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Three festivals this weekend in Ireland, Spain and Belgium

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Summer festivals kick off Saturday in Flanders, with Longitude Festivals in Dublin, Ireland, Monegros Desert Festival in Spain's Aragon region and Roque Vercher in Belgium starting Saturday.



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Mongros Desert Festival has become a reference for fans of hip hop and electronic music.  Here it is, the 15th edition of 2009.  (Victor Lax / EFE)

The festive season is open. An art that combines music and nature, sometimes under very extreme conditions.

In Ireland, a major festival with Taylor Swift concerts in Dublin

In Dublin, the Longitude Festival returns for its 10th edition on Saturday 29 June. Since 2013, this hip-hop, electro and alternative pop rock festival has echoed the English festival Latitude. Headlining this year is Central C, an English rapper with over 30 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Rapper Doja Cat will perform in Ireland for the first time on Sunday, as well as Atlanta expat 21 Savage in the United States, British rapper Becky Hill, who graced The Voice United Kingdom, and Kenya Grace. The singer behind the viral hit “Strangers”. Half of the 23 scheduled artists are Irish and we can hear DJ duo Belters Only or singer Jazzy from Dublin.

But Longitude Festival won't be the only party in town. 150,000 Swiftites – Taylor Swift fans – will flock to the Aviva Stadium where the global star will perform three concerts in a row. Meanwhile, Dublin is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pride on Saturday. Authorities are already warning of a “severe shortage of taxis” every weekend!

In Spain, go to the desert

In Spain, a festival takes place every summer in the Los Monegros desert, in Aragon, in the north of Spain, not far from the Pyrenees. The festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. It was created by Juan Arnau and his wife, regulars at raves all over Europe, who imagined organizing their own rave while visiting their family property in this Monegros desert. From a small amateur format in 1994, the festival turned professional and today is organized by the couple's children. With 11 different stages and an expected crowd of 50,000, it has become the largest techno and electronic music festival in the country. This year we'll hear hip-hop, dub, drum bass, as well as house and disco, with the addition of psy-trance for the first time. Among the artists, we find the British Chase and Status, the Spanish Kiza, or the French Entreloop, a mix of reggae and hip-hop.

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To avoid dying of heat or thirst, very large shaded areas are provided along with 75 water taps to quench your thirst, a washing tunnel to cool off and a “survival manual” from the organization. For example: “Remember to bring water for the return trip” or “If you're coming by car, bring containers of chilled water so you have fresh water when you leave 22 hours later”.

A major rock festival in Belgium, 40 km from Brussels

The largest festival will be held in Belgium. Rock Verture begins next Thursday, July 4th. The four-day concert until July 7, in the Flemish region of Vercher, about forty kilometers northwest of Brussels, is expected to attract 85,000 people.

Since its inception in 1975, this mainstream rock festival has continued to grow, again this year with 110 artists, spread over four stages. A legend among them: Lenny Kravitz, 60, apparently decided to extend his Thursday show by two hours. For the nostalgic, there will also be Avril Lavigne on Saturday evening. Her hits are 20 years old, but the American continues to write (especially for Rihanna). On Saturday evening we'll find young artists like Dua Lipa on the main stage, and to close the festival, a return to the legends with Foo Fighters.

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