For a period of two years, the world got all too familiar with the word postponed’ when it came to the yearly social calendar. Now that natural order has been restored, it’s time to widen your world and broaden your horizons once more, combining a desire for travel with attendance to must-visit events across Europe. From a celebration of Caribbean culture in London to all things beer in Berlin, the world is truly your oyster… 

Notting Hill Carnival – London, UK 

A slice of the Caribbean lands in London every late August bank holiday weekend for Europe’s biggest street festival full of live bands, sound systems, parades and so much more. The community feel is utterly infectious, bringing together people of all heritages and backgrounds to celebrate the vibrant Caribbean culture over the course of three days – but it’s also important to remember that such a joyous event was triggered by tragedy. The race riots in Notting Hill during the time of the Windrush were brought to a head when Kelso Cochrane, a 32-year-old Antiguan-born carpenter was murdered in a racially motivated attack on Southam Street where today a blue plaque marks the spot. This sparked a desire to unite the community in the face of racial tension across the UK, and Claudia Jones planted the seed for Notting Hill Carnival by putting on a BBC broadcasted indoor Caribbean Carnival’ at St Pancras Town Hall in 1959. Today, the event has grown monumentally with each year getting bigger and better, featuring international mainstream and soca stars on its main stage, and, most importantly, providing the Caribbean community a safe space to celebrate their heritage in the UK capital. 

Notting Hill Carnival Parade

International Berlin Beer Festival – Berlin, Germany

Be one of the million people who flock to the German capital in the first month of August for the annual International Berlin Beer Festival! The 2.2‑kilometre-long biermile takes pride of place on the famous Karl Marx Allee, and has been dubbed by the Guiness World Records as the world’s longest beer garden. Roughly 300 breweries from 87 various countries come together to offer a wide selection of beers and ales over three days, and the festival offers 18 stages with music performances to set the ideal atmosphere. Admission to the beer festival is free, and beverages around €5 each. We hope you’re thirsty! 

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Tollwood Summer Festival – Munich, Germany

Have you ever dreamed of going to a 32-day-long festival while immersed in the magic of Munich? Look no further than Tollwood! Taking place twice a year, the summer version of this glorious event takes place in the Olympiapark Süd from 16 June to 16 July and is a colourful celebration of music, theatre and performance. Admission to the festival grounds is free, as is roughly 70% of all cultural activities – all chargeable events can be found in the festival programme. Guests can expect concerts, arts and crafts, graffiti workshops, Fair Trade markets, children’s activities and so much more, not to mention organic gastronomy from all over the world and the Half Moon Bar which is where guests can enjoy a silent disco, dance to the sounds of salsa and reggaeton, and enjoy Caribbean-inspired beverages. 

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Photo credit: Bernd Wackerbauer

Paris Jazz Festival – Paris, France 

Step back in time and experience authentic jazz music in the world’s most romantic city! Paris Jazz Festival is visited by residents of the metropolis, the wider country and well beyond, surprising its attendees year after year with a variety of exceptional concerts by both Parisian and international jazz artists. The sweet sounds of this French soirée are beautifully matched by its surroundings with the festival taking place at the Parc Floral de Paris, located within the Bois de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement. Saxophonists, drummers, orchestras and more provide the soundtrack to your summer, allowing you to create lifelong memories comprising of sensational symphonies and an exceptional atmosphere. 

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Pohoda Arts and Music Festival – Trenčín, Slovakia 

Slovakia might not be at the top of mind when it comes to planning your summer festival circuit, but the Pohoda Arts & Music Festival in Trenčín shouldn’t be missed out on. The city is located in western Slovakia near the Czech border, less than 90 minutes away from the capital Bratislava, making it the perfect hybrid holiday escape. The annual festival takes place over three days in early July and is an eclectic blend of alternative, world, indie, punk and classical music, as well as film, visual art and theatre. Pohoda is expected to reach its capacity of 30,000 people this year, taking place in a former military airfield surrounded by the Western Carpathian Mountains for breath-taking views while you celebrate all things cultural. 

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Sun in a Glass – Pilsen, Czech Republic

Just 90 minutes outside of Prague lies Pilsen, a city in the western Czech Republic, famed for the iconic Pilsner Urquell Brewery which keeps the entire country and beyond equipped with one of the best beers in Europe. The Sun in the Glass festival occurs annually in September, rounding off your summer perfectly as you sample some of Bohemia’s best non-standard beer specialties in the cosy atmosphere provided by the courtyard of Pilsen’s Purkmistr Brewery. In addition to the 150 different kinds of beer available, the festival is accompanied by competitions, music and dance performances, a souvenir market and much more. 

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