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Lovers of live music, this is the weekend you might think you’ve gone to heaven. Numerous cities in Germany and other countries are offering chockablock programs of musical entertainment — and the news gets better yet: The concerts are free. Here is a sampling:

• In Germany, Darmstadt’s Schlossgrabenfest takes place Thursday through Sunday and offers something for everyone, from cult favorites to newcomer bands. More than 100 musical acts will figure into the program, which spills across four stages and includes an open-air disco and club area. For something different, check out the Leningrad Cowboys on Sunday evening. Find the program at www.schlossgrabenfest.de/2012/info.

• Fürth, just northwest of Nuremberg, will hold its annual New Orleans Festival on Friday through Sunday, where you’ll find Dixie, gospel, blues, boogie-woogie, jazz, Zydeco, country and rockabilly acts. The event has a connection to the military — its moderator is Willie Summers, a former U.S. soldier who’s been calling Germany home for 35 years. Learn more at www.new-orleans-festival.de.

• As part of Mannheim’s Stadtfest running Friday through Sunday, you’ll find almost nonstop live acts scattered across five stages, including one that offers music and shows geared just to children. Should you tire of the music, check out the crafts market or a puppet show. Find details at www.mannheimer-stadtfest.com.

• The city of Luxembourg serves as the venue for the All American Music Festival from Friday through Monday.

The Place de Guillaume II will vibrate to the sounds of Zydeco, Cajun, country, river boat shuffle, jazz, gospel and more. Headliners include Zydeco Annie & Swamp Cats, Morblus, Catherine Russell and Band, and Roomful of Blues.

On Sunday, enjoy brunch along with the traditional gospel concert to mark Pentecost. American culinary specialties from the south, from grilled chicken to shrimp and rice Creole, will be available on all days. Find more info at www.allamerican.lu/fr/page-principale.html.

• In Belgium, Brussels’ Jazz Marathon runs Friday through Sunday on four open-air stages and at several indoor venues.

With 200 free concerts and 700 artists, you’ll need stamina to make it through a program of modern jazz, world music, funk, Latino, blues and more.

Swinging Brussels is a huge festival of dance taking place Friday and Saturday at La Tentation near the Place du Beguinage. You can take dancing lessons, get a new look at a vintage make-up corner, or attend a retro party. Find out more at www.brusselsjazzmarathon.be.

Do you have a favorite European event, deal or travel tip that you’d like to share? If so, please send your ideas to bradburyk@estripes.osd.mil.


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