Indulge your love for the arts at some of the world’s best cultural festivals
If you are a lover of culture and performances, take note of these three events happening across the globe that celebrate the hippest, funniest and most talented individuals in the arts scene.
South by Southwest
Possibly the planet’s hippest – and most influential – festival-slash-conference, South by Southwest (or SXSW as it has come to be known) celebrates music, film and interactive creativity. Newcomers in career-breaking showcases appear alongside established industry superstars and tech-savvy entrepreneurs. This year’s music line-up includes Arcade Fire's Will Butler, Jack Antonoff's Bleachers, the Ting Tings and teenage metal act Unlocking the Truth. Movie buffs can expect to see the best first-time filmmakers, and premieres including Alex Garland’s directorial debut Ex Machina, with a liberal helping of celebrity keynote speakers. Interactive conferences, presentations, and conversations range from social media and 3D printing to augmented reality and Bitcoin.
Hong Kong Arts Festival
This international arts festival is a non-profit event that brings over 130 acclaimed opera, music, theatre and dance acts to Hong Kong each year. The festival provides the stage for a range of classical and contemporary performing arts. The variety this year is impressive, from violin and piano virtuosos Kavakos and Pace to the spine-tingling vocals of Barefoot Divas, Spanish flamenco stars Gala Flamenca, the Dutch National Ballet performing the Asian premiere of Cinderella, to the wacky ingenuity of PuppetCinema.
Until 29 March
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Launched in 1987 by comedy legends Peter Cook and Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna Everage), Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival is one of the world’s largest and best loved, ranking alongside Montreal’s Just For Laughs and the Edinburgh Fringe. This year, some of the big names headlining at venues all over the city include Milton Jones, Nina Conti, Noel Fielding, Rich Hall, Ruby Wax and Stephen K. Amos. You can also expect to see plenty of breakthrough acts cutting their comedy teeth, or you could even take part yourself. The final of RAW Comedy, Australia’s biggest open-mic event, happens here on 12 April.
25 March to 19 April