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Event Category: Festivals in Europe

Given the diversity of the continent, it will come as little surprise that there is a breadth and diversity amongst the festivals in Europe celebrated each year. Some of our European Festivals are world-renowned, but others featured in our pages, such as the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg and the Dour Festival in Belgium might need an introduction.

Music Festivals in Europe

Each summer, the whole continent seems to explode into a festival of music, with everyone taking to the outdoors to enjoy the music. One of the largest and most popular European music festivals is the Sziget Festival in Hungary, held each August. Other events include Tomorrowland Europe, Pukkelpop in Belgium and Zurich Tanzt, a celebration of music and dance. If you are a fan of jazz, then Jazz Brugge or Vinterjazz in Copenhagen could be just the ticket for you. Or, why not try the Tallinn Music Week in Estonia?

Beer, Wine and Food Festivals

If you wish to want to avoid the crowds at Oktoberfest then perhaps you should head to Belgium for either the Bruges Beer Festival or Zythos Bier Festival. Wine lovers looking for something a bit different could try the National Wine Day Moldova in the capital city of Chisinau, or for a food festival with a twist then how about the Onion Market in Weimar, in Germany, or Spain’s Gran Festa de la Calçotada, if spring onions are your thing.

Carnivals in Europe

While you might be forgiven for associating the carnival with South America, Europe has many a carnival that predates Rio. One of the oldest is the Venice Carnival, although the Nice Carnival and Cologne Carnival (Fastelovend) are also well worth a visit. Or if you like your carnival descending into a historical food fight then the Battle of Oranges in Italy is a must. Alternatively, try the typically Belgium quirky Carnaval de Binche.

Christmas Markets and Winter Festivals

In the build up to Christmas, most of Europe is a frenzy of Christmas Markets and Winter Festivals. Salzburg Christmas Market provides a typically Austrian take on the festive occasion, while Dresden Christmas Market and Vienna Christmas Market are equally steeped in tradition. Alternatively, if you are not in a festive mood then you can always visit the Amsterdam Lights and watch the capital of the Netherlands major winter festival turn the city on.

And don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that the UK is part of Europe, as we have a separate page for Festivals in the UK.

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May 2019

Venice Biennale 2019 (La Biennale di Venezia)

May 11 - November 24
Venice Venice,Italy
Venice Biennale Italy

From May to November, the Venice Biennale (la Biennale di Venezia in its original Italian, and in English also called the Venice Biennial) is one of the world’s most prestigious cultural happenings, famous for displaying new trends and launching the international careers of many an artist and architect. For every new edition, the management of the Venice Biennale select top curators from all over the world to organise the Biennale's pioneering art exhibitions. The first Venice Biennale was held in…

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August 2019

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019

August 2 - August 26
Edinburgh Fringe Box Office, 180 High Street
Edinburgh,EH1 1QSUnited Kingdom
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Edinburgh Fringe

One of the largest arts festivals in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place in the Scottish capital from 2 to 26 August, 2019. Marking its 72nd anniversary, this year sees some 3,841 shows performed in the world’s oldest fringe festival, that runs alongside the Edinburgh Festival 2019. Expect theatre, cabaret, musicals, circus, comedy, dance, spoken words and more than 700 free performances (as well as 404 pay-as-you-like shows), with just over 2,000 premieres, as the world takes to…

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Edinburgh Festival (Edinburgh International Festival)

August 2 - August 26
Edinburgh Festival The Hub, Castlehill
Edinburgh,EH1 2NEUnited Kingdom
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Edinburgh Festival

Featuring 2,600 artists from 40 countries, the Edinburgh Festival, or Edinburgh International Festival, kicks off on 2 August, 2019. This year’s...

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A Taste of Donegal 2019, Ireland

August 23 - August 25
The Pier, Quay Street
Donegal,DonegalIreland
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A Taste of Donegal

Billed as the biggest food festival in North West Ireland, A Taste of Donegal will feature more than 130 food exhibitors from across Ireland and the UK, as well as beer and wine tasting, live music and a spectacular fireworks display over beautiful Donegal Bay, this August. Now in its 11th year, the festival has grown from humble beginnings to become a mainstay of the food festival circuit, blessed with its backdrop of the Blue Stack Mountains and with the…

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Notting Hill Carnival, London 2019

August 24 - August 26
Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Grove
London,W10United Kingdom
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Notting Hill Carnival

The iconic Notting Hill Carnival returns bigger and better this year over the August bank holiday weekend as usual. Starting with the Panorama event on the Friday, Saturday is family day, and the main parade brings the carnival to a grand climax on August Bank Holiday Monday. The Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s largest free street festival and a culinary spectacular. As one of the best things to do in London in August it is a vital date in the diary…

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Brussels Beer Festival: BXL Beer Fest 2019

August 24 - August 25
Tour et Taxis, Havenlaan 86c
Brussels,1000Belgium
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BXL Beer Fest, Brussels, Belgium

At the Brussels beer festival “BXL Beer Fest”, over 60 independent brewers from a dozen countries show off their artisanal beers. With strictly no room for industrial products at the two-day festival in August, this is where quality and high standard beers flow to you straight from the brewers. With the emergence of craft beers over the past decade, perhaps it’s surprising that the Belgian capital and beer city of Brussels did not have a specific international craft beer festival…

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Venice International Film Festival 2019

August 28 - September 7
Lido, Lido di Venezia
Venice,Italy
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Venice International Film Festival

The Venice International Film Festival, officially called Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica, is the world’s oldest film festival. Every year you can indulge here in the best of international cinema while rubbing shoulders with silver screen celebrities. This year’s 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival will, as usual, take place on the Lido, the little island next to Venice. With its first edition going back all the way to 1932, the Venice Film Festival is the oldest one in the…

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Freedom Festival Hull 2019, Yorkshire

August 28 - September 1
Hull Hull,YorkshireUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Freedom Festival Hull

Held in late August, the Freedom Festival Hull is the flagship event in the UK City of Culture’s festival calendar. Celebrating the life of Hull’s most famous son, William Wilberforce, the festival holds its 12th anniversary in 2019, which also marks the 260th of the anti-slavery campaigner’s birth. In response to its growing success and international repute, organisers have now stretched the Freedom Festival to five days. The city will abound with dance, street theatre and acrobatics, as well as music,…

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Lindisfarne Festival, 2019, Northumberland, UK

August 29 - September 1
Beal Farm Northumberlandtd15 2pbUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Lindisfarne Festival

Ocean Colour Scene, Goldie, Pete Doherty and the Puta Madres, and Lidisfarne are amongst the acts performing at the Lindisfarne Festival 2019 held at Beal Farm Northumberland from 29 August to 1 September. Overlooking the majestic Holy Island, the Northumberland music festival showcases music, comedy and the creative arts. Building on from the success of last year's event, this year will see comedy, firewalking, street art and street food, creative workshops, holistic therapies, yoga and meditation, and even a conspiracy…

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Meatopia 2019, London, and Meatopia Dublin

August 30 - September 1
Tobacco Dock, Junction of Wapping Lane and Pennington Street,
London,E1United Kingdom
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Meatopia

Meat lovers should head to London’s Tobacco Dock from 30 August to 1 September for Meatopia, the celebration of sustainable, quality meat, alternatively take the trip to Dublin for the Guinness X Meatopia in July. Founded by Josh Ozersky in the States, Meatopia was brought to the UK by Richard H Turner. Now turned seven, the festival uses ethically-sourced meat, cooked over ethically-sourced wood and charcoal by top chefs. If you wish to read its manifesto, you will find it…

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Waddesdon Manor Chilli Fest 2019, Buckinghamshire

August 31 - September 1
Waddesdon Manor Aylesbury,BuckinghamshireHP18 0JHUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Waddesdon Manor Chilli Fest

The Waddesdon Manor Chilli Fest promises to be the hottest event of the summer. The manor house built for the Baron de Rothschild in the 1870s to entertain guests and exhibit his works of art, will be turned into a chilli festival for one weekend in late August. Some of the country's most loved independent suppliers will descend upon the 19th Century manor house for a weekend of spicy feasting with artisan producers, live music, and fun for the family,…

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September 2019

Food Rocks 2019, Lyme Regis, Dorset

September 6 - September 7
Dorset Rocks, Marine Parade and Cart Road
Lyme Regis,DorsetDT7 3JFUnited Kingdom
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Lyme Regis

The Dorset town of Lyme Regis, immortalised in John Fowles’ novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman, will once more be the setting for the seventh Food Rocks this September. Spread over two days, the food fest curated by famed restaurateur-cum-chef, Mark Hix, who hails from the town, unites the best of the worlds of food and drink, with local producers mingling with top chefs. This year, Hix will be joined in Lyme Regis by other leading chefs, Angela Hartnett, Mitch Tonks…

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Longleat Sky Safari 2019, Wiltshire, UK

September 13 - September 15
Longleat Safari Park, Longleat
Warminster,WiltshireBA12 7NWUnited Kingdom
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Longleat Sky Safari

The sky’s the limit as far as Longleat is concerned, as the nation’s No.1 safari park prepares for lift-off towards becoming the venue for one of the biggest hot air balloon events in Europe. The 2018 Longleat Sky Safari is scheduled ...

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Ludlow Food Festival 2019, Shropshire, UK

September 13 - September 15
Ludlow Castle, Castle Square
Ludlow,ShropshireSY8 1AYUnited Kingdom
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The 2017 Ludlow Food Festival seen from the great tower.

Now a veteran of the UK food festival circuit, the first Ludlow Food Festival was held in 1995 when members of the local Chamber of Trade and Commerce decided a food festival would be a great way to promote local producers, and draw visitors to the market town on the Welsh borders. Part of the festival's enduring success is no doubt down to its most wonderful location, set in Castle Square with its open air market and the incomparable Ludlow…

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Rhythm & Brews Festival, North York Moors

September 14 - September 15
Moors National Park Centre Danby,YorkshireUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Rhythm & brews Festival

The Rhythm & Brews Festival is a new beer and music festival held in September to celebrate the diverse and talented pool of North East musicians, as well as regional artisanal brewers. Over the two days of the festival, 15 breweries, such as the Ampleforth Brewery and Bad Seed Brewery in Malton, will have a selection of craft beers to sample. To accompany the ale, an array of streetfood, including gourmet bangers from Leeds' The Sausage Box will be on…

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The Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival

September 14 - September 22
Settle Settle,YorkshireUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival 2017 Shepherds Purse tasting

Now into its third year, the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival held in September is a celebration of Yorkshire cheese and its recent revival. This year two artisan cheese producers will launch new cheeses at the festival. Long Churn Cheese will allow attendees to have a first tasting of its soft, ewe milk cheese, and The Home Farmer will be passing around its take on Wensleydale cheese. Blessed are the Cheesemakers Yorkshire's tradition of cheesemaking stretches back to the 11th Century…

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Abergavenny Food Festival 2019, Wales

September 21 - September 22
Abergavenny Abergavenny,NP7 5DGUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Abergavenny Food Festival

This September will see the 21st edition of the Abergavenny Food Festival. Created in 1999 by a couple of local farmers the Festival has grown from just 3,000 visitors to become the biggest food festival in Wales, showcasing the very best food and drink in the Principality as well as the world. Some 37,000 people attended in 2018. Its programme of activities includes masterclasses, product tastings, hands-on cookery lessons and kids’ activities. The Abergavenny Food Festival has drawn food heavyweights,…

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Derby Festé 2019, Street Festival

September 27 - September 28
derby derby,derbyshireUnited Kingdom

The streets of Derby will resound with dance, music, comedy and contemporary circus this September, as Derby Festé hits the ground running for a thirteenth successive year. Some 30,000 people expected to flock to the city for the festival. Viewed as one the largest cultural street parties in the Midlands, Derby Festé is renowned for its innovation. For its 2019 edition, the festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, coinciding with the new moon that falls on…

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October 2019

Turner Prize 2019 at the Turner Contemporary

October 1, 2019 - January 31, 2020
Margate, Rendezvous
Margate,CT9 1HGUnited Kingdom
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Turner Prize at the Turner Contemporary Margate

The prize and the gallery that were both named for artist J M W Turner will be brought together in 2019, when the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate hosts the prestigious Turner Prize. Turner Prize Nominees Four of the most exciting artists working right now will be shortlisted based on an outstanding exhibition that has taken place the previous year; the names of the artists have not been announced yet, but it is expected that a statement will be made…

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Cheltenham Literature Festival, 2019

October 4 - October 13
cheltenham, 109-111 Bath Road
Cheltenham,GL53 7LSUnited Kingdom
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Cheltenham Literature Festival

Could there be a more appropriate setting for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival than the historic Regency spa town of Cheltenham? Originally held in the town hall, the festival was the world’s first literary festival. It forms a key part of the Cheltenham Festivals season. The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2019 Highlights This year, marking the 70th anniversary of one of the UK's leading literary festivals, will see some 900 writers, including…

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