Art And Adventure: The Best Cultural Festivals Around The World

Traveling the world can open your eyes to new cultures, expand your artistic horizons, and offer a new lease on life. More often than not, the things we experience when we’re abroad stay with us throughout our lives. When it comes to eye-opening experiences, few things do it quite as well as art festivals, and there are plenty around the world vying for our attention. With so many new events popping up each year, however, staying on top of things can seem more than a little daunting; over time, it’s easy to lose oneself in a flurry of cultural festivals. The trick is to plan your approach. While there is a great deal to be said for many arts events around the world, these festivals might just take the proverbial cake, and after experiencing just one of them, you might never see culture in the same way again.

Venice Biennial

One of the most beautiful cities in the world, it makes sense that Venice should host one of the most internationally lauded arts festivals. Held every two years in the floating city, the Biennial brings together some of the most established names in the arts industry, all showing off some of the highlights of their careers. Running from June until November, this festival transforms the Italian city during the summer months, turning it into a real cultural hotspot.

Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain in France (FIAC)

While Paris might always be one of the best places in the world to get a glimpse of your favorite work of art, the city lights up even more when the FIAC festival rolls into town. Taking place within the ever-impressive Grand Palais, this festival showcases some of the most cutting edge modern and contemporary art from around the world, bringing together sculptures, photography, and installation works. Running for just 4 days, the festival books up quickly, so keep your eye on the agenda before it’s too late.

Frieze Art Fair

Want the best of Europe and America? Set your sights on the Frieze Art Fair. Taking place in both New York and London, the festival features the works of over 170 different galleries from around the world, attracting a horde of collectors in the process. While the New York offering is still in its infancy, it has wowed the art world over the last few years and now it looks set to become a major player on the scene.

Hong Kong International Art Fair

There’s a lot to get excited about in the East; if you want to place a finger on the pulse of the region, the Hong Kong International Art Fair will serve you well. Despite being less than 10 years old, the festival has been quick to pick up the pace. It now features the works of more than 266 galleries from 38 different countries. Balancing both the East and West, this fair is one of the most diverse of its kind, attracting tourists and collectors alike.

Vivid Sydney

Throwing a little color into the mix is Vivid Sydney, an arts event that is best enjoyed when the sun goes down. Featuring a number of different light installations, this festival is designed to transform the Australian city, rebranding its most famous monuments. Attendee numbers have been on the rise ever since the festival opened its doors, and now it might just be the most anticipated event in the entire country.

Art is a great way of gaining perspective on a culture; it can help us to understand its past and take a look at its future. While these festivals might showcase the most disparate kinds of talent that exist around the world, they also shine a light on the local scenes of the cities involved, showcasing just what it is that they’re doing for the art world. Diverse, inspirational, and entirely creative, these art festivals might just make you see the world in a new, imaginative way.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.

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