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Top Five Things To Do This Summer Throughout Europe

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We’ve compiled an eclectic mix of the top five things to do in Europe this summer that will give a good burst to your holidays. There is something for everyone so get the passport out and if you haven’t started to plan a summer break away yet then get ready to consider some of the best events the continent has to offer.

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1- Fete de la Musique

France (June 21st)

An annual event in France, Fete de la Musique is an outdoor music festival celebrated across the entire country on the day of the summer solstice, June 21st.

What’s more, the public doesn’t have to pay a cent, it’s all completely free. Musicians of any calibre are invited to voluntarily showcase their skills and perform. Furthermore, citizens of France are urged to play music in public spaces, parks and neighbourhoods.

One of the largest French cultural events, Fete de la Musique covers a vast amount of musical genres including jazz, rock, electronic, folk and hip-hop. It is aimed at all audiences and helps to familiarize young and old with all the musical expressions of all social conditions.

Now in its 36th year this summer, the all-day festival was first celebrated in 1982 and founded by the then French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, and by Maurice Fleuret to promote the fine art of music.

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2- White Nights Festival

Russia (May 26th-July 23rd)

Ideal for the night owl, Russia’s White Nights Festival takes place every year and is held in the idyllic St Petersburg amid a natural phenomenon known as “white nights” or the midnight sun.

Due to its northerly geographic location, St Petersburg is almost always in daylight, and the sun never descends low enough beneath the horizon to allow the sky to grow dark during early June to early July.

The international festival includes ballet, opera, classical music and the arts with a schedule of performances that showcases the best of Russia’s talent alongside some of the world’s most well known names.

Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band, Chris Rea, Deep Purple, Sheryl Crow,  Julio Iglesias and Ricky Martin are just some of the many artists who have taken part over the years.

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3- Grec Festival of Barcelona

Spain (July 1st-July 31st)

The Grec Festival of Barcelona, or simply “El Grec”, brings the city’s performing arts community to the forefront and provides a month long series of events revolved around theatre, music, dance and circus performances.

In 1929, an unused quarry was transformed into an open-air theatre known as Theatre Grec. Since 1976, the “Greek Theatre” has been the central location for the Grec Festival of Barcelona.

Emphasised wholly throughout the festival is innovative ideas in order to attract new audiences. There is even child friendly programmes and family shows to accommodate wider audiences.

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4- Sziget

Hungary (August 8th-August 15th)

Discover new music and enjoy old time favourites at Sziget. Europe’s globally renowned festival has it all: an exciting line-up of international acts, a great party atmosphere and uninterrupted sun.

The Sziget Festival (Sziget is the Hungarian for “Island”) is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe. It is held every August in Budapest, Hungary, on Obudai-sziget (“Old Buda Island”), a massive tree-filled island (almost 300 acres) on the Danube.

Over 1,000 performances take place each year on the island to sit all tastes and ages. The week-long festival has grown from a relatively low-profile student event in 1993 to become one of the prominent European rock festivals, with about half of all visitors coming from outside of Hungary.

Labeled the Euro Woodstock, it has been ranked as one of the five best festivals in Europe. The 2011 festival won the European Festivals Award in the category of Best Major European Festival in early 2012.

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5- Notting Hill Carnival

United Kingdom (August 26th-August 27th)

Europe’s largest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival, originated in 1964 as a means for Afro-Caribbean communities to rejoice in and celebrate their own traditions.

Taking place every August Bank Holiday weekend in the streets of London W11, the festival is an amazing array of sounds, colourful sights and social solidarity.

At the roots of the Notting Hill Carnival lie the Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century – a particularly strong tradition in Trinidad – which were all about celebrating the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.

The very first carnival was an attempt to showcase the steel band musicians who played in the Earl’s Court of London every weekend. When the bands paraded through the streets of Notting Hill the drew black residents out on to the streets, reminding them of the Caribbean homes they had left behind.

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