Brighton Festival
5-27 May, 2018
Brighton, England

Where else can you contemplate death in a 3D interactive installation, then listen to a musical piece specifically written for dogs, before having a laugh at one of several stand-up comedy shows?

England’s largest annual festival and one of the most prominent art events in Europe, Brighton Festival combines theatre, dance and music with circus, comedy, literature, film, debate and more. Hundreds of performances, lectures, exhibitions and other events are held all across the city, from the introspective to the retrospective, and the profound to the playful. Visual artist David Shirley takes over as guest director for the 2018 edition, with highlights including former guest director Hofesh Shechter’s Grand Finale (a “comic, bleak and beautiful” music and dance production), and The Voice Project Brighton Choir’s The Arms of Sleep, an all-night sensory experience of sounds, stories, shadows and choral music for which guests actually lay in bed on the grounds of historic Firle Place.

Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong
18-20 May, 2018
Hong Kong

You don’t have to be heir to an empire in order to take home original artworks from this democratic event. Here, there’s something for each and every taste and budget, whether you’re a new student of art, a seasoned collector or simply someone who likes pretty pictures.

Out with the old elitist art circles – in with a creative community that just wants people to be able to browse eye-catching artworks and buy what they like. 2018 marks the 6th time the Affordable Art Fair has come to Hong Kong, this year hosting more than 110 galleries from across the globe. Visitors will peruse everything from sculptures to paintings and photography, while also having the chance to meet artists, participate in workshops, attend talks, take tours and catch performances in everything from dance to live painting.

Bushfire Festival
25-27 May, 2018
Mbabane, Swaziland

A vibrant blend of music, arts, cultural activities and community outreach: if Bushfire’s selling points and international accolades – not to mention the event name itself – are anything to go on, this festival is gonna be lit!

Hailed by news outlets like CNN and BBC as one of the must-attend festivals on the African continent, Bushfire draws nearly 30,000 attendees from over 55 countries, all arriving to experience the overwhelming array of arts, crafts, food and music from Africa and beyond. Music may be the initial draw – four stages host a continual line-up of local and international artists – but it’s the festival’s intensely inclusive, creative and eco-responsible atmosphere that keeps them coming back. Enjoy the music, participate in interactive crafts and workshops, indulge in amazing eats from around the world. Whatever you do, don’t forget to “bring your fire” – that’s Bushfire speak for arriving ready to learn from and exchange with others over topics that touch us all, like sustainability and social responsibility.

BottleRock Napa Valley
25-27 May, 2018
Napa Valley, California, USA

Think: too-cool-for-school music festival, but minus the sweaty masses and plus the idyllic surroundings of California’s premier wine country.

Bruno Mars will be there, as will Billy Idol, The Killers, Halsey and Incubus – not to mention all the first-class wine and foodie delights (and celebs) that made the region famous in the first place. We’re talking Roy Choi, Duff Goldman, Martha Stewart, Cindy Pawlcyn, Masaharu Morimoto, José Andrés, Hubert Keller… so yeah, come hungry. Once you’ve had your fill, soak in the breathtaking Napa Valley surrounds, stroll through the charming town of Napa, stop into a few of its world-class galleries and museums, and consider extending your stay beyond the festival to explore the region’s natural attractions.

Bluff Oyster and Food Festival
26 May, 2018
Bluff, New Zealand

At the southern end of the South Island, Bluff is a small seaside town that takes big pride in its local riches: a bounty of marine delicacies that get their own celebration once a year.

Despite its remote location (relative to the rest of the world), Bluff’s annual festival draws a sell-out crowd nearly every time. Visitors make the trek to sample the treasures of the sea, from Bluff oysters to crayfish, paua (abalone), scallops, blue cod, salmon and whitebait, along with turf-based specialities like venison, lamb, beef and pork. If recreational eating doesn’t satisfy your competitive cravings, sign up for oyster-shucking and oyster-eating contests. Or simply sit back and enjoy being a spectator, and take in an entertainment line-up ranging from musical performances to races and hakas.

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