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Hear some free music in Europe this summer

What beats an outdoor music concert? A free one! As summer kicks in, enjoy loads of musical performances at no cost during several weeks.

Free concerts will entertain the crowds flocking to Frankfurt’s Skyscraper Festival May 25-26 The stage by Opernplatz will rock Saturday, May 25, from 12:30 p.m., when musicians from the U.S., Cuba, Netherlands and Germany perform rock, folk, pop and funk. The English boy band Blue takes the stage at 7 p.m., followed by Nena at 9 p.m. Status Quo rocks out on the Hauptwache starting at 9 p.m. Get the full program at www.wolkenkratzer-festival.de.

Through Sunday, May 26, the Brussels Jazz Marathon will be a mecca for music lovers, with some 400 artists performing more than 100 concerts on four open-air stages, mostly in the realm of jazz, blues, funk or world music. A special program will entertain the kids. See what’s on at www.brusselsjazzmarathon.be.

Emmes, May 30-June 1, in Saarlouis, Germany, offers musical overload in all imaginable styles and concludes with a grandiose musical fireworks display Saturday at 11 p.m. Find the program at http://tinyurl.com/bo28648

Darmstadt, Germany’s Schlossgraben Fest, now in its 15th year, offers four days of music and more than 100 bands. Top acts include MIA., Selig, Laith Al-Deen, Chima, Monsters of Liedermaching and Ohrbooten. The fest takes over the city center May 30 through June 2. See www.schlossgrabenfest.de.

Nuremberg, Germany’s Africa Festival, at the Pegnitzweisen from June 13-16, promises free world and African music, along with other forms of entertainment. The final program is available at www.afrika-festival-nuernberg.de.

La Fete de la Musique will rock venues throughout the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for a whole week June 14-21. Find the line-up of artists at www.fetedelamusique.lu.

The Umsonst und Draussen Festival plays out June 20-23 across four stages at the Talavera Mainweisen in Würzburg, Germany, and offers jazz, gospel, electro and everything in between. Plan an outing at www.umsonst-und-draussen.de.

The 10th edition of Prague’s United Island festival takes place June 21 and 22 and features domestic and international bands on stages throughout the city. Plan early as the event attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually. See www.unitedislands.cz.

Mannheim, Germany’s Maimarktgelände hosts the “Rewe Family Day” on July 13, with Afterburner, Cassandra Steen, Stereolove and other mostly pop-music performers on stage. Get details at www.rewe-family.de.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Find info on other free musical outings in Germany at www.festivalhopper.de/festivals-kostenlos.php.

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About the Author

Karen Bradbury has lived and worked in Europe for more than fifteen 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: bradburyk@estripes.osd.mil