The Art of a Good Festival: The World’s Best Festivals for Art Lovers

There’s no doubting that there’s a festival for everything, and everyone.

While the big name music festivals – like Glastonbury, Coachella, Summerfest and T in the Park – are known by everyone the world over, there are lots of smaller events devoted to pretty much everything from arts to literature, food to craft.

Here are just some of the best festivals across the globe for arts lovers.

Bayou City Art Festival


One of the most anticipated events in the Texas calendar, the Bayou City Art Festival, prides itself on being fun for the whole family. What started in a parking lot in Montrose more than 40 years ago as just a small neighbourhood arts and crafts show is now a twice-yearly fine arts fair. It features more than 450 artists along with music, food stalls, local wines and beers as well as a creative zone set up for children. The Crowne Plaza Galleria is a good accommodation option as, just a couple of miles away from the venue, it offers special rates to art festival attendees along with a shuttle bus service.

More details.

Norfolk and Norwich Festival


Taking place this year from May 9 to 24, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival has established itself as one of the UK’s largest multi-art form festivals. This year promises to be more exciting than ever. Highlights include the genre-defying Opus No 7, Grammy award winners Snarky Puppy and internationally-renowned violinist Tasmin Little. The outdoor programme is set to include an awe-inspiring finale from Safe House, which will combine aerialists and projection. Nearby, Parkdean’s Cherry Tree resort makes a good base for visiting the festival, meaning you could combine a trip to the festival with seeing some of Norfolk’s most iconic attractions like Great Yarmouth beach and the Norfolk Broads. More details.

Isle of Arts Festival


A festival of arts and culture, the Isle of Arts Festival on the Isle of Wight at the beginning of May incorporates literature, music, comedy, visual arts, photography and film. So, no matter what genre you’re a fan of, you’re sure to find something you want to see or watch. The main events take place in the festival marquee on Salisbury Gardens. There’s also an affordable arts fair, so you should be able to pick up a piece to take home to remind you of your trip. If you’ve got your own tent or campervan, Stoats Farm, at the foot of the Tennyson Downs offers a picturesque base for your stay. More details.

Castile-Leon International Arts Festival


Spain offers some of the world’s best art experiences, from a jaunt around the Museu Picasso to taking in some of Gaudi’s staggering architecture in Barcelona. And, the arts festivals in Spain live up to high expectations. The Castile-Leon International Arts Festival is a relatively new kid on the arts block, having been running in Salamanca since 2005. But, what it lacks in longevity, it makes up for in variety. The multidisciplinary event combines all sorts of shows from theatre to dance, electronic music to graffiti art, taking place in venues across the city. The Hotel Petit Palace Las Torres is set in a magnificent Churrigueresque building but, despite its grandeur, it still offers good value rooms in the centre of the action. More details.

Yorkshire Festival 47


With the Tour de France set to depart from Yorkshire in July, the county has decided to send off cyclists with the best fanfare possible, organising an arts and culture festival to coincide with the event. The festival has been called 47 because organisers are aiming to create 47 ambitious events. Highlights of the festival include the creation of two new sculptures, large-scale art installations to be placed along the tour route, and a quirky musical extravaganza with cyclists pulling a grand piano on a platform up a hill while pianists perform. The event runs until July 6 and the Let Our Yorkshire Dales website has a good map showing hotels, campsites and bunkhouses along the route so you can catch some of the cycling action along with the art. More details.

Wherever you are, there are plenty of events taking place designed to appeal to lovers of the arts the world over.

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