There are so many festivals this summer that it's difficult to know where to start. So we've prepared a menu for you with our favourite seasonal specials - the most mouth-watering delicacies the festival season has to offer. Begin your summer dancing to indie music at the Fiberfib festival in Spain, move on to the lakeside Sonnemondsterne festival in eastern Germany, and round off your holidays with some poetry in Ukraine.

Photo: Bérenger Zyla
Start the summer at Fiberfib, the biggest music festival on Spanish soil.

Hors D'OEUvre

FIBERFIB: July 15th-18th

FIBERFIB festival, taking place from July 15th – 18th, is the biggest music festival on Spanish soil. Every year thousands of visitors turn the small town of Benicássim, which lies just north of Valencia on the "Costa de Azahar" ("Orange Blossom Coast") into a huge party area.

With European and international top acts like Kasabian, Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip, The Klaxons, Dizzie Rascal and Lily Allen, this year's line up is again well-cast and should - although mainly focusing on Indie music - have something up its sleeve for everyone.

In addition to the entertainment programme, which doesn't just include superb music shows, but also art exhibitions, short film presentations, fashion shows and theatre performances, FIBERFIB also gives its visitor the opportunity to relax for a couple of days in the Spanish sun and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of Benicássim. The 4-day festival ticket includes free camping between the 12th and the 20th of July.

Should you wish to spend your days working in your tan in the sun and taking a swim in the Mediterranean before strolling over to one of the four stages to see another amazing live show, we recommend Benicássim as the perfect location.


Plat Principal


Photo: Natalie Downe
Camping by the lake at the Sonnemondsterne festival

SONNEMONDSTERNE festival, or SMS as insiders call it, is one of Europe's most popular venues for electronic music. Born in 1996 in the heyday of the German "Techno" movement, it annually hosts some of the worlds most gifted techhouse and electro DJs. This year's line up reads like a who's who of the European club scene. Apart from the many German acts like Boys Noize, DJ Hell, Sven Väth or Kruder & Dorfmeister there will be artists on the decks from all over the globe. This year's headliners are the British Electronica veterans Faithless.

In 2010, apart from electronic tunes, the visitors' ears will also be pumped with some German hip hop sounds. The German group Die Fantastischen Vier will perform for the first time on the SMS stage, along with Hamburg's Jan Delay.

The festival area, called "Saalburg Beach" is located at Bleilochtalsperre in the Southwest of Thuringia, about an hour away from Erfurt. The name "Saalburg Beach" is no exaggeration: the festival area, with its beach bar, two open-air stages and six so-called "club tents" which actually create an amazing club-like atmosphere when heavily crowded during the party rush-hour, is surrounded by a huge lake just waiting for you to jump in for a swim after a long night of partying. If your ultimate party experience means swinging your hips on board a fully-equipped party ship, you can also try to catch a ride on the "Freshboat".

You're looking for a place to party hard and simply enjoy the goodness of life while dancing to stimulating electronic beats - and you don't mind doing this in the middle of nowhere in Eastern Germany? In that case, SMS is an excellent choice for your summer.



Meridian Czernowitz: September 3rd-5th

You know what Chernivtsi is? It's the place where books and humans live.

Czernowitz, Chernauti, Chernovtsy, Chernivtsi, טשערנאָװיץ –

the city, situated in the very south-west corner of Ukraine, has had many names in many languages, and the one who said the beautiful quotation about books and humans did so in German: Paul Celan (1920–70), a German-speaking Jew born in the then Czernowitz and for sure one of the most important 20th century poets.

Photo: Pavlo Boyko/Olena Kondratyuk
Discover Chernivtsi at the Meridian poetry festival

Today Jews in Chernivtsi are gone, and both Europeans and Ukrainians have mostly forgotten its multilingual past. Forgotten? Not completely. From the 3rd till the 5th of September a rediscovery of the city's rich litterophile legacy will be launched. Within the framework of the First International Poetry Festival "Meridian Czernowitz", contemporary poets from Ukraine, Austria, Germany and Switzerland will transform the town into a scene of poetic invention again.

Particularly promising: the broad and original set-up of the program. It's not going to be a dull series of author readings with a glass of water on a side table. Instead there'll be sound-break poetry – poems combined with break-dance; a "cigar-poetical" evening – reading and tasting session of cigars combined, and "open microphone" – festival participants performing their own poetry.

It seems a good balance has been found between commemorating and creating: the programme creates contrasts between electronic music parties and a video installation retransforming what is now a cinema into the synagogue that it once was; city tours to the houses of Celan and Rose Ausländer remind visitors of "books and humans" from times gone by, whereas launches of new journals and translation seminars see new ones emerge. It is especially encouraging that - apart from the usual suspects: Goethe Institute, embassies etc. - the list of local supporters is long.

Chernivtsi, the place where books and humans live? Looking at the festival programme, one might say: yes, maybe it'll be that way again!

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