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Event Category: Arts Festivals

The arts are as vast and varied as humanity itself. Our cultures and religions, and hopes, fears and desires are all expressed through the myriad forms of art that, just like us, keep evolving and expanding. No wonder then that arts festivals are major events in a country’s calendar.

Whether it’s just to keep yourself entertained, or to enrich your understanding of a destination and its people, festivals of art will often leave you with richer and more memorable travel experiences.

Arts and Art Festivals

Sometimes arts festivals are understood as encompassing the arts at large, whereas events which tend to focus on the visual arts are often called art (in the singular) festivals or art exhibitions – or lowbrow art versus highbrow art. At Travel Begins at 40, we are no brow at all and love everything. From the fine, visual and plastic arts to the performing and decorative arts and architecture, and from ethnic and religious arts to avant-garde and experimental arts, let yourself be surprised, amused or challenged wherever you travel.

Fringe festivals

Fringe festivals are events where the style or subject matter of the arts presented are experimental, and it’s the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, one of the world’s largest arts festivals, where the term comes from. Fringe festivals can now be found all over the world such as the Rainforest Fringe Festival in Borneo.

Art Biennale and Triennale

Occurring only once every two and three years, an art biennale and triennale sometimes make for the largest and most important art gatherings in the world, such as the famous Venice Biennale. But also some of these lesser known rare events are much worth attending, of which the Setouchi Triennale in Japan is a case in point. Make sure you plan them into your travels well ahead of time because if you miss one, it’ll be a long wait.

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May 2021

Bruges Triennial (Triennale Brugge), Belgium 2021

May 8 - October 24
Bruges Bruges,Belgium + Google Map
Free
Bruges Triennial

The Bruges Triennial (Triennale Brugge) is a contemporary art and architecture event held every three years in the city of Bruges, Belgium. This summer will see the third version of…

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Nick Knight: Roses From My Garden

May 19 - October 31
Waddesdon Manor Aylesbury,BuckinghamshireHP18 0JHUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Free
Nick-Knight-Saturday-20th-May-2017-Hand-coated-pigment-print-©-Nick-Knight-Courtesy-of-the-Artist-and-Albion-Barn

Nick Knight has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen and John Galiano. The visionary photographer has directed videos for Tom Ford, Lady Gaga and Kanye West...

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Venice Biennale 2021 (La Biennale di Venezia)

May 22 - November 21
Venice Venice,Italy
Venice Biennale Italy

From May to November, the Venice Biennale (la Biennale di Venezia in its original Italian, and in English also called the Venice Biennial) is one of the world’s most prestigious…

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Beaufort 21 Triennial, Belgium

May 27 - November 7
zeebrugge zeebrugge,Belgium + Google Map
Free
Beaufort 21 Triennial, Belgium

Beaufort 21, the Triennial of Contemporary Art by the Sea, returns to the Belgian coast in 2021. From May until November, a series of work by 21 artists will be…

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June 2021

Helsinki Biennial 2021: The Same Sea

June 12 - September 26
Vallisaari island Helsinki,Finland + Google Map
Vallisaari Island skyline, courtesy Helsinki Biennial

Helsinki Biennial will take place for the first time from 12 June to 26 September on Vallisaari island, located in the Helsinki Archipelago. Uniting the maritime island with the city…

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White Nights Festival 2021 Saint Petersburg, Russia

June 26 - August 27
All over town Saint Petersburg,Russian Federation
White Nights Saint Petersburg Russia

During the period of the White Nights Festival from June to July in Saint Petersburg, the sun never sets and the city never sleeps. Russia’s cultural capital....

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Paradise Kortrijk Triennial, Belgium

June 26 - October 24
Kortrijk Kortrijk,Belgium + Google Map
Paradise Kortrijk Triennial

Inspired by interpretations of the utopian dream of paradise, the Kortrijk Triennial will take place from 26 June to 24 October, 2021 in the Belgium city. Organisers of the Paradise…

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August 2021

Fringe by the Sea 2021, Scotland

August 6 - August 15
North Berwick East LothianUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Fringe by the Sea

Forget the Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh International Festival, Fringe by the Sea returns to the East Lothian town of North Berwick in August for ten days of music, literature, film,…

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Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2021

August 6 - August 30
Edinburgh Fringe Box Office, 180 High Street
Edinburgh,EH1 1QSUnited Kingdom
+ Google Map
Edinburgh Fringe

One of the largest arts festivals in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place in the Scottish capital from 6 to 30 August, 2021. The 2021 Fringe will go…

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Edinburgh Festival (Edinburgh International Festival)

August 7 - August 29
Edinburgh Festival The Hub, Castlehill
Edinburgh,EH1 2NEUnited Kingdom
+ Google Map
Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh Festival, or Edinburgh International Festival, kicks off on 7 August, 2021. This year’s programme features some of the best and emerging contemporary artists from around the world. In…

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October 2021

Durga Puja Festival 2021, India

October 11 - October 15
All over the Indian subcontinent
Durga Puja Festival India

Durga Puja, one of the most important festivals for Hindu Bengalis, is the biggest yearly event in Kolkata and known as the Carnival of the East. Usually taking place in…

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November 2021

Lumiere Light Festival Durham

November 18 - November 21
Durham Durham,United Kingdom + Google Map
Free
Lumiere Light Festival Durham

Lumiere Light Festival Durham is the largest light festival in the UK. Held every other year since 2009, the next Lumiere Festival is slated to occur in November 2021. Organisers…

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