Songs of Summer: The Allude Festival Guide
Festivals or holidays? Why not combine both! Most events take place in such cool cities and breathtaking surroundings that it’s worth extending your stay for a few more days. Here’s a guide compiled by the Allude team:
WHAT DO I HAVE TO KNOW? Sónar has been a magnet for experimental music and electro artists since 1994. The event takes place at Barcelona’s exhibition centre, and in the evenings the entire city beach turns into a beach party. No wonder that this “vida loca” attracts more than 100,000 people on its 25th anniversary.
PERFECT FOR everyone who wants to dance through three days and nights.
HEADLINERS: The crème de la crème of DJs of the moment, including Berlin’s Modeselektor, producers like New York-based LCD Soundsystem, who combine disco with punk, or the virtual band Gorillaz.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO THERE? As the festival takes place in the heart of Barcelona, the question is: What can you not do there? In any case, it pays to extend your stay for a few more days, as the Catalan capital is bursting with lifestyle highlights, such as the concept store designed by interior designer Jaime Beriestain – perfect for souvenirs.
RESTAURANT: Raw food, vegan food and organic ingredients are some of the great food trends of recent years – Petit Brot combines all three in its light-flooded rooms. Another benefit: The cold-pressed juices are the ideal way to detox your body after three days of celebrating.
HOTEL: The central Soho House, located in an 18th-century building, is actually only accessible to members, but if you stay there for the night, you automatically become a member: the membership has enormous benefits, because you’ll find everything you need here to regenerate: an indoor pool, a yoga studio as well as the excellent “Barcelona Signature Treatment”.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO KNOW? When a few Danish students, together with a Copenhagen music agent, set up the Roskilde Festival near Copenhagen in 1971, they could not have imagined that it would become one of the biggest music events in Europe: The Stones have performed here, as have Pharrell Williams, Paul McCartney and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And what’s more: The festival is still organized exclusively by volunteers, so all proceeds are donated.
PERFECT FOR idealists and fans of big hits
HEADLINERS: To put it briefly: the big names in the industry. Eminem, Bruno Mars, David Byrne, Interpol, Massive Attack and Nine Inch Nails play on seven stages altogether, which are organized by genre.
DATES: 30/6 – 7/7/2018
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO THERE? Although Roskilde is a delightful little town, Copenhagen is not even 30 kilometres away. Just sayin’. For street-style or Scandinavian interior inspiration, the city is second to none. For the latter visit Hay House, for example, or DANSK Made for Rooms.
HOTEL: It’s no coincidence that the cocktail bar of Hotel Sanders is named after the stage curtain of the Danish Royal Theatre: the hotel’s owner, Alexander Kopin, was for a long time the first dancer of the ballet company. His second career is just as successful, as his hotel is considered the new hot-spot of Copenhagen – no wonder, considering how elegant, cosy and stylish it is.
RESTAURANT: You love the experimental, Scandinavian cuisine but you’ve already eaten at Noma? Then make sure to visit Geranium! Don’t be surprised to find finger food on pine needles or sheep’s butter on the ever-changing menu, which promises nothing less than “a tour of the universe”.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO KNOW? Usually, the south side of the Elbe in Hamburg is the “wrong” side, but the MS Dockville has contributed a great deal to the improvement of the Wilhelmsburg district and its surroundings. For eleven years, the festival, a crossover of art and music, has taken place there, right on the waterfront, and has become firmly anchored in the city’s cultural program.
PERFECT FOR hipsters and inspiring hipsters
HEADLINERS: bands that are popular with those living in the hip prewar apartments of German cities: Oli Schulz, for example, but also indie bands like First Aid Kids or Alt-J.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO THERE? Those eager to explore the city beyond the festival area, should head to the water: take a ferry across the Elbe (from where you can see the Elbphilharmonie, Elphi for short, from a whole new perspective), enjoy an Aperol at the Strandperle while burying your feet in the sand or paddle up the Alster and its branches on a SUP.
HOTEL: It’s not only its location – between Old Town and Hafencity – that makes Sir Nikolai an ideal place to stay; its elegant ambience is also a feast for the eyes and a pleasant alternative to camping on the festival grounds. Be sure to check out the hotel’s cool workshops and tours.
RESTAURANT: Also located in the Hafencity and a great recommendation is the restaurant Neni, which belongs to the 25hours Hotel: it specialises on soul food from the Levante, such as eggplant caramelised in ginger or a luxury version of a kebab. The Boilerman Bar next door offers excellent highballs.
MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL
WHAT DO I HAVE TO KNOW? The festival on Lake Geneva, which has been in existence since 1967, has a glorious history behind it: big names such as Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis and Nina Simone were among the performers. If you are not into jazz, don’t worry: rock and pop are also well represented. Considering the great variety of music and musicians, it is not surprising that the festival lasts for a whole two weeks.
PERFECT FOR all those who don’t feel like the classic festival combo of mud and techno.
HEADLINERS: Where to start? In the jazz section, the Brazilian veteran Gilberto Gil is one of the stars this year, as is genre innovator Jamie Cullum and soul musician Aloe Blacc. Charlotte Gainsbourg will be there, as well as the siblings Julia and Angus Stone, whose indie music is of a softer kind.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO THERE? There’s a good reason why Montreux is called the Swiss Riveria: sheltered by high mountains, it enjoys a mild climate almost all year round. A walk along the waterfront, which turns into a sea of flowers in spring, is, therefore, a must. At the southernmost tip of the promenade is the Château de Chillon, the city’s landmark.
HOTEL: Located at the northern end of the city, the Villa Kruger Bed & Breakfast attracts guests with its secluded location and privacy: only three rooms are housed in the stately villa, which is surrounded by a huge garden that leads directly to the lakeshore. The decor is sumptuous: cheesy, but with a charming wink.
RESTAURANT: In keeping with the famous festival, there is the Montreux Jazz Café: Located in the light-flooded rooms of the Fairmont Hotel, its atmosphere is as elegant as you’ve always imagined the jazz era to have been. If you want to have a lunch stop before the concert, this is the place for you.
ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL
WHAT DO I HAVE TO KNOW?The bad news: The queen of European festivals, Glastonbury, has been cancelled this year. The good news is that there are plenty of other opportunities in the UK to trudge through the mud in rubber boots with a pint of beer in hand. The one with the most beautiful view is the Isle of Wight Festival: the seashore is not far from the stages.
PERFECT FOR fans of British music and ocean breezes.
HEADLINERS: Best of Brit Rock with new and old voices in the mix, including artists like Kasabian, Hurts, Van Morrison, Liam Gallagher and The Wombats
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO THERE? Enjoy the ocean air: The Isle of Wight is famous for its magnificent beaches. Compton Bay and Brook are perfect starting points for a hike along the cliffs, while Shanklin, Sandown and Ventnor have won numerous awards and with their fine sand are ideal for a relaxing sunbath.
HOTEL: Although there are numerous hotels on the island, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to rent a small cottage: the seclusion and the sound of the sea are a great contrast to the festival. Fort Victoria offers luxury homes in the nature reserve on the west coast.
RESTAURANT: Jamie Oliver has made fresh, modern English cuisine exciting. The small but lovely Lockslane Contemporary bistro in the fishing village of Bambridge follows this tradition: How about salmon marinated in black tea with a side of fennel, orange and coriander?
WHAT DO I HAVE TO KNOW? As the Sziget in Budapest has proven for years, Eastern Europe is rapidly becoming a hot spot for festivals. The INmusic Festival in the Croatian capital Zagreb, now in its twelfth year, is still of a more modest size. The festival grounds are on the “Island of Youth”, in the middle of the lake Jarun – the name alone makes a visit worthwhile.
PERFECT FOR trendsetters.
HEADLINERS: INmusic offers the perhaps most interesting selection of musicians: up-and-coming singer-songwriter St. Vincent will perform, but also veterans like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the grunge band Alice in Chains and former New Waver David Byrne.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO THERE? Zagreb is a city with plenty of culture, but among all of what is on offer, the Museum of Broken Relationships stands out. It was created by two ex-partners who didn’t know what to do with the souvenirs of their relationship. So they opened a museum. Eventually, they collected more and more exhibits, each with a brief explanation of their meaning. It’s hard to imagine a more creative way to mend a broken heart.
HOTEL: The owner of the hotel Präsident Pantovcak is an architect – and accordingly had high standards for the design of his “baby”. The decorations especially are carefully selected: The walls are hung with modern Croatian artworks, antique Buddha statues adorn the dressers and even the desk at the reception is over 500 years old.
RESTAURANT: The traditional restaurant Vinodol serves Mediterranean cuisine with an Eastern European twist under its impressive brick vaults. The lamb is so tender that it seems to melt in the mouth and the hazelnut tarts are sure to get you hooked.
Photos: Andrew Ruiz via Unsplash.com