Every year, European cities are bustling with activity in summer. Music, theatre, dance festivals, exhibitions or concerts… Hot summer evenings seem to be the perfect time to take to the streets or dance throughout the night. Discover a selection of events from Paris to Venice to spice up your European August.

2018 Sziget Festival © Rockstar Photographers

For a musical summer

There are plenty of music festivals every summer, the difficulty is to choose which one to attend… The Sziget Festival, from August 7th to 13th in Hungary, welcomes Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Macklemore and many others. 

Every year, the Reading and Leeds (England) rock festivals are held simultaneously and share a program (on different days). From August 23rd to 25th, the Foo Fighters, Twenty One Pilots and The 1975 will be on these stages. 

Also in the United Kingdom, the Beatles’ hometown is celebrating the Fab Four from August 21st to 27th. The streets of Liverpool will resonate with Hey Jude and such during The International Beatleweek Festival.

In France, during the Rock en Seine Festival, The Cure, Jorja Smith or Major Lazer will take to the stage from August 23rd to 25th.

For electro music lovers, you will have to go to the Netherlands to discover Martin Garrix or Diplo at the Mysteryland festival from August 23rd to 26th. 

For theater and dance enthusiasts

Opera, theatre and classical music will be featured at the Salzburg Festival in Austria from July 20th to August 31st. 

The city of Edinburgh is becoming a cultural hotspot through various festivals from August 2nd to 26th. The Edinburgh International Festival offers dance, theatre or music representations, while the Edinburgh Festival Fringe presents sometimes experimental works and numerous street performances. Note that the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (a festival of military bands called “tattoo”, it’s not about skin of tattoos!) takes place over the same period near the door of Edinburgh Castle.

For dance lovers, Berlin is hosting the Tanz Im August from August 9th to 31st. A retrospective dedicated to the American dancer Deborah Hay is to be discovered between two new dance creations.

The US Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale © Francesco Galli

Photography or contemporary art

Take advantage of August to visit the must-see Rencontres de la photographie dArles, where each year splendid photographs are exhibited and rewarded. The 2019 edition runs until September 22nd. And if your interest is more in contemporary art, the Venice Biennale will be held until 24 November. The Picasso, Obstinately Mediterranean exhibition at the Picasso Museum in Paris will delight fans of the Spanish artist until October 6th. While the exhibition In Real Life at the Tate Modern in London highlights works that play with the light of the artist Olafur Eliasson until next January.

Some different celebrations

The annual Notting Hill Carnival celebrates London’s multiculturalism. On August 25th and 26th, the western streets of the British capital city will be filled with brightly coloured outfits, aromas of traditional meals and lively rhythms.

On August 20th, head to Budapest for a huge celebration. St Stephen’s Day celebrates the anniversary of the Hungarian Constitution. Music invades the streets and a huge fireworks display is fired in the evening on the Danube.

Discover also the Tomatina, an unusual festival that is the annual meeting place for tomato lovers. On August 28th, a giant battle where tomatoes are weapons will paint the streets of Buñol, Spain, in red. Make sure to wear an outfit you don’t care about too much but remember that a white t-shirt is mandatory!

Article by Juliette Cardinale

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