Art and literary festivals

Across the globe, arts and literature festivals abound. Throughout the year, comedians, artists, and performers gather to celebrate their art and showcase their craft. In just a day at one of the following festivals, you can spot a household name, meet a local artist, watch a show or join in a workshop making it the ultimate way to satisfy any culture cravings whilst on holiday.

Art and literary festivals
Bergen theatre
Bergen International Festival, Norway - May or June

The Bergen International Festival offers an extensive line up of the arts in all their guises. From cutting edge production, to premieres covering the spheres of music, opera, theatre and dance, the festival is renowned for its diverse offering and sits at the forefront of the industry. Each year, some 250 events are staged over the course of 15 days in around 20 venues around the city and whilst classical music and theatre are cornerstones of the festival, there is something for all tastes to enjoy.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Croatia - July or August

Founded in 1950, Dubrovnik Summer Festival is a mostly open air festival of music, dance, theatre and film held over 6 weeks in the extraordinary setting of medieval Dubrovnik Old Town and Lokrum Island. The opening ceremony takes place in front of the baroque Church of St Blaise and ends with some spectacular fireworks. As something of an institution in the city, the festival welcomes international and local performers, guaranteeing an unforgettable evening of entertainment.

Throughout the course of the festival, you can expect an extensive line up, hosted at open air locations dotted across the old town. The ultimate outdoor cinema experience.

Bogota city centre, Colombia
Festival de Cine de Bogota, Colombia - July

Celebrating the vibrant culture of the capital of Colombia, this film festival embraces the urban and the intellectual, reflecting the essence of this exciting city. Arguably the largest cinematic event in the country, the festival has continued to grow and now screens around 100,000 films hailing from all corners of the world during the course of the festival. The festival also fosters the promotion of lesser known films, in order to contribute to the development of the industry and its revival in the Americas.

Sri Lanka arts and crafts
Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka - January

Set in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle, the Fairway Galle Literary Festival has become one of the most anticipated literary events in the Indian subcontinent for authors and literary enthusiasts across the world. Celebrating the work of international and Sri Lankan authors, the festival is a totally immersive experience which offers workshops, debates, discussions and recitals by day, and musical performances and wine tastings by night.

Zimbabwean crafts
Harare International Festival of the Arts, Zimbabwe - April or May

Local and international artists perform at this annual Harare International Festival of the Arts. The five principal disciplines celebrated are theatre, music, dance, fine art and poetry. Overcoming difficult sociopolitical and economic conditions, the festival is now the biggest cultural event in Zimbabwe and has become an integral and important part of Zimbabwe's cultural calendar. Throughout the course of a week, the programme of workshops embrace the very best of the Zimbabwean arts sector, via the means of theatre, dance, music, circus, street performance, fashion, spoken words and visual arts.

Jaipur Literature Festival, India
Jaipur Literature Festival, India - January

Jaipur Literature Festival has been described as the greatest literary show on Earth and annually attracts an impressive line up of great minds. Everyone from historians and politicians to sports people and entertainers arrive in the Pink City for this spectacular event to hear from some of the best loved and respected names in the industry, including Nobel Laureates and winners of the Man Booker Prize. It is the perfect place to learn from prominent literary figures in the incredible surroundings of the Jaipur countryside.

Fireworks at Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh Festival would be more accurately described as the Edinburgh Festivals. The Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo are the most famous. The International Festival comprises world class music, theatre, dance and opera performances. The Tattoo is a spectacle that takes place in Edinburgh Castle with musicians, dancers and military pageantry. The highlight is the pipes and drums and if you attend the second performance on Saturday includes fireworks. The Fringe began in 1947 as an act of defiance by performers who were denied from taking part in the Edinburgh International Festival and decided to perform anyway on the fringes - it's now larger than Edinburgh International Festival.

Arts Festival, Reykjavik
Reykjavik Art Festival, Iceland - May or June

Hosted biennially, the Reykjavik Art Festival is a celebration of the arts with a focus on the creative industries from all over the globe. The vast network of national and international artists who arrive here is reminiscent of Iceland's diversity and the festival serves to celebrate the artists at the forefront of the industry. The festival is one of the oldest and most respected arts festivals amongst the Nordic countries.

Shakespeare's Celebrations, UK

The life and works of Shakespeare is etched into the very walls of Stratford upon Avon, confirming it as the beating heart for literature in the UK. The annual Shakespeare's Celebrations, held on the Bard's birthday, are an extravaganza of all things Shakespeare dating back nearly 200 years. Local and international performers gather to celebrate the life and legacy of Shakespeare in the form of plays, performances and workshops, a befitting exhibition of English culture.

Singapore arts museum
Singapore International Festival of the Arts - June to September

Beginning in 1977, the annual Singapore International Festival of the Arts or SIFA is a national performing arts festival. Experience a smorgasbord of performances with influences from across the globe in the form of theatre, dance and music. Singapore's thriving creative scene is showcased here and taking part in the event is particularly captivating for art lovers and theatre buffs alike.

Touted as the highlight of Singapore's cultural calendar, catering to discerning arts fans and acclaimed for its offering of avant-garde performances.

Tromso, Norway
Tromsø International Film Festival, Norway - January

The Tromsø International Film Festival is hosted during the dark polar nights so atmospheric film screenings benefit from the darkness of the Norwegian skies. This is the place where Norwegian and international film meet to celebrate the latest offerings of local and global film production. Films are screened in a variety of locations across the city of Tromsø, giving you plenty of choice to decide on a film that's for you.

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