European Festivals – 2016 Calendar April, May

2016 Festival dates and information

Semana Santa procession, Seville, Spain

Semana Santa, Seville, Spain. 20 – 27 March 2016.

Calendar Dates are sometimes unconfirmed and occasionally unreliable, so check before booking. TBC/A = To Be Confirmed/Announced

Kingsday Amsterdam

Koningsdag (Orange Day) in Amsterdam the wildest day of the year. The city streets and canals burst with orange as locals and visitors enjoy this city-wide celebration. Orange-pride, live music, parties, boats and street markets, this is an electric atmosphere not to be missed.

April 2016

4 – 9 April

AUSTRIA, Mayrhofen, Snowbombing Festival – a week long live music event, with wild bands and world-class DJs in a fantasy alpine setting. This ‘Ibiza in the Snow’ is regarded by many as ‘the Greatest Show on Snow’. It was the UK Festival Award’s ‘Best Overseas Festival’ winner in 2010.

8 – 24 April

HUNGARY Budapest Spring Music Festival – all sorts of arts, music, drama, dance, exhibitions, poetry and kid’s stuff, local and international, in a fine European city. Budapest Pictures

12 – 17 April

SPAIN La Feria de Abril (April Fair) in Seville – Seville’s best spring party with traditional dress, parades, dancing and boisterous parties in a gorgeous environment. Seville Pictures

27 April
(27 April but 26th
if 27th falls on Sunday)

NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam, Koningsdag, King’s Day (a national holiday), is an annual cerebration for their King’s birthday also known as Orange Festival (former Queens Day), for lovers of the colour orange, beer and dope, this is a massive street and canal-boat dance party, starting the night before. Amsterdam Photos

Isle of Man TT racing, UK

Isle of Man TT street racing. 28 May – 10 June. Original photo by Jonathan Camp.

May Festivals 2016

27 April – 2 May

ENGLAND, Gloucestershire, Cheltenham International Jazz Festival – the UK’s top jazz fest in a lovely location.

7 – 29 May

ENGLAND Brighton Festival – a 3 week annual outdoor celebration of all kind of arts. It is regarded as England’s biggest curated mixed arts festival which attracts some of the most innovative artist and companies from UK and the would as well as some of the most adventurous audiences.

Saturdays May –
September in different Rhine locations. TBC

GERMANY, Rhine in Flames, down the River Rhine from Linz to Bonn on summer nights – a massive and amazing coordinated fireworks display from boats, stately buildings and the surrounding countryside. Germany Travel

13 May – 19 June

AUSTRIA, Vienna Festival (Wiener Festwochen) – this 5 week event offers a wide range of arts, especially music, naturally, but also dance and theatre, sometimes challenging pieces, all set in magnificent buildings. Vienna Pictures

7 May – 4 June

CZECH REPUBLIC Prague Spring International Music Festival – one of Europe’s best classical music events, with some of world’s leading soloists and orchestras in outstandingly medieval Prague.

11 – 22 May

FRANCE Cannes International Film Festival – the world’s most glamorous film festival, every year. Festival de Cannes

late May – the
end of summer

RUSSIA, St Petersburg, the White Nights Festival in gorgeous, romantic and endlessly light St Pete. The “Stars of the White Nights” with a series of the world famous Mariinsky (Kirov) ballet and opera performances is the most important part of the Festival (27 May – 2 August 2016). St Petersburg Pictures

17 May
(same date
every year)

NORWAY, Oslo Constitution Day – celebrates independence from Denmark, with folk music, parades, entertainment and people in traditional costumes.

24 – 28 May

ENGLAND, London, RHS Chelsea Flower Show – 11 acres of the UK’s (and arguably Europe’s) best flowers and gardens event, with plenty of original, even wacky ideas.

13 – 16 May

AUSTRIA Salzburg Whitsun Festival – an extension of the Europe’s most prestigious summer classical music event. Held every year during Whitsun or Pentecost weekend in Mozart’s pretty home town of Salzburg.

20 – 30 May

ENGLAND, Somerset Bath, International Music Festival – classical and other musical styles in this, the most classical of all UK cities.

27 May – 11 June

ENGLAND Ageas Salisbury International Festival – an high-standard, award winning multi-arts festival, ending with fireworks display in the Cathedral Close. It is one of UK’s leading arts festivals known for its creative programme and the excellent economic value, despite over half the audience enjoying the festival through free events and activities.

28 May – 10 June

UK, Isle of Man TT Races. The ultimate event for bikers. Watch racers on 37 miles of narrow, winding, stone walled roads travelling at way over 150mph, then get out there yourself. Death is no stranger to this event.

30 May
(Late Spring Bank Holiday Monday)

ENGLAND, Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling near Brockworth in Gloucester, Gloucestershire – dozens of brave and/or bonkers people fling themselves down a precipitous hill (1-in-2 gradient ) attempting to catch huge, rolling rounds of Gloucester cheese. Bones get broken regularly, a few people faint just watching the event, so this is a remarkable sight in the nanny state of England, but parking is a nightmare – 15, 000 spectators rolled up in 2009.

Late April – the
end of October

FRANCE Chaumont International Garden Festival – 30 wonderful and sometimes wacky show gardens around a perfect chateau (castle) in the Loire Valley, in a long summer every year. More info. France Travel Guide

Taking a creative break in 2016,
TBA for 2017

GERMANY, Berlin Festival, a rock and electro music festival held outdoor at Arena Park. Germany Travel

22 May
11 June 2017
27 May 2018
Every year on
Trinity Sunday

BELGIUM, Mons, Le Doudou or Ducasse de Mons, Battle of Lumecon and the Procession of the Golden Chariot – Saint George fights the dragon and everybody pushes a vast, sacred chariot around town. Belgium Guide

Chaumont Garden Festival, Loire Valley, France

Chaumont Garden Festival, Loire Valley, France. 29 May – 19 October.

This page deals only with April and May. Click below for other months

2016 Festival dates and information

Festivals Calendar 2016 ©