June 14, 2016

A-Summer-of Music-in-Europe-Hero Start your summer of music in Montreux. - Flickr user Olivier Bruchez

I’ve always been a big fan of music. During my university years, before I moved to England, I’d spend my summer holidays seeking out the best festivals and concerts in Europe, working a part-time job so I could afford to go to as many as possible. Now that I’m a little older, my musical tastes have changed, but my passion for live music is still well and truly alive, and I appreciate more genres than ever before. If, like me, you’re a music lover, enjoy a summer of music in Europe with my pick of this year’s top music festivals. 

Montreux Jazz Festival

Montreux Jazz Festival is one of Switzerland’s biggest music events of the year and if you’ve ever been, you’ll know why. Held on the banks of Lake Geneva in picturesque Montreux, this acclaimed event is now in its 50th year. Once purely a jazz festival hosting the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, today, the festival features acts from across almost every musical genre.

This year’s program, which spans 16 days, will include a vast range of artists and will cater to every taste. English rock band Muse will play, as will Australian electro artist, Flume, and jazz favourite Lisa Simone (daughter of Nina Simone). The festival is held at venues throughout the town and music starts daily from the early afternoon. There’s also plenty for kids, including Young Planet (a special area for children and teenagers), and, if you want a break from the little ones, there’s a free childcare centre.

Montreux Jazz Festival takes place on the 1st-16th July in Montreux.

Festival Classique au Vert

Festival Classique au Vert

Parc floral de Paris is a lovely setting for Festival Classique au Vert. © Flickr user Randy Connolly

Held in Parc Floral de Paris, one of Paris’ many gardens, Festival Classique au Vert celebrates classical music in all its forms, with a series of free open-air concerts throughout the summer. Now in its 19th year, the festival has become popular among people of all ages, especially since the program has come to include acts that have a modern take on traditional classical music.

This year, visitors can expect to see spectacular performances by The Amazing Keystone Big Band (a lively jazz band), the Orchestre de chambre de Paris (the leading chamber orchestra in Europe) and many more. There will also be a series of singing workshops, an amateur stage and various meet-and-greets with the performing artists. With the beautiful backdrop of the Parc Floral, the Festival Classique au Vert is perfect for warm summer days.

Festival Classique au Vert takes place on the 6th August-18th September in Paris.

Festival de Confolens

Festival de Confolens

Explore new cultures through music at Festival de Confolens. © Flickr user Frédérique Voisin-Demery

Festival de Confolens is one of the biggest and oldest international folk festivals, attracting almost 150,000 visitors each year. Held in Confolens, in southwest Europe, the festival features hundreds of musicians and artists from all over the world, with each group showcasing a unique aspect of their country’s culture through a special performance. 2016 is the 59th Festival of Confolens, which is a huge achievement.

This year, the festival will feature all kinds of fantastic performances, including shows by Oh Yulja Backnam Dance Company from South Korea, and the Kirqui Wayra group from Chile. The shows take place at indoor and outdoor venues, so you can enjoy the beautiful summer sunshine. Kids are welcome at all performances and it’s a great way to educate them about other cultures.

Festival de Confolens takes place on the 10th-15th of August in Confolens.

Plan for a summer of music in Europe

You can get from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes when you travel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. With such easy travel, you can enjoy as many music festivals as you like.

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