Sounds of Summer Festivals

Written by  Kat Mackintosh

Catching sight of the grey sky framing your screen as your mouse hovers over the PAY button securing your tickets to the Glastonbury mudfest there is still time to consider an alternative way to get your summer music fix...

Along the same theme as Glastonbury - camping and rocking - but cleaner, earlier and more tame due to less numbers is the Isle of Skye Music Festival. Further a field and with less mud is Roskilde - a good chance to party with the Danes who break the ice with the traditional naked race. Or to avoid the mud completely join the Berlin Love Parade, more electro and club music, which marches the tarmacked city streets or reggae’s party of parties, Sumfest , held on the beach at Montego Bay.

For a smoother summer vibes get down with jazz and soul sounds at MoldeJazz (funky name but it’s Norway’s largest jazz festival.), or some swing, funk, gospel, blues, latin, electro and big band at the North Sea Jazz Festival. The main event of old skool, smoky club jazz is the New Orleans Jazz Festival or take advantage of 11 days of free events at the world class Montreal International Jazz Festival. If the thought of something a bit more elegant is starting to appeal the Nice Jazz Festival gives this Riviera city a glowing pulse and the Umbria Jazz Festival has both the old and new talent and the summer postcard setting.

St. Petersburg’s White Nights are an eclectic mix of the best entertainment around, followed by parties in the night light, and while the Salzburg Festival with its ‘Sound of Music’ connotations and the Bath International Music Festival may seem a bit staid the programmes advertise the best new talent as well as the old classical favourites.

It’s easy for the opera buffs, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi all have their own summer events, set against Italian backdrops as romantic as the operas they wrote. Even acquired taste Wagner has an annual event, which he initiated, to showcase his own grand works. For less passionate more religious tones, classical festivals celebrating Bach and Beethoven are held in Leipzig and Bonn respectively, taking over local medieval churches and beautiful Rhine castles, music permeating entire towns and cities.

Wildcard entries for eclectic musical tastes, or if tickets are become sparse are WOMAD, Prague’s World Roma Festival and the free street party and amateur musical cacophony that is Paris Fete de la Musique, when Paris gets loud, musical and rowdy for the solstice.

If indecision has now lost you those Glastonbury tickets you can probably still get some for the heaving, swaying picnic that is the Last Night of the Proms.

Not just Music Festivals...

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