We have all heard of Reading and Glastonbury music festivals and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but this year we wanted to offer you a select few summer events that are under the radar, but are definitely not to be missed.
During the summer months in Britain, the creative scene is bursting full of entertainment, but it is easy to let some of the best bits pass you by. The following events are ones to be written down in red pen in the diary, and will guarantee a cultured yet invigorating summer.
- HighTide Festival (September)
Hightide festival was established in 2007 as a one-off occasion, to exhibit new and unseen work by emerging playwrights. A decade later and with over sixty productions under its belt, the festival is based in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, and is pioneering its way through the British theatre scene. For those of you who like to keep up-to-date and in the theatrical loop, this festival can promise you a week of cutting-edge and electrifying theatre. The theatre prides itself on having opened doors for previous productions, which have gone on to perform seasons at some of the U.K.’s most acclaimed theatres. For example, last year Theresa Ikoko’s Girls transferred to the Soho Theatre, and Al Smith’s Harrogate transferred to the Royal Court. The week also boasts Conversations events with manty of Britain’s leading artists, such as David Hare, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael Gambon. This year, the theatre is also transferring to Walthamstom, London, after its week in Aldeburgh, so there really is no reason to miss this sensational festival.
- Victoria at Somerset House (August)
Some of you may have attended the Film4 Summer Screen events at Somerset House (London) in the past, but this year with an excellent and plentiful line-up, this special night at the movies is not one to be missed. Although the line-up ranges from all-time classics such as Donnie Darko, and Warwick’s own honoury graduate, Tarrel Alvin McCraney’s Moonlight, the one to watch this summer is Victoria, which takes place on 11th of August. I have chosen this German thriller because it is shot in a single take and therefore, the action unfolds in real-time, without cuts. This cinematic feat demands to be seen.
- Brainchild Festival (July)
This festival is a creative-hub of new and exciting artwork and music overflowing from London into East Sussex. Due to its DIY-powered and volunteer-lead nature, the festival is unmistakably intimate and community based. Brainchild supports and encourages young and emerging talent, and for 3 days of the year, allows them to take centre stage. The festival describes itself as a “meeting of minds”, where creative thinkers can meet, live and celebrate together. If you are looking for a close-knit yet funky weekend filled with music, art and theatre then Brainchild is the festival for you.
- Lucienne Day: Living Design (July- September)
Amongst many other exciting (and rather nerve-wracking) events, 2017 has brought the 100th year anniversary of the birth of Lucienne Day, and to celebrate the Museum of Carpet in Birmingham is hosting an exhibition to highlight some of her best creations. Lucienne Day has been famed as one of Britain’s leading textile designers, bringing colour and exciting design to a rather grey post-war period. Day’s designs feature in some of the nation’s favourite wallpapers, fabrics, ceramics and carpets. However, nowadays we are perhaps less aware that they were indeed designed well over 100 years ago. This is one of the many reasons, why I strongly encourage you to take a trip to this magnificent exhibition this summer.
- Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! (June – September)
Besides winning the Turner Prize in 2003 and many other acclaimed prizes, Perry’s current exhibition is well worth a visit due to its strong political and current-trend associations. Regardless of whether or not you would consider yourself an ‘art-buff’, if you have been riled up by Brexit, and other recent political events, Perry’s exhibition is calling out to you. The artist bravely visualizes the nations polarised (or rather not so as it may seem) views on the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ campaigns. By looking closely at events like Brexit, Perry draws the public’s attention to how similar we all truly are, and how much we hate to admit it and recognise this. If this is not enough of an incentive to visit the exhibition, its free admittance certainly will, and if you find the exhibition thrilling then please do make sure to attend the talk by Perry, at the exhibition on the 24th July at 7pm.
- LeeFest (August)
LeeFest is less ‘under-the-radar’ than other events in the summer list, however, it was hard to exclude this promising festival due its incredible line-up and hilariously student-like conception. It all began in Lee Denny’s back garden in Kent when his parents left him home alone for a week during the summer holidays of 2006, and it has now exploded into a “mini Glastonbury”, as BBC Radio 1 heralds it! Each year the festival takes on a new secret location within the county of Kent, and this creates a magical newness to the weekend time and time again. This year the festival admits a magnificent yet personal line up featuring Jake Bugg, Kate Tempest and Annie Mac. With day tickets costing only £20, this festival is perfect for the student summer lifestyle.
- California (June – September)
This enthusiastic exhibition at The Design Museum (in London) honours California as the birth place of many of today’s greatest design achievements and inventions, spanning from the skateboard to iPhones and Snapchat glasses. The exhibition displays some of the most fashionable and modern creations since the 1960s, through a Californian, effortlessly cool lens and highlights how this significant location has influenced some of the greatest trends in the last fifty years. Even if you are not taken by design, it is worth visiting this exhibition to delve into an oasis of West-Coast expression and atmosphere, and to explore how the Golden State became a leading setting for personal liberation.