Top 5 UK Art Festivals 2019
Street art has become a respected genre of contemporary art in recent years

Here are Blue Leopard’s Top 5 art festivals coming up this Summer in the UK:

All the best music festivals in the world usually refer to themselves as ‘arts festivals’. We’re not denying the validity of the title - however, the terms ‘arts’ covers so many artistic pursuits and in the typical context of festivals often means music festivals with other artsy things going on. This article though brings you what we consider to be the best art festivals that focus on visual arts: i.e. painting, sculpture, and photography. So for the best art events out there, read on for Blue Leopard’s Top 5 art festivals allowing you to soak up as much art talent as possible this Summer. As ever, send your feedback and let us know which ones you’re going to. You might disagree with these choices or feel we omitted something amazing. If so, tell us about it! Speak soon….

1. Edinburgh Art Festival

Dates: 25th July to 25th August 2019
Location: Edinburgh, various venues
What’s it all about: Founded in 2004, Edinburgh Art Festival is the platform for the visual arts at the heart of Edinburgh’s August festivals, bringing together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces in a city-wide celebration of the very best in visual art. Each year, the Festival features leading international and UK artists alongside the best emerging talent, major survey exhibitions of historic figures, and a special programme of newly commissioned artworks that respond to public and historic sites in the city. The vast majority of the festival is free to attend. 


"Edinburgh was once an art desert at festival time. Yes, there were alternative comedians hiding under every manhole cover, but if you were a lover of the visual arts there was little reason to go. Until 2004, when the Edinburgh Art Festival was founded, and everything got better." 

Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times


2. Parallax Art Fair

Dates: Saturday 6th July and Sunday 7th July 2019
Location: Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington, London, W8 7NX
What’s it all about: With 16,000 visitors, 200 - 350 independent exhibitors (from around the world) and often 7000 products on display, Parallax ‘Art’ Fair is the most important fair of its kind in London today. It is family-owned and not run by a portfolio-corporate firm. It is also managed by artists and designers. It is an event for everyone whether you are young or old, black or white, rich or poor, “educated” or not. There are no barriers or expectations about how much you are to know about art/design.   


Art festivals are a great way to completely immerse yourself in the culture and process of artwork


3. St Ives September Festival

Dates: 14th to 28th September 2019
Location: St Ives, Cornwall (various)
What’s it all about: The St Ives September Festival of Music and the Arts began in a back kitchen in Teetotal Street, St Ives, in September 1977, bringing together the diverging interests of several arts and music professionals; in particular some members of the Penwith Society of Artists and the IMS (International Musicians Seminar) from Prussia Cove. The first Festival, which ran from 14th to 24th September 1978, was already ambitious in its scope and covered folk music, dance, fine arts, chamber music, animated film, poetry, arts & crafts, theatre and open studios. It even featured a very young Nigel Kennedy as well as a young cellist called Steven Isserlis and the Cornish baritone Benjamin Luxon; while W S Graham and Charles Causley gave poetry readings.    

Low tide St Ives Harbour by Ingrid King.jpg

4. The Other Art Fair (London)

Dates: 4th to 7th July 2019
Location: West Handyside Canopy, Kings Cross, London
What’s it all about: Presented by Saatchi Art, The Other Art Fair is the UK's leading artist fair to discover and buy art directly from the very best emerging artistic talent. With bi-annual fairs strongly established in London, The Other Art Fair has grown both in the UK and abroad with editions now in Sydney, Melbourne, Brooklyn and Los Angeles, with more to come! For the summer of 2019 we are launching our newest fair from 4-7 July at Handyside Canopy, Kings Cross to present more incredible independent and emerging artists over four days. Our newest summer fair and 17th London edition, The Other Art Fair Handyside Canopy will continue to delight and inspire art lovers with a tightly curated and distinctive programme of fair features that will create a platform for the 'unexpected' at the fair.     


“Creativity takes courage” Henri Matisse


5. The International Ceramics Festival

Dates: 5th to 7th July 2019
Location: Aberystwyth Arts Centre
What’s it all about: The ICF is Europe’s premier ceramics festival which is held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre in the campus of Aberystwyth University on the mid-Wales coast. Since it began in 1987, the three-day festival has grown to become the UK’s leading ceramics event. It offers teachers, students, ceramic artists, collectors, working potters, amateurs and lovers of craft the chance to meet and study the work of distinguished, internationally known potters and ceramicists from Wales, the UK and around the world.


If you’d like to talk to the team at Blue Leopard about any of these events or any artwork or framing queries please use the contact page to drop us a line. Have a fantastic Summer and whichever arts events you make it to this year, please do let us know your feedback via any of our social media channels.