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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 2019

Venice Biennale 2019 (La Biennale di Venezia)

May 11 - November 24
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 cultural happenings, famous for displaying new trends and launching the international careers of many an artist and architect. For every new edition, the management of the Venice Biennale select top curators from all over the world to organise the Biennale's pioneering art exhibitions. The first Venice Biennale was held in…

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September 2019

Turner Prize 2019 at the Turner Contemporary

September 28, 2019 - January 12, 2020
Margate, Rendezvous
Margate,CT9 1HGUnited Kingdom
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Turner Prize at the Turner Contemporary Margate

The prize and the gallery that were both named for artist J M W Turner will be brought together in 2019, when the Turner Contemporary Gallery...

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Setouchi Triennale 2019, Japan

September 28 - November 4
Setouchi islands Japan
Setouchi Triennale Japan

Every three years the Setouchi Triennale, one of Japan’s biggest festivals of modern art, takes place in the south-west of the country. Come spring this exceptional celebration...

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October 2019

Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival Japan 2020

October 15, 2019 - March 31, 2020
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, magical light tunnels, animated light shows and millions of LED lights immerse Nabana no Sato into an endless sea of light. Nabana no Sato flower park and botanical gardens The popular Nabana no Sato flower park comprises of several sections each dedicated to flowers. Its impressive number of flower varieties…

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Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2019

October 23 - October 27
Various venues in Ubud Ubud, Bali,Indonesia
Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Bali

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (often called the Ubud Writers Festival), one of the best literary festivals in the world, is held in the central Bali town of Ubud in October and will celebrate its 16th year as what has become Southeast Asia’s leading festival of words and ideas. A yearly pilgrimage for word lovers worldwide, the Ubud Writers Festival transcends cultural and physical borders, inviting both artists and audiences to enjoy and participate in public discussions, intimate literary…

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Tokyo International Film Festival 2019, Japan

October 28 - November 5
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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November 2019

Baltimore Book Festival & Light City Baltimore

November 1 - November 10
Inner Harbor Baltimore,MDUnited States + Google Map
Free
Light City Baltimore

Whether it is illumination through the enlightenment of books, or through the bulbs brightening the art and music, Baltimore Book Festival and Light City Baltimore...

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White Temple Thailand (Wat Rong Khun) Light Fest 2019

November 22 - December 22
Wat Rong Khun, ตำบล ป่าอ้อดอนชัย อำเภอเ มืองเชียงราย
Chiang Rai,Chiang Rai57000Thailand
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White Temple Light Fest Thailand

Thailand is pulling out all the stops from 22 November to 22 December when the inaugural Wat Rong Khun Light Fest will light up northern Thailand’s already very bright White Temple with a world-class multimedia laser extravaganza.  Dubbed one of the kingdom's most recognised Thai temples, Wat Rong Khun will soon become even more recognisable. In an illuminating effort to attract more tourists to the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai, its famous landmark White Temple will be the subject…

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Amsterdam Light Festival 2019

November 28, 2019 - January 19, 2020
Amsterdam Amsterdam,Netherlands + Google Map
Amsterdam Light Festival

The streets and canals of Amsterdam will once more become illuminated with the seventh Amsterdam Light Festival this winter...

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December 2019

Wonderfruit Festival 2019, Thailand

December 12 - December 16
The Fields, Siam Country Club
Pattaya,ChonburyThailand
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Wonderfruit Festival Thailand

Within just a few years, the Wonderfruit Festival has risen to become one of the most anticipated festivals in Thailand blending music and gastronomy with wellness...

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Harbin Ice Festival China 2020 Extravaganza

December 25, 2019 - February 25, 2020
Harbin Harbin,China + Google Map
Harbin Ice Festival

Once mostly a regional affair, the Harbin Ice Festival, China - or the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival...

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February 2020

Hong Kong Arts Festival 2020

February 13, 2020 - March 14, 2020
Different venues in Hong Kong Hong Kong + Google Map
Hong Kong Arts Festival

International top artists giving world class performances ranging from the classical to the avant-garde, and the familiar to the surprising – the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2020 is this vibrant city’s premier cultural happening. Organised since 1973, the festival is now in its 48th edition and has grown into the territory’s biggest arts event of the year drawing thousands of spectators. What is the Hong Kong Arts Festival? During the four weeks of the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2020, leading…

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