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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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June 2021

Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale 2021

June 9 - June 20
Berlinale Palast, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 1
Berlin,10785Germany
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Berlin International Film Festival

The Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale, takes place every year and is one of the most important and most visited film festivals on the planet with…

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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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July 2021

Cannes Film Festival 2021, France

July 6 - July 17
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès Cannes,Alpes-MaritimesFrance + Google Map
Cannes Film Festival

Probably the most famous – and certainly the most glitzy – film festivals in the world, the Cannes Film Festival, or Cannes Festival to give its official title, is held…

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Balham Comedy Festival, The Bedford Balham

July 9 - July 18
The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham
London,SW12 9HDUnited Kingdom
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Balham Comedy Festival

The Balham Comedy Festival will once more douse the streets of south London with a liberal sprinkling of mirth this July at The Bedford Balham. Hosted by the Banana Cabaret,…

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George Town Festival 2021, Penang

July 10 - July 18
George Town Penang,Malaysia
George Town Festival Penang Malaysia

Less than a week after celebrating its UNESCO World Heritage Day, once again culture, art and heritage will take over Penang’s capital during the George Town Festival from 10 to…

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Candle Festival Thailand, 2021

July 23 - July 25
Different locations across the country Thailand
Candle Festival Thailand

Marking the start of the green (or wet) season, the Candle Festival in July is amongst the most beautiful celebrations in Thailand. Extravagant, intricately-carved candle sculptures are shown off at…

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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
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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
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Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh Festival, or Edinburgh International Festival, kicks off on 7 August, 2021. This year’s programme features some of the best...

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Green Man Festival 2021, Brecon Beacons, Wales

August 19 - August 22
Brecon Beacons National Park Crickhowell,PowysNP7United Kingdom + Google Map
Green Man Festival

Held in the beautiful Black Mountains, in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales the four-day Green Man Festival is a must for the UK’s festival lovers this…

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September 2021

Venice International Film Festival 2021

September 1 - September 11
Lido, Lido di Venezia
Venice,Italy
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Venice International Film Festival

The Venice International Film Festival, officially called Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica, is the world’s oldest film festival. Every year you can indulge here in the best...

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Berlin Festival of Lights 2020, Germany

September 3 - September 12
Berlin Berlin,Germany + Google Map
Free
Berlin Festival of Lights 2020

Each autumn the German capital becomes a city of illumination for the Berlin Festival of Lights. This year will see art works in 70 locations spread all over the city.…

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Derby Festé Street Festival 2021

September 24 - September 25
derby derby,derbyshireUnited Kingdom
Derby Feste

The streets of Derby will resound with dance, music, comedy and contemporary circus this September, as Derby Festé hits the ground running for a thirteenth successive year...

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Eugene O’Neill Festival, Danville, California

September 25 - September 26
Tao House Danville,CA94526-0402United States + Google Map
Eugene O’Neill Festival

Each autumn the town of Danville in Tri-Valley, California hosts the Eugene O’Neill Festival to celebrate the works of America’s premier playwright and Nobel prize winner...

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October 2021

Durga Puja Festival 2021, India

October 6 - 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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BFI London Film Festival 2021

October 6 - October 17
london London,United Kingdom + Google Map
BFI London Film Festival

The 65th BFI London Film Festival will walk red carpets around the UK capital once more this October,  with a plethora of films including world premieres. From 6 to 17…

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Isle of Wight Literary Festival, 2021

October 8 - October 10
Isle of Wight isle of wightUnited Kingdom
Isle of Wight Literary Festival

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival is a major literary event in the south of England. In the past the event has attracted such luminaries as Andrew Marr, Dame Jenni…

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Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2021

October 8 - October 17
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…

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Cheltenham Literature Festival, 2021

October 8 - October 17
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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