Best classical music festivals to attend in summer/autumn 2016

For anyone who prefers Mozart, Bach, or Brahms over electronic music of popular DJs, there are a lot of excellent classical music festivals to choose from. Moreover, while you’re there, you can also do some sightseeing, since most of the events are held in good holiday locations, which provide endless possibilities, beyond the music. Here are the best five festivals that you can’t miss the following months.

Musique Cordiale Festival

July 30th –August 13th 2016, Provence, France


Source – Musique Cordiale

An exciting summer festival of classical music, song, oratorio and opera, set in medieval hills between Nice & Aix-en-Provence, Musique Cordiale is one of the most significant music events in the area. Over 100 musicians pour into the village of Seillans to embark on two weeks of intense music-making.

2016 will be the 12th edition of the festival and will feature over 18 concerts including major choral and orchestral works, chamber ensembles, and late-night recitals in churches, chapels, or under the stars. The choral tradition remains an integral part of Musique Cordiale and a major work for choir closes the festival each year.

Nonetheless, Musique Cordiale makes no charge for children aged 13 or under as long as they are accompanied by an adult, because they want to encourage young people to appreciate music.

More info at:

International D-Marin Classical Music Festival

August 20th – 27th 2016, Bodrum – Turkey


Source: International D-Marin Classical Music Festival

The first and only classical music festival organized at a marina, the festival hosted more than 3,800 artists and musicians on stage with 98 concerts during the last 11 years. The line-up of the festival this year includes great musicians and orchestras such as İdil Biret, Daniel Kharitonov, Lucienne Renaudin-Vary, Presidential Symphony Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, and Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich.

The organizers also have prepared lots of other activities: workshops for children – with classical music in the background -, cooking workshops, open-air movie screenings, story-telling, and an art exhibition in addition to concerts that begin in the morning and continue through the sunset. Moreover, by attending the event you can also contribute to the well-being of those in need: all ticket income from the festival is donated to the Tohum Autism Foundation and Bodrum Health Foundation.

More info at:

Baltic Sea Festival

August 28th – September 4th, 2016, Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden

Baltic Sea Festival was founded in 2003 by Michael Tydén, former director of Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor and composer, Valery Gergiev, conductor and director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.


Source: Baltic Sea Festival

Over the years, audiences in Berwaldhallen has been invited to performances by, among others, the World Orchestra for Peace, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, West-Easter Divan Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Choir, and conductors  Esa-Pekka Salonen, Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, Daniel Harding, Peter Dijkstra. There have been several world premieres of new music at the festival.

More info at:

Lucerne Festival

August 12th – September 11th 2016, Lucerne, Switzerland


Source: Lucerne Festival

Famous orchestras, legendary conductors, and virtuoso soloists join together three times a year on the idyllic location of Lake Lucerne to celebrate the joy of music. 110,000 visitors annually visit Lucerne to experience one of the most exquisite and storied music festivals and to hear the international stars of classical music right in the heart of Switzerland.

Along with cultivating the traditional repertoire, which is performed by leading international performers, Lucerne Festival is deeply committed to the realm of contemporary music: each year the work of one or two composers-in-residence is given a spotlight.

Another cool thing at Lucerne Festival is that before the concert begins, you can reserve your drinks and snacks for intermission right at the KKL Luzern event hall.

More info at:


September 9th – Octomber 9th, Bonn, Germany


Source: Beethovenfest

Approximately 2,000 artists appear during the Beethovenfest Bonn every year. This year, the concerts take place in 25 different locations in Bonn and its rural environment: concert halls, churches, museums, former parliament buildings, historical industry sights, modern office buildings and castles.

The opening concert, which takes place at Beethovenhalle, is held by Hilary Hahn (Violine), Tschechische Philharmonie, Jiří Bělohlávek (Conductor), based on works by György Ligeti, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Viktor Ullmann and Antonín Dvořák. The average ticket price is 40 Euros, but school and college students get a 50 % discount for all concerts.

More info at:

Top 5 Summer Festivals for Indie Music Lovers

No plans for this summer yet? Here are some cool festivals to attend the following months, all over Europe. If you are a music fan, and your favorite indie band is playing at a festival, there is no better way to see them live! Plus, it is a really good way to discover new artists that you might like: a lot of emergent artists and bands play for their first time on minor stages at festivals.

Open’er Festival, June 29-July 2, Gdynia (Poland)



A music festival which takes place on the North coast of Poland, the event was given the Best Major Festival prize at the European Festival Awards ceremony in 2009 and 2010. This year’s lineup include popular local and international artists, such as Sonar and Wiz Kalifa.

Mainsquare Festival, July 1-3, Arras (France)



Happening in the stunning Citadelle Vauban, this event boasts an impressive alumni list like Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Placebo, Muse and Metallica. This summer, you can listen to Iggy Pop and Ellie Goulding. All you have to do if you get there is have fun and not worry about having to carry cash with you: at Main Square Festival, you can buy stuff “Cashless” – a contactless payment system, thanks to a microchip in your bracelet, which will make your life easier when shopping during the festival (drinks, meals, merchandising, etc.).

Indietracks, July 29- 31, Derbyshire (UK)


Indietracks is a summer music festival which combines steam trains and indiepop music. Quite smart, right? Visitors are free to enjoy steam train rides, railway attractions and museums, discos, art and craft workshops. Each year around 50 new and established indie pop artists perform across a range of stages at the festival. However, if you can’t make it for the festival, every year the organizers release a download compilation album featuring bands playing at the festival. In 2016, Saint Etienne, The Aislers Set, The Spook School, Emma Pollock, Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern, Comet Gain will be performing at Indietracks.

Spellground Festival, August 12-14, Capidava (Romania)



A music and arts festival that takes place this summer, that will host dozens of famous singers and bands, such as The Kooks, Amber Run, Soul Clap of Noir. The festival is located on the way to the Romanian seaside, next to the Capidava Citadel, on the Danube shore, at a distance of 160 km of Bucharest or 65 kilometers of Constanta. The organizers also provide camping accommodation for those who want to live a full festival experience. Long story short, this is what you get for less than 50 euros: 72 hours of live music, 3 concert stages, art performances and various workshops.

Summer Well Festival, August 13-14, Stirbey Domain, Buftea (Romania)



This year, Summer Well marks its sixth edition. If you choose to attend the event, you will get the chance to listen to The Chemical Brothers, Hurts, Years & Years, The Neighborhood, Crystal Fighters, Milky Chance, BØRNS, Blossoms, Sundara Karma and HÆLOS. There is no accommodation provided, but there is that a dedicated bus available for the festival, linking Piata Victoriei in Bucharest to Domeniul Stirbey in Buftea, so you can get to the festival and back home, free of charge.

Did you make up your mind? Then just pick your favorite event, pack and go! Enjoy your summer!

Top Largest Gaming Conventions and Events in the World

Gaming has taken the world by storm and it seems it won’t be stopping soon. eSports, mobile gaming, huge investments in developing increasingly impressive games have all been factors in creating a global gaming phenomenon.

Gamers and gaming industry representatives gather and interact each year in some fantastic events. We decided to take a loom at the top largest gaming conventions and events. So here they are:

Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in US and Australia – 70 000 ++ attendees


PAX, the event formerly known as Penny Arcade Expo, is a series of gaming events held in Seattle, Boston, Melbourne, and San Antonio. Though the exact number of attendees has not been published since 2012, we know that it has been on the rise and you should consider a figure way above 70 000.

The event was created by Jerry Hulkins and Mike Krahulik in 2004 as a gaming – only event. Jerry and Mike are also the authors of Penny Arcade, an webcomic focused on gaming culture. Following the success of Penny Arcade, they’ve decided they need a place where gamers can get together and experience their favorite hobbies together. So PAX was born.

The first edition was attended by 3 300 people in Bellevue, Washington, at the Meydenbauer Center. As the word spread out PAX moved to other cities and then other countries. In 2013, PAX arrived in Australia. That same year, passes for PAX Prime, the original Washington Festival, were sold out within 6 hours.

To make room for the incoming stream of game developers interacting with the gaming community, a new event was born within the PAX ecosystem: PAX Dev. As the event’s website states “PAX Dev is about elevating the art and creating a place to share, debate and learn.”

Igro Mir in Russia – 157 000 attendees


Igro Mir (meaning “Gaming World” in Russian) is the largest games event in Russia. It is organized by the committee of Russian Game Developers Conference in Moscow every year since 2006.

While many things can be said about the conference, like the fact that it grew steadily since its launch, that the event took Moscow by storm and more, a certain pattern comes up when it’s being reviewed. Can you notice this beautiful pattern?


Results for “IgroMir 2015 Russia”

ChinaJoy in China – 270 000 attendees


The largest gaming and digital entertainment event in Asia is ChinaJoy or China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference .

The event features more than 120 000 sq. m. in exhibition space, over 3500 games showcased and visitors from more than 30 countries.

ChinaJoy is growing rapidly and expects over 270 000 attendees this year.

Tokio Game Show in Japan – 270 000 attendees


The TGS 2016 theme illustration. Source.

The Tokio Game Show or TGS started in 1996. It is held once every year, in September, in the Makuhari Messe, in Chiba, Japan. The show is focused on Japanese games but often international game producers attend the event to showcase upcoming titles.

The event grew steadily since start and has reached a record of 270 197 attendees in 2013.

This year the number of expected attendees is 230 000 and the theme is “Press start to play the future”, a take on how the gaming industry is redefining the future of entertainment.

This year’s theme has been illustrated by Ippei Gyobu who mentioned his view on the impact of games:

“The game world is moving from monitors to headsets, and at some point gamers will probably even remove the headset. Is that world real or unreal? Games are creating the whole different concept of the world! The Tokyo Game Show has continually delivered to us the history of those revolutions, and is turning 20 this year. I can’t wait to go see a new revolution. “

Brasil Game Show in Brasil – 300 000 attendees

In 2015 Brasil Game Show attracted more than 300 000 attendees which makes it the largest event of its type in Latin America.

BGS is a mix between gaming, cosplay, entertainment and business opportunities for gaming industry professionals. Its main expo area is focused on B2C but there is also a special B2B space where entrepreneurs and professionals can meet and interact.

The show was created in 2009 by Marcel Tavares, an entrepreneur and journalist. One thing about Tavares is that he really likes video games. He likes them so much that throughout the years he has acquired 350 consoles, 3500 games and hundreds of accessories.

BGS grew at a rapid pace and the reason for that is the high potential of the LatAm gaming market.

A report by Superdata puts the gaming market in the region at $4.5 billion, with Brasil accounting for 35% of this figure:


Gamescom in Germany – 345 000 attendees


Gamescom gathered 345 000 attendees and 806 exhibitors in 2015. The European gaming convention brought in people from 96 countries to attend 4 days of gaming extravaganza.

The convention, held in Koelnmesse in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is organized by the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software. For four days is home to game developers showcasing their creations and avid gamers interacting with them.

The fair includes cosplay village, music and on-stage entertainment, interactive panels and a very, very large exhibition area.

Gamers can test games before their market release, purchase merchandise, have fun and even buy games before they are available publicly.

Millennials are changing the world by attending live events. No, really.

Experience economy is usually associated with millennials and the shift in spending habits. One of the experiences they(we) are most likely to engage in is live events. Multi-day festivals, for example, have become a kind of rite of passage for many.

Music, fun, experiences, and often long-term connections with peers are all desirable. As such, there is no surprise that half of the 32 million people that attend festivals in the US are millennials.

So what drives change?

Let’s start with a short intro to technology and, most important, connectivity technology. It won’t take long. You are probably aware that computers have evolved constantly since the 1970s. Flash news number two: they have now become both powerful and cheap enough to help empower people from all geographical and social backgrounds. A report from the White House shows that millennials have been shaped by the ubiquity of technology. Yup, tech is in their DNA.

Taking a photo at a festival

Taking a photo at a festival and saving the experience. Source.

Connectivity technology was surprisingly influential. Both mobile phones and social media have been used by teens in the previous decade to stay connected, exchange information, and share moments with their peers.

This led to what is now called “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO). As they are more and more connected to social media outlets and share important moments in their lives, the need for “being there” has increased. Also, over half of millennials report that people ask them to purchase opinions and they influence four to five friends and family.

So there is an increase in millennial influence and an increase in the number of people that want to be influenced by them. As a result, social gatherings such as live events have become the norm. Groups must attend or they fear missing out on potentially important social interactions.

Experiences rather than goods

The common knowledge is that millennials favor experience over goods. And they seem to do just that. But that does not mean that they are not spending. Actually, attendance and revenue from festivals have skyrocketed:

Lollapalooza attendance has grown from 65,000 in 2005 to 300,000 for 2014. Revenue in 2014 was $28.8 million and generated over $140 million for the local economy.

Burning Man has become a globally followed event. In 2014 more than 65 000 attended the event.

Coachella sold over 198 000 tickets in 2015 and raked in more than $84 million. One of the hottest things the festival has pushed forward was live streaming, now at 28 million views, a way for millennials to stay connected, even if they are not there.

And that’s not all — an increase in festival attendance has taken the world by storm. A long list of awesome festivals shows how millennials now acquire experiences.

It’s not just festivals, either. It’s concerts, movies and even pay TV. 83 million millennials will spend $750 a year to purchase experiences, as Deloitte reports. That’s $62 billion changing the world, spent by people who crave for experiences.

How does the experience economy change the world?

A change in purchase options for millennials is a huge thing for the global economy and as a result, society at large.

By spending more on experiences, by joining large groups, by accepting diversity and seeking it, the millennials are making the world a more connected place, smaller and less prejudice prone.

Goods as commodity and self-defining experiences

As the manufacturing of goods has been streamlined, automated, and increasingly effective, goods have become accessible. A computer or flat-screen TV used to cost a small fortune to own. Now they are both accessible to many so they have lost their social status symbol.

Even big-ticket possessions such as cars or houses will soon lose their appeal as the world perspective shifts from owning to accessing.

So goods become commodities. They are accessible and lose their appeal to the masses of millennials that will soon become the dominant spending force in the global economy.

Brands will have to face the truth sooner or later. The marketing added value will soon fade and products will be just as desired as their manufacturers are socially responsible, as millennials demand. Even now, emerging brands such as Warby Parker or Bonobos emphasize their positive impact on the society catering to their target market’s values.

Experiences will become defining for individuals’ character. And large scale events, attended in foreign cities, countries, or even continents, will build global citizens. Millennials will grow up with a global perspective rather than a local one. This will improve international relations because we already know that people that trade together don’t fight one another. We’re finding out that people that have fun together may care for one another.

New financial and payment systems

Credit cards have long become mainstream but are now increasingly less appealing to new generations.

Festivals have started to experience with new access and payment tokens, such as RFID wristbands that double as entry tickets and payment devices within the events’ areas.

Who says these new payments and financial systems cannot step outside the festivals and replace old institutions, such as banks, and technologies, such as credit cards?

Decentralized entertainment experiences may breathe new life into the music industry

The music industry has become rigid and resistant to change. A few labels own a large deal of rights to music and artist’s creative abilities. With the rise of large independent events and an increase in popularity for indie artists that can connect directly to their fans, the change will happen.

Even more — we may experience new types of art performances that so far have been hiding in underground concerts and small events. Burning Man is a great example. It went from one of the smallest festivals in the US to one of the most influential and large ones. It used to be the place where underground artists, hipsters and libertarians used to come hang out. It is now the place where tech titans meet and build new ventures.

And it’s not just music in the US. It is also tech, medical events and more. Brazil has seen a huge and steep increase in the number of business events. Eastern Europe, for example, has had a boom of tech events such as ICEEfest. Event registration tools help event organizers, small to mid to large, set up and handle their dream event.

The future will bring a more connected world, through the live events that millennials now experience. And I don’t mean connected as in digitally connected, because …

Something else will replace today’s “social media”

Social media as we now understand it is anything but social in terms of human emotional needs. If anything, it alienates individuals through over-inflated and weak relationships. The kind that we, as humans, feel good about on the short term but don’t rarely find real value in in the long term. The number of Facebook friends, the number of Instagram or Twitter followers may feel superficially satisfying but what we crave for are the real experiences.

The touch of a hand, the laughter, the warm feeling of finding someone you know you want to spend time with. These are all things Facebook cannot provide, no matter how many Oculus devices they ship.

Millennials want something that their parents and grand parents had and they have not received enough of. The digital empire brought about by tech companies as well as the very structure of our civilized world, with large cities and weak ties between people, is not satisfying.

By connecting in real life events, millennials are building a real “social world”, with the help of “social media”. They crave and they will have the strong ties that happen in the real world. They crave and they are building a new world where people are people, not just numbers on a Facebook profile. One live event at a time.