Find Your Own Woodstock
Be it for a musical weekend trip with the family, melodious evenings at a winery, or experiencing the jazz stars of tomorrow performing live — COMPANION presents the best festivals close to our cities.
Setting the Tone Worldwide
You’re a jazz fan who’s missing the Montreux Jazz Festival? Impossible! It’s the second-largest event of its kind in the world. As such, the greats and newcomers of the scene — and the pop world — come together here. However, the secret star of the festival is Lake Geneva, which is next to the festival venue. Its shores exude a delightful atmosphere and allow exclusive concerts to be held — and that includes on the water. A word of advice: secure your tickets for individual concerts as early as possible, because the first dates are already sold out.
Montreux Jazz Festival, 28 June – 13 July
The Finest Rap
There are a few things you could reasonably expect from Europe’s largest hip-hop festival. Last year, grand master Eminem took to the stage, and this year Cardi B and Travis Scott will be headlining. Other than that, the Frauenfeld open-air festival sees everybody of note in all facets of the rap scene. Although up to 150,000 festival goers are expected each year, you still don’t feel like you’re at a mass event. The mood is overwhelmingly relaxed and a skilled organisational team keeps fans happy.
Openair Frauenfeld, 11–13 July
For over 30 years now, the Haldern Pop Festival has served as the place to be for all those who care about good acoustic music. The event organisers have ensured there will be moments that give you goosebumps, thanks to the carefully selected lineup, which mainly consists of guitar pop and indie folk. The rural setting will take care of the rest. So if you want to take a dip in the nearby lake, enjoy some smoked salmon from the stud farm around the corner, or enjoy a cold beer on the market square together with local villagers, this festival is the one for you.
Haldern Pop Festival, 8–10 August
Anything but Passive
The Elbenwald Festival is a weekend event with a difference. Music is important, of course, but it should be offered as part of a holistic experience for the whole family. At Elbenwald, visitors are invited to get involved. If you want to offer a reading or a workshop, this is the place to do it. By the time the Quidditch match kicks off, in any case, everyone will have been called up. If you’d rather sit back and relax, never fear — just standing there dreamily, listening to bands like Schandmaul, is also allowed.
Elbenwald Festival, Luhmühlen, 8–10 August
Music with a Wine
Accompaniment If you’re a top-class musician with a winery in the family, you’re pretty much guaranteed to host the most tasteful festival in your home wine region. Since 2014, singer-songwriter Gisbert zu Knyphausen has been organising Heimspiel Knyphausen, to which he invites artists that he himself would like to see perform live. To complete the Rhenish-Hessian experience, boat trips along the Rhine are organised, and each year there is ‘Knippie’ — a limited-edition wine produced for the festival at the winery itself.
Heimspiel Knyphausen, Eltville, 26–28 July
The We Love Green Festival does exactly what it says on the tin: offer an environmentally friendly festival for a clean future. However, it is not only in this regard that it considers the next generation. In selecting its acts, the booking team prioritises a feel-good mood for newcomers. The festival is held at a practical venue, close to the edge of Paris. So if you want to embrace the green spirit from the get go, you can easily reach the festival by bicycle or public transport. We
Love Green Festival, Paris, 1–2 June
If you find it hard to choose between rock, pop, and electro, you will feel right at home here. For ten years, the Beauregard Festival has attracted a colourful mixture of excellent musical acts to Normandy. This year, nu metal legends Limp Bizkit will be playing a set, as will the wonderful Cat Power. To top it all off, the whole thing is held at the Château de Beauregard. As such, its 70,000 visitors can look forward to the delights of a noble setting. And just in case you still needed convincing: the festival also has the best that the local region has to offer — sparkling ciders and awe-inspiring landscapes.
Beauregard Festival, Caen, Normandy, 4–7 July
Fresh Air and Free Admission
Vienna is known globally for its high quality of life. Perhaps that has something to do with Donauinselfest. The event, held on a small island on the Danube, provides top-class musical entertainment every year — without putting a strain on your wallet. National and international stars take to the stage. Up to three million visitors come together over three days to make the fantastic event what it is. As such, Vienna transforms into a very different place over one weekend in June.
Donauinselfest, Vienna, 21–23 June
By and for the Youth
The locals in Lustenau, Austria, know a thing about how early music education works. Each year, the local culture and youth association works together with hoards of volunteers to put on the three-day Szene Openair Festival. And it works rather well: great bands, a festival crèche, and a wonderful atmosphere every year for the last 30 years or so. In addition to Lewis Capaldi and Capital Bra, this year’s special guest is Otto Waalkes. So there can be no complaints about a lack of musical diversity.
Szene Openair, 1–3 August