May 02, 2019
The Grand Palais. Photo credit: Jorge Villalba_iStock
Late spring welcomes a bonanza of art, food, sports, and cultural events taking place somewhere in a city near you. Read on for our digest of May’s hip-happenings in London, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, New York and Venice.
Tickets to the V&A's fashion headliner Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams (until 1 Sep) are like gold dust, but fret not, there's a limited selection released for re-sale every day (for same-day entry). Alternatively, book one of the private tours, talks or workshops held by fashion experts such as Nadja Swarovski on 10 June.
Dive into the world of makers and creators at London Craft Week (8-12 May). The diverse programme includes displays, exhibits and workshops by jewellers, textile makers, porcelain crafters and fashion designers, among others along with open studios and workshops dotted around the city. We have our eye on the artisan ice-cream making session… lickalicious.
East London nabe Clerkenwell cements its posi as a hub of contemporary design with Clerkenwell Design Week (21-23 May). Forget the name, this two-day event sees local and international interior designers and architects taking over studios, streets and gallery spaces; hosting talks, workshops and walks. LUXE lovelies might want to seek out handsome Zetter Townhouse, which is host to a special ‘Geraniums in Coral’ floral exhibition.
Never one to bask in tropical lethargy, the Lion City has a stellar line up of events in May. Keeping evenings lubricated is the Singapore Cocktail Festival (10-18 May), which brings together kingpins of the global bar scene for a two days of shaking, tasting and shimmying at the Festival Village (10-12 May) and a series of expert-led bar hops around the city’s top cocktailers during the week. Bottoms up!
The excellent Singapore International Festival of Arts lifts up the curtain on 16 May with an exhilarating line-up of film, performances and music by acts local and global along with workshops and talks. Check out the session with world-renowned Japanese theatre director Tadashi Suzuki on the 18 May.
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A stalwart of the NYC summer, Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park returns with performances of Much Ado About Nothing (21 May) and Coriolanus (16 July), plus the fam-friendly adaptation of Disney musical Hercules (31 Aug). Try if you can to score tickets to the special gala dinner and after party on 3 June.
Whitney Museum of American Art will be abuzz with its lauded Biennial from 17 May (until 22 Sep). This eclectic showcase gives a fantastic survey of US art today by spotlighting some 75 artists. Meanwhile, over in Brooklyn, The Other Art Fair (2-5 May) provides a platform for 130 upcoming talents handpicked by a panel of art world experts to show their work. Prices start at $150 – buy when you spy and who knows, you might land yourself the next Jackson Pollock...
Paris springs to life in May with a plethora of cultural, foodie and sports events. Starting things off is the gallivanting gourmet festival Taste Paris, which takes flight at The Grand Palais 9-12 May. Sample food tastings, cooking demos, meets n' greets and workshops by dozens of the city's top chefs and restaurants, with tipples to go with, natch.
Jazz cats descend on the city for the 19th edition of perennial favourite, the Saint-Germain de Prés Jazz Festival (19-27 May) with performances by established and emerging talents held across venues including the Sorbonne and ravishing Odeon – Theatre of Europe. Should you be in town for the 18 May, combine your de-bop with a late-night gallery hop at La Nuit de Musées. Ace your Parisian vacay with tickets to the Roland Garros, The French Open 20 May-9 Jun. Game, set, match!
Want to make the most of your trip to Europe this spring?
Artists and designers gather for one of Asia’s biggest design exhibits, Design Fiesta (18-19 May) at Tokyo Big Sight. The annual Roppongi Art Night 2019 (25-26 May) returns for 24-hour extravaganza of art, design, music, video and performance by the district’s museums and galleries – with many shops and eateries opening late too.
Alas, anything but serene during the summer invasion, La Serenissima host to the world’s glitteriest art extravaganza, La Biennale (11 May-24 Nov). This year sees Ralph Rugoff, director of London’s Hayward Gallery, curate the event under the theme May You Live in Interesting Times. Time your visit right (tip: pop over for the Vernissage) and you’ve a better chance of getting personal with envelope-pushing entries by 50+ countries.
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