• Alternative Festival Fever

    by  • September 4, 2013 • Antwerp, Berlin, City Breaks, Festivals, Music, Oslo, Pula • 0 Comments

    It’s not just Bestival that’s taking over the Isle of Wight this weekend, there’s music festivals taking place all over the continent, catering in particular for those soothed by the sounds of contemporary music, indie dance or electronica. In the interests of impartiality and in order to appeal to the widest of audiences – because you never know for whom the Pet Shop Boys might be a guilty pleasure, or who might like tapping their foot to a spot of techno – here’s a selection of alternative music festivals taking place this weekend if you fancied a short break with an upbeat musical twist.

    Ultima – Oslo Contemporary Music Festival (5 – 14 September)

    Scandinavia’s largest contemporary music festival, Ultima has been a key advocate of contemporary music since its creation in 1991. Staged at venues all around Oslo including the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and Oslo Concert Hall, the Ultima Festival aims to promote artistic distinctiveness and innovation and increase accessibility to and awareness of contemporary music.

    Dimensions (5 – 9 September), Pula

    After its inaugural outing in 2012, Dimensions returns for a second sitting. Held in a spectacular seafront setting in the abandoned Fort Punta Christo near Pula, Dimensions features the best underground electronic dance floor music including deep dubstep, drum and bass, techno, house and other electronica. There’s a more chilled atmosphere on the beach stages (midday to 8pm), whilst the tempo turns up a notch as evening falls, with acts on stage from 8pm until 6am the following day.

    Berlin Festival (6 & 7 September)

    Held amidst the hangars of the iconic 1930s Tempelhof Airport, the Berlin Festival brings together a wealth of stars from the world of pop and indie dance for a two-day extravaganza that includes an art village, poetry saloon, silent area, bumper cars and even a football pitch. The festival takes place across four stages in the Tempelhof complex, with Pet Shop Boys, Blur, Björk, My Bloody Valentine, Ellie Goulding and the Klaxons amongst the big names making an appearance.

    Laundry Day (7 September), Antwerp

    For one day only, Antwerp’s Nieuw Zuid comes alive to the sounds of Laundry Day, a celebration of all things electronica with over 150 acts from across Europe taking to 11 stages. At the risk of showing our age, we can’t confess to knowing any of the acts performing, however tickets are still available via the festival website, so if a weekend break in Antwerp with a difference whets your appetite, visit www.laundryday.be for more details.


    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.

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