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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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March 2020

Andy Warhol Art at Tate Modern, London

March 12 - November 15
Tate Modern, Bankside
London,SE1 9TGUnited Kingdom
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Andy Warhol Art

London’s first retrospective of Andy Warhol art in almost 20 years has re-opened at the Tate Modern with special measures in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak...

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Nick Knight: Roses From My Garden

March 28 - November 25
Waddesdon Manor Aylesbury,BuckinghamshireHP18 0JHUnited Kingdom + Google Map
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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October 2020

Cheltenham Literature Festival, 2020

October 2 - October 11
cheltenham, 109-111 Bath Road
Cheltenham,GL53 7LSUnited Kingdom
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Cheltenham Literature Festival

Could there be a more appropriate setting for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival than the historic Regency spa town of Cheltenham...

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BFI London Film Festival 2020

October 7 - October 18
london London,United Kingdom + Google Map
BFI London Film Festival

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic the 64th BFI London Film Festival will walk red carpets around the UK capital once more this October, in what organisers claim will be the most…

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Isle of Wight Literary Festival, 2020

October 9 - October 11
Isle of Wight isle of wightUnited Kingdom
Isle of Wight Literary Festival

Now running for eight years the Isle of Wight Literary Festival is a major literary event in the south of England. Over four days, in excess of 60 writers will…

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Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival Japan 2020

October 15, 2020 - April 1, 2021
Nabana no Sato, 270 Urushibata, Komae
Kuwana City,Mie511-1144Japan
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Japan light tunnel

Nabana no Sato, a botanical garden in the Japanese prefecture of Mie, is home each year to one of the country’s best and biggest winter light festivals. During several months,…

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Durga Puja Festival 2020, India

October 22 - October 26
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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Raindance Film Festival 2020, London

October 28 - November 7
Vue Piccadilly, 19 Lower Regent Street
London,SW1Y 4LRUnited Kingdom
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£10 – £195
Raindance Film Festival

The largest independent UK film festival, The Raindance Film Festival returns to London for its 27th edition in September. Describing itself as the “champion of the underdog”...

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Tokyo International Film Festival 2020, Japan

October 31 - November 9
Roppongi Hills, 6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi
Minato City, Tokyo,106-6108Japan
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Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan

Prepare yourself to rub shoulders with film stars and to discover top international movies at one of Asia’s most prestigious competitive film events, the annual Tokyo...

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May 2021

Zurich Tanzt Dance Festival 2021

May 7, 2021 - May 9, 2021
Zurich, Wasserwerkstrasse 93
Zurich,8037Switzerland
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Zurich Tanzt

Zurich will be the home to a city-wide festival of dance in May. Held from 7 to 9 May, Zurich Tanzt assembles some of the finest contemporary dancers in the…

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June 2021

White Nights Festival 2021 Saint Petersburg, Russia

June 26, 2021 - August 27, 2021
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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August 2021

Fringe by the Sea 2021, Scotland

August 6, 2021 - August 15, 2021
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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