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A feast of festivals - 01/08/2011

An audience listens to two guitar players on stage © EU

From classical and modern music, to theatre, photography and puppetry - summer in Europe is a season of festivals, a chance to enjoy some of the continent's finest cultural offerings.

First up in August is Torroella de Montgrí's celebration of Catalonia's rich musical tradition. The Spanish town holds classical concerts throughout the month.

While you're in Spain, take in Santander's international arts and culture festival, which balances the traditional with the avant-garde. The city hosts music, dance, theatre and recitals during August.

Another stop for festival fans is Vienna, where the largest European contemporary dance festival runs until 14 August.

Meanwhile, Slovenia's capital Ljubljana presents a diverse programme of international music, dance, street theatre and art exhibitions over two months to 7 September. Visitors can go to a classical Liszt concert one night and a few days later see the rock musical Hair.

If you're in Belgium, check out Wallonia's festival of classical music français , taking place in a number of cities and towns through to 16 September.

Photography fans will want to visit the annual photography festival in Arles, France, where thousands of images are on display during August to 18 September.

If you're in the mood for more intellectual fare, try Modena's philosophy festival italiano . International thinkers from around the world take one another on in the Italian town at 200 events from 16-18 September.

Puppets are the main feature of Charleville Mézières' annual Festival Mondial des Theatre de Marionnettes français in France, from 16-25 September.

Cultural capitals

Tallinn (Estonia) and Turku (Finland) are well worth including on your itinerary - both European capitals of culture this year with a packed schedule of events.

Tallinn is highlighting its medieval heritage and maritime past, while Turku's programme focuses on the importance of culture for wellbeing and the environment.

Supporting culture

These are just some of the festivals and cultural events happening across Europe. Many receive funding from the EU's culture and media programmes, which help promote intercultural dialogue and encourage the movement of artists and artworks around Europe.

Find more events at the European Festivals Association
More on the EU's culture and heritage programmes

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