Check these old favorite bands on tour

Music fans with a good few years under their belts have felt their world rocked of late by the untimely passing of some of the musicians they’ve grown up listening to. The brighter news is that a slew of bands that emerged in decades well past are still going strong and even continue to tour. Here's a sampling of a few of our old favorites (in a few cases, what’s left of them!) who might soon be playing at a venue near your present home, or failing that, a place you’d like to build a trip around. This list was assembled just as a taster, and the dates indicated don’t represent the extent of an artist’s tour. For tickets, a good starting point either is www.eventim.com or the artist’s home page.

Beth Hart plays Frankfurt May 27; Dortmund May 29; Grolloo, Netherlands, June 3; and Ludwigsburg, Germany, June 6.

Celebrate May Day the German way

Throughout much of Europe, May 1 is recognized as International Labor Day and treated as an official holiday. In Germany, celebrations start the night before and last well into the wee hours. In most years, those working a typical U.S. schedule miss out. This year, however, May 1 falls on a Sunday, meaning everyone can enjoy the festivities with no compromise to work-day productivity.

On the night of April 30, communities gather in public places to participate in “Tanz in den Mai,” or Dance into May. The celebrations, often organized by local clubs or branches of political parties, might include treats from the grill, wine and beer, and entertainment. In some towns, you may witness the setting up of the Maibaum, or maypole. Later, bars, night clubs and other establishments offer live entertainment and special programs, often requiring a cover charge.

The crowds will also be out in force on May 1, celebrating their work-free day with the usual assortment of performances by local talents and stands selling typical fest foods, coffee and cake. To find out what’s going on locally, just search the Internet with the name of your home town and the phrase “Tanz in den Mai.”

Culinary and wine hikes

In many of Germany’s wine regions, vineyards double as giant playgrounds, a sprawling, atmospheric backdrop for wine festivals, hikes and culinary experiences. One of the season’s first opportunities to get out and enjoy wine culture comes Sunday, April 10.  Oppenheim, a small city on the Rhine between Mainz and Worms, hosts the spring edition of its Schlemmerwanderung, a culinary hike through the vineyards.

The pace is slow, the slopes aren’t too steep and the stops are frequent along the hike’s 4-mile course. Ten stands along the route serve some of the region’s best wines, from elegant Rieslings to aromatic Grauburgunders. The culinary offerings include grilled steak and game, pasta dishes and tempting cakes. Kids can enjoy a jumpy castle, a stuffed wild animal display, hay bales and castle ruins. The route is suitable for baby strollers.

Volksfest season means springtime fun

Need another way to indulge your inner child? Make way to a Volksfest, an event that’s part fun fair, part market and part beer festival. Volksfests appeal to all ages: There are pony rides, bumper cars and stalls filled with random items, such as dental instruments and oddly flavored hard candies. Eat fried squid rings, quaff beer by the liter, dance on a table, get lost in the House of Mirrors or part with euros at an alarming pace at the many games of chance.

The spring editions of many a Volkfest are already nigh. Have a look at all the fun you could be having.

Check out these flea markets for spring and summer

We all love a bargain, and when that something procured on the cheap comes with a bit of history behind it, that’s just an added bonus. Those whose thoughts run along such lines, and moreover love to travel, certainly appreciate the joys of European flea markets. While cities such as Vienna and Brussels have great markets on a weekly basis; others organize massive affairs just once annually, or perhaps a spring and fall edition. Some of the best events see entire communities turn out to peddle their no-longer-needed wares in affairs that can stretch from dusk to dawn. Here are a few flea markets that could be worth staking out this spring and summer. This list is by no means comprehensive, and the smaller markets found below are made note of due to their proximity to U.S. military communities.



City: Ciney

Name: Ciney Expo Flea Market

Music rocks the Alps

For millions of party people, attending a multi-day outdoor music fest packed with performances by their favorite artists is a highlight of the year. For ages, that meant waiting for mega-events staged in the summer. In recent years, however, more Alpine ski resorts have begun to hold huge slope-side parties combining skiing, snowboarding and other winter fun with concerts by top-name acts and plenty of DJ music. The Alps provide a stunning backdrop for more than just rock concerts and massive raves, however. Some smaller resorts host programs peppered with indie artists, jazz musicians and folk music.

With the latest snow reports calling ski conditions at present close to ideal, coupled with early spring’s longer hours of daylight, might it be time to get in on the action? Here’s a sampling of just some events helping to wind down the winter season.


• Resort: Gastein
Event: SNOW JAZZ Gastein 2016
Date: March 11-20

The 15th edition of this event focuses on musicians performing in trios. Jazz, blues, tango, chamber music and other genres will echo through hotels, ski lodges, and clubs.
Tickets: Tickets to the various concerts can be booked online or bought at the door, barring sell-outs. For example, tickets to Mario Rom´s Interzone “Everything is Permitted” on March 19 at the Saegewerk in Bad Hofgastein go for 24 euros, or about $26.50, at the door, subject to availability.
Website: www.gastein.com/de/snow-jazz-gastein

Computing expo in Hanover March 14-18

Techies won’t want to miss CeBIT, a trade show billed as the world’s foremost platform for the digitalization of business, public administration and society, which takes place in Hanover March 14-18. 

CeBIT covers all aspects of the digital transformation. For the first time, the show will feature a central hub dedicated to drone technology and the resulting new business models. Switzerland is this year’s partner country, and many of its businesses and institutions boast a strong presence there. Guests include include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who plans to tour the show on March 15.

Europe's set to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

As March 17 draws near, everyone with a claim to Irish heritage  -- and many without one -- make plans to get in on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Celebrations spill across Europe. While Dublin is a magnet for revelers, it’s just one the many green-tinted celebrations. Look for shamrock-themed and Guinness-fueled gatherings at one of the following venues:


Save the dates: March 11-13 for C2C: Country to Country

Fans of country music need no longer venture back to the motherland to catch some of today’s most successful artists. C2C: Country to Country, a multi-day festival of country music launched in March 2013, has since become Europe’s largest country music festival, typically welcoming more than 50,000 fans throughout its weekend-long runs.

The 2016 edition of C2C takes place across three venues over the weekend of March 11-13. Event organizers whisk the festival’s performers quickly between cities to ensure they play before a variety of audiences.

Hop to an Easter egg market

When Easter markets begin to pop up, it’s a welcome sign of the end of winter. See how the everyday egg can be transformed into a work of art through painting, piercing, gilding, beading and countless other techniques at the following events. Note that some charge admission.

Vienna, Austria

• Schoenbrunn Palace, March 9-29.
• Old Vienna Easter Market at the Freyung, March 11-28.
• Am Hof Handicraft Market, March 11-28.

Prague, Czech Republic



About the Author

Karen Bradbury has lived and worked in Europe for more than 15 years. She has called Moscow, Copenhagen, Rome and now a small wine-producing village along the Rhine in Germany home. When she's not working, whatever the season, she's probably traveling.

Email: news@stripes.com