Looking for a place with stunning street art and a beach? Parties and sightseeing? Usually accompanied by live music performances and workshops, the street art festivals are the places where creative forces of renowned mural masters unite to create something spectacular. The melting pots of art, skateboarding and music attract a large number of artists and visitors from all around the globe. Often located on beautiful islands (it's summer after all) these events are young, proactive and want to make a positive change in their community. And in many cases, the entrance is free! From the Sea Walls Festival in Mexico, with the goal of saving ocean life to one of the widespread Meeting of Styles festivals, these cities will be the meccas of street and contemporary art during the summer. We present you ten upcoming street art festivals around the world, in chronological order.
Images courtesy of IBug Festival
Art Whino Gallery, based in Maryland, USA, has a mission to establish Richmond as a premiere art destination, where the internationally renowned graffiti artists will paint 100 murals in 5 years and help the city's tourism flourish. This annual project will take place in Richmond for the fourth time and it seems that Art Whino's vision is steadily becoming true. With over 60 murals painted since the inception of the project, by the names such as ROA, Pixel Pancho and Etam Cru, this year's event will feature 12 artists who will paint more than 20 murals throughout the city in two weeks. This summer, the international and local artists who will bring worldwide attention of the street art lovers to Richmond include D*Face, Evoca1, Caratoes and Clog Two.
Image courtesy of Richmond Mural Project
MIAU Festival will be held in the small Spanish town of Fanzara. MIAU (Museo Inacabado de Arte Urbano) is an unifinished open-air museum, a constantly growing and changing project. The streets of the town are the museum itself. This summer, 16 talented street artists will add new murals to the walls of Fanzara: Borondo, Thiago Goms, Animalitoland and Gael are just a few names. In addition to that, the visitors will listen to the DJ Casius Tonen and six bands playing everything from songs for children to electric blues, watch two films and enjoy eight photography exhibitions.
Image courtesy of StreetArtNews
Bloop International Proactive Festival will be held on the party island of Ibiza for the fifth time this summer. This innovative multidisciplinary festival will last for 30 days, with the theme Multiverse: Parallel Universes. Located in the town of Sant Antoni, this month long fiesta offers music, murals, films, photography, workshops and even avant-garde art for kids.
What's probably most interesting for the street art enthusiast is the Open.Air Gallery, the project which has a goal to make Sant Antoni a gallery of murals under the hot sun of Ibiza. Numerous international street artists have contributed to this gallery, such as Agostino Iacurci, Inti, Phlegm and Interesni Kazki. Also, note that Bloop Festival believes that "Art is for everybody", so all the events and activities are free of charge.
Image courtesy of Bloop Festival
Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans Festival in Mexico has a wonderful goal - to save Mexico’s oceans and endangered marine ecosystem. The idea comes from PangeaSeed, the international marine conservation organization. They intend to do it "one mural at a time", by bringing 30 internationally acclaimed urban artists to paint 30 large-scale murals on the Caribbean island of Cozumel in Mexico and by hosting educational workshops about critical marine environmental issues. The ocean-themed murals will help raise the awareness about the necessity to protect the planet’s most important ecosystem: the ocean, and the creatures which live in it. Montana Cans and Osel donated the paint to 7 Mexican and 23 international street artists, who will use to paint giant turtles, detailed fish fins, flamboyant dolphins and beautiful mermaids. Some of the featured artists are Bicicleta Sem Freio, Fintan Magee, Faith47 and Alexis Diaz.
Image courtesy of Yoh Nagao
Malta Street Art Festival is a true street art gem of this Mediterranean island country. The festival is moving this year from the 3km Silema promenade to the capital city Valleta. Previous two summers, Silema gathered a number of international and local graffiti artists who created beautiful murals along the coast, supported by the live music coming from 4 stages, skateboard tricks, street installations and guerrila art. This July, the three day event will host 23 artists. Some of them are Smug, Odeith, Gesta Future and Pariz One.
Image courtesy of Malta Street Art Festival
Happening at the same time as the street art festival in Malta, Meeting of Styles festival in Copenhagen makes a big come back in Denmark. The Danish capital participated in the first years of Meeting of Styles - the event which takes place in a multitude of cities around the world, but has been unable to join ever since. This July, Danish and foreign graffiti artists will have three days to work on transforming the music venue Pumpehuset, located in the very center of the Copenhagen, and its surroundings into a graffiti wonderland. The entry is free, and apart from street art, you will be able to enjoy in live music, dj-ing, food and drinks.
Image courtesy of Meeting of Styles Denmark
What started as an impromptu gathering of artists in 2008, became Europe's largest street art festival, gathering over 250 selected artists from 25 countries to paint 28 venues in Bristol. Upfest hosts a wide range of styles, techniques and genres. The art sale, live funk, soul, reggae and hip hop gigs and art workshops complement the visual explosion that 25,000 visitors will have the opportunity to witness for free. And it's all for a good cause - the festival is raising money for NACOA - National Association for Children of Alcoholics and helping draw the attention to the problems of children who grow up in families where one or both parents suffer from alcoholism. The long list of artists includes Bill Giles, Frank Styles, Guy Denning and Zabou.
Graffiti na Gradele is a regional street art festival, happening for the fourth time on the scenic island of Brač, Croatia. The entry is free, and the visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the artwork of the best regional artists from Croatia and neighboring countries. Artez, Azram, Chez, Seko, Sarme, Anxio and many more will be painting several locations in the town of Bol. It might be one of the smaller festivals on our list, but it doesn't mean that this graffiti spectacle will not have exciting additional program to round off the three day experience: skateboard competition, live hip hop music performances, DJ acts, graffiti workshops for children and an exhibition will help local and foreign artists, art aficionados, musicians and skaters rejoice in the last week of July.
In 2006, German artist Tasso of the famous Ma´Claim graffiti crew started the IBUg event as an unofficial meeting of graffiti artists. Many years later, IBUg is celebrating its 10th edition as a renowned international street art festival. It is the place where urban and mixed media art meet. This summer, the location is the town of Plauen, where an international team of artists has been invited to transform an old coffee-roasting establishment into a glorious street art temple, adorned with graffiti, murals and installations. There are more than 60 participants this year: Chromeo, Pinche, Alaniz, Bender, and Rusig are some of the names.
Image courtesy of IBUg Festival
Meeting of Styles in San Francisco is the last on our list, and the only festival in September. Just like Meeting of Styles Denmark, after a gap of few years, the festival is taking place again in the Mission District, a neighborhood in San Francisco named after Mission Dolores, the oldest surviving structure in the city. The neighborhood is well known for its murals inspired by Diego Riviera's traditional Mexican paintings. The organizers are predicting three days of fantastic art, music and entertainment in this city with a strong and diverse street art culture.
Image (detail) courtesy of Meeting of Styles San Francisco