Hear hear! Summer's top music festivals

From opera to rock, jazz to blues, there are plenty of music events to enjoy this year. Adrian Mourby offers the highlights

Summer is coming, which means that airport queues across the country will soon be swollen by cultural tourists in search of al fresco opera, esoteric folk events or simply jazz in a highly original venue. Every year the number of festivals on offer increases. Some, such as Aix-en-Provence, Monterey and Salzburg, go back decades. Others are new and struggling to carve out a niche. With so much on offer, choosing what to attend can be a nightmare, but at least with international festivals, if you like the place to start with, it won't matter too much if you don't enjoy the entertainment. All prices are per person and include bed and breakfast, unless stated otherwise.

Stars of the White Nights, Russia

Always worth a visit is St Petersburg's Stars of the White Nights Festival, 10 May-27 July (mariinskiy.com), which was set up in 1993 byValery Gergiev, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre. The original idea was for the city to be presented with a "musical gift" from its most famous opera and ballet company, but White Nights has turned into an international showcase for the Mariinsky on evenings when the sun hardly sets. The highlight this year is Puccini's Tosca.

Contact: Hotel Astoria (0800 988 4040; roccofortecollection.com) offers a Summer Dreams package which includes three nights accommodation plus White Night tickets for 58,980 roubles (£1,290) per person. Austrian Airlines (0870 124 2625; austrianairlines. co.uk) offers return flights from £254.

Macerata Opera, Italy

In Italy, Macerata's opera festival, 24 July-12 August (sferisterio .it), is less well known than Torre del Lago's Puccinifest or Verona's gargantuan stagings of Verdi in the Arena, but it has a great al fresco setting and this year is performing plays and operas that are linked by the theme of seduction.

Contact: Kirker Holidays (020-7593 2284; kirkerholidays.com) offers opera packages including return flights, six nights' accommodation and tickets to the festival from £ 1,410.

Jazz on the Hill, Greece

This August there are 76 jazz festivals – and that's just in Europe. Of particular interest is the Greek eco resort at Sani (saniresort.gr), which stages three festivals over the summer, starting with Jazz on the Hill, 13-15 July. This year the festival highlights Cuban piano virtuosos and features Chucho Valdes, Roberto Fonseca and Omar Sosa.

Contact: Carrier (0161 491 7650; carrier.co.uk) offers seven nights in Sani from £916, including return flights. Entrance to all concerts is free.

Don Chento Jazz, Russia

In Russia's Kaliningrad, Central Park plays host to the Don Chento Jazz Festival, 1-3 August (jazzfestival.ru). The line-up this year will include bands from Italy, France, Poland and Moscow.

Contact: A three-day "Cornet" ticket costs from 800 roubles (£17). Baltma Tours (00 7 4012 931931; baltma.ru) can arrange both tickets and hotel accommodation, with rooms available from 2,900 roubles (£60). KD Avia (kdavia. co.uk) offers return flights from £145.

Mirande Country Music, France

The French town of Marciac is famous for its jazz festival, 1-17 August (jazz marciac.com), and for the fact that the local school teaches jazz as part of the core curriculum. Mirande, next door, is the venue for a country music festival, 10-14 July (country-musique.com), which begins at 5pm and continues till dawn for five days.

Contact: The Gascony Secret (0844 800 1637; gascony-secret. com) offers a week's accommodation from £202. Ryanair (0871 246 0000; ryanair.com) has return flights to Pau from £79. Daily admission to the Mirande Country Music Festival festival is €22 (£17). Tickets to the jazz festival range from €26 to €54, though the "Abonnement Complet" at €410 is good value.

Monterey Bay Blues, USA

Monterey in California is the grandaddy of jazz festivals, but since 1985 it has been gaining a reputation for blues, too. This year's Monterey Bay Blues Festival, 27-29 June (montereyblues.com), offers 56 acts including the legendary BB King.

Contact: BA Holidays (0844 493 0787; ba.com/holidays) has a seven-night fly-drive to San Francisco for £614. A three-day main arena package starts at $110 (£55).

Fuji Rock, Japan

Fuji Rock, 25-27 July (smash-uk.com), Japan's biggest outdoor music event first held on Mt Fuji in 1997. Now at the Naeba ski resort. Acts include My Bloody Val- entine and Imawano Kiyoshiro.

Contact: InsideJapan Tours (0870 120 5600; insidejapantours .com) offers seven-night packages from £562. Return flights cost from £792 with Japan Airlines (08457 74700; jal.com).

Gothenburg Rock, Sweden

In the laid-back Swedish west coast city of Gothenburg a new rock festival is making its debut this year. Way Out West, 7-9 August (wayoutwest.se), will feature bands from Sweden and America bands, and includes a performance from UK group Franz Ferdinand.

Contact: A three-night Gothenburg Package costs 1,890 kronor (£140) and can be booked on goteborgplus.com. Festival passes cost 995 kronor (£82) (wayoutwest.se). Ryanair (as above) offers return fares from £52.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam