No matter the continent where we are, 2015 is a year in which many urban art festivals are held. Thanks to them, we can enjoy the creations of established and emerging artists in a public environment and outdoors.
More and more cities are joining this boom to be re-launched as a tourist destination, renew the city and promote the arts. Artists from various nationalities are concentrated in a few days to promote a common cultural project and exchange views and ideas.
All these artistic events have two common goals: recover forgotten spaces of the cities in which they celebrate and bring art to the public. These open-air museums, accessible to all, are to encourage and promote the cultural enrichment of the citizen.
Here we suggest some of the artistic events that we consider most important:
UPFEST - Bristol - United Kingdom
In the city where Banksy grew up, we find the biggest street art and graffiti festival that can be seen in Europe this year. More than 250 street artists from 25 countries will gather in this city to paint its walls in front of thousands of visitors. Since its inception in 2008, UpFest has progressed to become a major event where the audience can not only enjoy art, but also the music shows and workshops that the organization has scheduled. Artists such as Copyright, Otto Shade or Hush will be in this English city to participate in the festival on 25, 26 and July 27.
Memorie Urbane – Gaeta – Italy
Without a doubt, one of our favourites. This festival, now in its fourth year, will host more than 40 artists; among them we can find Btoy, Ella & Pitr, Stein, Alias, David Walker, Ernest Zacharevic or David de la Mano. In addition, exhibitions will be organized simultaneously in some of the art galleries in town that will display the indoor works of some of these artists.
Nuart Festival - Stavanger – Norway
If there is a festival that Nordics have as standard, this is it. Held in Stavanger, it gets every year the most outstanding local and international artists together. Martin Whatson, Dot Dot Dot, Icy and Sot, Etam Cru, Ben Eine, Aiko, Vihls, Dolk, Nick Walker, D*Face, Hush, Tilt or Blek le Rat have left their mark in this city with their participation at the Nuart.
Mulafest – Madrid – Spain
Madrid hosts during the last weekend of June the biggest urban culture festival in the country. The most relevant and emerging local artists will participate in it. The graffiti art scene has special relevance and the organization have prepared some workshops, among which stand out the participatory mural by Ricardo Cavolo, an illustration contest and graffiti battles. Besides art, this festival features a number of sport contests, music shows, a street circus and other workshops as well as a sample of the latest technologies intended for the creative world.
Wool Fest – Lisbon – Portugal
Urban Art Festival Covilha – a city that once had numerous wool mills and hence the name- brings together the most international Portuguese artists such as Vhils, MaisMenos or Bordalo II. We do not know if during this 2015 this event will take place, as its organization is highly focused in developing activities to promote street art in various Portuguese cities.
Malta Street Art Festival – La Valetta – Malta
One more year, and this is the third one, this festival has become a symbol of the cultural summer in La Valletta. Malta joins the youngest creative explosion and will gather in late July many urban artists from Italy, Germany, Australia or Portugal.
ST-Art Delhi – New Delhi – India
The Indian capital turns to a cultural platform where international artists like Aiko, Okuda or Axel Void will have the opportunity to express their talents on the city’s murals. The festival is complemented by installations, markets, workshops and conferences.
Living Walls – Atlanta – US
It is not a festival itself, but a project created in Atlanta, which has two major events: "The conference" and "The concept". The first is an annual meeting which seeks to discuss about urban art and urbanism, opening a constructive dialogue for the resident community in this city. With "The concept" the Living Walls’s organization schedules several meetings throughout the year, focused on one or two artists at a time. Ernest Zacharevic, Borondo, Moneyless or Hyuro have already participated in this project.
MURAL Festival – Montreal – Canada
Montreal is in a moment of artistic expansion. MURAL proposes an open air event where local and international artists meet, accompanied by seminars, installations and a surprising cuisine. Definitely, a good plan for the first half of June.
POW! WOW! Hawaii – Honolulu - USA
This Caribbean island hosts the greatest art festival that counts not only with the attendance of artists but also galleries, publishing houses, magazines, experts and companies related to the world of street art. Maya Hayuk, D * Face or Jeff Soto are some of the artists participating in this festival, where a variety of concerts, exhibitions, conferences, workshops and facilities also take place.
SPECTRUM STREET ART FESTIVAL - Christchurch - New Zealand
Renowned artists such as Cope2 or Tilt, along with a wide range of local artists, will participate it this meeting. All of them will be in charge of showing their works on large murals with graffiti, paste-up or installations. This festival follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, the RISE festival, held last year in the Canterbury Museum, which broke attendance records. In addition, the Spectrum showcases a large exhibition of Banksy’s works with such iconic images as "Flower Thrower", "Trolley hunters", "Kids on guns" or "Kate Moss".
PUBLIC – Perth – Australia
Public is presented as a symposium, that meets art, technology, architecture and urbanism experts. Thus, more than 50 urban artists will share their ideas with other participants from different disciplines. It is intended to open a debate about the various needs that arise in communities as these are transformed and renewed.