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Pathway travels: 5 of the world’s coolest art festivals

If you are currently studying or hope to pursue a career in the arts, you already know that there are a wide variety of disciplines and directions you could take. Whether you choose to express yourself through music, acting, visual art, or even dance, there are places all over the world that can support your artistic endeavors and provide you with all kinds of new inspiration. With so many impressive museums, performances, and other creative displays across the globe, it can be a challenge even to know where to begin your journey of artistic exploration.

Festivals, however, are a unique way to explore a variety of art forms. Attending an art festival may broaden your creative perspectives by introducing you to new mediums. It may even allow you to showcase your own work, meet other creatives and gain a better understanding of what life can be like as a professional artist. If you are looking to get your creative juices flowing, these art festivals will surely help!

Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland

From dance to theatre, spoken word poetry to musical performances, Edinburgh’s annual Festival Fringe has it all! One of the world’s most widely-recognized spaces for creativity, the Festival Fringe is a month-long fusion of artists and performers from all over the world. This festival provides a perfect space for budding artists and performers to introduce their craft to the world in just about any form imaginable. Whether you’re a writer, comedian, actor or really just about anything else, you can find your creative niche at Festival Fringe.

ArtBasel in Basel, Switzerland

ArtBasel is a leading visual arts festival that plays a very important role in the art market. For individuals who are interested in learning more about curation, collection and galleries, ArtBasel is a great place to start. While the featured artists are major highlights, a main conceptual focus of the festival is to educate attendees about the important role that galleries play in artists’ careers. The festival even has panel discussions with thought leaders in the curation and collection industry so that visitors can gain a better understanding of how the art market works. ArtBasel also has fairs in Miami, Florida and Hong Kong, so you can take advantage of the opportunity to engage with an international community of artists and curators across three different continents.

Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Officially called New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (but better known simply as Jazz Fest), this celebration of music and culture occurs each spring. Jazz Fest was founded in 1970 as a way to celebrate New Orleans’s rich history as the birthplace of jazz music. Today, however, it’s not just jazz: it’s a rich fusion of musicians from all over the world, representing a variety of musical genres. If you’re looking for both a cultural immersion into Louisiana’s long musical history and the opportunity to witness a plethora of incredible musical performances, Jazz Fest is the festival for you!

Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy

La Biennale de Venezia is one of the world’s most well-known contemporary art festivals, showcasing creativity in all its forms. Founded in 1895, the original Biennale focused only on visual art, but over the years has grown to include dance, theatre, music, architecture and cinema. Now, the Art Biennale occurs in odd-numbered years, while the Architecture Biennale occurs in even-numbered years. The exhibitions are carefully curated around a unique, thought-provoking theme each year. Visitors even have the opportunity to engage with the artists themselves at the start of each week during the six-month long festival. It’s truly a perfect opportunity for aspiring artists to visit a beautiful city and gain some perspective on the art world.

Melbourne International Arts Festival in Melbourne, Australia

Similar to ArtBasel and the Venice Biennale, the Melbourne International Arts Festival curates a wide variety of artists and forms to highlight diverse international and Australian artists. This festival, however, is focused much more heavily on experience, encouraging attendees to get involved in a variety of workshops and large-scale conversations around the installations. Spread over 17 days each fall, visitors are immersed in dance, theatre, visual art and more. If you’re looking for a place to share your ideas and learn more about Australia’s art scene, this is a perfect place to start.

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