Which Arts & Culture events to attend in 2021.

Which Arts & Culture events to attend in 2021.

As we begin to attend public events following the end of pandemic restrictions, we have collated cultural activities and events happening during the remainder of 2021 and into early 2022 bringing joy and togetherness back into our worlds. This will continue to be updated so keep checking! 

CREATIVE COAST May -14th November

New contemporary artworks set in the stunning coastal landscape of Essex, Kent and East Sussex.Explore the coastal landscape and find creativity at every turn


Coventry was awarded the title in December 2017 after competing against eleven other cities. Coventry's year in the spotlight will run from May 2021 - May 2022. An array of events including installations, performances and digital works by Coventry Moves, plus a sensational programme of innovative visual art and culture.


Take a tour of many UK filming locations used in Films  & TV Series including Bridgerton, Killing Eve and Harry Potter.

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL - 18th September - 26th September

Building on London’s existing design activity, the concept is an annual event that promotes the city’s creativity, drawing in the country’s greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators delivering an unmissable celebration of design.

BLACKPOOL ILLUMINATIONS  - 3rd September - 3rd January 2022

Blackpool's free light show, which has been an attraction since 1879, is back for an extended two month period, to boost to the resort’s tourism season after COVID-19. Also featured alongside is the fantastic LIGHTPOOL FESTIVAL 2021 (18th Oct-30th Oct) with live events, performances, workshops and Art Trail.

DESIBLITZ LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2021 - 18th Sept- 1st Oct 2021

The festival is designed to encourage young and aspiring British Asian writers with a programme of author events, workshops, performances and panel discussions, showcasing the work of British South Asian authors and poets, and international writers with South Asian heritage.

DUNDEE DESIGN FESTIVAL - 23 Sept - 3 Oct 2021

The Dundee Design Festival will be held at locations around the city and online, and all are free to attend. The theme for 2021 is Every Where Design, exploring how design is an essential but often invisible part of people's lives.

BRITISH TEXTILE BIENNIAL - 1st October - 31st October

British Textile Biennial returns with new artist commissions, exhibitions and performances presented against the backdrop infrastructure of the cotton industry in Pennine Lancashire. This October, #BTB21 turns its attention to the global nature of textiles and the relationships they create, both historically and now, with a major new commission by Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, fashion historian Amber Butchart as guest curator, a groundbreaking, sustainable fashion project with designer Patrick Grant and a collaboration with artist James Fox and actor Maxine Peake.

BFI London Film Festival 2021 - 6–17 October

London Film Festival has opened up its programme to the rest of the country after the success of 2020. Alongside the usual London events, online streaming and satellite screenings in regional cinemas mean that the festival is more accessible than ever, and audiences across the UK get to see some of the year’s finest films at the same time as cinema goers in the capital.

YORK DESIGN WEEK - 20 - 26 October 2021

York Design Week is a festival that presents a programme of events, workshops, talks, exhibitions, installations, and projects with the overall aim of utilising co-design and community engagement as methodologies for better design, decision making, and systems change within the city and beyond. 

RIVER OF LIGHT TRAIL -Friday 22 October to Sunday 7 November

An outdoor illuminated art gallery is set to take over Liverpool’s world-famous waterfront once again in 2021 with the theme, Rhythm of the Light.  For 17 nights the River of Light Trail, will showcase the work of leading local, national and international artists across the Liverpool Waterfront. River of Light will bring together a number stunning audio and visual installations to create a walking loop.


An immersive, on-your-feet version of the world’s favourite family game brand played on a 15m x 15m lifesized Monopoly board!

LEEDS FILM FESTIVAL  3rd - 16th November

Held across 3 venues in Leeds, the festival will be screening a selection of the best new and classic films from around the world.


The largest conference of its kind taking place in the north of England, run by Manchester’s Comma Press in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and this year, featuring workshops by Sarah Schofield and Jenn Ashworth.

LIGHT UP LANCASTER - 5th & 6th November 

Lancaster city centre have a family-friendly trail of discovery, transforming the city into a magical installation of light.There will be free performances amongst secret squares and well-known buildings, captivating light projections, amazing performances, music, dance, film and fireworks.

BATH MOZART FEST - 12TH - 20TH November 

Celebrate Mozart’s music, and that of his contemporaries or those influenced by him, in a glorious feast of classical music performed in some of Bath’s most beautiful and inspiring buildings.

CORNWALL FILM FESTIVAL- 15th & 21st November 

Over three days in November, Cornwall offers its own take on a film festival, with a series of screenings at The Poly in Falmouth, and a programme of lectures and workshops for aspiring filmmakers.

KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL  -18th - 21st November

The world’s biggest Mountain Festival is a celebration of film, outdoor sports, literature, art and legends that hopes to inspire people to explore and enjoy mountains and the wilderness. 

LUMIERE FESTIVAL 18th - 21st November

The biennial illuminating event will allow visitors to see the city transformed by an array of eye-catching light displays, with art installations giving a whole new look to architecture and public spaces.

LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL 12th - 21st November

Following an exceptional digital edition last year, the festival returns with a programme of live performances with a line up of global stars, collaborations and fresh music.


After a year of digital events, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) returns to the real world with a future-leaning programme running for five days this Autumn.Hosting a reunion of artists and audiences in venues ranging from immense concert halls to intimate gallery spaces

MANCHESTER ART FAIR 19–21 November 2021

Manchester Art Fair 2021 is one of the UK’s most ambitious art fairs, selling modern & contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography and editioned prints from a selection of UK and international galleries.

CHRISTMAS PANTO!  November until New Year 2022

All over the UK you will find a performance, whether that is in your local church hall or large theatre, with a visit to the pantomime is as much a Christmas tradition as decorating the tree and giving presents. The Big Panto Guide website helps you find a pantomime in your area to watch this Christmas.

CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY10th December 2021

Since 2012 people have put on their best Christmas jumpers for one Friday in December, donating £2 to Save the Children and raising money for children around the world.

JANE AUSTEN'S BIRTHDAY 16th December 2021

Jane Austen's birthday, and a day dedicated to celebrating her life and achievements, and to telling as many people as possible about her amazing works.

Burning The Clocks 21st December 2021

People across the city of Brighton & Hove create paper and willow lanterns which are then paraded through the city as part of the Burning the Clocks celebrations, and with around 2,000 people taking part in the procession.

LIGHT NIGHT 2022 4th & 5th February 2022

Nottingham’s famous night of eclectic and electric light installations

'Jock McFadyen Goes To The Lowry'   until February 2022

This is the first major art exhibition to take place at The Lowry since it reopened following lockdown.

The collection features McFadyen’s paintings from throughout his life as an artist, spanning forty-five years. It highlights McFadyen’s passion and skill for capturing the often unnoticed parts of a modern city, and the people and communities within the cities and towns we inhabit.


Following the extensive transformation of their iconic Oxford Road venue, Manchester’s Contact Theatre has announced a vibrant, progressive and celebratory reopening programme.




Catherine Peters
Catherine Peters

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