Navigation path

Europe’s glorious festivals - 06/08/2012

Audience members clap hands above their heads while looking at a stage © EU

From classical and modern music, to theatre and dance – summer is the time to enjoy Europe’s top cultural offerings.

The last weeks of summer lie ahead, with lots of upcoming festivals still to be savoured.

You can catch the last week of Vienna's international dance festival, which features thousands of professional dancers and choreographers from around the world. The 5-week festival ends on 12 August.

Move on over to Slovenia, for a mix of dance and theatre at Ljubljana's annual Mladi Levi festival (23 August to 2 September). It is known for unveiling young talent in contemporary progressive theatre.

From 2 to 9 September, Utrecht, the Netherlands, presents Gaudeamus Muziekweek, featuring an international mix of young composers and new music.

This year's international literature festival in Berlin (4-15 September) gathers over 1 000 authors from all over the world for readings and talks about their craft.

Another stop on the music trail is Punkt, held in Kristiansand, Norway, 6-8 September. Music legend Brian Eno is this year's artistic director. His choices range from avant-garde musicians Cyclobe to Malian Guimba Kouyaté.

For those travelling later in the year, Austria's Steirischer Herbst festival (21 September-14 October) presents a fascinating mix of theatre, dance, architecture, film, music, art and literature.

You can also catch up on theatre at Nitra's international theatre festival in Slovakia on 21-26 September. Groups from the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, the UK and Slovakia will take part in 20 performances over the 12 days on the theme of guilt and innocence.

Cultural capitals

This year's European capitals of culture – Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) – are hosting a packed schedule of events highlighting the richness of their heritage and are worth including on your itinerary.

Guimarães is highlighting its historical centre, a UNESCO world heritage site, while Maribor is focusing on networking with cities in the area to express the "energy of art and culture".

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

Choose high-contrast version Set page to normal font size Increase font size by 200 percent send this page to a friend print this page


Find what you wanted?

Yes No

What were you looking for?

Any suggestions?

Useful links