10 Arts Festivals to Attend in 2013

by Lesley Peterson

Great destinations are even more exciting when a major arts fair or festival is in swing. Here are 10 events worth travelling for in 2013:

1. Art Deco Weekend

Miami, Florida, January 18-20, 2013

Celebrate all things Art Deco with 300, 000 other aficionados in South Beach, home of the world’s greatest concentration of Art Deco architecture. With more than 800 registered buildings crammed into 2.6 square kilometres, South Beach offers an almost perfectly preserved period environment for era enthusiasts to immerse themselves in.

10 Arts Festivals to Attend in 2013

Credit: Richard Goldberg /

2. Modernism Week

Palm Springs, California, February 14-24, 2013

Pack your Rat Pack attire and revel in mid-century modern architecture, design and culture. Events during Modernism Week include architectural tours, films, lectures and cocktail parties in cool mid-century modern homes such as Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate.

3. The Armory Show

New York, New York, March 7-10, 2013

Paying homage this year to the 100th anniversary of its namesake, the legendary 1913 Armory Show International Exhibition of Modern Art, New York’s Armory Show is one of the city’s most important annual events. Piers 92 and 94 in Manhattan whirl with incognito celebrities, record-breaking deals and art that often qualifies as intellectual warfare.

4. TEFAF Maastricht

Maastricht, Netherlands, March 15-24, 2013

Learn about the international art trade and see gorgeous things at TEFAF, the world’s top fine art and antiques fair. Overflowing spring flower displays, an international crowd and Maastricht’s historic charm make TEFAF truly festive.

10 Arts Festivals to Attend in 2013

Credit: J.M.P.M. Seijger /

5. Reykjavik Arts Festival

Reykjavik, Iceland, May 17 to June 2, 2013

The land of fire, ice and epic storytelling is home to one of Northern Europe’s best arts events. The festival promotes Icelandic culture and hosts international artists in a range of concerts, performances and exhibitions.

6. Luminato Festival

Toronto, Canada, June 14-23, 2013

The world’s most multicultural city becomes a stage for Luminato, Toronto’s festival of arts and creativity. Launched in 2007 with a light installation commissioned from Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer that illuminated the city’s skyline with viewers’ heartbeats, Luminato has become one of North America’s most dazzling arts festivals.

10 Arts Festivals to Attend in 2013

Credit: Andrew Chin /

7. South Africa National Arts Festival

Grahamstown, South Africa, June 27 to July 7, 2013

South Africa’s National Arts Festival and Fringe is the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent. The festival served as an important forum for political and protest theatre during the apartheid era and is still significant for new ideas and experimentation.

8. Santa Fe Summer Art Markets

Santa Fe, New Mexico, July/August 2013

Head to the high desert for Santa Fe’s legendary Summer Art Markets. They include the largest international folk art market in the world (July 12-14) and traditional and contemporary Spanish Markets (July 26-28). Santa Fe Indian Market Week (August 12-18) is the largest cultural event in the southwest, hosting over 1, 100 Native artists from the U.S. and Canada.

9. Festival Fringe

Edinburgh, Scotland, August 2-26, 2013

Fantasy and controversy collide on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile during Festival Fringe, the U.K.’s biggest tourist draw and the largest arts festival in the world. Over the years, Festival Fringe has launched many a career: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Jude Law, Hugh Laurie and Alan Cumming, to name a few.

10 Arts Festivals to Attend in 2013

Jan Kranendonk /

10. Venice Biennale

Venice, Italy, June 1 to November 24, 2013

The world’s most astonishing contemporary art is presented every two years at the multidisciplinary Biennale de Venezia. Main exhibits are based at Giardini Park, where 30 nations, including Canada, maintain permanent pavilions. Eight new countries will participate in 2013.