Rotondes summer music festival worth staying home for
Luxembourg in August is lazy and some may say boring. With schools closed for the summer and many people travelling abroad for their annual holiday, the streets are deserted. Those staying know this period has some hidden benefits: no traffic jams and no stress at the supermarket. And the Congés Annulés festival at the Rotondes.
A play on the expression congé annuel (annual leave), the Rotondes bring a festival brimming with music each summer. Those who opt to cancel their holidays in August have long known Luxembourg is not boring at all. The venue’s laid-back courtyard becomes a festival ground, the ideal backdrop for late summer nights in the company of good friends.
The list of artists spans an array of musical genres, leaning more towards the interpretative spectrum and genre-hopping. The kick-off on the 23rd of July saw Afro-Caribbean dance band The Mauskovic and techno-afro-jazz inspired drummer Bothlane set the tone for a month of musical and creative freedom.
Upcoming highlights include Dutch electronic music by De Ambassade, enhanced by performances of local acts Von Kübe and NBLR. German band International Music invites the audience on a psychedelic rock trip, with music that, as they proclaim themselves, sounds as if the Beatles had looked for inspiration in India and Scottish bagpipes.
Indie singer-songwriter Gruff Rhys presents his seventh solo album Seeking New Gods, a musical memoire of an ancient volcano on the China-North Korea border thought to hold mystical powers. Exploring the no-man’s-land of post-rock, post-punk infused with a little bit of jazz, newbie band Black Country, New Road is anything but conventional and will leave you in a haze.
Emerging from the dark corners of Toronto’s DIY music community, art-rock group Deliluh forged their own path to fame through gigs in random public spaces such as veteran halls, bakeries and libraries. With three LPs and a steady string of performances on the books, they now take their music to the not-so-random space of the Rotondes.
German singer-songwriter Stella Sommer, with the support of Hannah Ida, performs her second English solo album, Northern Dancer. Creating her own genre, Sommer’s music is somewhere between folk, chanson and 60s pop, and filled with warmth and grace.
Straight from Geneva’s underground club scene, Ethyos 440 will take you by the hand and lead you to the dance floor. Their late-night dub-mix leaves no one behind. German duo Sheebaba, together with The Cookie Jar Complot, are experts in crafting live performances and their music will take you on a journey through indie sounds and raw lyrics.
Music by Baltimore quartet Horse Lords is unlike anything you have heard and the best way to listen to it is to rid yourself from any expectations of what music should sound like. Just swing to some funky fun. To conclude the month-long festival, London-based Los Bitchos take the stage on August 28. The band is the brainchild of four gals from Australia, Uruguay, Sweden and the UK whose music lets psychedelic garage punk meet Latin American cumbia.
Present your CovidCheck certificate (in digital or paper form) at the entrance or get a rapid antigen test on your arrival.