Feature

The Best Art Biennials and Festivals of Summer 2024

01 May 2024

Suzie Jones

Take your holiday cue from the art crowd—this summer, art festivals and biennials are activating towns and cities across the globe. Discover exhibitions, performances, symposia, and even an artist-led spa! Read on to plan your next art and travel experience.

We’ve pulled together a list of the best art festivals and biennials to build a trip around this summer. Head to major art hotspots like London and Venice, or take roads less travelled through the Italian Dolomites or along the Belgian coast. Either way, these programmes offer not only the best in contemporary art, film, and performance, but also an excuse to explore a brand-new destination.

Flatpack Festival 2024, 10-19 May, Birmingham, UK

Far from your average film festival, Flatpack Festival offers a boundary-pushing programme that spans art, technology, music, and spoken word, presenting transformative films and performances from all over the world. This year's programme includes a performance from the award-winning Japanese artist duo Usaginingen, the return of Flatpack's BAFTA-qualifying short film competition, and an artist-led spa promising access to higher consciousness. Whether you’re after a bit of escapism, something to knock your socks off, or just some brilliant cinema, Flatpack has something for everyone.

Biennale Gherdëina 9, 31 May - 1 September 2024, Ortisei, Italy

Nestled in the foothills of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the 9th edition of Biennale Gherdëina takes inspiration from the ancient Ladin myths of the Dolomites. Whilst the Ortisei-based Biennale has evolved over the years into an internationally acclaimed art world event, it stays true to its original concept: to act as an artistic exchange between people, the land, local ecology, and tradition.

Amsterdam Art Week, 29 May - 2 June 2024, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Consider Amsterdam your early summer art-getaway. During Amsterdam Art Week, more than 300 artists will be exhibiting their work in over 70 locations across the city. Explore your new favourite artist in one of Amsterdam’s many galleries, museums, project spaces, and private collections. Artist highlights include Mounira Al Solh, Saskia Noor van Imhoff and Tenant of Culture. Sunday, 2 June is a family day, with specially programmed events for people of all ages.

Kensington and Chelsea Public Art Trail, June - August 2024, and Art Week, 20 - 30th June 2024, both London, UK

In London, discover top-notch art exhibitions and happenings across the whole of Kensington and Chelsea with the KCAW Public Art Trail. This year's theme is Changing Landscapes, and the programme promises to pay homage to the Borough's rich history. Yet to be released, previous artist participants have included Yinka Ilori, Laura Ford, Ai Weiwei, and LR Vandy. At the end of June, Kensington + Chelsea Art Week will see each neighbourhood come alive with events and exhibitions, programmed to reflect their unique character.

Beaufort 24, until 3 November 2024, various locations, Belgium

Along an unexpected stretch of the Belgian coast, Beaufort is a triennial for contemporary art that has been running for over 20 years. The event takes place almost entirely outside, with planned walks and cycle routes along a 67-kilometre stretch of coastline. Each year, commissioned artists (past examples include Richard Woods and Sara Bjarland) add to the vast open-air sculpture park, this year venturing further inland to produce pieces for village centres, markets, dykes, fields, and parks.

24th Biennale of Sydney: Ten Thousand Suns, until 10 June, Sydney, Australia

With a programme spanning six iconic Sydney locations, including the heritage-listed White Bay Power Station, and Sydney Opera House, exhibitions and events explore art practice and culture from across different continents and time periods. The 24th edition of the Sydney Biennale, Ten Thousand Suns, acknowledges a profound debt to the rich heritage of what is known today as Australia, especially to the struggles and practices in which First Nations communities and migrants have played key roles.

Venice Biennale 2024: Foreigners Everywhere, until 24 November 2024, Venice, Italy

No art itinerary for 2024 would be complete without acknowledging the power of La Biennale di Venezia. This year's theme “Foreigners Everywhere”, has drawn together exhibitions, events and performances exploring the experience of immigrants, exiles, refugees and the diaspora. Helpfully, the ArtRabbit team has produced a round-up of our must-see exhibitions in Venice this year. Join the conversation now!

→ More exhibitions and events in London, Berlin, New York, and Los Angeles

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