World Music Day 2022: European Music Festivals Making Music Again

/ New Delhi
World Music Day 2022: European Music Festivals Making Music Again

Europe hosts dozens of very famous music festivals and most of them are now back on track

Many cities of Europe have made a niche for themselves on the global music circuit as hosts of exceptional music festivals that attract locals and tourists alike. After being cancelled for over two years due to Covid-19, European music festivals are set to return to record crowds later this year. Setting off the string of festivals is the World Music Day 2022 that is being celebrated across the world and notably in Europe with renewed vigour.
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As countries around the world have started to ease up their sanctions and reopen after the pandemic, organisers and promoters have seen this as a gateway to bring the much-awaited music festivals back to the world. At the top of the list is Europe, that hosts dozens of very famous music festivals and most of them are now back on track. And as if to make up for the lost time, many festivals have been prolonged, at least for this year. On World Music Day 2022, India Outbound brings five of these unmissable festivals that are coming up later this year.

Dekmantel Festival, Amsterdam (August 3-7)

Dekmantel Festival is a cutting-edge electronic outdoor music festival in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It annually curates a line-up of the most creative and influential acts in-house, techno, and beyond.

Instead of only allowing its performers to play mainstreams, it encourages them to stray away and take risks. This has helped it build a reputation for championing artistry and become one of the most respected festivals in Europe and an all-time favourite of many of the artists. Performers like Marcel Dettmann and Cinnamon, who have played here are usually significant figures in the international underground.

After launching parties and releasing records for six years in Amsterdam, Thomas Martojo and Casper Tielrooij, founders of Dekmantel decided to hold their first Festival, on August 23-24, 2013 at the Amsterdamse Bos. Since then, it was held every year until the rude interruption due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Every year the Amsterdam-based festival takes place at the stunning Amsterdamse Bos, a massive city park oasis inside the city. It is full of trees and vegetation and even has a greenhouse where one of the stages is built. Dekmantel begins from 1 pm and goes on through the day till 11 pm.

This year Dekmantel Festival returns with a bold ‘choose your own adventure’ programming that welcomes a broad array of electronic tunes. It will be held from August 3-7. Bambounou, the famous Parisian DJ and producer is expected to perform. Other performers are yet to be announced.

With an idyllic location, top-tier production, and beautifully thought-through layout, Primavera consists of exceptional food and drinks

Tomorrowland, Boom, Belgium (July 15-17, 22-24 and 29-31)

Tomorrowland is a Belgian electronic dance music festival held in Boom, Flanders, Belgium since 2005 and is a festival that is on every dance music lover’s bucket list.

Perhaps, what makes Tomorrowland so unique and different from other music festivals is that it has created its own world. And this world just so happens to have its own currency called Pearls, a town named Dreamville, and a lineup featuring some of the best names in the industry.

One of the festival’s most famous features is its magnificent stage production, which seems to be out of this world. Every year, the festival holds a different theme and everything from its giant stages to its smallest intricate decoration is changed to fit the theme. Even the trashcans are changed, so as not to seem out of place.

Fans from all over the world gather here to experience the euphoric, uplifting, and magical atmosphere created by the festival organisers.

With a line-up that features several famous artists, Tomorrowland consistently curates a selection of the best DJs in the dance music field. Many global favourites have performed at Tomorrowland over the years with names like David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike.

Many Tomorrowland regulars will return to play the festival this year, including Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren, Lost Frequencies, and Paul Kalkbrenner. Eric Prydz will also bring back his famous HOLO concept for the occasion.

To make up for the cancellations due to Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, Tomorrowland is hoping to make up for the lost time and meet demands. Therefore, this year it will be a festival spread over three weeks in July, from July 15-17, 22-24 and 29-31at the recreation area De Schorre, in Boom, Flanders in Belgium.

Afro Nation, Praia da Rocha, Portugal (July 1-3)

Afro Nation Portugal is a festival of Afrobeats, hip-hop, R&B, dancehall, Amapiano, Afrohouse, and more which is held every summer on the beautiful Praia da Rocha beach, just south of Portimão.

When it was launched on August 1, 2019 at the Praia da Rocha beach, Portimao, Afro Nation got billed as the first festival to celebrate the African Diaspora in Europe. It also came to be known as the biggest urban music beach festival in Europe and to gain success in uniting people of different descent to celebrate the African culture.

The unique aspect of Afro Nation, that sets it apart from other music festivals, is the huge number of black people from a different culture that come here to attend and celebrate the similarities that unite them. They call it one nation, one Africa. This celebration is hosted with parties held on beaches, pools, and boats with a rise up in both the temperature and vibe.

As the second phase of line-up announcements reached fans, it seems the musical festival will be covering all bases and genres. Big names include American R&B singer Chris Brown, rapper Megan Thee Stallion, NigeriansWizkid, Burna Boy, and “Love Nwantiti” crooner CKay, and so many more promise to make this festival worth spending three days on the weekend.

Just like many other music festivals, Afro Nation couldn’t be hosted the past two years. This year, however, it has announced its return and is to be held on July 1-3 at the Praia da Rocha beach’s sunny shores in Portugal.

Montreux Jazz Festival has gone on to become one of the biggest, prestigious and longest running jazz festivals in the world

Primavera Sound, Barcelona (June 2-4 & 9-12)

Primavera Sound, the jewel in Barcelona’s crown, is an annual music festival held in Parc del Forumin Barcelona, Spain that takes place between the end of May and the beginning of June.

After first being held at Poble Espânyol in 2001, it, later on, moved to the Parc del Forum, which was much larger, in 2005. In the next coming years, it went on to become one of the largest and most-attended music festivals in Europe and the biggest in the Mediterranean.

With an idyllic location, top-tier production, and beautifully thought-through layout, Primavera consists of exceptional food and drinks. One can even find an Aperol Spritz bar there.

The nature of the festival which presents all genres including pop, indie, rock, and the most underground tendencies of electronic and dance music, have made it a meeting point for artists and spectators from all generations. Primavera Sound is a festival for true music aficionados.

The first concerts generally start at 12 pm and continue until at least 5:30 am meaning over17 hours of non-stop music. For the next three days, it tallies up to a whopping 52 hours which only thehard-core music fans can claim to make the most of.

This year’s lineup consists of big names such as Dua Lipa, Lorde, Gorillaz, Tame Impala, The Strokes, Tyler, The Creator, Beck, MIA, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Charli XCX.

The 22-year-old festival will take place this year as on two weekends on June 2-4 & 9-12 at the Parc del Forum.

Montreux Jazz Festival, Geneva Lake, Switzerland (July 1-16)

Founded in 1967, by Claude Mobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has gone on to become one of the biggest, prestigious and longest running jazz festivals in the world.

Held for two weeks every summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, it has gone on to become iconic in the festival world. It is one of the only few that can boast of having a line-up of an impressive alumnus of previous performers, from Miles Davis, BB King, and Nina Simone through to David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Queen. To be invited to perform is an honour for every artist.

The Montreux Jazz Festival offers a privileged experience to musicians and the public. Pool parties, silent discos, open-air concerts, jam sessions, workshops, and all-night electro events: each year, the Festival showcases 250 free concerts, DJ sets, and activities, from noon to 5 am.

Of course, jazz constitutes the festival’s core. But still, each year the line ups also feature the best of a mix of rap, blues, reggae, rock, and other genres making it open to not just jazz lovers but also other genre music lovers. This goes on to make people not just stay for jazz, but other kind of music too. This year Lionel Richie is set to perform, while other names are yet to be finalised.

The 56th Montreux Jazz Festival will take place on July 1-16, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

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