The summer is at our door and vacations are coming.
You look at the world map but the world is vast and you don’t know where to go?
What would you think of, not just resting, or discovering new horizons, but also to have a nice colorful summer by meeting with the world’s greatest street artists?
Here is a list of some of the biggest street art festivals and some others that are smaller but special and should be very interesting.
To start, we first need to talk about Meeting of Style (MOS). Founded in 2002 in Germany, this international organization celebrates its 15th anniversary with a “year of abundance”. Almost 40 festivals are on the program just in Europe and America, and 13 from June till end September. We could have been able to make an article only just for them. We invite you to visit their website for the full list.
Here are two destinations that you should enjoy without ruining yourself and one that might make you want to explore new route.
Bushwick Collective (Brooklyn, New York) / 06/2-4
Street art is famous year-round in this Brooklyn’s neighborhood. It has become over the years probably one of the largest open-air art galleries in the world. However, every year for the last six years, during the first weekend of June there is a very special event. A festive atmosphere is set up, several streets are closed to traffic and the cars are replaced by musicians, food trucks and a dense crowd come to observe the many artists painting a wall. Local artists, but especially big names of the international scene. The highlight of the weekend is, without any doubt, the famous “Block Party”. This free event happens outside and features renowned DJs.
Guests : The list is rarely communicated. But the trip is worth it.
2016 Edition (exemples): Case Maclaim, D*Face, Dasic Fernandez, Damien Mitchell, Li-Hill, Nychos and Lauren YS, Sipros, to name a few.
Mural Festival (Montréal, Canada) / 06/8-18
This Montreal Public Art Festival is celebrating its fifth edition. With its renowned muralists, conferences, art fair, international DJs performances and its many activities, it quickly became one of the most popular in America. Usually around St-Laurent Street, this year, Mural extends its tentacles to the old Port of Montreal. The usual formula offers 10 international artists and 10 Canadian artists but this year it’s little bit different.
Guests : International – 1010, MadC, Fintan Magee, INSA, Li-Hill (US/CA), Onur, Ron English, Smithe/SmithOne and Spanish artists Nuria Mora, Ricardo Cavolo and Ruben Sanchez. Canadians: Dodo Ose, Fluke, Kevin Ledo, Ola Volo, Mono Sourcil, Scribe SX, SBUOne and a special collaboration of MissMe and Aydin Matlabi, an international photographer.
Li-Hill – Mural Festival (2017) – In the background Phlegm (2013) – Montréal | Photo ©Nickie Robinson
Mextonia (Tallinn/Estonia) / 06/14-22
The result of a collaboration between Estonia and Nueve Arte Urbano of Mexico, this festival is a preliminary to the centenary of Estonia in 2018. The event is meant to be a cultural bridge between the two nations and an opening to the world. Not surprizing if the very big majority of the guest artists come from these two countries. Fact to note, the presence of one of the Montreal’s star: Five8.
Five8 (2015) for LDNMRK– Montréal | Photo ©Nickie Robinson
Guests (examples): Aaron Glaason, Boa Mistura, Cinzah, Curiot, Sens, Sermob, Silver « S-Boy » Seeblum and many others.
July to September
A little spin in United States and the major European festivals. The choices will be very difficult because several events take place during the same period.
WallTherapy (Rochester, USA) / 07/21-30 (Tentatively)
After his absence last year, the organizers confirmed it return this year for a 6th edition. In addition to attracting many of the international stars, the festival always showcases Canadian artists of high calibre: Jarus, Li-Hill, Labrona, Troy Lovegates (Other) et Omen to name a few.
Guests : N/D
Previous edition (examples): Above, Alexis Diaz, Faith47, Freddy Sam, Gaia, Icy&Sot, Pixel Pancho, Roa.
Upfest (South Bristol/ England) / July 29-31
Upfest is advertising itself as the Europes largest & FREE Street Art & Graffiti festival! According to their official announcement, it comes back this year with a line-up of 350 artists. Yes, You’ve read well – 350 !
This festival has become a favourite with streetart artist, which explains why they are more and more numerous each year.
Guests (examples): Buff Monster, Daas, Kobra, Pantonio, Pahnl ,Sake One and many locals like Fanakapan and the Bristol legends Cheo, Cheba, Inkie, Jody and Voyder.
Label Valette (Montargis, France) / 09/1-3
This is a very special festival. The event takes place in an old seigneurial domain abandoned for over 30 years, with castle, dependencies, and everything.
Domaine des Pins, Montargis, France | Photo ©Christian Julia
The festival has already started since the beginning of the year and the artists go there alternating to transform the place. At the beginning of September, the estate will open its doors to the public for a great party and to admire the works carried out. 107639 feet² and 100 Artists.
Guests : Snake, Thom Herck, Michael Husser, Jerôme Mesnager, JEF, Mark Gmehling, Combo, Dopie, Thym’Art, Collectif 100 pression, Said Dokins, T-Kid, Zdey, Rö, Moyoshi, Niark1 and two Montreal street artist : Jason Botkin and MC Baldassari.
Ibug (Chemnitz, Germany) / 08/25-27 and 09/1-3
You are tempted by something completely different? Well, this 12th edition of Ibug is for you. ! This festival takes place in abandoned places to which it gives life and colors. This year, the transformation will be to VEB Spemafa, an old factory forgotten for a long time.
Guests : N/A
NuArt (Stavanger, Norway) / 08/31- 09/02
Existing since 2001, Nuart is considered to be THE world celebration of street art and one of the most widely run European events. The festival presents not only muralists but also exhibitions, events, musical performances, workshops and conferences. Let’s bet that this year again the festival Will dazzle you
Guests : N/A
Previous editions (examples) : Axel Void, Borondo, C215, Etam Cru, Ella&Pitr, Faith47, Icy&Sot, Lady Aiko, Levalet, Martha Cooper, Pixel Pancho, Roa, Ron English, Sandra Chevrier (Canada), VHILS.
PowWow Worcester (Worcester, USA) / August 25 – September 3
This very young festival will only be at its second edition, but with the experience of PowWow worldwide, it has been able to attract famous artists from all over the world last year.
Guests : N/A
2016 edition (example): Above, Askew, Arlin, Angelina Christina, Fanakapan, Greg Mike, Marka27, Rusten QBIC, Sabex.
Angelina Christina – PowWow Worcester (2016) | Photo ©Nickie Robinson
Other interesting events in September
City Leak (Cologne/Italia), 4th edition / September 1-24, www.cityleaks-festival.com
No Limit (Borås/Sweden), 3rd edition / September 3-10, http://nolimitboras.com
Asalto (Zaragoza/Spain), 18th edition / September 8-17, http://www.festivalasalto.com
There you go. It was just a few of the festivals that will take place this summer. We hope you have found the destination of your dreams and that you will have a wonderful summer.
*** Note : The official publication of this article was written in French for Baron Magazine