Autumn in Europe is for art lovers—and by extension, cinephiles and audiophiles! Imagine this: you touch down in a European city, one that doesn’t make the pages of the guidebooks but is known for its creative spirit and vibrant, youthful scene. You spend the morning strolling through parks with golden and orange leaves. You sip floral tea in a greenhouse café and the steam fogs up your glasses. Then, as a slight drizzle starts to fall, you step into a cinema to witness a series of the most innovative films around the world. This could be your reality. Here’s our guide to make it happen.
The Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn
In November, Tallin plays host to some of the world’s most talented filmmakers. Since 1997, this Balkan city has hosted thousands of guests and over one hundred journalists, all keen to see the latest creative cinema from all corners of the earth. Accredited by the FIAPF, Black Nights is in the same category as Venice, Cannes, and other major cinema festivals. Black Nights consists of event clusters. There’s the main festival with the headlining films as well as sub-festivals for children’s films, short films, and animations. Throughout Black Nights, Tallinn comes alive with culture and film. If you live cinema, this is the up-and-coming festival you must experience. Learn more about getting tickets here.
Reykjavík turns the volume up to eleven
Early November in Reykjavík is a sonorous time! Iceland Airwaves is transforming much of the city into a multi-genre music festival. One unique thing about this festival: though it hosts the mainstream acts you’ll love, it puts a particular focus on up-and-coming groups waiting to be discovered. Imagine hearing the sweet sounds of your next favorite band, except instead of being at work plugged into your headphones, it takes place in a dazzling European city that pulses with electric energy. What’s more, Iceland Airwaves is known to feature many of Iceland’s own musical sons and daughters, especially from the thriving indie scene which has made waves around the world in recent years. Here’s everything you need to know about attending this unique festival.
Pushing the boundaries of music and sound in Utrecht
Le Guess Who? is a celebration of sound bar none. Held on November 10 in Utrecht, it brings together global artists—especially from underrepresented communities and backgrounds—who push the boundaries of what music, sound, and culture are. In parallel, the aim is to give a platform to sounds and musical ideas that are rarely heard in public spaces. Bet on hearing avant-garde, jazz, experimental, noise rock, hip hop, rap, electronic, indie, and world music, among many other genre-shattering acts. This diversity and inclusion are what makes Le Guess Who? a uniquely special event, and also an ideal way to explore Utrecht, arguably one of the Netherlands’ most interesting cities. Festival performances take place in theaters, clubs, churches, galleries, and warehouses, which will give you inside access to places normally closed to the public. Ready to plan your visit? Tickets and information can be found here.
Find your next soundtrack to life in San Marino
The Tour Music Festival solves an essential problem in a unique way. The problem is, how do you find the best new musical acts, especially those from far-flung places? Though the internet makes the world smaller, it’s not always easy to find that indie folk band from Turin or electro-dance group from Dresden without an inside scoop. The Tour Music Festival in San Marino, which takes place in November, solves that problem with the added bonus of doing it in a gorgeous place. This festival focuses specifically on emerging artists and even includes a large contest for young singers, singer-songwriters, rappers, and DJs. That most of the acts are up-and-coming means the vibe is bright and energetic and the price of entry is reasonable. Not only will attending give you access to some of the best new groups, there are also masterclasses and discussions with some of the performers, which gives you direct access to the mind of the artists you’re discovering. Explore this unique event here.
In Croatia, all the world’s a stage
That line from Shakespeare rings absolutely true in relation to Theater Night. In November in the venues across Croatia, people will pack themselves into theaters for this dedication to the dramatic arts. With its roots as a small-scale event on the third Thursday of November, it has since grown into a veritable spectacle of wonderful plays, acting, and performance. Theater Night is also unique in scope: just about every city across Croatia participates. That gives you plenty of choice. Where do you want to witness these great performances? Here’s our advice: consider cities like Čakovec or Bjelovar which participate each year in Theater Night but also offer visitors an experience that eschews the normal tourist destinations. Click here to organize your Croatian theater experience!