better way to see it in action than during Hogmanay — Europe's finest celebration of the new year. Enjoy a wee dram in a Royal Mile pub then stomp up a hill with thousands of others, torches ablaze. Follow it up the next night along with hundreds of thousands of other revellers on the streets of Edinburgh to some huge headline acts and the splendor of Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop. Many events over the three days of Hogmanay are ticketed, so get in early to avoid disappointment.

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Europe Scotland Edinburgh New Year Events Traditional Festivals December
Holland Dance Festival

Holland Dance Festival

For three weeks in January and February, the Holland Dance Festival provides a stage not only for big, internationally famed dance companies, but for smaller groups and individual dance artists who have carved out their own niche in the world of dance. The range is unlimited; all styles are programmed, from urban to classical ballet, from tango to modern dance.

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Europe Netherlands The Hague Dance Festivals January
Hurricane Festival

Hurricane Festival

With a history as turbulent as its name, Hurricane first graced the stage as Es rockt in der Heide in 1973. In 1977 as the First Rider Open Air Festival, things kicked off as fans rioted when only five of the 23 scheduled acts turned up to play. Fast forward to 2004 and David Bowie left the Hurricane stage early suffering from chest pain. It was later learnt he'd suffered a heart attack. In recent years Hurricane has settled into a bit of summer festival normality as tens of thousands of fans rock out to huge headline acts over three days each June.

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Europe Germany Bremen Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals June
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Despite whether you've been bad or good, from late November through early January, Santa and his pint-sized helpers serve up lashings of Christmas fun at London's very own version of the North Pole. During Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland there's a little Christmas something for the whole family. For the youngsters there's thrilling rides, the Magical Ice Kingdom and trips to Santa Land where you may just get the opportunity to meet the jolly bearded fellow in the flesh. Grown-ups can browse the Christmas markets, enjoy the festive fare or take to the sky on the Giant Observation Wheel for a spectacular panoramic view over Winter Wonderland and beyond. Winter Wonderland is free to enter.

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Europe England London Christmas Christmas Markets December
Ibiza Closing Parties

Ibiza Closing Parties

Ibiza's legendary closing parties are the last chance for lovers of all things dance to catch their favorite DJs performing on the White Isle before the clubs close their doors until the following May. The very roots of the dance music scene (the Marrakesh Hippie Trail) can be traced back, in part at least, to this little slice of Balearic paradise. Colossal clubs like Pacha and Space are synonymous with dance and have the reputation and pull to attract the world's hottest DJs. Ibiza is to electronica what Munich is to beer. So what can revellers expect? Well if you've been to Ibiza any time during the season, then basically, more of the same. Dusk to dawn dance parties — a little sleep on a crowded beach or a re-charge on a terrace, then the chance to do it all again at another colossal temple of dance. A little tip: if it all gets too much, head to the hills my dancing friend, for a round of fresh mountain air and a little room to move.

More Ibiza Closing Parties info...

Europe Spain Ibiza Electronic Dance Music Festivals September
Iceland Airwaves

Iceland Airwaves

For those who have never endured the frigid cold and encompassing dark of a Nordic winter, let the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival entice you to the the North of Europe this November for five days of local and international indie rock and one giant serving of Arctic cool. What kicked off 1999 as an Iceland Air sponsored, airplane-hangar hosted series of concerts, has grown into a Wednesday to Sunday, city-wide celebration of Nordic music and culture. Venues range from Harpa — the iconic, Olafur Eliasson designed, harbourside concert hall and conference centre — to the more intimate, Fríkirkjan (The Free Church), to the world-renowned Blue Lagoon — Iceland's natural geothermal spa — for the oxymoronic, Blue Lagoon Chill. Pack for the cold but prepare to peel off the layers as you work up a sweat.

More Iceland Airwaves info...

Europe Iceland Reykjavik Indie Rock Festivals Cultural Festivals November
Ikari

Ikari

Before the Balkans War lay to ruin the mighty Stari Most that magnificently spanned the Neretvan River, Mostar played host to Ikari — the world's oldest diving competition. Competition in the Ikari had taken place for 438 consecutive years prior to the war. 2004 saw the beginning of a new chapter in this age-old tradition — a new chapter with a new bridge. Bridge diving in Mostar is an age-old tradition; the men who participate are revered as local heroes, while the winner of the Ikari adopts legendary status. The jump itself is 21 metres. Up to seventy participants from Mostar, other regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and neighbouring countries are cheered on by up to 30,000 spectators who take up every conceivable vantage.

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Europe Bosnia and Herzegovina Mostar Traditional Festivals Sporting Events July
Imagine Film Festival

Imagine Film Festival

It's been near enough to three decades since the first 'Weekend of Terror', laid the foundations for the current Imagine Film Festival. In those early days, the WoT was as much a meeting place for film fans who could feast on Italian zombie flicks to the point of collapse, as for those who were in unanimous agreement that the work of David Cronenberg deserved to be taken seriously. Since that first Weekend of Terror, the 'fantastic' offering has become a great deal more diverse, and the public's taste has likewise become a little more sophisticated. Today, Imagine presents in the region of 50 feature films and 25 shorts, a masterclass, a symposium and lots of Q&A's with directors, writers and actors. 'The Night of Terror', keeps the memory of the WoT alive with a midnight marathon of four horror films, for an audience of about 500 in Amsterdam's extravagant art deco Tuschinski theatre.

More Imagine Film Festival info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Horror Festivals Film Festivals Short Film Festivals April
Innsbruck Festival of Early Music

Innsbruck Festival of Early Music

Innsbruck has long been a centre for early music with a history dating back to the Renaissance era. During the month of August the city's musical past is revisited during the annual Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. The packed programme features two and half weeks of opera, classical concerts and an international singing competition for baroque opera. Venues include the Tyrolean State Theatre and the magnificent Imperial Palace.

More Innsbruck Festival of Early Music info...

Europe Austria Innsbruck Classical Music and Opera Festivals August
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

For twelve days each November the Netherlands capital becomes the focus of the documentary film-making world, during the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). The IDFA is the world's largest documentary film festival, screening more than 200 titles and attracting in excess of 100,000 visitors to cinemas across Amsterdam. On top of the festival's seven competition programmes, there's a bunch of non-competition screenings as well as a programme of debates, forums and workshops.

More International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam info...

Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Documentary Film Festivals Film Festivals November
International Film Festival Rotterdam

International Film Festival Rotterdam

Renowned for its unique atmosphere and loyal following, the International Film Festival Rotterdam does things a little differently to its contemporaries. Rather than red carpet events, the festival encourages film-makers to mingle with attendees. The festival focuses on alternative, innovative and non-commercial films, with an emphasis on the cinema of the Far East and developing countries.

More International Film Festival Rotterdam info...

Europe Netherlands Rotterdam Film Festivals January
International Garden Festival

International Garden Festival

The classic turreted Loire Chateau has commanded a majestic point on the great Loire river since it was rebuilt by the Amboise family in the 15th century. Now each and every summer it plays host to the Chaumont Garden Festival – the French's equivalent of the Chelsea Flower Show. The show attracts in the region of 150,000 visitors annually to view its 30 show gardens as well as the Chateau's landscaped grounds, flower house and deep gorge (complete with wooden suspension bridge).

More International Garden Festival info...

Europe France Chaumont-sur-Loire Flower Shows April
International Rome Film Festival

International Rome Film Festival

Although a relative youngster, the International Rome Film Festival already competes with the European film festival heavyweights; in no small part due to the huge media coverage it attracts and the big name artists that attend. The festival's programme is divided into several sections featuring a wide range of genres and formats including big-budget, Hollywood productions, art house-oriented and independent works, alternative productions, animations and short films, documentaries and children's films.

More International Rome Film Festival info...

Europe Italy Rome Film Festivals Short Film Festivals October
Isle of Wight Festival

Isle of Wight Festival

The Isle of Wight Festival has a distant history as infamous and colourful as any music festival still doing the rounds. Originally held for the first time in 1968, the festival ran for three years before being banned in 1971 when Parliament passed the Isle of Wight Act — legislation forbidding more than 5,000 people to gather on the Isle without procuring a special license. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival attracted in excess of 600,000 people to the island for an legendary lineup that included Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Moody Blues, The Who, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I mean...wow! After a three decade hiatus, it wasn't until 2002 the festival was revived. Whilst today's event may lack a little of the Woodstock era's counter-culture vibe that it had back in the day, it certainly still has no problems in drawing a crowd and some of indie, rock and pop's heavyweights. Some come June, round up some mates, pack light and head to the Isle of Wight.

More Isle of Wight Festival info...

Europe England Isle of Wight Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals June
Istanbul Coffee Festival

Istanbul Coffee Festival

With Istanbul's cultural chops and exotic setting it's fitting they pull off a monster coffee festival. Each September, tens of thousands of coffee lovers and industry professionals head for KüçükÇiftlik Park for the annual Istanbul Coffee Festival. Featuring a program packed with competitions, seminars, workshops, performances, talks and presentations from experts in the industry and the world's leading baristas, the ICF's reputation is growing year on year. Grab a brew from your favourite roaster, a bite from a local food vendor and take in the tunes on the competition stage. Bliss.

More Istanbul Coffee Festival info...

Europe Turkey Istanbul Coffee Festivals September
Istanbul International Dance Festival

Istanbul International Dance Festival

With a packed programme featuring concerts, dancing bootcamps and workshops and a plethora of parties where dancing is more mandatory than optional, the Istanbul International Dance Festival is growing in stature year on year.

More Istanbul International Dance Festival info...

Europe Turkey Istanbul Dance Festivals April
Jazz Fest Vienna

Jazz Fest Vienna

Vienna's reputation as a centre for musical excellence is certainly enhanced by its annual jazz festival. Since 1991, Jazz Fest Vienna has been attracting some of the world's finest jazz musicians for its 12 day programme. Genres range from classical jazz through soul, blues, rock, pop world and jazz-fusion. Iconic venues include the Museumsquartier, the Stadthalle Wien and the Vienna State Opera.

More Jazz Fest Vienna info...

Europe Austria Vienna Jazz Festivals June
Jazz on the Third

Jazz on the Third

For those in the know, Frankfurt is the epicentre of Germany's jazz scene. On the third of October annually they back up that rep' with a huge, free open-air jazz happening. From 1pm locals and visitors alike flock to Römerberg, Frankfurt's old town centre for Jazz zum Dritten, Jazz on the Third. Some of the country's premier jazz musicians and visiting performers play to thousands in a wonderful celebration of the Day of German Unity.

More Jazz on the Third info...

Europe Germany Frankfurt Jazz Festivals October
Jerez Grape Harvest Festival

Jerez Grape Harvest Festival

Sip sherry at old tavernas and experience the passion of flamenco during this 500 year old celebration of Jerez's world-famous tipple. The Jerez Grape Harvest Festival programme kicks off with a grand procession on the Friday in which the Queen of the Vintage occupies the seat of honour and is flanked by Jerez maidens dressed in white dresses and blue silk scarves (representative of the chalky white soil of the region and the blue skies that give life and body to their vines). The procession ends in the Plaza de Arenal, where the townsfolk pay homage to the queen, local bodegas offer wine and the fiesta begins to really gather pace. Bullfights, purebred Spanish equestrian events, and a fireworks finale add Spanish spice to this full bodied offering.

More Jerez Grape Harvest Festival info...

Europe Spain Jerez de la Frontera Wine Festivals Traditional Festivals September
Jesterval

Jesterval

The laughs start in early June and they don't stop for nine days at the north east's premier comedy festival, Jesterval. With a line-up designed with the comedy connoisseur in mind, Jesterval features some of the finest comedians working in the UK today, from household names to hotly-tipped acts alongside some of the best local Geordie talent. Be sure to check out the schedule for family friendly acts, where you can bring along the little jokers in your pack.

More Jesterval info...

Europe England Newcastle Upon Tyne Comedy Festivals June
Kaunas Jazz

Kaunas Jazz

Emerging as the dust settled on Lithuania's post-soviet era, the early years for Kanaus Jazz were in a word; tough. Since then, the festival has gone from strength to strength and is today recognised as the country's premier jazz event attracting talent from around the world. Be sure to swing by Jazz Street on Laisvės Avenue in the Old Town and in Vienybės Square to catch some free entertainment.

More Kaunas Jazz info...

Europe Lithuania Kaunas Jazz Festivals April
Khamoro World Roma Festival

Khamoro World Roma Festival

For a week each May the Czech Capital comes to life as infectious Gypsy jazz, classical and traditional Romany music take over many of Prague's venues during the Khamoro World Roma Festival. Gypsy theatre, films, literature, dance and art are all on display at various sites around the Czech capital during the festival. Seminars on Romany related topics are open to the public to attend all in the hope of fostering a better understanding of the Roma lifestyle. The culmination of this week-long event comes on the Saturday when all festival participants join together to perform a concert in Prague's Lucerna hall.

More Khamoro World Roma Festival info...

Europe Czech Republic Prague Cultural Festivals Multicultural Festivals May
Kiev International Film Festival (Molodist)

Kiev International Film Festival (Molodist)

For over 40 years, Molodist — Kiev's International Film Festival — has been doing it's cinematic thing across the Ukrainian capital. For nine days each October Molodist features more than 250 titles ranging in genre from student films to short films to full-length features and attracts more than 100,000 visitors.

More Kiev International Film Festival (Molodist) info...

Europe Ukraine Kiev Film Festivals Short Film Festivals October
Killkenny Roots Festival

Killkenny Roots Festival

Since 1998, The Kilkenny Roots Festival has attracted some of the finest names in Americana — from country through folk, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly and cajun. For four days and nights, from midday through midnight at over thirty venues, revellers from near and far have been getting their fill of roots and rhythm. Check out the programme; there's plenty of free shows to boot.

More Killkenny Roots Festival info...

Europe Ireland Kilkenny Folk and Folk Music Festivals World Music Festivals May
Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival

Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival

Every summer since 1640 the city of Edirne plays host to an age old Turkish tradition — Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling. Barefoot and stripped to the waist, oiled down and clad only in traditional cowhide shorts (kispet), up to a thousand men and boys gather to compete in 11 divisions for up to three days in a field outside the former capital of the Ottoman Empire. Only one will earn the right to wear the Kirkpinar Golden Belt and carry the title of Chief Pehlivan. A huge honour in Turkish society.

More Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival info...

Europe Turkey Edirne Sporting Events Traditional Festivals June
Kotor Festival of Children's Theatre

Kotor Festival of Children's Theatre

To kick off their annual Festival of Children's Theatre, the Mayor of Kotor hands over the keys to the city to a Children's representative. For the ten days that follow, entertainment in Kotor's spectacular old town is in the capable hands of it's youngsters as children's theatre, music, dance and performance art bring the town's streets, squares and theatres to life.

More Kotor Festival of Children's Theatre info...

Europe Montenegro Kotor Childrens Festivals Performing Arts Festivals July
Krakow Film Festival

Krakow Film Festival

For a week each May, the Krakow Film Festival celebrates all things celluloid. Hundreds of distinguished guests and thousands of visitors pack the city's cinemas for a selection of more than 250 documentary, animated and short fiction films. The KFF is accompanied by exhibitions, concerts, open air screenings and opportunities to meet with the filmmakers.

More Krakow Film Festival info...

Europe Poland Krakow Film Festivals Short Film Festivals Documentary Film Festivals May
Kulmbach Beer Week

Kulmbach Beer Week

For a little over a week every July another Bavarian town celebrates it's love of the amber fizz. The Kulmbach Beer Week on the edge of the Thuringian Forest may not rival Munich's Oktoberfest for size or extravagance but what it lacks in magnitude, it certainly makes up for in atmosphere, choice and quality. Pay them a visit and take on Kulminator 28, one of the strongest beers in the world.

More Kulmbach Beer Week info...

Europe Germany Kulmbach Beer Festivals July
La Grande Braderie de Lille

La Grande Braderie de Lille

Join the French throng and bag a bargain at the annual La Grande Braderie de Lille, one of Europe's most grandiose flea markets. In an event dating back to Medieval times, each September Lille locals line hundreds of kilometres of pavement all over the city centre and offer up for sale all manner of trash and treasure to anyone willing to part with their cash. Word on the street has it that that bargaining actually begins on the Friday. In conjunction with La Grande Braderie, there's a half marathon, fairground rides and concerts for the family. Plan your route in advance, get your bartering technique in order, book accommodation early (estimates have visitor numbers at more than two million annually) and expect the unexpected. Stuffed squirrel anyone?

More La Grande Braderie de Lille info...

Europe France Lille Fairs Street Parties September
La Tomatina

La Tomatina

On the last Wednesday of August each year thousands of revellers converge on the small Spanish town of Buñol to pick a fight. What began in 1944 as a simple tomato fight between a group of friends in the town's main square — the Plaza del Pueblo — has turned into arguably the worlds largest food fight. The festivities begin in the week leading up to La Tomatina with a celebration of the towns' Patron Saint. Fireworks light the heavy summer sky while street parties warm up at ground level. Rose wine flows and the hefty scent of wood fired paella fills the air. Music plays and people dance. Come Wednesday and the Town Square is awash with travellers and locals alike. Seasoned veterans mix with wide eyed first timers as more rose wine is passed around and the excitement level grows. At around about noon, a number of trucks carrying the edible red grenades rumble their way into the main Town Square to the chant of tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes from the now drunken crowd. Chivalry slinks out of town for a while as everyone becomes fair game. Red missiles are a dime a dozen, no-one escapes. The aftermath looks a little like a latter scene in Carrie. The ground, a fantastic base for the worlds largest Bolognese sauce. As exhausted combatants trudge their way towards temporary showers put in place for the event, the cleanup begins in earnest. And within hours, the Plaza del Pueblo magically returns to its former glory.

More La Tomatina info...

Europe Spain Valencia Bizarre Festivals August
Las Fallas

Las Fallas

Spain puts its hand up repeatedly when you're compiling a list of the world's largest and most exciting festivals — there's La Tomatina, San Fermin, Abril Feria and Semana Santa and that's just for entree. Without doubt the loudest and most spectacular of Spain's offerings to the cultural calendar is Las Fallas in Valancia, where massive floats are constructed for months proceeding the five-day event, only to be burnt to the ground on La Nit del Foc (the night of fire). Las Fallas is celebrated to commemorate St. Joseph's Day, the Patron Saint of Carpenters — hence the mind-blowingly, massive effigies. To add a bang to the burn, each day mascletà are held in the city's main square, the Plaza Ayuntamiento. Think of the loudest bang you've ever heard, turn it up a notch then multiple it by a thousand, that's mascletà. Valencianos love their Fallas and rightly so. It's a wonderful, spectacular and unique celebration carried off in true Spanish style.

More Las Fallas info...

Europe Spain Valencia Street Parades Traditional Festivals March
Latvia Beer Fest

Latvia Beer Fest

Latvians love a cold beer and they're well known for their hospitality and brewing traditions — both of which are on display in abundance at the annual Latvia Beer Fest held each May in the heart of the country's beguiling capital, Riga — 'the Paris of the East'. All the major Latvian breweries are on show along with many classic European favourites. Good beer demands great food and with catering supplied by some of the best local and foreign chefs and restaurants, you certainly won't go hungry. There's live music every day along with competitions, shows and much much more for the aficionado of the amber liquid.

More Latvia Beer Fest info...

Europe Latvia Riga Beer Festivals May
Le Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier

Le Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier

Le Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier may be a mouthful to utter, but it's an event not to be missed. The festival offers up an eclectic and daring musical programme of more than 200 events. With roots as a classical music festival, since 1986 it has consistently stood out from the crowd by expanding its offering to include different genres — from opera, symphony and jazz to electronica. The two-week programme is packed with concerts, conferences, films and master-classes and the great majority of events are free.

More Le Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier info...

Europe France Montpellier Classical Music and Opera Festivals Jazz Festivals July
Leeds Festival

Leeds Festival

Featuring the biggest names in rock, year in and year out, the Leeds Festival — part of the Reading and Leeds Festivals that share a common bill and take place simultaneously — can rightly lay claim to being one of the World's largest rock festivals. Over the August bank holiday weekend, tens of thousands of revellers converge on Bramham Park for headliners, that over the years have featured, Pearl Jam, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Green Day, Eminem, The White Stripes and Metallica.

More Leeds Festival info...

Europe England Leeds Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals August
Liechtenstein National Day

Liechtenstein National Day

For the 35,000 residents of the Principality of Liechtenstein, August 15th marks a local national holiday, or staatsfeiertag in the local lingo. The official ceremonies — speeches and the like — kick off in the morning on the lawn next to the spectacular Vaduz Castle. For those looking to skip the speeches, head for funfair in Vaduz' centre before taking in the mountain-top fires and torch lit procession when the sun goes down. Fireworks follow and the fun continues back in the city centre until well after midnight.

More Liechtenstein National Day info...

Europe Liechtenstein Vaduz National Festivals Family Festivals August
Limerick Literary Festival

Limerick Literary Festival

The Limerick Literary Weekend brings together readers and contemporary writers in a relaxed environment to discuss ideas, styles and topics that relate to the work of today's writers. With a history already spanning more than three decades, the programme includes readings, book launches, conversations, interviews and performances.

More Limerick Literary Festival info...

Europe Ireland Limerick Literature Festivals Book Fairs February
Linz International Street Art Festival (Pflasterspektakel)

Linz International Street Art Festival (Pflasterspektakel)

Having begun life as a simple meeting point for street artists more than a quarter of a century ago, the Linz Pflasterspektakel has today grown into one of the largest and most respected festivals of its kind in Europe. What can visitors expect? Improv theatre, comedic performance art, all kinds of music and dance, jugglers and high-wire acts. So pack your pockets full of change and get along to Linz come July.

More Linz International Street Art Festival (Pflasterspektakel) info...

Europe Austria Linz Performing Arts Festivals July
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Looking for love in all the wrong places? Toss Tinder to the curb, get your lonely heart to Lisdoonvarna this September and prepare to come face to face with tens of thousands of potential partners. Dubbed 'Europe's Biggest Single's Event', the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival has been playing cupid for locals and visitors alike for more than 150 years. Love is in the air around the clock in Lisdoonvarna during the Matchmaking Festival but the formal (sic) dances run from 12.00 noon each day and carry on into the wee small hours of the following morn. You can dance a jig to live folk music in most pubs on any given eve but prepare to queue to get a pint of the good stuff. But in that queue may be where you meet your future husband or wife. Stranger things have happened and it makes for a better how you met story than, 'I swiped right'.

More Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival info...

Europe Ireland Lisdoonvarna Bizarre Festivals Community Festivals September
Live Music Festival

Live Music Festival

From hip-hop and r 'n' b, to pop, rock and everything in between, Krakow's Live Music Festival has been serving up an eclectic combo of huge headliners and fresh up-and-comers since 2006. Between sets head on over to the sports zone with some friends for a little football, netball, footbag, frisbee or badminton. Or you can get you learn on with street art workshops, VJ-ing workshops and upcycling workshops. Dance up a storm at the after-party back at Pauza as some of Poland's best mix-masters do their thing, or join the hushed thrum at the silent disco.

More Live Music Festival info...

Europe Poland Krakow Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals August
Liverpool Food and Drink Festival

Liverpool Food and Drink Festival

The Liverpool Food and Drink Festival is an annual celebration of the city's plethora of fantastic restaurants, bars, and cafes, as well as some of her finest regional food producers. Held over a weekend each April, the event transforms Sefton Park into a foodies heaven, bringing together more than 160 talented local chefs and producers to serve up a giant feast for the public. Join in for a weekend of great food, cooking demonstrations and masterclasses. Enjoy the themed dining areas, the beer festival, champagne bar and music stages. There's plenty on offer for families too with an interactive children's zone and Junior Chef's Academy.

More Liverpool Food and Drink Festival info...

Europe England Liverpool Food Festivals Family Festivals April
Ljubljana Jazz Festival

Ljubljana Jazz Festival

Since Brubeck was a boy – well, 1960 at least – the Ljubljana Jazz Festival has been attracting some of the world's biggest names in jazz. Founded as a platform to promote classical jazz bands from the former Yugoslavia, the Ljubljana Jazz Festival has kept pace with international developments in the genre and adapted with the changes in the region. Today for four days each July, it provides a connoisseur's choice of music and offers an exciting insight into creativity in contemporary jazz.

More Ljubljana Jazz Festival info...

Europe Slovenia Ljubljana Jazz Festivals July
Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

Pack your trainers and head for the Highlands. The Loch Ness Marathon winds its way through some wonderful scenery, taking participants along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, across the River Ness, and into the centre of Inverness. If you don't have the legs for the full marathon, perhaps the five or ten kilometre fun run is more your distance.

More Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running info...

Europe Scotland Inverness Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs Sporting Events September
Lodz Design Festival

Lodz Design Festival

The Lodz Design Festival has grown from a local event featuring a handful of exhibitions to Poland's major design event in a little over half a decade. It showcases the many different faces of design including industrial design, arts and crafts design, graphic design, architecture and fashion. At the heart of the Lodz Design Festival is its curated exhibitions, complemented and enhanced by an open and extensive programme of lectures by world-famous experts, the make me! contest for young designers, and the portfolio review that brings together art school students and graduates and professionals (curators, designers and manufacturers) to enable the former to present their ideas and get feedback.

More Lodz Design Festival info...

Europe Poland Lodz Design Festivals Art Festivals October
London Art Fair

London Art Fair

Modern art aficionados rejoice! For five days in January, the London Art Fair presents over 100 rigorously selected galleries featuring works by the great names of 20th Century British art alongside exceptional contemporary work from leading international figures and emerging talent. You'll also find solo shows and curated group displays in the Art Projects section, with galleries drawn from across the world. Photo50 provides a showcase for contemporary photography, featuring 50 works selected by a distinguished panel. London Art Fair is the UK’s largest Modern British and contemporary art fair and a must-visit event for any serious collector.

More London Art Fair info...

Europe England London Art Festivals January
London Coffee Festival

London Coffee Festival

Crazy for caffeine? Have we got the fest for you. Run in conjunction with London Coffee Week, the London Coffee Festival celebrates London's bustling and vibrant coffee scene. The festival features over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings and demonstrations from world-class baristas, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs and art exhibitions.

More London Coffee Festival info...

Europe England London Coffee Festivals April
London Craft Beer Festival

London Craft Beer Festival

The annual London Craft Beer Festival prides itself on being all about the diversity in flavour of beer. Connoisseurs can expect big IPAs, rich stouts, bold reds and zesty sours from more than a dozen world class craft brewers at the three day Bethnel Green based event. Great beer demands excellent street food, another staple of the London Craft Beer Festival. Throw in some fine tunes from live bands and a bunch of DJs and if the London summer's on song, I dare you to find a better way to spend a day in the capital.

More London Craft Beer Festival info...

Europe England London Craft Beer Festivals Beer Festivals August
London Design Festival

London Design Festival

Designophiles from the UK and beyond descend upon the capital for eight days in September for the annual London Design Festival. Conceived by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans and building on London's existing design activity, their concept was to create an annual event that would promote the city's creativity, drawing in the country's greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to a deliver an unmissable celebration of design. The festival programme is made up of over 300 events and exhibitions staged by hundreds of partner organisations across the design spectrum and from around the world.

More London Design Festival info...

Europe England London Design Festivals Art Festivals September
London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival

London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival

Can't decide between beer and cider? It doesn't matter at the annual London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival. Held over three days each March in the Camden Centre (not far from King's Cross, St. Pancras tube station) the Campaign For Real Ale's (CAMRA) London gig has been attracting a wide cross-section of the capital's beer and cider loving community for over three decades. With over 150 real ales, ciders, perries and imported beers on offer and some good ol' fashioned home-cooked dishes to boot, it's not hard to see why.

More London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival info...

Europe England London Beer Festivals March
London Festival of Architecture

London Festival of Architecture

The London Festival of Architecture is a month-long city-wide celebration of architectural experimentation, thinking, learning and practice featuring debates, exhibitions, film screenings, walks, cycle rides, open studios and family events which focus on the importance of architecture and design in London today. There's an active programme of architectural installations and interventions designed to provoke questions about the future life of the city and to promote positive change to the city's public realm. The festival also has a global focus with the International Architectural Showcase, organised by the British Council, highlighting innovative work from architecture practices around the world.

More London Festival of Architecture info...

Europe England London Design Festivals June
London Jazz Festival

London Jazz Festival

London's annual celebration of jazz continues to grow and grow, enabled by a strong network of relationships with artists, venues, producers and sponsors. The London Jazz Festival programme features international and home-grown stars from across the generations and a number of themes can be found running through the Festival. Premieres, commissions, collaborations and family-friendly work are in abundance and around a quarter of the 250-plus events are free. There is much to explore and looking beyond the concert halls and clubs you will find a series of talks, masterclasses and workshops offering an open door into the music and its history.

More London Jazz Festival info...

Europe England London Jazz Festivals November
London Marathon

London Marathon

As one of the six World Marathon Majors, the London Marathon has been attracting a world-class field of distance athletes for over three decades. On a spring day each April, up to 30,000 amateurs and pros push off from three points in and around Greenwich and pound out the largely flat course around the River Thames and past many of the city's landmarks before finishing in The Mall alongside St. James's Palace. If the weather's on song, London celebrates its Marathon like few other cities. Thousands of fancy dressed competitors add to the on-course entertainment. The participants are a generous bunch too, their fundraising efforts for the 2009 event raised over £47.2 million for charity and in the process landed the London Marathon in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest annual fund raising event in the world.

More London Marathon info...

Europe England London Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs April
Lovebox Festival

Lovebox Festival

The Lovebox Festival is the brainchild of London-based electronic music duo, Groove Armada. The event kicked off in 2003 to celebrate the anniversary of the Lovebox club nights that were then being hosted at Brick Lane's, 93 Feet East. More than a decade on and the Lovebox Festival has carved out a comfortable niche amongst festival-goers as a wonderfully creative urban fest with a real rural feel. Despite its strong and ongoing ties with electronica, Lovebox has expanded its musical parameters to include a variety of genres from indie, rock, and pop through to world music. The two-day festival also includes circus performers, cabaret and fringe acts.

More Lovebox Festival info...

Europe England London Electronic Dance Music Festivals Indie Rock Festivals July
Lovin' Ibiza

Lovin' Ibiza

Devotees of dance flock to the electronica capital of the universe Ibiza, for three days of thumping beats each May. A mix of the island's best DJs and international acts deliver course after course of house and dance to revellers at a selection of the island's big clubs during Lovin' Ibiza. Come Friday, bone up on your EDM knowledge at a range of complimentary lectures or take in some moves at the Street Dance contest before Saturday's humungous closing party at SPACE. Get rested, pack light and prepare to party.

More Lovin' Ibiza info...

Europe Spain Ibiza Electronic Dance Music Festivals April
Low Festival

Low Festival

More than 60,000 revellers descend upon the Spanish resort town of Benidorm for three days of partying under the Mediterranean sun during the annual Low Festival. Five stages serve up some of the biggest names in local, UK and European rock and indie pop at one of Europe's most sustainable and environmentally-friendly fests. When the action on stage gets a little too much there's plenty of places to chill those jets, grab a feed or even take a dip.

More Low Festival info...

Europe Spain Benidorm Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals July
Lucerne Festival

Lucerne Festival

For a week each November, Lucerne — that storybook Swiss city on the lake — attracts pianists from far and wide for the annual Lucerne Festival at the Piano. A third of the Lucerne Festival (Lucerne Festival in Summer and Lucerne Festival at Easter make up the classical trio) the Lucerne Festival at the Piano programme features performances from classical pianists, famous jazz pianists, new virtuosos and established masters, organists, and harpsichord players.

More Lucerne Festival info...

Europe Switzerland Lucerne Classical Music and Opera Festivals November
Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival

Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival

The Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival is Poland's largest festival of classical music. The Festival attracts world-class virtuosos, choirs, and orchestras along with Poland's most outstanding artists and ensembles for a series of concerts and accompanying events over the space of a two week period each March and April.

More Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival info...

Europe Poland Warsaw Classical Music and Opera Festivals March
Lungo Il Tevere

Lungo Il Tevere

The banks of the Tiber (Tevere in Italian) around Isola Tiberina spring to life from mid June through early September during the annual Lungo Il Tevere. Pizzerias, cafes and restaurants serve up everything from simple snacks to full a-la-carte menus whilst a plethora of bars, lounges and cafes that line the river will ensure you never go thirsty. Take in some art at one of Lungo Il Tevere's exhibition areas, catch some live music or just grab a gelato and wander through the vintage market stalls. A more pleasant way to spend a balmy summer evening in Rome is difficult to imagine.

More Lungo Il Tevere info...

Europe Italy Rome Community Festivals Art Festivals June
Lux Helsinki

Lux Helsinki

It's all about the light. And if you've ever visited Helsinki in the midst of a northern winter, you'll understand. For five days come January many of the architectural icons of Helsinki become a canvas as a series of breathtaking installations light up a route around the city centre. Rug up and do the rounds, there's a surreal beauty in experiencing Helsinki when it's snow-covered and lit up so spectacularly.

More Lux Helsinki info...

Europe Finland Helsinki Light Festivals Family Festivals January
Maastricht Antiquarian Book and Print Fair

Maastricht Antiquarian Book and Print Fair

More than 30 antiquarian booksellers from the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany gather in Maastricht for three days in March for the annual Antiquarian Book and Print Fair. Running concurrently with Maastricht's renowned TEFAF — the worlds largest Antiques and Art Fair — for lovers of antiquities, the emergence of the Antiquarian Book and Print Fair is the icing on a very old cake.

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Europe Netherlands Maastricht Book Fairs Collectors Festivals March
Madrid Fusion

Madrid Fusion

Over three days in late January or early February, Madrid becomes the centre of the gastronomic universe as more than 400 internationally renowned chefs from countries near and far descend upon the Spanish Capital for Madrid Fusión. The finest names in the industry join forces to slice and dice and share their knowledge and techniques through a series of lectures, demonstrations, master classes, tastings and conferences.

More Madrid Fusion info...

Europe Spain Madrid Food Festivals February
MAfestival Bruges

MAfestival Bruges

Founded in 1963, MAfestival Bruges is today one of the world's most renowned early music events. Besides a ten-day calendar marked by performances from some of the world's most exciting performers, MAfestival Bruges also features a series of lectures and classes highlighting the genre, a competition for young musicians and an exposition that focuses on historical instruments made to historical specifications.

More MAfestival Bruges info...

Europe Belgium Bruges Classical Music and Opera Festivals August
Maldon Mud Race

Maldon Mud Race

Since 2001 the folk of Maldon in Essex have kept a dirty little secret. Come April each year they dress to the nines, gather in large numbers in the local Promenade Park and then make a crazed charge across the River Blackwater and back. The Maldon Mud Race is a frightfully dirty affair, as the name suggests but what better way to get yourself in shape for summer, than a mad mud dash through a freezing river! The whole bash is to raise money for local charity and there's tons of prizes up for grabs. So if you don't mind getting down and dirty, why not make a day of it.

More Maldon Mud Race info...

Europe England Maldon Bizarre Festivals Charity Events April
Malta Festival (Poznań)

Malta Festival (Poznań)

The always eagerly-awaited, Malta Festival has filled Poznan's streets, squares, courtyards and the shores of Lake Malta, with a wonderfully varied programme of theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts since 1991. Malta's programme follows an annual idiom; a theme that shapes the festival's programme for that year. Past idioms have included, "Oh man, oh machine", "Asian investments" and "Exluded". Festivities over the nineteen days of Malta take place in more than 20 venues. At the heart of the festival is Wolności Square, where visitors can catch a number of free shows, concerts and film screenings.

More Malta Festival (Poznań) info...

Europe Poland Poznan Performing Arts Festivals Dance Festivals June
Manchester Day Parade

Manchester Day Parade

Conceived with the ambition of celebrating the creativity and diversity synonymous with Manchester, today the Manchester Day Parade attracts more than 50,000 proud Mancunians to the streets of the city to witness a wonderful array of costumes, music, dance and incredible structures.

More Manchester Day Parade info...

Europe England Manchester Street Parades Community Festivals June
Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival

Renowned for it's cutting edge content and originality, every second year the Manchester International Festival puts on a performing arts extravaganza, bringing world-class art, dance, theatre and music to the city and it's communities. If you're in Manchester when it's on, get along, and then if you get the chance, get along again.

More Manchester International Festival info...

Europe England Manchester Art Festivals Performing Arts Festivals July
Manchester Science Festival

Manchester Science Festival

Play, create and experiment with your scientific side at the annual Manchester Science Festival. The ten day event brings together a unique blend of art, make-it workshops, performances and big experiences for all ages across the Greater Manchester area. The Festival's playful and imaginative programme invites visitors to immerse themselves in science, ideas and innovation. Events take place in cultural and unusual venues around the city, in Salford, Bolton and across Greater Manchester.

More Manchester Science Festival info...

Europe England Manchester Science and Technology Festivals October
Maschsee Lake Festival

Maschsee Lake Festival

The Maschsee Lake Festival attracts millions to the shores of Hannover's Maschsee Lake for a grandiose lineup of concerts and performances each summer. Boat cruises, fireworks, dancing under the stars, sporting events and an abundance of delectable fare add to the spectacle making it one of northern Germany's must-see events.

More Maschsee Lake Festival info...

Europe Germany Hannover Summer Festivals Family Festivals August
Merano Wine Festival

Merano Wine Festival

Held in the palatial rooms of the Kurhaus, the Merano Wine Festival has been dubbed the world's most exclusive wine-event — a celebration and a showcase of the finest Italian and international wines as well as some of the region's finest haute cuisine. The festival is the result of the tireless work of nine tasting committees, which in the proceeding months have been hard at work selecting the finest wines from over 300 Italian wineries as well as more than 120 international winemakers. Visitors get the opportunity to sample the featured vintages along with a selection of organic and biodynamic wines. To mix things up a little take a check out Beer Passion, dedicated to the flavours of traditional beers.

More Merano Wine Festival info...

Europe Italy Venice Wine Festivals Food Festivals November
Minsk International Film Festival (Listapad)

Minsk International Film Festival (Listapad)

Held annually since 1994, the Minsk International Film Festival Listapad is one of the most highly anticipates film festivals in Eastern and Central Europe. The week-long program features in excess of 350 feature films, documentaries and shorts from over 40 countries, along with a range of workshops, masterclasses, forums and exhibitions.

More Minsk International Film Festival (Listapad) info...

Europe Belarus Minsk Film Festivals Short Film Festivals Documentary Film Festivals November
Moira Canal Festival

Moira Canal Festival

Bone up on your local Derbyshire history and help out a wonderful cause whilst you enjoy a programme packed with family friendly events, at the annual Moira Canal Festival. Held on the restored section of the Ashby Canal at the historic Moira Furnace Museum over a weekend each May, the Moira Canal Festival features a range of catering, trade, charity and heritage related stalls, boats of all shapes and sizes and a vintage car display.

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Europe England Moira Community Festivals Family Festivals May
Moldova National Wine Day

Moldova National Wine Day

The history of Moldovan winemaking is as rich as the soil of the country's Pucari Region. Those lucky enough to be in Chisinau over the first weekend in October can get a taste of that history and tradition at the country's premier wine festival, the National Wine Day. Visitors get to sample a range of vintages from some of Moldova's finest producers as well treat themselves to a little tasty traditional fare. Prepared to be entertained by colourfully dressed folk dancers, musicians and a fireworks finale.

More Moldova National Wine Day info...

Europe Moldova Chisinau Wine Festivals Traditional Festivals October
Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix

Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix

Over four days each May, the Formula 1 circus moves to Monaco, Europe's millionaires playground and the sports premier locale. Monaco's tight winding street circuit offers little respite to the drivers but makes for an once-in-a-lifetime experience for the spectator. Take in the heady scent of petrol and burnt rubber and the aural assault that only 22 formula one cars can muster as they slingshot past mere metres from the grandstands. Dress to the nines and head for the casino or get your chic on and be seen cavorting with celebrities at Monaco's plethora of high-brow bars and clubs. The spectacle, the history, the noise, the glitz, the glamour and the setting combine to create one of world sports must see events.

More Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix info...

Europe Monaco Monte Carlo Formula One Events Sporting Events Motor Sports Events May
Montreux Jazz Festival

Montreux Jazz Festival

Second in size only to Montreal's monster jazz offering, the Montreux Jazz Festival has been entertaining jazz aficionados and music lovers in general with the biggest names in the industry since 1967. Originally held at the waterfront Montreux Casino — before it famously burnt down during Frank Zappa's set during the 1971 edition of the festival which was later referenced in Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple — today, Montreux Jazz takes place in a number of venues including the Montreux Musique and Convention Centre. Early performers read like a who's who of the recent history of jazz. From Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett to Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald. Since the 1970's through today the scope of the festival has opened allowing blues, soul and rock artists a place on the card but there's usually more than enough jazz to keep the die-hards coming back. Montreux Jazz Festival does it thing on the picturesque shores of Lake Geneva for two weeks each July. Book early, accommodation fills fast.

More Montreux Jazz Festival info...

Europe Switzerland Montreux Jazz Festivals July
Moscow International Film Festival

Moscow International Film Festival

With a history dating back to 1935, the Moscow International Film Festival is among the oldest film festivals still being held today. The festival has long mirrored the socio-political changes taking place in Russia and aroused the interest of numerous actors and visitors from all over the world. Held for ten days over mid-summer, the festival features a diverse selection of feature films, documentaries and shorts from Russia, Europe and beyond and attracts in the region of 200,000 guests.

More Moscow International Film Festival info...

Europe Russia Moscow Film Festivals Short Film Festivals June
Motel Mozaique

Motel Mozaique

Rotterdam's annual Motel Mozaique Festival offers up a unique mix of pop music, dance, theatre and visual arts for two days each April. But it's a fest with a twist. Pack your pyjamas and spend the night in specially designed artworks or other remarkable locations in and around Rotterdam. Past editions have seen guests grab 40 winks in tree huts, churches, shop-windows, construction-sites, hospitals and on the rooftop of a national monument — all with breakfast included of course.

More Motel Mozaique info...

Europe Netherlands Rotterdam Popular Music Festivals Electronic Dance Music Festivals April
Mull Music Festival

Mull Music Festival

The Isle of Mull welcomes one and all for a long-weekend of music, dance and frivolity each April for the Mull Music Festival. At the bars of Tobermory and Dervaig visitors can expect a range of Scottish folk-rock, traditional fiddle and accordion dance and ceilidh bands along maybe even a little Gaelic singing if they're lucky.

More Mull Music Festival info...

Europe Scotland Isle of Mull Folk and Folk Music Festivals Celtic Festivals Community Festivals April
National Winter Ales Festival

National Winter Ales Festival

As well as hosting the Champion Winter Beer of Britain Competition, the National Winter Ales Festival offers beer lovers from across the UK the chance to taste over 400 real ales spanning mild, bitters, best bitters, strong bitters, golden ales and speciality beers along with a selection of meads, ciders and perries and international bottled beers. Hosted at Derby's historic Roundhouse, the four-day festival will feature four brewery bars and a range of food ad snacks designed to be paired with your drink of choice.

More National Winter Ales Festival info...

Europe England Derby Beer Festivals February
Newcastle Upon Tyne Vegan Festival

Newcastle Upon Tyne Vegan Festival

Join the growing numbers of Brits who insist their food comes free from animal products, at the annual Newcastle upon Tyne Vegan Festival. The festival will feature around 150 companies exhibiting everything from vegan food and drink to ethical clothing, gifts and cosmetics, with plenty exhibitors offering up a free sample or two. There will be presentations from a selection of high-profile vegans, documentaries espousing the vegan lifestyle and information from animal sanctuaries and animal rights campaigners.

More Newcastle Upon Tyne Vegan Festival info...

Europe England Newcastle Upon Tyne Food Festivals July
Nordic Film Days Lubeck

Nordic Film Days Lubeck

The Nordic Film Festival Lubeck lights up the dark early days of the Northern European winter with a selection of feature films, documentaries and short films from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden for four days each November. It is the only festival in Europe to feature a programme consisting entirely of films from the continent's North and Northeast. The festival also features an extensive children's and youth programme, a retrospective devoted to important eras, specific genres or famous names from the history of film and a range of seminars, discussions and roundtable talks.

More Nordic Film Days Lubeck info...

Europe Germany Lubeck Film Festivals Short Film Festivals Documentary Film Festivals November
Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Norfolk and Norwich Festival

With roots dating back to 1772, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival is one of the oldest city festivals in England. For the great majority of those years, the festival devoted itself to classical musical with performances by many big-name musicians, composers and conductors. Whilst maintaining its classical lean, today's programme mixes things up a little with contemporary music, international theatre and dance, circus performances, visual arts and a celebrated children's programme added to the NNF mix.

More Norfolk and Norwich Festival info...

Europe England Norwich Classical Music and Opera Festivals Performing Arts Festivals May
North Hop Aviemore

North Hop Aviemore

Quality craft beer may be the Highlands best kept secret. Having long lived in the shadow of that other drink the Highlands is famed for, the North Hop Festival is doing its darnedest to put locally brewed craft beer on the map. For two days each August, North Hop celebrates local craft beer, artisan gins, creative cocktails, Scottish food and homegrown music, the Highland way.

More North Hop Aviemore info...

Europe Scotland Aviemore Beer Festivals Craft Beer Festivals Food Festivals November
North Sea Jazz Festival

North Sea Jazz Festival

Since its inaugural edition in 1976 when the Nederlands Congresgebouw in The Hague welcomed jazz royalty in the shape of Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie, the North Sea Jazz Festival has grown to become one of Europe's premier jazz festivals. Since 2006, the Dutch maritime city of Rotterdam has taken over hosting duties and today the North Sea Jazz festival welcomes more than a thousand musicians who put on 150 performances across 13 stages for 70,000 visitors. From American jazz to European avant-garde, for three days each August, Rotterdam is the place to be for an all-you-can-eat jazz smorgasbord.

More North Sea Jazz Festival info...

Europe Netherlands Rotterdam Jazz Festivals July
Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

For a little over 360 days a year the trendy West London suburb of Notting Hill is a tranquil leafy locale ruled by the latte and boutique beer set. But all that changes on the August bank holiday weekend as the Notting Hill Carnival — one of Europe's largest street parties — swings and sways its way into W11. The sharp blast from ten thousand whistles and the heavy thud of hardcore bass can be heard from as far away as Hyde Park. As well as a couple of larger stages — featuring international headline acts — and a plethora of smaller ones, impromptu performers roam the streets while many locals clear the floorboards at home and pump up the volume to cater for friends or those from the outside masses who like what they hear. Even the food sellers join in the aural assault, and there's certainly enough of them. Blackened corn on the cob is the festival staple with jerk chicken a delicious, close run second. It's usually the spectacle, energy and colour of Monday's festival parade that most visitors to Notting Hill Carnival are there to see. Dozens of floats ranging in size from the modest to the mobile party make there way along Ladbroke and Westbourne Groves. Calypso tunes blast out from speakers the size of small sedans. Colourful costumed dancers strut their stuff in time to their own floats beat. Swaying onlookers crowd ten and fifteen deep, whistles blowing and dancing in the streets.

More Notting Hill Carnival info...

Europe England London Carnival and Mardi Gras Street Parades Street Parties August
Oerol Festival

Oerol Festival

Since its inception in 1982, the Oerol Festival has grown to become a ground-breaking performing arts phenomenon. For ten days each June, the Waden Sea island of Terschelling is transformed into a unique natural stage for all manner of performing arts, from theatre and dance to music performances and interactive art installations. Each of the shows have been created or adapted specially for the exceptional locations in which they are performed. The island becomes a stage with performances on the beaches and in the dunes, in the woods and on the dykes.

More Oerol Festival info...

Europe Netherlands Terschelling Performing Arts Festivals Dance Festivals June
Ohrid Summer Festival

Ohrid Summer Festival

Picturesque Ohrid — the Jerusalem of the Balkans — plays host to one of Europe's most anticipated classical music events, the Ohrid Summer Festival. Each year from 12 July through 20 August, a diverse programme of theatre, concerts and recitals take place in some of the UNESCO listed city's most iconic venues.

More Ohrid Summer Festival info...

Europe Macedonia Ohrid Classical Music and Opera Festivals July
Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, the world's largest and most celebrated beer festival. Never been? Close your eyes and picture part Disneyland, part Bud Brewery. Oktoberfest is to the beer aficionado what Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory is to the sweet-toothed. Rides, beer, roast chicken, beer, pretzels, beer, lederhosen, did I mention beer? Six million litres of the stuff! Set on grounds of over 100 acres, Oktoberfest has consistently attracted in the region of six million visitors year in, year out since 1980. So if you enjoy your sustenance in a shade of amber delivered by a voluptuous Bavarian beauty to an oompha backbeat then Oktoberfest may just be the beer fest for you.

More Oktoberfest info...

Europe Germany Munich Beer Festivals Traditional Festivals September
One Design Week

One Design Week

Since 2009, Sofia Design Week has served as a platform to stimulates and support the development of design professionals in Bulgaria. It features a professional forum with prominent speakers from all over the world, as well as an extensive program of open events aimed at the broader audience — exhibitions, workshops, discussions, talks, screenings, parties, book openings and events for children.

More One Design Week info...

Europe Bulgaria Sofia Design Festivals June
One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

Over ten days each March the One World Film Festival brings a selection of more than 100 documentaries and features focussing on human rights issues to the cinemas of Prague. Growing in popularity year on year, One World has become the largest human rights film festival in the world and now also includes a range of talks and interviews that address a range of timely issues.

More One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival info...

Europe Czech Republic Prague Documentary Film Festivals Film Festivals March
Open'er Festival

Open'er Festival

Voted the Best Major Festival by the European Festival Awards awards not once but twice (2009 and 2010), Gdansk's Open'er Festival is big league. For four days each July, Open'er features some of the most sizable names in world rock, indie rock, pop, dance and electronica playing to crowds in excess of 60,000. Pack a tent and set up camp in the festival campsite located only a short stroll from the festival grounds. Bring earplugs.

More Open'er Festival info...

Europe Poland Gdansk Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals July
Opera Square Festival

Opera Square Festival

Frankfurt's magnificent Opera House provides the stunning backdrop for the annual Opera Square Festival, a celebration of the culinary delights of the region. A diverse stage programme featuring everything from jazz to pop and a wide range of temptations for the tastebuds. What could be better?

More Opera Square Festival info...

Europe Germany Frankfurt Food Festivals Classical Music and Opera Festivals Jazz Festivals June
Orkney Folk Festival

Orkney Folk Festival

Fancy the fiddle? Beguiled by the banjo? You'll want to be in Stromness (the Orkney's second largest town) come May for the annual Orkney Folk Festival. For four days the Orkneys usher in summer with a range of concerts, ceilidhs, sessions, workshops and talks.

More Orkney Folk Festival info...

Europe Scotland Orkney Islands Folk and Folk Music Festivals Community Festivals May
Oslo Jazz Festival

Oslo Jazz Festival

For more than 25 years, the Oslo Jazz Festival has been plying the good people of Oslo with sweet jazz across a wide range of genres — from gospel and blues to latin jazz and electronica.

More Oslo Jazz Festival info...

Europe Norway Oslo Jazz Festivals Blues Festivals August
Outlook Festival

Outlook Festival

Outlook Festival is a celebration of soundsystem culture, an exploration of the musical genealogy that connects Jamaican roots music to its modern day counterparts through heavyweight sound-systems. Set in the Croatian city of Pula at the southern tip of the stunning Istria peninsula, Outlook offers lovers of dance, four days and nights of banging beats, beach and boat parties. Look out for the Outlook opening. It's held in the city's spectacular 2,000 year old Roman Amphitheatre.

More Outlook Festival info...

Europe Croatia Pula Electronic Dance Music Festivals September
Paleo Festival de Nyon

Paleo Festival de Nyon

The Paleo Festival de Nyon, simply Paleo to her friends, is an annual six-day rock festival held in Nyon, Switzerland, almost equidistance between Lausanne and Geneva. Paleo started life as the Nyon Folk Festival back in 1976 when some 1,800 revellers rocked up. Today the event is one of the most popular and widely attended music festivals in Europe, with more than 200,000 annual attendees who enjoy more than 250 concerts and shows spread across her six stages. With more than 100 food stalls, a number of bars and six restaurants on site, you're unlikely to go hungry. Round up some mates (or bring the family, Paleo is seriously family friendly), pack your tent and prepare for six days of quality music in a magnificent setting.

More Paleo Festival de Nyon info...

Europe Switzerland Nyon Rock Festivals Popular Music Festivals July
Palio of Siena

Palio of Siena

Amidst a flurry of medieval pageantry in the ancient Piazza del Campo, Siena's historic, Il Palio is a horse race with a difference and an event not to be missed. Twice each summer (July 2 and August 16) join thousands of partisan locals and adventure-seeking tourists as they witness ten bareback riders — selected by each of the city's ancient districts — set off on a death-defying ninety second dash around the Piazza del Campo. The race is a chaotic, no rules affair where anything goes and the tight sloping, slippery course certainly does nothing to lessen the mayhem. The crowd is as raucous as hell and the atmosphere is electric. Partying continues well into the night especially in the district of the winning jockey.

More Palio of Siena info...

Europe Italy Siena Horse Racing Events Traditional Festivals Sporting Events July
Paris Air Show

Paris Air Show

Established way back in 1909 — a mere six years after Orville and Wilbur Wright briefly took to the skies over Kitty Hawk — the Paris Air Show is the oldest and largest air show in the world. Today, the biennial event (held every odd year) takes place over a week in June at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris. The first four days are devoted to trade but the final three are open to the public. Visitors come in their droves to take in more than 150 aircraft doing their thing in the air and being exhibited on the ground.

More Paris Air Show info...

Europe France Paris Air Shows Family Festivals June
Paris Autumn Festival

Paris Autumn Festival

The Festival d' Automne à Paris — Paris Autumn Festival — has been doing its part adding to the cultural landscape of the city of light for over 40 years. In 1972, les Semaines Musicales Internationales (The Weeks of International Music) and the International Dance Festival were combined to create the Festival d' Automne à Paris. Today the festival spans genres from theatre through dance, music and film. Their programme runs from early September to mid-January and attracts more than 100,000 visitors to more than 40 separate shows.

More Paris Autumn Festival info...

Europe France Paris Performing Arts Festivals Dance Festivals September
Paris Beaches (Paris Plages)

Paris Beaches (Paris Plages)

There's no doubting that Paris is one of the world's most loved and iconic tourist destinations. The attractions are almost endless — there's the Louvre, the Left Bank, the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, heck you can fill a book with things to do in the City of Light. And since 2002, you can add the beach to that list. The beach? In Paris? It's true, for a month during summer at least (mid-July through mid-August). The banks of the Seine look more like Brittany than Paris as sandy beaches, deck chairs and beach umbrellas transform the riverbank from the Louvre to Pont de Sully and from Rotonde de Ledoux to the former Magasins Généraux. There's plenty of entertainment and beach-based pastimes added to the mix, as well as a number of food vendors and the ubiquitous summertime ice-cream sellers. So apply a little factor 15, grab your towel and make a beeline to Paris' beaches.

More Paris Beaches (Paris Plages) info...

Europe France Paris Summer Festivals July
Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week

Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week

If you've a passion for fashion and a penchant to party, then Paris' biannual celebration of haute couture is the place to see and be seen. Paris Fashion Week has been setting trends in the industry since Armani was in designer nappies. What can an attendee expect? Catwalk shows from the major fashion houses, plenty of bubbly and for those in the know at least, parties where no expense has been spared. A little tip: leave the denim at home.

More Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week info...

Europe France Paris Fashion Festivals July
Paris Motor Show

Paris Motor Show

Can you tell your camshaft from your catalytic converter? If all things vehicular get your motor running, then the Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l'Automobile) is definitely worth at least a day of your time. Held every even number year on and off since, get this, 1898, the Paris Motor Show is the Ferrari of European car shows. For a little over two weeks at Paris Expo in Porte de Versailles, all the major manufacturers or on hand with their latest production models buffed to perfection, to discuss all things auto with visitors from Europe and beyond. Each year there's a themed historical exhibition and the launch of a bunch of concept cars.

More Paris Motor Show info...

Europe France Paris Motor Shows October
Paris Photo

Paris Photo

Year on year Paris Photo adds to its reputation as one of the world's premier fine art photography fairs. The magnificent glass-roofed, Grand Palais, the setting of the Fair, certainly does nothing to harm that reputation. Last year more than 50,000 visitors, from Paris, France, Europe and beyond took in more than 130 photo galleries and the titles on display from some 28 photo-book specialists. Works on offer range from classic platinum archival prints to modern works by photography's up-and-comers. A wonderful day out for all photography lovers.

More Paris Photo info...

Europe France Paris Photography Festivals Art Festivals November
Paris Techno Parade

Paris Techno Parade

If being part of an immense sweaty throng moving to a single electronic beat is your thing, head to the City of Lights this September for the Paris Techno Parade. On the second or third Saturday of September since 1998, up to a dozen lively floats cut a swathe through the capital blasting out tunes from some of the worlds most renowned disk spinners to crowds in excess of 3000,000. At night, the party turns it's attention to local clubs where the action continues until day break. So pack your toothbrush, your dance shoes and a bouncy disposition — forget the pyjamas — and head to the Paris Techno Parade.

More Paris Techno Parade info...

Europe France Paris Electronic Dance Music Festivals Street Parades September
Passion for Food Festival

Passion for Food Festival

Foodies rejoice! For three days each February a handpicked range of quality producers flair their fare at Gothenburg's annual Passion for Food Festival. The festival features an abundance of locally produced west coast produce — their lobster and oysters, are among the best in the world — as well as specialty produce from all over Europe. Learn how to put it all together at the fest's cookery school or how to combine it with a bottle of wine. Bon appétit!

More Passion for Food Festival info...

Europe Sweden Stockholm Food Festivals Wine Festivals February
Pink Night

Pink Night

That ain't sunburn! Join revellers on Italy's Adriatic Coast for Pink Night (La Notte Rosa) the summer's most anticipated celebration. From the Lidos of Comacchio to Cattolica along more than 110 kilometres of coastline, music, theatre performances, art displays and light installations cast a pink hue over the sea front, piazzas, restaurants and clubs as revellers paint the coast pink. Thousands of street-lamps turn pink, fireworks animate the most popular beaches and hundreds of shows, concerts and events add to the Adriatic's biggest summer party.

More Pink Night info...

Europe Italy Rimini Summer Festivals July
Pinkpop

Pinkpop

Join lovers of pop and rock for a three-day smorgasbord of world-class musical entertainment at Pinkpop — the oldest and longest running annual festival dedicated to pop and rock, certainly in the Netherlands, and possibly in all of Europe. Since 1988 Pinkpop has set up shop at Megaland, in Landgraaf, where it attracts in the region of 60,000 revellers on each of her three days. Take your tent, set up camp and prepare your plan of attack for some of the biggest names in popular music. Past acts have included Metallica, Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, The Prodigy, The Cure, Coldplay, Kings of Leon and The Rolling Stones. Get your tickets early as Pinkpop often sells out.

More Pinkpop info...

Europe Netherlands Landgraaf Popular Music Festivals Rock Festivals June
Pisa Book Festival

Pisa Book Festival

Literary buffs gather in Pisa for three days each November to celebrate the written word at the annual Pisa Book Festival. A packed programme focussing primarily on the offerings of independent publishers, the festival features over 200 events — presentations, seminars, conferences and writing courses — and in excess of 150 independent exhibitors.

More Pisa Book Festival info...

Europe Italy Pisa Book Fairs November
Pizzafest

Pizzafest

Pizza lovers congregate in Naples for ten days each September to dine en-masse on Naples' signature dish. The most famous pizzeries from Italy and abroad gather to match their skills against renowned local pizzaioli, in an attempted to be crowned the best pizzaiolo in the world. Visitors get the chance to sample the goods, accompanied by nice glass of vino.

More Pizzafest info...

Europe Italy Naples Food Festivals September
Plai Festival

Plai Festival

The Plai Festival is a unique celebration of multiculturalism set in the historic Banat Village Museum (Muzeul Satului Bănăţean) — an outdoors ethnographic museum not far from Timiasoara's city centre. Over three days in September visitors can expect a diverse collection of traditional arts and music styles and genres from around the world. The Plai programme features a strong presence from those ethnicities and cultures that have come to call this region of Romania home over the generations, from the Hungarians, Serbians and Germans through to the Czechs and the French.

More Plai Festival info...

Europe Romania Timisoara World Music Festivals Multicultural Festivals September
Porvoo Jazz Festival

Porvoo Jazz Festival

If you find yourself at a loose end in Helsinki come mid-September, make your way east young man and take in some sublime sounds at the Porvoo Jazz Fest. As Finland's second oldest city, Porvoo is a wonderful historic destination any old time of the year, but add the melodic musings of some of Finland's finest jazz musicians — and some great international acts to boot — and there's another layer to Porvoo's appeal come September. For a treat, dress for warmth and jump on board the MS J.L.Runeberg from Helsinki and take in the Southern Finnish archipelago as you enjoy some pre-festival refreshments on board this beauty that's been plying these waters since 1912. For those looking for a speedier, less scenic option, free buses will depart Helsinki for the festival and return after the last sax has hit its case.

More Porvoo Jazz Festival info...

Europe Finland Porvoo Jazz Festivals September
Prague Christmas Markets

Prague Christmas Markets

Magnificent Prague has been spellbinding tourists for centuries. A visit when the snow is falling and the Christmas markets are in full swing adds yet another layer to the city's abundant charm. Head for Prague's Old Town Square or Wenceslas Square where the handsomely decorated wooden huts offer up all manner of traditional handicrafts, from glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace and wooden toys to scented candles and puppets and dolls beautifully decked out in traditional costume. Fill your belly with spit-roasted pig or the local sausage and wash it down with some svařené víno (mulled wine) or a glass of the world famous, Czech Pilsner. If you arrive after five, you'll see the impressive Christmas tree (shipped in from the Krkonose Mountains) lit up in all it's glory. With the Gothic spires of Prague as a backdrop, it really is a spectacular site.

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Christmas Markets Christmas December
Prague Folklore Days

Prague Folklore Days

Join a number of Europe's premier folk-dancing troops as they showcase their steps at Prague Folklore Days — the largest folk dancing event in Central Europe. Spectators get the chance to take in the colourful costumes and traditional dance moves that offer up a choreographed story of the region from which they originate. Part of the annual cultural offering at the Prague Festival, the Prague Folklore Days shows take place in the city's iconic, Wenceslas Square, with a parade taking participants through the historic streets of the Czech capital.

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Folk and Folk Music Festivals July
Prague Fringe Festival

Prague Fringe Festival

The Bohemian spirit is alive and well in its capital for nine days of late May and early June during the annual Prague Fringe Festival. More than 200 artists take to the stage in 50 shows, covering the spectrum of fringe from experimental theatre and dance to alternative music and stand-up comedy. The Festival takes place in a range of different venues, from the backroom of a bar to a full proscenium arch theatre, with each space featuring different performances each day. Programmes are available online from the Fringe website.

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Fringe Festivals Performing Arts Festivals May
Puck Fair

Puck Fair

For hundreds of years — since at least 1603 — every August 10th, through 12th, the city of Killorglin in Ireland's County Kerry plays host to the Puck Fair. In true Irish tradition, the Fair (one of Ireland's oldest) features loads of local food, drink, arts, crafts and dancing, oh...and a goat that is crowned the King of Puck Fair and reigns over the town for the three day duration.

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Europe Ireland Killorglin Fairs Family Festivals August
Raw Power

Raw Power

If your taste in music falls a pole apart from the poppy mainstream, perhaps you're looking for some Raw Power? Some of the very best in psych heaviness, space rock, synth craziness and left field electronica as they tear up the Dome and the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park over three days in August.

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Europe England London Heavy Metal Festivals August
Rebellion Festival

Rebellion Festival

Punk is alive and well — kicking and screaming in fact — at Blackpool's annual, Rebellion Festival. For four days on six stages, with over 200 bands covering all genres of punk and alternative music, Rebellion is one of the world's largest punk festivals and a must for UK lovers of the stuff.

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Europe England Blackpool Punk Festivals Indie Rock Festivals August
Redhead Days Festival

Redhead Days Festival

Redheads rejoice! For a weekend each September the Dutch city of Breda celebrates the world of the crimson-topped at the annual Redhead Days Festival. More than 5,000 redheads make their way to Breda for a packed programme that features fashion shows, a photo shoot, lectures on the background of red hair, an art exhibition and a movie night. Blondes, brunettes and the black-haired are also welcome.

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Europe Netherlands Breda Bizarre Festivals Family Festivals September
Reeperbahn Festival

Reeperbahn Festival

Hamburg's most infamous strip, The Reeperbahn, plays host to Germany's largest club festival each September. The Reeperbahn Festival attracts more than 30,000 revellers to the clubs, bars and theatres on and around the Reeperbahn for a four day mix of indie, pop, rock, folk, electro, hip hop, soul and jazz performed by the industry's newest talent. Pack light and prepare to party hard.

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Europe Germany Hamburg Electronic Dance Music Festivals Indie Rock Festivals September
Regata Storica

Regata Storica

Venice's history is inextricably linked to rowing. Her gondolas and gondoliers are as iconic as Pisa's tower or Rome's colosseum. Come the first Sunday of September you can take in some of that history from the banks of her Grand Canal. Regata Storica is the main event on Venice's annual rowing calendar, which features a number of races based on age and type of craft. The formula one event on the programme — the "Campioni su Gondolini" race — sees two-manned craft take to the canal in an amazing display of strength, stamina and balance. The highlight for many is the spectacular historical water pageant that precedes the race. In a ceremony literally dripping with history and tradition, the Doge, his wife and a number of high ranking Venetian officials parade along the Grand Canal in 16th century-style boats manned by gondoliers in period costume. With Venice as a breathtaking backdrop the pageant is a sight to behold.

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Europe Italy Venice Sporting Events Traditional Festivals September
Return to the Ridings

Return to the Ridings

For centuries the Scottish border towns of Hawick, Jedburgh, Lauder and Selkirk have been keeping a watchful eye on their southern neighbours, the ever-so-meddlesome English. In years past these Common Ridings of the Scottish border were horseback patrols to ensure those southerners knew where their boundary ended and the Scottish frontier began. And whilst todays events are for the most part close re-enactments to those of yesteryear, a greater emphasis has been placed on the civic rituals attached to the ceremony and drinking yourself to oblivion, rather than keeping the vexatious English at bay. So if you enjoy your festivities with more than a touch of historical significance, set to a drum and fife band beat and you think you an handle the traditional curds 'n' cream (rum and milk) before breakfast (and that's just for starters) head for the Scottish border the first weekend in June. Hell, even you English are welcome to take part in these celebrations!

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Europe Scotland Hawick Historical Festivals Traditional Festivals May
Rewind South

Rewind South

Calling all children of the eighties. It's time to slip into that spandex, pop in those shoulder pads and tease up that hair (higher...no...higher). That's right, it's time to rewind. Grab some friends and take a trip down memory lane this summer at one of three UK Rewind Festivals. For three days and three nights you can catch some of your favourite acts from the decade that fashion neglected. Past performers read like the back of an eighties compilation album with acts like Rick Astley, Bananarama, Billy Ocean and the Village People playing to the thousands of fans. Our tip: pack neon and prepare to party like it's 1999.

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Europe England Henley-on-Thames Popular Music Festivals August
Reykjavik International Film Festival

Reykjavik International Film Festival

For eleven days over late September the Reykjavik International Film Festival takes cultural centre stage in the Icelandic capital. Categories for the 100 films from over 40 countries on offer include, New Visions (limited to the first or second film of up-and-coming directors), Icelandic Panorama (Icelandic films), Focus On (the national cinema of a different country each year) and Open Seas (acclaimed films from many of the most talented and respected filmmakers of the world).

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Europe Iceland Reykjavik Film Festivals September
Rhine in Flames

Rhine in Flames

Rhine in flames — almost an oxymoron! On five separate summer evenings along the fetching River Rhine in the vicinity of the historic city of Bonn, spectacular pyrotechnics displays shot from the hilltops and Europe's largest river fleet light up the night sky and the surrounding castles and palaces. The event has been attracting hundreds of thousands and wowing locals and visitors for more than half a century. If you want in on a boat, book early. The largest of the displays falls historically falls on the second Saturday of August, but as always, check with local sources for exact dates and details.

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Europe Germany Bonn Family Festivals May
Rock-A-Field

Rock-A-Field

For three days in June, the world of rock and indie music turns its focus to Luxembourg for their annual, Rock-A-Field Festival. Local talent plays support to huge international acts in front of crowds in excess of 10,000 revellers. Pack your tent and sample the great Luxembourg outdoors at the festival's campground.

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Europe Luxembourg Luxembourg City Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals June
Rockwave Festival

Rockwave Festival

Now into its third decade, Rockwave is an Athens institution serving up the cream of Greek and international metal, rock, pop and indie since 1996. TerraVibe Park in Malakasa — a few miles outside of the capital — plays host to Rockwave and caters for tens of thousands of revellers each summer. Past headliners have ranged from Moby to Megadeth, visiting all genres in between.

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Europe Greece Athens Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals June
Rome Marathon

Rome Marathon

If you're going to push your body to the extreme and endure 42.195 kilometres of tarmac-pounding hell, at least do it in Rome where world-class historical landmarks are sprinkled around the course like drink stations. The Rome Marathon kicks off on the Via dei Fori Imperiali in the shadow of the the city's crumbling Coliseum before proceeding through the city centre taking in such famous landmarks as the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Saint Peter's and Piazza Venezia and the Piazza di Spagna. Carb replenishment shouldn't pose a problem with literally hundreds of pizza and pasta restaurants within hobbling distance of the finish line.

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Europe Italy Rome Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs March
Roskilde Festival

Roskilde Festival

One of the big six European music festivals, Roskilde's been doing its rock thing in late June and early July for tens of thousands of music fans since 1971. Apart from the appeal of a festival that's played out under the midnight sun of a Scandinavian summer, much of Roskilde's continued popularity is down to it's programming — a balanced mix of large, headline acts, cutting-edge artists from all contemporary genres, popular crowd-pleasers and local Scandi headliners along with up-and-coming names. For many long-time attendees it's more than a festival, it's an institution. Although Roskilde officially kicks off on the Thursday, camping is allowed from the previous Saturday, a period known locally as the warm up days.

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Europe Denmark Roskilde Rock Festivals June
Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot

Grab some friends, dress to the nines and head for Ascot Racecourse for the premier event on the British flat-racing calendar, Royal Ascot. Over a quarter of million people make the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making it Europe's best-attended race meeting. All up there are sixteen group races on offer over the five days of Ascot Race Week. Today, the event is as much about the fashion and the who's who of the Royal Enclosure as it is about dashing thoroughbreds and flying turf, especially during Thursday's Gold Cup Day when the ladies and their gravity-defying headwear steal the limelight. The Royal Enclosure, Ascot's Fort Knox, may be the place to hobnob with high-society but there's much more fun to be had on the outer. Celebrations ratchet up as the day gathers pace, irrespective of the temperamental British weather.

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Europe England Ascot Horse Racing Events Sporting Events June
Royal International Air Tattoo

Royal International Air Tattoo

That are few events that can rival the intensity, drama and spectacle on offer at the Air Tattoo. For three days each July this aviation extravaganza provides a packed programme of thrilling action in the air — from supersonic jets to giant transporters and historic aircraft — as well as non-stop entertainment on the ground. With in excess of 140,000 visitors and support from the Royal Air Force and some of the world's leading aerospace companies, the Air Tattoo is acknowledged as not only the world's largest military airshow but also one of the UK's premier outdoor events for the whole family.

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Europe England Fairford Air Shows Family Festivals July
Ruisrock

Ruisrock

One of the oldest rock festivals in Europe, Ruisrock has been doing it's thing for upwards of 70,000 rock fans since 1970. In 1971 Canned Heat performed and those numbers swelled to 100,000. Featuring a mix of music ranging from pop through rock with a sprinkling of metal — this is Scandinavia, after all — — Ruisrock predominantly attracts local revellers, but if you get the chance, the Turku archipelago is a great place to be come the long, long, summer days of July.

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Europe Finland Turku Rock Festivals Popular Music Festivals July
Runatolia

Runatolia

During Runatolia things kick off on the Friday night with a carb-loading, pasta party. Saturday sees a range of shorter distance runs with the Little Steps event for the youngsters, the self-explanatory High Heel run and the Public Run. On Sunday things step up a gear with local and international athletes competing in the Runatolia International Marathon over the full 42.195 kilometre course.

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Europe Turkey Antalya Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs February
Running of the Nudes

Running of the Nudes

In July 2002 in a daring and valiant attempt to promote an alternative to the animal cruelty associated with the Running of the Bulls, 25 streakers ran the famed San Fermin course in Pamplona, tackle out! Today the event has a name, the Running of the Nudes, and a place on the calendar, two days before the setting off of the chupinazo to mark the beginning of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. Participants, nude or close to it, donned in red scarves and plastic horns bounce and jiggle there way along the half-mile course in an event where organisers aim to highlight the cruelty implicit in el encierro and bull-fighting in general.

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Europe Spain Pamplona Nude Festivals Adults Only Festivals Charity Events July
Sŵn Festival

Sŵn Festival

Cardiff's Sŵn Festival is rapidly becoming a Welsh institution in a city renowned for its party scene. Over four days in October an eclectic mix of music, art and film pervades the city's bars, clubs, theatres, public spaces and street corners. Recently awarded NME's coveted, best small festival award, Sŵn has continued to go from strength to strength each year since its first outing in 2007.

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Europe Wales Cardiff Street Parties Rock Festivals October
SAIL Amsterdam

SAIL Amsterdam

Every five years since 1975 millions of annual visitors have lined the Oostelijke Handelskade for what has been dubbed, "the world's greatest nautical event." Join the waterside throng and take in dozens of tall ships and literally thousands of not-so-tall ships, music, art and a wide selection of food.

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Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Nautical Events Family Festivals August
Saint Lucia's Day

Saint Lucia's Day

Annually on the 13th December, residents of Helsinki rug up and and take to the streets around the capital's Senate Square for a procession that venerates Saint Lucia. The tradition of Saint Lucia's Day is based on the legend of the virgin-martyr who was killed in Syracuse, Sicily during the persecutions of the Christians in 304 AD. Saint Lucia's Day is celebrated predominantly in Italy and amongst the Scandinavian nations, where it is tied in with raising money for charity. The Helsinki procession begins when a white-clad figure with a crown of candles, representing Lucia emerges from the Helsinki Cathedral. She then leads a procession including singers and Santa Claus through the streets of the capital.

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Europe Finland Helsinki Religious Events Street Parades December
Salzburg Festival

Salzburg Festival

Salzburg enjoys a long and celebrated history of music and drama — the city is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the setting for the Sound of Music — and for five weeks each summer, it's home to the eagerly anticipated Salzburg Festival. The Salzburg Festival attracts the world's finest classical musicians, thespians and a quarter of a million guests for a series of classical and operatic concerts, recitals and dramatic performances. When the weather's on song, the morality play Everyman (a constant annual fixture of the festival) is performed on Domplatz square against the magnificent background of the cathedral entrance. Other unique venues such as the city's Festival Hall, the mountainside Felsenreitschule and the House for Mozart add to the appeal of one of Europe's most prominent and sophisticated festivals of the arts.

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Europe Austria Salzburg Classical Music and Opera Festivals Performing Arts Festivals July
San Fermin

San Fermin

The event draws party-goers from near and far and although Sanfermines entails so much more to the locals, it's the Encierro — the daily running of the bulls — that the majority of the tourists are on hand to see. For a little over half a mile bull runners — clad in all white with red handkerchiefs tied around their necks — battle the cobbles of Santo Domingo en route to El Plaza del Toros whilst in pursuit are six, infuriated, agitated and totally disorientated toros. Injuries are numerous, since 1924 they've proven fatal for more than a dozen protagonists. For seven days and seven nights there's little let-up as Pamplona parties around the clock.

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Europe Spain Pamplona Traditional Festivals Bizarre Festivals July
Santa Claus World Championships (ClauWau)

Santa Claus World Championships (ClauWau)

Join Santa Clauses from around the world as they battle out it out each November in the annual Santa Claus World Championships (ClauWau) in Switzerland's, Engadin Valley. Bearded teams of Saint Nics compete in events such as the Santa Parade, Santa's Journey, Santa's Snow Sculpture and Santa's Sledge Race to decide who's the jolliest Santa of them all.

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Europe Switzerland Davos Bizarre Festivals Christmas November
Sarajevo Film Festival

Sarajevo Film Festival

In 1995, towards the end of the four-year siege of Sarajevo, a group of film enthusiasts initiated the Sarajevo Film Festival with the aim of helping to reconstruct civil society and retain the cosmopolitan spirit of the city. Two decades on, the Sarajevo Film Festival is the leading film festival in the region, attracting audiences of more than 100,000 to its nine day programme of international feature and short films. The Sarajevo Film Festival maintains a special focus on the region of South-East Europe in particular, shining an international spotlight on films, talent and future projects from the region.

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Europe Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo Film Festivals Short Film Festivals August
Saxonia International Balloon Fiesta

Saxonia International Balloon Fiesta

Picturesque Liepzig is the venue for Europe's third largest balloon festival, the Saxonia International Balloon Fiesta. For four days at the shank of July each year, more than 100,000 spectators flock to the German city to see balloons of all shapes and sizes take to the sky over Liepzig. There's competitions amongst the balloons — fox hunting, key grab and flying as far as possible — as well balloon rides for the adventurous. There's plenty of programme for those planning to keep their feet on terra firma too, with live music, food and family entertainment.

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Europe Germany Leipzig Ballooning Festivals Family Festivals July
Selcuk Camel Wrestling Festival

Selcuk Camel Wrestling Festival

For camel wrestling aficionados there's only one place to be come January; an ancient stadium at Ephesus, near the town of Selcuk, (which is near the city of Izmir) in Turkey's east. Following a ceremony not without pomp, ornately decorated camels are paraded through town to the musical strains of Turkish folk. The following day the wrestling action begins. Amidst a shower of mouth foam, two male camels (bulls) battle it out for the affections of a strategically placed female. It's not half as nasty as it sounds but its probably a lot more tactical than you'd think. Victory is achieved through a combination of leaning, tripping and butting. The winner is decided when a bull retreats, screams or falls or when the camel owner concedes, by throwing a rope into the ring.

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Europe Turkey Izmir Bizarre Festivals Traditional Festivals January
Semana Santa

Semana Santa

Although Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations take place over the length and breadth of Spain, Seville's are arguably the country's most spectacular. For eight days, from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday, 115 spectacular processions of pasos — ornate wooden floats featuring scenes from the events of the Passion or recreations of a grieving Virgin Mary — make their way from Seville's churches through the city's streets to the city's main Cathedral. The honoured task of supporting the pasos on their journey — some weighing in at more than two tonnes — rests upon the broad shoulders of some 60,000 hooded men who belong to more than 55 church brotherhoods. The floats are accompanied by Nazarenos — often barefoot, dressed in a habit and and a pointed hood (capirote) who march along with the pasos in silence. Semana Santa climaxes on the night of Holy Thursday, when a number of processions set out to arrive at Seville's main Cathedral on the dawn of Good Friday. Although there's an obvious solemn undertone that pervades Seville during Semana Santa, it is a wonderful time to be in the city and take in the power of the celebrations.

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Europe Spain Seville Religious Events Cultural Festivals March
Sheffield DocFest

Sheffield DocFest

Since its inception in 1994 — when it was no more than a handful of screenings, two masterclasses, and a party — Sheffield Doc/Fest has grown into one of the largest and most important documentary film festivals in the world. Today's programme spans six days and features exciting new documentaries sourced from all over the world. Doc/Fest is also a significant event for the global film industry where buyers, film distributors and producers come to meet documentary film-makers in an attempt to uncover the next big thing.

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Europe England Sheffield Film Festivals June
Signal Festival

Signal Festival

With nigh on half a million visitors hitting the streets of the Czech capital over four days each October, Prague's Signal Festival (festival of lights) has quickly become the city's largest cultural attraction. Illuminating installations light a route through Prague's magnificent Old Town as well as sites a little more off the tourist track. With summer's maddening crowds long gone and autumn tones taking over Prague's many parks and gardens, it's a wonderful time to visit one of Europe's finest cities for an unforgettable evening stroll or two.

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Light Festivals Art Festivals Family Festivals October
Silves Medieval Fair

Silves Medieval Fair

Half an hour drive west from Faro is Silves — the capital of the Algarve during the Arab occupation. For ten days each August in the city's historic centre, the Christian reconquest era returns, during the annual Silves Medieval Fair. Expect jugglers, acrobats, dancers and snake charmers to mingle as processions of noblemen pass. There'll be Artisans working their trade and merchants offering their wares. A 21st century taste of how the Moors and Christians did things back in the Middle Ages.

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Europe Portugal Faro Medieval Fairs Historical Festivals August
Skopje Jazz Festival

Skopje Jazz Festival

Long established as one of Europe's premier jazz gatherings, the Skopje Jazz Festival continues to wow fans for five days every October. Since 1982 the SJF has featured some giants of jazz from Herbie Hancock to Chick Corea and the legendary, Ray Charles.

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Europe Macedonia Skopje Jazz Festivals October
Skye Book Festival

Skye Book Festival

The annual Skye Book Fest brings together a variety of writers, including leading novelists, poets, historians and children's authors to the magical Isle of Skye each July. The event coincides with a charming antiquated book fair with original and unique books on display and for sale.

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Europe Scotland Isle of Skye Book Fairs Community Festivals September
Snow Jazz Gastein

Snow Jazz Gastein

For ten days and nights come March, the lodges, bars and clubs of the Gastein Valley get their swing on during the annual Snow Jazz Gastein. Local musicians and artists from further afield take to the postcard-perfect, spa-town for a celebration of jazz.

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Europe Austria Bad Gastein Jazz Festivals March
Sofia International Film Festival

Sofia International Film Festival

Over 10 days each March, the Bulgarian capital hosts their annual celebration of all things celluloid at the Sofia International Film Festival. SIFF highlights Bulgarian produced film as well as featuring documentaries, shorts and features from around the world at a number of city cinemas.

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Europe Bulgaria Sofia Film Festivals Short Film Festivals Documentary Film Festivals March
Sonar

Sonar

Sonar is Barcelona's internationally renowned three-day festival of advanced music and new media art. Its first class reputation as a leading reference for international festivals is by virtue of a carefully balanced cultural offering, combining a playful nature, the avant-garde, and experimentation with electronic dance music's newest trends. Since its inception, Sonar has been divided into two sections — Sonar by Day and yep, you guessed it, Sonar by Night. The daytime offering is located in Fira Montjuic, with concerts, dj's and showcases as well as the Sonar+D area, a place where industry bods can track new talent and link up with reps from creative and technology companies of all kinds. The larger shows take place at Sonar by Night, held at the Fira Gran Via de L'Hospitalet, with shows going through to 8am the next morning.

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Europe Spain Barcelona Electronic Dance Music Festivals June
Sonar Reykjavik

Sonar Reykjavik

Over three dark days in February, Sonar brings it's unique mix of avant-garde electronica to the Icelandic capital for Sonar Reykjavik. A much more intimate affair than its Barcelona offering Sonar Reykjavik will serve up a balanced mix of international and local artists across five stages in the city's new concert house, Harpa. Venues include Harpa's concert halls as well as its underground car park...for a little UK garage perhaps?

More Sonar Reykjavik info...

Europe Iceland Reykjavik Electronic Dance Music Festivals February
South West Four

South West Four

Join dozens of the world's premier DJs, live acts, la crème de la crème of the underground and tens of thousands of dance devotees as they descend en masse on Clapham Common for the South West Four Weekender. For lovers of house, electro, techno and trance, SW4s programme is hard to fault, especially when the weather's on song and the tunes are pumping. So dress light and head south west my dancing friend.

More South West Four info...

Europe England London Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

The banks of the River Spey are home to some of Scotland's top malt-whisky distilleries. After touring the stills, coat your throat with some of the smoothest mixes of peat, fruit and honey flavours by sampling a dram or two of the finest regional single malts. Take a wee dauner over Dufftown's hills to clear your head before tackling a master class to learn about Scotland's national drink or take part in a host of fun-filled, whisky-inspired events.

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Europe Scotland Inverness Whiskey Festivals May
Splendour Festival

Splendour Festival

The picturesque grounds of Wollaton Hall play host to Nottingham's Splendour Festival — a one day family friendly extravaganza of pop and rock spread over four stages. Past programmes have included the likes of the Pet Shop Boys, Scissor Sisters, Madness, The Pogues and Blondie.

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Europe England Nottingham Popular Music Festivals Rock Festivals July
Split Film Festival

Split Film Festival

Fancy your film deviating from the mainstream? Split's annual film festival concentrates on cinematic offerings that are innovative, personal, experimental, radical and subversive. Anything but the everyday. Along with its rebel-rousing screenings the Split Film Festival presents a range of installations, performances, retrospectives, workshops and discussion sessions.

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Europe Croatia Split Film Festivals September
Split Summer Festival

Split Summer Festival

Utilising the spectacular Diocletian's Palace as its backdrop, the Split Summer Festival attracts big crowds from Europe and beyond for a programme that features open-air theatre, opera and ballet performances, exhibitions and forums.

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Europe Croatia Split Summer Festivals Performing Arts Festivals July
St. Andrews Highland Games

St. Andrews Highland Games

Pop on some plaid and head for St. Andrews for their annual Highland Games held annually on the last Sunday of July. Brimming with tradition, the games feature a full programme of time-honoured Scottish events such as tossing the caber, tug o' war and solo piping. There may be even a little Highland dancing too if you a fancy a jig. Events kick off just after lunch and finish up by five but word on the street has is that festivities often continue well into the eve at some of St. Andrews' finer licensed public houses.

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Europe Scotland St. Andrews Sporting Events Traditional Festivals July
St. Patrick's Day (London)

St. Patrick's Day (London)

Everyone's Irish for a day at London's celebration of Saint Patrick's Day. Don your emerald green and head to London central to join the craic for Ireland's big national day. Begin at Picadilly and take in the start of the St. Patrick's Day Parade with it's spectacular floats and colourful marching bands. Then make your way to a packed Trafalgar Square for an Irish-inspired programme of song, dance and comedy. When formal festivities die down, head for one of the myriad Irish pubs that dot Covent Garden and London's West End for a pint of the good stuff.

More St. Patrick's Day (London) info...

Europe England London National Festivals Street Parades March
St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

Celebrated in more countries around the world than any other national holiday, St. Patrick's Day is a day when the Irish rightly stand proud. And whilst many of those international celebrations may focus a little too heavily on the cliched consumption of Guinness and the spotting of leprechauns, for a truly Irish cultural experience there's no better place to be on March 17 than Dublin. The Irish capital hosts a programme rich in art, history, music, dance, literature and comedy. Get your dancing shoes on and join in the fun at Festival Céilí, an outdoor celebration of traditional Irish dancing where you can learn the steps and enjoy live traditional Irish music. The Gaelspraoi ia a wonderful celebration of the Irish language and the world-renowned St. Patricks Day Parade is a vibrant event for all of the family. And never fear, the Irish certainly know how to host a party — cliches always have at least a little basis in fact — so there will be plenty of Guinness flowing. How do I know? A little green fella told me.

More St. Patrick's Day in Dublin info...

Europe Ireland Dublin National Festivals Street Parades March
St. Valentine's Day (Terni)

St. Valentine's Day (Terni)

Get all loved up with the people of Terni, the birthplace and resting place of Roman Catholic martyr, Saint Valentine. Throughout the month of February, and especially on February 14, St. Valentine's Day, the people of Terni celebrate their saintly son with art exhibitions, concerts, poetry readings, sporting events, the chance for engaged and married couples to make or remake vows, special masses and fireworks.

More St. Valentine's Day (Terni) info...

Europe Italy Terni Religious Events February
Stars of the White Nights Festival

Stars of the White Nights Festival

Only those who've endured the claustrophobic darkness and the bitter cold of a far northern hemisphere winter, can truly appreciate the beauty and optimism that summer brings. In St. Petersburg, it's a time to take to the parks and the outdoor cafes with family and friends and soak up the endless twilight. It's time for the Stars of the White Nights — a collection of events that span the summer months from Mid-May through Mid-July. At it's heart, the Marinskii Theatre plays host to a range of operas, ballets and classical concerts featuring a range of top-line Russian and international stars that manage to capture the glitz and glamour of the Czarist era, as well as the realism of the Soviet era. But it's along the banks of the River Neva, where the sun refuses to fully set that the festival is really played out. As well as range of concerts and outdoor events, the Neva hosts the Scarlet Sails. During the Scarlet Sails a mock pirate battle is played out on the Neva, followed by a fireworks spectacular that culminates in the appearance of a tall ship with foreboding red sails. It's dramatic and symbolic, a defining moment in one of the world's most loved festivals.

More Stars of the White Nights Festival info...

Europe Russia Saint Petersburg Performing Arts Festivals Classical Music and Opera Festivals Fireworks Festivals May
Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair

Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair

It's no secret, Scandinavian design is held in the highest regard all over the world. One of the largest and most enduring sources of inspiration in the field is the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair. For more than 60 years it has attracted purchasers, architects, designers and journalists to Stockholmsmässan and the beautiful capital of Sweden for days each February.

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Europe Sweden Stockholm Design Festivals Art Festivals February
Stockholm Pride

Stockholm Pride

Join more than half a million spectators and more than 50,000 participants as they pack the parade route for Stockholm Pride Parade — part of Scandinavia's largest Pride Festival. In the week leading up to the parade there are LGBT seminars, debates, workshops, exhibitions, film, theatre and other performances all over Stockholm.

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Europe Sweden Stockholm Pride Festivals Street Parades July
Stramilano

Stramilano

Join the jogging throng of thousands as they take to the streets of Milan in late March or early April for the Stramilano. Three events — a 5 kilometre, a 10 kilometre and a half marathon, 21.097 kilometre — are open to juniors, seniors, amateurs and professionals. A pop from the starter's gun will see runners off from the Piazza del Duomo at 9.30am.

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Europe Italy Milan Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs March
Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival

Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival

Dedicated to broadly-defined fantastic cinema — fantasy, horror, sci-fi, thrillers, animation and the like — the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival has been drawing fantasy film buffs by the bucket-load since 2008. For ten days each September, the Festival showcases new talent and established directors across an eclectic programme that includes independent, auteur, and studio films, documentaries, and heritage revivals. There's master classes, children's workshops, conferences, exhibitions as well as book and posters signings. But of corpse, there's more. Take your participation to the next level and join thousands of the undead as they take to the streets of Strasbourg for one of Europe's largest Zombie Walks.

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Europe France Strasbourg Film Festivals September
Street Parade (Zurich)

Street Parade (Zurich)

Join the biggest names in techno, trance and house music each August as Europe's summer of dance heads to the streets of Zurich for the annual Street Parade. Since 1992 Street Parade has been doing its thing on the shores of Lake Zurich. What is that thing? What's a reveller to expect? How about 30 love mobiles — brightly decorated trucks jammed with giant sound systems, DJs and party people — driving at walking pace through a heaving throng of hundreds of thousands of dance devotees. Seven kick-ass stages along the route top off the electro music extravaganza with top DJs, live acts, multimedia and dance animations. Pack light and party 'til you're pooped.

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Europe Switzerland Zurich Electronic Dance Music Festivals Street Parades August
Strom

Strom

If you worship at the alter of electronica, then Copenhagen's the only place to be come mid August. For seven days and seven nights, Strøm — Scandanavia's premier electronic music festival — does its thang. Strom features 150+ DJs and performers from near and far, playing more than 20 venues including outdoor gigs at Enghaveparken — one of Copenhagen's most picturesque parks. Advice? Pack light and prepare to dance.

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Europe Denmark Copenhagen Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
STRP

STRP

For ten days in March the STRP biennial fuses art, technology, experimental pop culture and science and links them to a wide and diverse audience; people with a curious mindset who are open to new experiences. Any discipline that displays a sense of the future will find a platform at STRP, from electronic music to dance, from performance to installation art and design, and from robotics to film.

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Europe Netherlands Eindhoven Art Festivals Design Festivals March
Stuttgart Christmas Markets

Stuttgart Christmas Markets

From late November right up until Christmas Eve, more than 250 traditional wooden stalls, decorated with fir branches and baubles, take over Stuttgart's inner city (Marktplatz, Schillerplatz and Schlossplatz, as well as Hirschstraße and Kirchstraße) forming one of Europe's largest and most visited Christmas Markets. Take in the the scent of burnt almonds and roast chestnuts as you browse the stalls offering all manner of gifts, from Christmas tree decorations through toys and woodcrafts to lambskin slippers, hats, candles and puppets. When hunger strikes sample a grilled Swabian sausage or two and wash them down with a little local mulled wine. Children will enjoy a visit to Santa's Grotto on Schlossplatz. The miniature railway drawn by a real steam locomotive which passes through the snowscape is a hit with children of all ages.

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Europe Germany Stuttgart Christmas Markets Christmas December
Stuttgart Wine Festival

Stuttgart Wine Festival

According to questionable sources, there have been times in Stuttgart's history when the townsfolk have had more wine available for consumption than water. To help turn the tide back water's way, swing into the Swabian way of life and down a glass or two of the local product at the annual Stuttgart Wine Festival. Over 12 days in late August and early September, visitors to the festival can sample from a variety of 500 regional wines on offer from 120 stalls. Enjoy a lunch of traditional Swabian dishes such as maultaschen (ravioli), kässpätzle (cheese noodles) and ofaschlupfer (sweat bread pudding). Prost!

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Europe Germany Stuttgart Wine Festivals August
Sueca Paella Festival

Sueca Paella Festival

Got a passion for paella? Join lovers of Valencia's most feted fare, at the Sueca Paella Festival held annually over ten days in September in the Valencian city of the same name. Alert your senses, then take a stroll past local master-chefs and some intrepid visitors as they toil over wood-fired, shallow pans of Spain's signature dish. Succulent rabbit, plump chicken, snails in their shells, mussels, beans, saffron, garlic, olive oil and the finest local rice make up the basic ingredients but those competing inevitably have a secret ingredient or two up their sleeve. As is the case with many a fine Spanish Fiesta, there's a religious link to a local patron saint, bull-fighting and the inevitable crack of mascletàs. Make an effort to drink the wine, sample everything that's offered up and talk to the locals. You'll be tipsy, sated and have a wonderful time.

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Europe Spain Valencia Food Festivals Cultural Festivals September
Summerjam

Summerjam

Join a mass of Rastafarians and like-minded souls as they share their love for the reggae at Cologne's annual, Summerjam. For three days in July the Fühlinger comes to life in a sea of yellow, red and green as 30,000 reggae fans flock to Cologne to camp under the stars and enjoy some of Reggae's biggest names. Past artists have included Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy, Beenie Man and Sean Paul.

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Europe Germany Cologne Reggae Festivals July
Sumol Summer Fest

Sumol Summer Fest

Take in the sun, the surf and that Reggae vibe at one of Europe's most charismatic summer celebrations. Featuring top Reggae acts from the continent and beyond, Sumol Summer Fest is fast gaining a rep' as a must visit event on the European summer festival calendar. Wax down the board and take to some of Europe's finest surf or check out the action at the skate park. Hit the dub zone where bands rocking their own equipment, recreate the essence of reggae from the 50s and 60s. Pack your tent and reunite with nature at the festival's leafy campground complete with views over the Ribeira de Ilhas Sea.

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Europe Portugal Ericeira Reggae Festivals Summer Festivals June
SunSplash Festival

SunSplash Festival

Billed as Turkey's biggest little festival, SunSplash Antalya is a boutique music festival that combines style, travel and serious tunes for the electronica aficionado. The festival promises a fantastically friendly crowd, an amazing beachfront venue and a blissful week of sun, sea, and dance music.

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Europe Turkey Bodrum Electronic Dance Music Festivals June
Swamp Soccer World Cup

Swamp Soccer World Cup

In Blairmore, Scotland, teams like the "Sporting Abeergut", "Real Mudrid", "Mudchesthair United", and the "Blackbum Rovers" get down and dirty at the annual Swamp Soccer World Cup. It's mayhem and madness in the mud with a big emphasis on fun. Don't expect any Ronaldo-esque step-overs but chances are you'll see your fair share of fall-overs. Games are six-a-side, 12 minutes per half, but that's more than enough when you're trudging through a mire. Player preparation is essential. If you don't tape your boots onto your ankles, don't expect to be wearing them for too long. When that final whistle blows, it's a quick dip in the local loch and then back to the pub for a wee dram or two.

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Europe Scotland Dunoon Bizarre Festivals Sporting Events June
Sziget Festival

Sziget Festival

Join nigh on half a million revellers as they descend on Beautiful Budapest for one of Europe's biggest summer parties. We're talking the Sziget Festival where a thousand bands, acts and performers give their artistic all over eight days each August. Set on picturesque, party-perfect Óbudai Island in the heart of Budapest, Sziget offers attendees the complete festival city holiday experience with a round-the-clock party vibe and a festival programme unrivalled in its diversity. From international pop, rock and alternative headliners to the biggest names in world and electronic music, metal, folk, jazz and blues. But Sziget ain't just about the music! When you tire of the tunes, take in some theatre, circus, or perhaps an art exhibition. There's even a beach where you can take a quick dip in the Danube.

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Europe Hungary Budapest Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
Tübingen Duck Race

Tübingen Duck Race

Ladies and gentlemen, start your ducks! Up to 7,000 ducks make a break for it each October in the annual Tubingen Duck Race. Not ducks of the feathered variety you must understand, rather plastic and yellow — of the bath-tub species. Thousands line the course which runs from Alleenbrucke to the finishing line at Neckarbrucke bridge. The flag drops at 2 pm but those looking to rent a duck need to be registered and at the starting line by 1 pm. Actors entertain the crowds and kids can make badges or participate in mini bungee jumping.

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Europe Germany Tübingen Bizarre Festivals October
Takedown Festival

Takedown Festival

Lovers of post-hardcore unite! Get ready for volume and make your way to Southampton Uni for the annual Takedown Festival. More than a dozen bands on four stages for one night only. Over 18 and looking to kick on after Takedown? Check out the after-show details.

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Europe England Southampton Heavy Metal Festivals Indie Rock Festivals March
Tallinn Christmas Markets

Tallinn Christmas Markets

Tallinn's UNESCO listed, medieval old town centre feels almost custom made for Christmas. With her narrow cobbled lanes and imposing spires, her inviting cafes and bars often set haphazardly into 500 year old stone walls, it's a wonderful city to rug up, take to the streets and just soak in the Christmas atmosphere. You can start out in the Town Hall Square and take in Estonia's most famous Christmas tree before exploring the Christmas huts that dot the cobbles selling a manner of handicrafts, local fare and gifts. There's a petting zoo for the little ones including real reindeers and if you look carefully you might even spot Santa Claus with a little helper or two in tow. Move on from the Market Square and Tallin's old town is an art-and-craft lovers paradise, where dozens of local shops selling all manner of crafty nic-nacs make for a fantastic Christmas shopping experience.

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Europe Estonia Tallinn Christmas Markets Christmas December
Tampere Jazz Happening

Tampere Jazz Happening

The Tampere Jazz Happening has been wowing lovers of jazz since Brubeck was a boy. Okay, maybe not quite, but well into its fourth decade, the happening is showing no signs of slowing down. Today's Happenings feature an eclectic mix of international artists and local up-and-comers. Being Finland, there's always one eye on design which is invariably reflected in the director's choice of venues.

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Europe Finland Tampere Jazz Festivals November
Taste Florence

Taste Florence

With the history, art and architecture of magnificent Florence as a backdrop, it's easy to take for granted Italy's greatest masterpiece, her cuisine. For three days each March, Taste Florence brings local Italian food to the fore — not that it needs too much of a push. Over 300 of the finest food and wine producers from all over Italy will be featuring their fare at Stazione Leopolda to thousands of foodies and the haute gastronomie trade. In addition to the events at Stazione Leopolda, the extended off-site programme features food and wine events at many of the finest bars, cafes and restaurants of Florence.

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Europe Italy Florence Food Festivals Wine Festivals March
Taste of London

Taste of London

For five days each June, London's Regent Park transforms into a gourmet's Eden. Taste of London is the ultimate alfresco feast with incredible restaurants, delicious dishes, exquisite wines and a stellar line-up of live entertainment to make it the social event of the summer. Pick up a taste ticket which lasts for a four hour session of sampling tapas size dishes from 40 of London's hottest restaurants in the one stunning location. Skip brekky and be sure to don those comfy trousers.

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Europe England London Food Festivals June
Tauron Nowa Muzyka

Tauron Nowa Muzyka

Tauron Nowa Muzyka sets itself apart from many other festivals across the European summer music calendar by combining an avant-garde programme with a unique setting — the breathtaking Katowice Coalmine — to create an unforgettable festival experience. For four days each April, the epic industrial site plays host to a varied programme of jazz, nu-jazz, electronic and dance music from Poland and abroad.

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Europe Poland Katowice Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
Tblisi International Film Festival

Tblisi International Film Festival

Originally part of Tblisi's International Festival of the Arts, in 2002 the Tbilisi International Film Festival first emerged as a stand-alone festival. Today it features in the region of 50 local Georgian and international features, documentaries and short films. Industry insiders can also participate in a selection of workshops, master classes and retrospectives.

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Europe Georgia Tbilisi Film Festivals Short Film Festivals Documentary Film Festivals December
Temple Bar TradFest

Temple Bar TradFest

Fancy the fiddle? Pining for the pipes? If you like your music with an Irish bent, there's only one place to be come January; the Temple Bar area of Dublin for the annual Temple Bar TradFest. The Temple Bar Tradfest is a celebration of traditional Irish music and culture in the heart of the capital. The festival takes place over five music-filled days and nights and features over 200 events. Numerous iconic venues are used to host concerts featuring talented and beloved musicians from Ireland and further afield. A packed programme features tons of free music, street performers, Irish dancers, pipe bands, outdoor markets, film screenings and exhibitions.

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Europe Ireland Dublin Traditional Festivals Folk and Folk Music Festivals January
Tenerife Carnival

Tenerife Carnival

More than a quarter of a million party-goers from all corners of the globe converge on Santa Cruz, capital of the Canary Islands, for their local take on Carnival — two weeks of good times and debauchery in the lead up to lent. Performers take to the streets, music electrifies the air, glitzy costumes delight spectators, and competitions honour high fashion. Costumes and performance groups called murgas, rondallas, and comparsas ensure that each year is somehow even more spectacular than the one before. Dancing dominates the Saturday of Carnival. Tents in town feature Latin music whilst bars and cars blast their own tunes, adding to the cacophony. Lunes de Carnaval or Carnival Monday is a day for feasting, with performances at the main venues, whilst DJs do their thing at the Plaza de la Candeleria. On Carnival Tuesday, the celebration hits top gear with a wild parade known as El Coso. The city streets become a sea of color and writhing rhythms, no-one is spared. Ash Wednesday sees the Entierro de la Sardina — the burial of the sardine — marking the beginning of the end. In a tongue-in-check funeral ritual, a giant sardine made of paper and cloth is buried along with the year's Carnival celebrations.

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Europe Spain Tenerife Carnival and Mardi Gras Street Parades February
The Battle of the Wine

The Battle of the Wine

Like your wine? Fancy a food-fight? Why not mix your hobbies at Haro's infamous, la Batalla del Vino, where wine becomes the weapon of choice? Join 10,000 locals and a growing band of fun-seeking tourists as they trudge up a mountain in La Rioja, Spain before letting loose with the good stuff from water pistols, back-mounted industrial spraying equipment, heck, anything that can hold a little vino tinto that's dispensed from the trucks on site. There's plenty of singing, dancing and cavorting which I guess is par for the course during any fest when free wine is being dispensed by the truckload. Official celebrations kick off the night before, as Haro throws a party that brings the whole town out and into her streets, bars and public spaces — from children to grandparents, it's a multi-generational affair. At the culmination of the battle, combatants take their party back down to Haro again where the main fight seems to be to one to stand upright. A little hint for nothing: keep the good threads at home unless you're looking for a handy lavender dye job.

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Europe Spain Haro Bizarre Festivals Wine Festivals June
The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival

The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival

The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival started life in 1995 in response to the burgeoning wealth of emerging Irish comic talent with no clear national outlet for expression. Today the Cat Laughs is an internationally acclaimed event showcasing the finest in local Irish talent as well as attracting many of the finest international comedy acts from around the world. A popular tourist destination in its own right, for five days early each summer Kilkenny crams in a further 30,000 visitors who laugh themselves silly in a stunning medieval setting.

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Europe Ireland Kilkenny Comedy Festivals May
The Championships Wimbledon

The Championships Wimbledon

For two weeks each June and July, the sporting world turns its attention to the leafy London 'burb of Wimbledon for the Championships — the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Our advice? Get along to the opening week and mix your time between the show courts and the outside courts where you can get much closer to the action, and if you're lucky, catch some big names ripping up the grass while you're at it. No visit to the action in SW19 would be complete without a little strawberries and cream and a splash of Pimms, both Wimbledon institutions.

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Europe England London Sporting Events June
The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

With its signature blend of award winning writers, world-renowned thinkers and international star names, The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is a hotbed of debate and discussion with a unique regency style. With more than 500 writers and over 500 events, the Cheltenham Literature Festival again promises to be an exhilarating ten day celebration of the written word for literature lovers of all ages.

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Europe England Cheltenham Literature Festivals Book Fairs October
Tirana International Film Festival

Tirana International Film Festival

The European film festival circuit turns its attention to Albania for a week each November for the annual Tirana International Film Festival. Created in 2003, the Tirana International Film Festival is the first and only international cinema festival of its kind in Albania. Featuring competitions for features, shorts and Albanian film, the TIFF daily programme spans all genres from fiction to documentary, animation and experimental.

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Europe Albania Tirana Film Festivals Short Film Festivals November
Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland

Belgium's behemoth of dance — Tomorrowland — thunders into the appropriately named city of Boom over a weekend each July. What can revellers expect? How about 15 stages featuring a formidable lineup of world-class DJs, producers and artists, cutting edge, kick ass sets that test the boundaries of even the most fertile imaginations and a sound system that could smash your face in. Don the day-glow, gather your mates and get ready to dance, hydrate, repeat.

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Europe Belgium Boom Electronic Dance Music Festivals July
Total Fight Masters

Total Fight Masters

Every March as the European Spring comes a tap-tap-a-tapping, the world's best boarders and freestyle skiers gather in Grandvalira ski resort in Andorra to battle it at Total Fight: Masters of Freestyle. As an invitational, visitors can expect the cream of the snow-boarding and free-skiing crop doing their thing high overhead. As the sun goes down, the action moves indoors for an apres-ski programme that's open to all.

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Europe Andorra Andorra la Vella Skiing and Snowboarding Events Winter Sports Events March
Totally Thames

Totally Thames

The annual Mayor's Thames Festival is London's only river-focused multi-arts festival and the largest of its kind in the world. Spanning the month of September, the Thames Festival promotes activities that reach up to the source of the Thames and down to its mouth. Since its launch in 1997 with a spectacular wire walk across the Thames, it has been key to attracting millions of people to the central London stretch of the river between Westminster and Tower Bridges with its eclectic mix of art, music and river-focused events and activities. Today the festival extends its reach to include the 42-mile London stretch of the river and the 17 boroughs it runs through, making it the biggest season of river-focused events in the world. The programme includes a range of inspiring art commissions, bespoke environmental activities, river races and rallies, cruises, walks, talks and live performances.

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Europe England London Nautical Events Family Festivals September
Tour de France

Tour de France

No sporting event evokes the national interest like the Tour de France does in its homeland. Le Tour is a French institution, a massive event on any scale and a phenomenon as intriguing as any on the world sporting calendar. Over 23 days and 21 stages through the full gamut of terrain, weather and road conditions Le Tour is the ultimate endurance test for any cyclist and a great place to see the French and their captivating country at it's very best. Although the overall Tour placings are typically settled before the final stage into Paris, it's still great place to snatch of glimpse of the flying metal and lycra.

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Europe France Paris Cycling Tours and Events Sporting Events National Festivals July
Transmediale

Transmediale

Berlin's Transmediale at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, features a diverse programme of media art and digital culture. For five days each January, Transmediale presents a range of exhibitions, conferences, film and video programmes, live performances and publications concentrating on works that explore our complex relation to technology. Club Transmediale (CTM) is dedicated to contemporary electronic, digital and experimental music.

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Europe Germany Berlin New Media Festivals Art Festivals January
Transylvania Calling

Transylvania Calling

If you enjoy your electronica with a psychedelic twist and you find yourself in Romania this August when the moon is full, make your way to Transylvania Calling and prepare to party round the clock with thousands of like-minded souls. Promoting a strong ethos of unity, Transylvania Calling is one of Romania's premier outdoor alternative lifestyle, music and arts festivals. Set in a secret locale in the magical mountains of Transylvania, it promises a wonderland of dance and healing.

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Europe Romania Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
Trieste Film Festival

Trieste Film Festival

Held annually during the third week of January in the picturesque Italian port city, The Trieste Film Festival has become the leading festival of Central and Eastern Europe cinema in Italy. Founded in 1989, the festival features a five-day programme of international feature-films, shorts, documentaries and animation. Festival sections include the "Sound Zone", for titles with a musical subject matter, "Genre Surprises" featuring popular trends in productions from Central and Eastern Europe and "A Tribute to Paradžanov", the brilliant and controversial Georgian filmmaker and visual artist.

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Europe Italy Trieste Film Festivals Short Film Festivals January
Truck Festival

Truck Festival

Well into its second decade, Oxfordshire's Truck is one of the most respected events on the UK festival circuit. Having welcomed some of the biggest names in music to the stage — often before they were huge — along with a load of local talent, it also carries a reputation as the country's most warped village fete. Spanking toilets and that fact revellers can bring along their own food and drink, certainly help mount a compelling case for a two-day trip to Oxfordshire this July.

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Europe England Oxford Indie Rock Festivals Rock Festivals July
Umbria Jazz Festival

Umbria Jazz Festival

Over ten days each July picture-postcard Perugia takes on the mantle of jazz central during the Umbria Jazz Festival. Recognised as one of one of Jazz' most important events, Umbria has attracted the genre's heavyweights and serious jazz aficionados for a series of concerts and jams since 1973. Blessed with an abundance of historical venues, if the combination of aesthetics and serious musicians at the top of their game appeals, it's hard to beat Umbria Jazz. Perugia takes it role seriously and the bars, clubs, restaurants all come to the party. Plan early, securing accommodation in the weeks leading up to Umbria can be challenging at best.

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Europe Italy Perugia Jazz Festivals July
UnderhillFest

UnderhillFest

UnderhillFest is an international festival of feature-length documentary film which takes place annually each year in the Montenegro capital of Podgorica — literal translation, 'under the small hill'. The independent festival runs for a week each May or June and aims to promote the genre as a means to tackle social and political problems on all levels.

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Europe Montenegro Podgorica Film Festivals May
United Islands of Prague

United Islands of Prague

Prague's Kampa, Střelecký and Slovanský Islands and the adjacent river banks of the Vltava play host to the annual, United Islands of Prague. For three days each June, United Islands offers up a free open-air program of diverse music ranging from electronica, rock and pop, through jazz, world and folk music in a seriously picturesque setting. After a day's festivalling, prepare to party on at a number of participating Prague clubs where live acts and DJs will keep you dancing until the early hours of the morning.

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Electronic Dance Music Festivals Indie Rock Festivals World Music Festivals June
Unseen Photo Fair

Unseen Photo Fair

Amsterdam's Unseen is a four day international photography fair that provides new photographers a platform and an audience that is often difficult to find. It brings together galleries that focus on new developments in photography, young talent and known photographers with new works. Unseen takes place in Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek, a former gasworks site that dates back to 1885 and houses numerous creative spaces, restaurants, bars and a cinema.

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Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Photography Festivals Art Festivals September
Up Helly Aa

Up Helly Aa

Like your festivals wind-swept, scorched and dripping with tradition? Then Up Helly Aa may just be the fest for you. For 24 hours on the last Tuesday of January, Lerwick — the capital of the Shetland Islands — puts its party shoes on come rain, hail or shine. There's Vikings galore, torch-lit marching featuring 800 heavily-disguised men, and if the rumours are true, there may even be a little of the local Scotch on offer too. Pack warm but forget the sleeping bag, there'll be no time for napping.

More Up Helly Aa info...

Europe Scotland Shetland Islands Traditional Festivals Historical Festivals January
V Festival

V Festival

A staple of the UK summer music festival calendar, the V Festival has been held across two comely stately parks for one epic cross-country weekend of live music since 1996. Reputedly it was Pulp's front man, Jarvis Cocker's idea to play an outdoor venue in the north and another in the south over the same weekend and V was born. Today, the V Festival takes place simultaneously at Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in South Staffordshire, with world-class indie, rock, pop, r 'n' b and hip-hop acts taking to the stage at one venue on the Saturday and the other on the Sunday.

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Europe England Chelmsford Indie Rock Festivals Rock Festivals August
V-Dub Island

V-Dub Island

The iconic vee-dub takes centre stage for five days each August at the Isle of Wight's, V-Dub Island. Volkswagen aficionados travel from all over the UK and as far afield as continental Europe for a long weekend of family friendly, VW themed entertainment (including an auto jumble and a show and shine competition) and plenty of live music. Polish that bonnet in preparation for Saturday morning's drive-out through the Isle of Wight's postcard-pretty countryside. So if you love your dub, pack your tent and camp up with thousands of like minded Volkswagen lovers this August.

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Europe England Isle of Wight Motor Shows Collectors Festivals August
Valletta Baroque Festival

Valletta Baroque Festival

The Valletta International Baroque Festival is a delightful celebration of the baroque identity of Malta's capital. First held in 2013, the festival utilises some of Malta's iconic, Baroque period edifices, including the Teatru Manoel — one of the oldest working theatres in Europe. For two and half weeks the Valletta International Baroque Festival features some of the biggest local and international names in contemporary Baroque music.

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Europe Malta Valletta Classical Music and Opera Festivals January
Vappu (Helsinki)

Vappu (Helsinki)

The end of April marks a very special time on the Finnish calendar; the beginning of Spring. Ask just about any Finn you care to meet what that means to them and they'll give you a one-word answer, Vappu! Vappu is the closest thing you'll find to Carnival in this part of the world, an unrivalled, two-day Finnish celebration held the length and breadth of the country. It brings out the Finns in droves. To many in the know, it's Europe's best kept party secret. Helsinki's Vappu celebrations congregate around Esplanadi and the Havis Amanda statue on 30th April (although the whole city is in party mode). On May 1st, celebrations move up the road to a city park, Kaivopuisto where things take on an ever-so-slightly more sedate tone.

More Vappu (Helsinki) info...

Europe Finland Helsinki National Festivals Street Parties May
Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival

The Queen of the Adriatic, plays host to its own very unique celebration of Carnival each February (Carnevale di Venzia) and has done on and off since 1268. Elaborate masks are central to Venice Carnival festivities and lend the celebration a sense of timelessness and mystery. The Venetian backdrop, truckloads of sumptuous Italian food and fine wine, a classical soundtrack and a frenzy of fireworks, make it one of Europe's most anticipated celebrations year after year. Book early as beds fill fast.

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Europe Italy Venice Carnival and Mardi Gras February
Ventureland

Ventureland

Not far from Utrecht, which means not far from Amsterdam, idyllic Henschotermeer, with its glistening lake, birch forest and sandy beaches, has been a favourite destination for Dutch day-trippers for decades. For a day each September the peace of that tranquil lakeside setting is shattered by the thud of a thousand bass-lines during Ventureland (formerly Brothers Open Air). Since 2013, Ventureland has been offering up some of the biggest names on the Dutch EDM scene to electronica fans from all over Europe. Pack light, arrive early and prepare to dance.

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Europe Netherlands Henschotermeer Electronic Dance Music Festivals September
Versailles Festival

Versailles Festival

The spectacular Palace of Versailles opens it's not insignificant doors to the public for five weeks each summer, for a series of classical concerts, shows and events. The Versailles Festival attracts some of the finest classical and operatic talent from France and abroad. Accompanying the concerts are an exhibition of contemporary art and the Grandes Eaux fountain shows set in the magnificent Palace gardens designed by André Le Nôtre.

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Europe France Versailles Classical Music and Opera Festivals June
Viareggio Carnival

Viareggio Carnival

Italy's Carnevale di Viareggio has been building on its rep as one of Europe's finest street parades since it's troubled beginnings as a higher tax protest in 1873. It was the bourgeois then, the wealthy middle-class men of Viareggio that orchestrated a parade of floats adorned with flowers to mark their refusal to pay higher taxes. Later masks were added so these naughty little law-breakers could disguise themselves, and from there the Viareggio Carnival as we know it, grew. Today the Carnival parade is held along Viareggio Avenue where a crowd nearing one million strong attend to witness the wonderful paper-mache floats and masks depicting caricatures of popular celebrities, such as politicians, media darlings and sportsmen and women. In conjunction with il carnevale in 1949 a youth football tournament was first held — Torneo di Viareggio (Coppa Carnevale) — and continues today as one of the nation's most-loved and important sporting events. Take a trip out to the Cittadella del Carnevale, an extraordinary architectural complex constructed in 2001 and dedicated to the creation and preservation of the Carnival of Viareggio. The Cittadella includes 16 hangars where the parades giant floats are constructed and a museum dedicated to the history of carnivale's floats.

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Europe Italy Viareggio Carnival and Mardi Gras Street Parades February
Vienna Christmas Markets

Vienna Christmas Markets

During the festive season, when her squares are bathed in a symphony of light, it's a magical time to be visiting historical Vienna. Head for the spectacular Rathausplatz where more than 150 traditional wooden stalls offer up hand-made arts, crafts and gifts. Not too far away, between the Museum of Fine Arts and the Natural History Museum is the Christmas village on Maria-Theresien-Platz where you'll find a further 70 stands featuring traditional handicrafts and original Christmas gift ideas. The cultural and Christmas market in front of Schönbrunn Palace offers a touch of Christmas romance with an imperial backdrop and offers traditional handicrafts, hand-made Christmas decorations, Christmas concerts and an extensive children's program, including a Christmas workshop.

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Europe Austria Vienna Christmas Markets Christmas December
Vienna Jazz Festival

Vienna Jazz Festival

The Viennese musical staples of opera and classical music, take a back seat each June as jazz comes to the fore during the annual Vienna Jazz Festival. The Vienna Jazz Fest is a modern, urbane festival with an international reputation which places it amongst the most highly regarded jazz festivals in the world. Huge names in jazz, blues, funk, reggae, soul and world music take to the stage in and around many of the city's most iconic venues including the Vienna State Opera and the Museums Quartier. Check the programme for free and open air events.

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Europe Austria Vienna Jazz Festivals June
Vienna Photo Book Festival

Vienna Photo Book Festival

Over a June weekend, the Anzenberger Gallery and OstLicht Galerie für Fotografie in Vienna celebrate the photo book. In a convivial atmosphere, the Vienna Photo Book Festival features a rich programme of lectures held by renowned international photo book experts. Festival guests are able to meet photo book artists and buy and exchange photo books from over 70 publishers, traders and antiquarian booksellers.

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Europe Austria Vienna Photography Festivals Book Fairs June
Vilnius Jazz Festival

Vilnius Jazz Festival

Since 1988 the Vilnius Jazz Festival has presented festival-goers with a smooth selection of contemporary jazz featuring local talent and a little jazz genius from abroad. It has earned the reputation of a radical avant-garde festival oriented towards originality and creativity. Join the jam for five days each Autumn.

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Europe Lithuania Vilnius Jazz Festivals October
Vinitaly

Vinitaly

Dubbed the largest wine show in the world, Vinitaly is a hugely important international wine competition and exposition held annually in the famed Italian wine producing region of Vernoa. For producers, attendance and the reception that their wines receive often act as a barometer for measuring the health and success of the market, particularly for emerging Italian wine regions. But it's not all about the trade. Vinitaly's doors are large and they're certainly held open for the public. There's usually in the region of 3,000 wines being featured from dozens of countries worldwide ranging geographically from Germany to New Zealand to Argentina. With that much choice, there's a real art in selecting what to taste. The festival runs for four days, choose wisely.

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Europe Italy Verona Wine Festivals April
Wacken Open Air

Wacken Open Air

The village of Wacken may be but a dot on the map of the Northern German region of Schleswig-Holstein but ask any metal-head from Reykjavik to Christchurch and they'll pinpoint that sucker for you. Over four days each August the tiny village plays host to Wacken Open Air — the world's largest hard rock and heavy metal gathering, where more than 150 acts rock six stages and play to exuberant crowds in excess of 80,000. Renowned for its connected vibe, for attracting metal-heads from all over the world and for the buy-in from all 2,000 Wacken locals, W:O:A's reputation as metal's must-attend fest is enhanced year on year. Wacken sells out for the following year within 48 hours of the curtain coming down on the closing act from this year — a testament to that reputation. So book mega-early, pack your black and make your way to Wacken next August for the metal blowout of a lifetime.

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Europe Germany Wacken Heavy Metal Festivals Punk Festivals Rock Festivals August
Waterford Harvest Festival

Waterford Harvest Festival

For a week each September, the fine folk of Waterford pull out all the stops at the annual Waterford Harvest Festival. There's open-air markets, restaurants, cookery demonstrations, tastings, musical entertainment and plenty of information on local food heritage. You can dine in style, dine in the dark or even picnic in the park. You can taste wine — Waterford was once the wine capital of Ireland — beer, or perhaps a wee shot of the good stuff at their premium whiskey masterclass.

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Europe Ireland Waterford Harvest Festivals Food Festivals September
Waves Vienna

Waves Vienna

Waves Vienna takes its brand of international alternative, electronic, rock, and club acts to venues in the city's 2nd District for four days each October. Promoting an East meets West theme, many of the acts hail from Eastern Europe adding an international flavour to the mix. Accompanying the club nights, by day the Waves Vienna Music Conference will host lectures and panels and conduct participatory workshops to further explore their theme.

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Europe Austria Vienna Electronic Dance Music Festivals October
Whirling Dervishes Festival

Whirling Dervishes Festival

The 13th century Sufi poet, Celaleddin Rumi (Mevlâna) is widely considered one of the world's great mystic philosophers. His religious writings and poetry are highly respected the world over by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. One of Mevlâna's core beliefs was that it was possible to attain union with God through dance. Following his death on 17 December 1273 (known today as his wedding night with Allah), Mevlâna's followers formed the Mevlevi brotherhood — known more widely as the whirling dervishes — with the trance-like whirling dance at the heart of their worship ceremonies. Each December, the ancient city of Konya, in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey draws scores of visitors from around the world to witness the beguiling Whirling Dervishes in action during the annual, Mevlâna Festival.

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Europe Turkey Konya Traditional Festivals Religious Events December
Wife Carrying World Championships

Wife Carrying World Championships

Like so many of the world's more bizarre events, wife carrying has it's origins buried deep in the bosom of an age old local tradition — in this case, the 19th century practice of wife stealing. Finnish men of the era were known to plunder the female populations of neighbouring local villages, taking what took their eye, caveman style. The motivation may have changed since then but the practice remains largely the same. To enter the modern day championships a wife is a necessity. Not necessarily yours. In fact any female over the age of 17 will do. To the cheers of thousands of assembled spectators, contestants — with wife on board — must negotiate a 253.5 metre course covering sand, grass and asphalt. To add a measure of difficulty to the event, two dry and two metre deep water based obstacles have been added to the mix. What for the winner? Well amongst other prizes, they get to take home their wife's weight in beer. Sobering thought that!

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Europe Finland Sonkajärvi Bizarre Festivals July
Wilderness Festival

Wilderness Festival

Oxfordshire's Wilderness Festival is fast gaining a reputation as one of the finest boutique fests in the UK. Set in the postcard-perfect Cornbury Park — with its 800-year old deer park ringed to the south by a band of ornamental lakes — Wilderness ticks all the setting boxes for a start. Add a top shelf lineup of international acts (despite its size) and a plethora of posh nosh, featuring lots of organic and ethically sourced produce and you're three from three. There's an open-air spa with hot tubs, a sauna and a lake for those who fancy and a dip and even the loos are step up from the usual.

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Europe England Oxford Rock Festivals Indie Rock Festivals August
Wine Town Firenze

Wine Town Firenze

Grab a friend, grab a glass and join the beautiful people of Florence this May, as they take to their city's picturesque piazzas and historic buildings (including Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Nonfinito and Palazzo Davanzati) for Wine Town Firenze — a two-day celebration of the local drop, sponsored by the Italian Sommelier Association. Wine Town features tastings from more than 100 participating wineries, a mouth-watering selection of Italian street food, live musical entertainment, theatre performances and free admission to select museums. Salute!

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Europe Italy Florence Wine Festivals July
Winter Wonders

Winter Wonders

Brussels bursts at the seams with Christmas cheer each year at their annual Winter Wonders festival. Along its two kilometre course, visitors are greeted by a series of wonderfully lit shops, chalets, attractions, activities and outdoor eating and drinking areas. You can take to the ice-skating rink or the ferris wheel or perhaps Andréa's magnificent merry go-rounds are more your style. Check the website before attending as a full calendar of Christmas events forms part of the Winter Wonders programme.

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Europe Belgium Brussels Christmas Markets Christmas December
Wireless Festival

Wireless Festival

Wireless is the premier multi-day festival set in North London's Finsbury Park. Over three stages, Wireless delivers the biggest and best of today's dance, pop, r 'n' b and rock acts mixed with some hip, young newcomers. The now legendary dance day has seen some incredible performances in the past from Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, Underworld, Deadmau5, Dizzee Rascal, Klaxons, 2manydjs and LCD Soundsystem. Past years have included headliners of world-renown such as Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake P!nk, Depeche Mode, Kasabian, Morrissey, Kanye West, Massive Attack, White Stripes and The Strokes. Coupled with the amazing music, Wireless hosts an array of festival activity — a massive beer garden, food stalls, chill out areas and interactive games.

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Europe England London Popular Music Festivals Electronic Dance Music Festivals July
World Black Pudding Throwing Championships

World Black Pudding Throwing Championships

Black Pudding throwing has been around for...well, I'm not entirely sure to be honest. What I do know: Contestants assemble at at the Royal Oak pub to fling black puddings at a stack of Yorkshire puddings piled atop a plinth 20 feet off the ground. The rules: You can throw three competition standard six ounce puddings, underarm only. Whoever fells the most Yorkshire puddings is the winner. Why? Again, we've hit a bit of a grey area. My advice, get along and draw your own conclusions.

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Europe England Ramsbottom Bizarre Festivals September
World Bodypainting Festival

World Bodypainting Festival

Acknowledged as having founded the modern bodypainting art movement, the annual World Bodypainting Festival has been stunning guests with human works of art since 1998. Set on a picturesque peninsula in the middle of Pörtschach and framed by the turquoise waters of lake Wörthersee, the festival attracts artists from more than 45 countries and 30,000 visitors for a packed programme spanning eight days. As well as the amazing body art on display, visitors can expect body-painting seminars, the world championships in bodypainting, night contests featuring UV effects, special effects and creative makeup exhibitions, live music, DJs and fireworks displays.

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Europe Austria Pörtschach am Wörthersee Bizarre Festivals Art Festivals Nude Festivals July
World Championship of Hen Racing

World Championship of Hen Racing

When you think of the fastest card-carrying members of the animal kingdom, the cheetah, the greyhound, the thoroughbred steed, even the ostrich may spring to mind; but the chicken? Well, for one day each August at the Barley Mow Inn in the picturesque Derbyshire village of Bonsall, the humble hen takes centre stage — and the starting blocks — at the annual World Championships of Hen Racing. Whilst the speeds attained are far from breakneck, there's no arguing that for pure entertainment value alone, it's hard to go past chicken racing.

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Europe England Bonsall Bizarre Festivals August
World Conker Championships

World Conker Championships

Bonkers for conkers? Why not try your hand at the World Conker Championships held at Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick. For the uninitiated, conkers is a British schoolyard pastime in which the hard shelled fruit of the horse chestnut tree (conkers) are threaded onto a length of string. Two contestants then stand off and take it in turns swinging their conker in attempt to knock their contestants conker free. Personally I'd rather bake 'em for 40 minutes and serve them with butter and salt, but that's just me.

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Europe England Peterborough Bizarre Festivals October
World Cup of Pastry

World Cup of Pastry

Pastry perfectionists gather each January in Lyon to fashion, sculpt and mould the most magnificent, mouth-watering desserts this side of the Dordogne in the annual Coupe du Monde de Patisserie. Chocolate by the barrow, pastry by the pound and the world's finest pâtissiers mark this event as a must-see for those who appreciate their dessert as much as their art.

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Europe France Lyon Food Festivals January
World Egg Throwing Championships

World Egg Throwing Championships

The Lincolnshire hamlet of Swaton is home to one of Britain's more eggcentric competitive gatherings; the annual World Egg Throwing Championships. Contestants scramble over distances of up to thirty metres in pursuit of an airborne ovum. One thing's assured; a cracking time is had by all but the winner. No yolk!

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Europe England Swaton Bizarre Festivals Family Festivals June
World Festival of Animated Film Varna

World Festival of Animated Film Varna

From 1979 to 1989, the Bulgarian Black Sea resort city of Varna welcomed many of the biggest names in animation from behind the Iron Curtain to their World Festival of Animated Film. After an extended hiatus of 22 years, the festival finally returned in 2011. Today's WFAF features a five day programme of animated screenings, exhibitions, lectures and competitions including a number of free events.

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Europe Bulgaria Varna Animation Film Festivals Film Festivals September
World Nettle Eating Championships

World Nettle Eating Championships

Those wacky Brits are at it again and this one's really hard to swallow. With nothing more than a little of the amber nectar for lubrication, competitors in the annual World Nettle Eating Championships — held each June at the Bottle Inn in Marshwood — have an hour to shovel into their necks, as many stinging nettle leaves as they can stomach. Food for thought that!

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Europe England Lyme Regis Bizarre Festivals June
World Pizza Championships

World Pizza Championships

Part Italian snack, part theatre! Think boy band dance moves mixed with gymnastics floor routines and to that add a generous dose of fun and a wad of flour and water. You got yourself the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy. So what's it all about? It's a gathering of the best pizza makers and the most talented pizza dough tossers in the world for a showdown of family-size proportions. There's the serious side of pizza baking with awards in a number of categories and then there's the tightly choreographed dough tossing routines that make the efforts displayed by my local pizza shop owner look...well...disgraceful in comparison. Sorry Giuseppe.

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Europe Italy Parma Food Festivals April
World Press Photo

World Press Photo

Since 1955 (well before you had that fancy schmancy digital camera) the World Press Photo competition has kicked off it's global tour in Amsterdam. See a selection of 200 often confronting images from some of the very best clickers in the business. Annually in April at Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square.

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Europe Netherlands Amsterdam Photography Festivals April
World Testicle Cooking Championship

World Testicle Cooking Championship

Every summer in Serbia they turn nuts into nibbles at the annual World Testicle Cooking Championships. Cow, boar, lamb, stallion even kangaroo testicles get the chop and then put in the pot as cordon-bleu chefs from near and far serve up white kidneys in dishes ranging from testicle moussaka to testicle goulash and from testicle pizza to testicles in béchamel sauce. So if your culinary tastes stretch to the round white meat and you've got nothing on come August, why not make a beeline for the World Testicle Cooking Championships in Mutanj in Serbia. Dare I say it, you'd be nuts to miss it.

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Europe Serbia Mutanj Bizarre Festivals Food Festivals August
World Village Festival

World Village Festival

Over a weekend each May the World Village Festival sets up camp in Helsinki's Kaisaniemi Park and Railway Square. There's a number of stages featuring an eclectic mix of world, pop, reggae, soul, jazz and folk music. It's a great weekend for all of the family (especially if the late Spring weather's on song) and best of all, it's free.

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Europe Finland Helsinki World Music Festivals Multicultural Festivals African Music and Dance Festivals May
World's Biggest Liar Competition

World's Biggest Liar Competition

If we're honest, we've all bent the truth at least once or twice. Just some of us do it with a little more panache than others. But only a very select group of men and women have ever been crowned, The World's Biggest Liar. Each year the Bridge Inn in the Cumbrian town of Wasdale plays host to a competition to find that very person. If you think you've got the goods to mix it with the best liars in the world, why not make your way to the Santon Bridge Inn in Cumbria.

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Europe England Holmrook Bizarre Festivals November
Wrocław Industrial Festival

Wrocław Industrial Festival

Founded in 2001, the Wroclaw Industrial Festival remains one of the most important conventions for the industrial music scene — a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. An invaluable platform for the exchange of experiences for artists and fans from all over the world, and — perhaps most importantly — a unique cultural event, with a surprising diversity. The festival takes place at various locations with the major concerts staged at the atmosphere-heavy Gothic Hall.

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Europe Poland Wroclaw Punk Festivals Heavy Metal Festivals November
Zaragoza Film Festival

Zaragoza Film Festival

For nine days in November, film-lovers and film-industry bods make their way to Zaragoza for the annual Zaragoza Film Festival. The programme includes feature films, animation, documentaries and shorts. Keep an eye out for the festival's gastronomic offering where local restauranteurs offer up a selection of fresh tapas to festival attendees.

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Europe Spain Zaragoza Film Festivals Short Film Festivals November
Zigante Truffle Days

Zigante Truffle Days

For true foodies, there's nothing quite like the delicate taste of truffles. Coming to Croatia's Northern Cape is like entering paradise. While three black varieties of truffles are harvested here year round, every fall some 3,000 visitors descend upon the region to seek the rarified white truffle. Many of those who arrive are hoping to uncover the world's largest white truffle — as Giancarlo Zigante did near the town of Buje on 2 November, 1999. Visitors head to the region's Hotel Lone and Hotel Monte Mulini for truffle-centered programs like guided hunting excursions into the Motovun woods and private tastings at the region's elegant and aptly named, Zigante restaurant. The month-long festival comes to a peak at Subotina, an event that ushers in the past to the town of Buzet. On that day, the aromas and sounds of tradition fill the air, as citizens, dressed in their original folk costumes from the late 19th century, take to the streets. Buzet kicks off the truffle hunt season with the preparation of a humungous 2,000 egg frittata topped with shavings of the divine tubers.

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Europe Croatia Pula Food Festivals Cultural Festivals September

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