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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

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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October 2021

Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival Japan 2021

October 23, 2021 - May 31, 2022
Nabana no Sato, 270 Urushibata, Komae
Kuwana City,Mie511-1144Japan
+ Google Map
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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Raindance Film Festival 2021, London

October 27 - November 6
Vue Piccadilly, 19 Lower Regent Street
London,SW1Y 4LRUnited Kingdom
+ Google Map
£10 – £195
Raindance 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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Aké Festival, Laos, Nigeria 2020

October 28 - October 30
Lagos Lagos,Nigeria
Lebogang Mashile Aké Festival

Africa’s leading arts and book event Aké Festival will return Thursday 22 – Sunday 25 October with a free programme of 65 inspiring talks, workshops, panel discussions...

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Tokyo International Film Festival 2021, Japan

October 30 - November 8
Roppongi Hills, 6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi
Minato City, Tokyo,106-6108Japan
+ Google Map
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 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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