We’ve all been there – looking up flights and daydreaming about all the places we hope to visit once travel opens up again. For now, it may not be possible to jump on a plane just yet, but don't let that stop you from seeing the world.
The year 2021 is as action-packed as ever in terms of sporting, music and fashion events, with many being reimagined for the digital space. Whether you’re able to attend these events in person or join in digitally, our editors have compiled a global itinerary of landmark happenings you won’t want to miss in LUXE destinations throughout 2021.
MELBOURNE. Pour a cold one for the first international sporting event in Australia since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Australian Open (8-21 Feb) kicks off Grand Slam season in chilled-out Melbourne, where stellar tennis pulls together socialites and sports fanatics alike.
SEOUL. The 13th Gwangju Biennale brings together artists, scientists and thinkers for a global perspective in contemporary art. Investigating ‘the spectrum of the extended mind through artistic and theoretical means’ the biennale will be held on 26 February through to 9 May, having already been postponed once due to the ongoing pandemic.
MELBOURNE. Held on 24 March to 18 April, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival brings 100+ of the world’s funniest people to town for four weeks of side-splitting stand-up, sketches and live theatre performances in venues across the city. Most shows are at night, leaving the days free to graze, caffeinate and shop your way around Australia’s cultural capital.
HO CHI MINH CITY. The Avalokitesvara Festival is held annually on 19 February of the lunar calendar (30 Mar-1 Apr). What is usually considered one of Vietnam’s most impressive tourism festivals, Avalokitesvara Festival is nevertheless for local Buddhists a time to come together and honour the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
SEOUL. Perhaps overshadowed by the spectacular spring blossoms over in Kyoto, Japan, it’s easy to forget that Seoul has its own cherry blossom festival worth making a trip out of. Coupled with the scenic Seokchon Lake and Lotte World Tower, the cherry blossoms come to life in the month of April with accompanying performances, cinema and markets during the festival period.
AMSTERDAM. On its way to becoming the first circular and climate-neutral festival, DGTL (3-4 Apr) promises a guiltless music event and a roll-out of stellar international headliners (think Disclosure and Bicep) as well as EDM’s newest discoveries and local acts.
FLORENCE. Ushering in summer is the world’s oldest music festival, Firenze Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Starting at the end of April all throughout to end of July (26 Apr-30 Jul), the festival welcomes a prestigious lineup of international musicians and opera singers, with performances held in the city’s strongly modern Edition Teatro del Maggio.
NEW YORK. For New Yorkers and global citizens alike, NYXxDesign is not to be missed. Better yet, the prestigious design festival will be held virtually this year (13-18 May), no visa required to attend!
HONG KONG. Postponed from its usual March dates, Art Basel rolls into town once again (21-23 May), with galleries from around the world showcasing their wares. Nowhere else will you find museum-standard art sitting back-to-back with emerging talents and the latest investment opps.
SHANGHAI. Taking place in June in lieu of its spring slot last year, Design Shanghai (3-6 June) is among the list of unmissable events in the design convention circuit. The event touts seven shows in one and celebrates its 8th iteration in China’s ever-growing design community. A paean to form and function, Design Shanghai 2021 sets out to be it’s biggest and best one yet.
LONDON. As the saying goes, the game must go on. The 2021 Wimbledon Championship (26 Jun-11 Jul) will go on as scheduled, with AELTC officials announcing operational changes to ensure the British summer highlight continue to adhere to public health guidelines
TOKYO. Having been postponed a year, we can only cross our fingers that Tokyo 2021 (Jul 23-8 Aug) will be bigger and better than ever! Less than 6 months away, the IOC is confident that the Summer Olympics will go on as planned.
AMSTERDAM. Canals and classical music come together for the inimitable Grachtenfestival (13-22 Aug) during which you’ll enjoy one of dozens of performances from barges on, and venues around the city’s labyrinthian waterways. As usual, Prinsengracht (21 Aug) a must-catch concert will be performed outside LUXE fave, the Pulitzer hotel – though to truly enjoy the concert, you’re best off pulling up in a boat.
BEIJING. Experience one of the world’s great wonders via two of the world’s most memorable events. Considered one of the world’s most challenging races, the Huangyaguan Great Wall Marathon (25 Sep) welcomes some 2,500 runners from more than 50 countries. While the undulating, stony trail is undoubtedly punishing, the awe-inspiring vistas promise to distract from the pain.
MILAN. Salon Di Mobile may have been pushed back to the autumnal months, but the city’s supremo social affair is back! Now held 5 Sep through to 9 Sep, the city-wide spectacle of art, fashion and architecture is matched with a showcase of some 1,000 events.
NEW YORK. Take a deeper bite of the Big Apple by way of The New Yorker Festival (dates TBC), a platform of thought-provoking talks, performances and panel discussions by some of the starriest names in literature, politics and popular culture. Last years festival was among the biggest global events to pivot to the digital format so we can only presume, with a year to plan ahead the 2021 Festival will boast even larger and bigger than life events.
DUBAI. As the temperature begins to dip, so Dubai’s creative scene heats up. Befitting such a futuristic city, Dubai Design Week (8-13 Nov) is the largest creative gathering in the Middle East, bringing together architects and talents working in product, furniture, interior and graphic design. For six days, the city is overtaken by exhibits, workshops and talks about form and function.
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