Few industries around the world have suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic than events and festivals. However, slowly festivals are starting to reappear in the global events calendar, with many more taking on a virtual form. Travel Begins at 40 has produced its own brief round-up of the best festivals in August around the world.

Cultural Festivals in August

Feria de las Flores 2019, Medellin, Colombia – 31 July to 9 August

Medellin in Colombia is transformed during its annual Feria de las Flores or Flower Festival held each July to August. The main attraction is the Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden that covers 14 hectares and has over 1,000 species. Within this is the Orchidiarium, with its large orchid and butterfly collection. The parade of the silleteros – a procession of large lightweight fan-like frames decorated in flowers – is arguably the most impressive part of the Feria de las Flores festival.

Music Festivals in August

Waterperry Opera Festival 2020, UK – 15 to 16 August

Festivals in August Waterperry Opera Festival
Waterperry Opera Festival

The team at the Waterperry Opera Festival has devised an innovative approach to schedule a couple of operas – Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and Ariel by Jonathan Doyle in the gardens of Waterperry House on 15 and 16 August. Tickets cost from £8 to £30, some are free for students and the under 18s. Fans of Cosi Fan Tutte will be placed in socially-distanced pods, while for Ariel, concert goers will be allocated standing tickets only for the 30-minute programme.

Spoleto Festival 2020, Spoleto, Italy – 20 to 30 August
Spoleto Festival Festivals in August
A performance at the Roman Theatre, phot by Cristiano Minichiello/AGF

The spectacular Umbrian city of Spoleto will once more host the Spoleto Festival this August. The 63th Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds will take place from 20 to 23, and 27 to 30 August, 2020 with a series of eight evening concerts directed by Giorgio Ferrara, held in the beautiful city’s Piazza Duomo and Roman Theatre. Italian artists performing at the 2020 Spoleto Festival include Monica Bellucci, Luca Zingaretti and Riccardo Muti.

Tallinn Music Week 2020, Estonia – 27 to 30 August

Iceage at the Tallinn Music Week
Iceage will perform at the Tallinn Music Week

Those who prefer their music more heavy that classical should head to one of Europe’s most eclectic contemporary music festivals – the Tallinn Music Week. This year, the festival has been delayed to August, and attendance at outdoor events will be restricted to 1,000 and to 500 for indoor events. Confirmed bands include Iceage from Denmark, UK dark pop duo The KVB and Strange Idols, Latvia’s Tribes of the City, and Sylk from Ireland.

Moab Music Festival 2020, Utah – 31 August to 14 September

Moab Music Festival
Moab Music Festival

Few festivals lend themselves more conveniently to social distancing than the Moab Music Festival. This year’s season starts with a Westwater Musical raft trip from 31 August to 3 September, and concludes with the final Grotto Concert on 14 September. A series of outdoor and socially-distanced concerts will be performed in a range of venues around Moab, with the signature Grotto Concerts taking place in a pristine grotto 30 miles out of town down the Colorado River. You can also go on one of the music hikes. Confirmed artists include: Paquito D Rivera Quintet, JACK Quartet, Justin Austin, Kristin Lee, Cynthia Phelps and Diego Urcola.

Virtual Festivals in August

Other festivals have decided to adopt a more virtual approach to proceedings which has helped to make them more accessible to people. Major virtual festivals in August in the UK include the Edinburgh Fringe and Hull’s Freedom Festival. Sadly many other festivals such as the Notting Hill Carnival have been cancelled.

Exhibitions Running in August

August will also see many exhitbitions taking place as museums and galleries are becoming increasingly open to the public in the UK and Europe in particular. While it is impossible to highight all of these, some standout exhibitions are Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern, which runs until 15 November, and Nick Knight: Roses From My Garden at the Waddesdon Manor, which runs until 25 November.

More Festivals in 2020

If you are planning for further ahead please visit our Events and Festival page, which we will constantly update as and when information becomes available as to which events and festivals are cancelled or postponed and which are going ahead.

COVID-19 Precautions

All the above festivals have implemented special measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However governments, such as the UK, advise against travel to many countries. We strongly recommend that you check the current travel advice for each country before you take a trip overseas.

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