OSLO JAZZ FESTIVAL. Oslo, Norway
Dates: August 12-19
Entrance Price: 23 euro per day
If Oslo was already on your travel bucketlist, well, this concert might just make you book that ticket sooner rather than later. This summer the city is once again hosting it’s famous Oslo Jazz Festival which will take place in venues across the city.
Just imagine listening to musicians like Joshua Redman, Zigitybop, Lill Lindfors, The Four Freshman and many others while exploring this incredible capital city. Over the course of the week, nearly 70 performers will grace the city’s 20 venues while festival goers sway to the beat. Each year the lineup seems to get better and better, so if you love travel and jazz, this might just be the best festival for you this year.
ENJOY JAZZ FESTIVAL. Heidelberg, Mannheim & Ludwigshafen Germany
Dates: October 2-November 11
Entrance Price: From 5-60 euro
For more than a month, each of these German cities will celebrate the joy of live jazz with a different concert every night. The incredible, massive Enjoy Festival is world famous for their lineup and jaw-dropping performances. In fact, Ornette Coleman won the Pulitzer Prize for his live recording done at Enjoy Jazz Festival.
If you’re excited about listening to talented musicians like Gilad Hekselman Trio, Ephemerals, Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra, Hot 8 Brass Band and the Avishai Cohen Quartett — you better start looking at flights to Germany this fall. The festival produces incredible concerts and experiences that are sure to stay with you for a lifetime, so this one’s not to miss.
JAZZ FEST SARAJEVO. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dates: October 31-November 5
Entrance Price: 15 euro a day
Founded by a small group of enthusiasts in 1997, 20 years later, the Sarajevo Jazz Festival is one of the most important and acclaimed festivals in the region. In the past, the famous festival has hosted artists like Dave Holland, Dhafer Joussef, Merchan Dede, Dianne Reeves, Gregory Porter — just to name a few.
This year’s lineup has yet to be released, but based on their track record of incredible performances, we think it’s safe to say this festival is a top contender for your own 2017 lineup. Plus, this gives you the chance to explore the capital city which is undergoing a beautiful rebirth after years of war. If you ask us, this is a no-brainer.
AUGUSTIBLUUS FESTIVAL. Haapsalu, Läänemaa, Estonia
Dates: August 4-5
Entrance Price: 25 euro per day/49 both days
This one of a kind concert features today’s best US and European blues-rock artists with a truly unbelievable backdrop — the medieval Episcopal Castle ruins. The festival, which is running for 24 years this year, will feature 30 concerts across eight stages and has gotten so big it will even spill into the cities streets, open air cafes and acoustically unique rail station.
Plus, If there’s any time to head to Estonia, it’s in the summer. And we have to say, the Augustibluus Festivalis the perfect excuse to go and explore this part of the world has to offer — especially when big names like Eric Gales, Nathan James, Duke Robillard, the Tanel Padar Blues Band and more are involved.
SCHUBERTIADE FESTIVAL. Schwarzenberg, Austria
Dates: June 17-25
Entrance Price: 15-89 euro per day
For more than 40 years Austria’s Schubertiade has bee one of the most famous and distinguished classical music festivals in the entire world. Revolving around the great Viennese composer Franz Schubert, this incredible festival focuses only on the top-class lieder recitals and chamber music concerts with today’s most renowned artists and Schubert contemporaries.
If you love classical music, this is a festival that should be on your bucket list (if it already isn’t). Besides featuring the talents of Christiane Karg and Andreas Staier, or Paul Lewis or Matthias Goerne and Markus Hinterhauser this year — the venue for this festival is truly spectacular. Just look at that western Austrian countryside — it’s like something out of a movie.
BUXTON INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL. Buxton, Derbyshire, England
Dates: July 7-23
Entrance Price: £20 -£75 per event
Would you believe us if we told you it was the Romans who first discovered Buxton’s life-giving waters? That’s how deep Buxton’s history goes. And now, the town commemorates its rich cultural history with a world-famous festival featuring exceedingly rare operas ranging from Beethoven to Bob Dylan. Oh yeah, you read that right!
This isn’t your typical Opera Festival at all. The Buxton Festival will continually amaze and surprise you with it’s range and theatrics. This year you can expect to see performances of A Deadly Destiny by Macbeth and A Tyrant Redeemed by Love by Lucio Silla — just to name a couple.
KUHMO CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL. Kuhmo, Kainuun, Finland
Dates: July 9-22
Entrance Price: Starting at 18 euro a day
What began as a creative outlet for Finnish Chamber music students in 1970 has turned into an international sensation today. The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival is held every July and thousands from around the world flock to the city to hear some of the genre’s leading artists perform.
Those who attend the festival say it’s a sort of paradise for chamber music lovers — with concerts running from morning until night. The Kuhmo Arts Centre, where the festival is held, is a masterpiece in itself as well — the design and acoustics being world-famous in their own rights. If you’re a chamber music fan, this is pretty much the place to be this year.
MUSICALTA FESTIVAL. Rouffach, France
Dates: July 18-August 4
Entrance Price: 25 euro a day
Every summer classical music buffs congregate in a town near the border where France, Germany and Luxemburg meet. They come to Musicalta Festival to listen to some of the best classical musicians in the world, but we have to say, the castle and vineyard sweep them off their feet, too.
The 20 day festival celebrates the music with enthusiasm — and somehow, all within an opulent yet casual setting. And, if you’ve ever wanted to go to a concert and talk to the artist but couldn’t afford VIP passes, this concert might grant you your ultimate wish. Musicalta creates an open environment that encourages discussion, let’s artists play in intimate settings where you can meet them, and they even puts on dozens of free concerts for the public.
FESTIVAL PABLO CASALS DE PRADES. Prades, France
Dates: July 24-August 13
Entrance Price: Starting at 20 euro per day
For 65 years the Pablo Casals Festival has highlighted some of the world’s most talented up-in-coming young artists on its stages. Often students, the young performers join the stages with prestigious soloists and professors and perform before an international audience.
The concert’s namesake, Pablo Casals, was one of the world’s best cellists as well as composer and conductor. The festival is in his honor, as he was known for highlighting young talent during his own career. This year you can expect to listen to brilliant young musicians like Szymon Nehring, Mariona Camats, Pierre Fouchenneret, Tanguy de Williencourt, Clémence Barrabé, Romain Leleu, and the Arod Quartet. This is an exceptional festival for anyone who loves classical music, and especially those who want a great anecdote for a dinner party.
TURKU MUSIC FESTIVAL. Turku, Finland
Dates: August 9-18
Entrance Price: Ranging from free to 124 euro
This two week, versatile city-wide event offers festival-goers large orchestral concerts, chamber music, recitals and jazz shows that everyone can enjoy. The Turku Festival is a national institution, captivating crowds since 1960 with incredible musicians and live cultural events.
If you’re lucky enough to attend this event in Finland you’ll get to hear legends like Jonas Kaufmann, Elīna Garanča, Sonya Yoncheva, Valery Gergiev, Rolando Villazón — amongst others. If you’ve been craving a visit to a spectacular Nordic country like Finland, this is an awesome time to go. What’s better than great weather, amazing culture and good music? We’ll tell you: not much.
BONNBEETHOVEN FESTIVAL. Bonn, Germany
Dates: September 8-October 1
Entrance Price: 35 euro per day
Since 1845 the hometown of the world-famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven has held a festival in his name. The Beethoven Festival is mostly an ode to the renowned composer, and this year will center around his ‘An die ferne Geliebte’ (To the distant beloved) — the first song cycle in music history.
The festival is an extraordinary event work by Beethoven, but also contemporary dance, world premières of new material and popular works. This year festival-goers will get the chance to hear Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Igor Levit, Matthias Goerne, the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Isabelle Faust, Khatia Buniatishvili and Les Musiciens du Louvre amongst many others. Plus, the festival is situated in the heart of Bonn itself, an incredible Germany city to explore.
So, which festival are you excited for?
From steep Spanish cliffsides to the hills of Bohemia, France, Slovakia, Chezchia, England and beyond — these are the best concerts in Europe in 2017. Whether you’re into heavy metal, rock, smooth jazz, classical, or an international mix — there was at least one festival here that got added to your bucket list.
What makes each and every one of these concerts special goes beyond the music and the stunning locations. Yes, they all have stellar lineups and international fame, but they also have loyal followings. Behind each and every one of these festivals are music fans, lovers, buffs and aficionados who relish in the sound of live music. Without their continued support, none of these festivals would be what they are today.
So, are you going to be part of the story this year? Leave a comment and let us know!