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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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October 2020

Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival Japan 2020

October 24, 2020 - May 31, 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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Raindance Film Festival 2020, London

October 28, 2020 - November 7, 2020
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, 2020 - November 9, 2020
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 2020

Canal Convergence, Scottsdale, Arizona 2020

November 6, 2020 - November 15, 2020
Scottsdale Waterfront Scottsdale,AZUnited States + Google Map
Free
Canal Convergence Scottsdale

A large open air art event in downtown Scottsdale, the Canal Convergence features local and international artists. It begins in the late afternoon and continues into the night....

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December 2020

Amsterdam Light Festival 2020

December 10, 2020 - January 3, 2021
Amsterdam Amsterdam,Netherlands + Google Map
Absorbed_by_Light Amsterdam Light Festival

The streets and canals of Amsterdam will once more host the ninth Amsterdam Light Festival this winter, from 10 December, 2020 to 3 January, 2021...

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January 2021

Harbin Ice Festival China 2020 Extravaganza

January 5 - February 25
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 as it is officially known - has grown into the…

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March 2021

Slapstick Festival Bristol, 2021

March 1 - March 7
Bristol Bristol,United Kingdom + Google Map
Slapstick Festival

Fans of the silent screen should virtually head to Bristol this March for Slapstick Festival 2021, a celebration of silent and vintage screen comedy, and much more. Now in its…

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May 2021

Zurich Tanzt Dance Festival 2021

May 7 - May 30
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 30 May, Zurich Tanzt assembles some of the finest contemporary dancers in the…

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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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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
+ Google Map
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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