London’s Southbank is a huge hub for art & the performing arts, and the Tate Modern is the jewel in the crown. We love walking along the Thames, checking out book stalls, going for endless coffees and ending up at the Tate Modern’s iconic building, with the infamous ‘wobbly bridge’ right in front of it. Make a point of visiting to take in the sights when you’re in town next as Londoners just love this space.
London’s Tate Modern
Housed in London’s former Bankside Power Station, resides London’s famous Tate Modern. Part of the Tate network of galleries in England, it is not only one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world, but also one of the most visited art museums in the world. The Tate Modern’s large lay-out allows for the creation of vast exhibition spaces, displaying contemporary pieces dating from 1900 to the modern day.
This space also provides room for temporary exhibitions, such as the current favourite and one on many bucket lists – Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. TA-DAH.TV reports, that this showcase will run until 27 March 2022, so plenty of time for you to transport yourself into Kusama’s unique vision of endless reflections. We recommend you book your tickets soon, as this popular exhibition quickly sells out.
Tate Modern’s Exhibitions
The Turbine Hall, originally used to house the generators of the old power station, provides a grand space for specially commissioned works by contemporary artists. Works are displayed between October and March each year. Notably Ai Weiwei’s ground-breaking Sunflower Seeds filled the space of The Turbine Hall in 2010, which saw life-sized sunflower seed husks, intricately hand-crafted in porcelain, poured into the space.
Other works like The Weather Project and EMBANKMENT have also been displayed here. During the period of the year when The Turbine Hall is not exhibiting large pieces, smaller occasional events and exhibitions are held here, such as Damien Hirst’s For The Love of God.
Across other areas of the vast building, temporary exhibitions take over spaces for several months, drawing in crowds of art lovers and tourists.
Some of the exhibitions at the Tate Modern include:
- Hyundai Commission: Anicka Yi
- Sophie Taeuber-Arp
- Beuys’ Acorns
- Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms
- Surrealism Beyond Borders
- Lubaina Himid
Tate Britain is the oldest within the galleries of the Tate network, found on Millbank in the City of Westminster. Opened in 1897 this gallery houses a substantial collection of works from the Tudor-period. With a range of pieces from J.M.W. Turner, it is traditionally named the National Gallery of British Art, and was quickly nicknamed the Tate Gallery after its founder Sir Henry Tate. In 1932 the gallery adopted this name, to be known as it is today.
Across the beautiful period building, with its modern tract created by world-famous architects Herzog & de Meuron, you will find historic and famous pieces of British art, including whole rooms dedicated to particular artists such as Tracey Emin, John Latham, Douglas Gordon and more. Often these rooms are subject to change and rotation over time. Tate Britain also notably hosts the annual Turner Prize exhibition.
Based on Liverpool’s waterfront within the Albert Dock, this branch of the Tate Gallery was first opened in an event hosted by Prince Charles in 1988. The Liverpudlian space houses pieces from the Tate Collection which over time has grown to feature a wide range of British art dating from 1500 to the modern day.
Like other venues of the Tate network, Tate Liverpool also hosts many temporary exhibitions and until 2003 this gallery was the largest of modern art in the UK to be found outside of London.
Past exhibitions at the Tate Liverpool include:
- Lucian Freud: Real Lives
- Don McCullin
- Louise Bourgeois in Focus
- Aliza Nisenbaum
Tate St. Ives
Amongst one of the most visited attractions in the UK, The Tate St. Ives in beautiful Cornwall is the youngest addition to the organisation. Built between 1988 and 1993 it is located on the site of an old gasworks looking over Porthmeor Beach. Since its major refurbishment in 2015, which saw the gallery close until 2017, the Tate St. Ives has hosted a number of stunning art exhibitions including:
- Rebecca Warren All That Heaven Allows
- Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings
- Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer, Thinking through other artists
One famous exhibition was held there in 1999, with the aim of celebrating the solar eclipse. Hosting an exhibition called As Dark as Light, with work from collaborating artists and local school children was a great success! St. Ives is always worth a visit with its ‘Mediterranean weather’ and a stroll around the Tate there makes it even sweeter.
We remember when Starlite started out many years ago, as this new concept of a music festival up in the mountains at a venue most people only knew from the 70s – so not us then! We were blown away by the location of the Auditorio de Nagüeles, this old quarry, that’s been brought back to life with a huge refurb programme. As any young festival, it struggled to get real superstars to come down in the beginning, starting off with mainly Spanish acts.
Today, Starlite Festival has made its mark good and proper, not just as a musical but also a cultural reference point on the European map of summer festivals! They have grown so much by now, that holidaymakers and regular visitors to the Costa del Sol know, they’ll have a fabulous time when they come to Marbella, as world-class artists and entertainers now flock down to ‘sunny Marbs’ to perform at a boutique festival, that feels more like a giant party than a huge gig.
All three acts featured in this Starlite cover are well-known regulars, as people just love to see them performing live. The mix and variety across the music genres amongst those global superstars, including many great Latino acts, who might make this their only performance in Europe, is hard to match and very impressive indeed! Not many festivals can offer such a varied programme, that is highly entertaining from classical acts like Placido Domingo to Sara Baras (internationally renowned flamenco dancer) to Nicky Jam, Enrique Iglesias & Juan Magán, all of them Latino megastars, to Pet Shop Boys, Anastacia, Sting, Jessie J, Jamie Cullum and Simple Minds, as well as ever loved, die-hard performers like Sir Tom Jones, Iggy Pop and Rod Stewart, plus countless other names, who these days are keen to be part of such an exclusive event.
The British jazz sensation Jamie Cullum likened performing at Starlite to what it must be like playing on the moon a direct reference to the rock surrounding the auditorium. We agree! And it becomes even more surreal, when gigantic DJ acts play the very cool sessions area with its separate stage, which is when the party really starts – if this were a spaceship, we might as well take off from here. There’s always a great atmosphere in the sessions part of the venue, with its countless bars and gastronomic experiences. It’s mega cool to hang out there, whether there’s a concert going or not. So, hit that play button now to find out what this festival is all about and then start planning to come down to Marbella to sample it yourself!
As one of the best boutique festivals in Europe, Starlite Marbella, or Starlite Catalana Occidente, offers two months of the most varied and exciting summer entertainment in live music there is! Every July and August, it is the focal point on the Costa del Sol for outstanding shows and top-class acts to perform in the old quarry, a place that so many of the superstars, who have been part of Starlite over the years, have described as totally unique in the world.
The exclusive feel and private party atmosphere is what performers and spectators alike absolutely love! With the main stage set up around 60 metre high stone walls, which get lit by coloured spotlights, the festival goers immediately feel this intimate atmosphere, that makes every single concert an unforgettable experience. And the fact that the sessions stage in front of the auditorium also hosts its famous DJ nights means that ravers can go clubbing under the open skies – beautiful! With plenty of bars and gastro experiences in the Sessions area, it is just very cool to hang out with your friends up there, even on non-concert nights
Variety is a key word in Starlite’s programming, and it is absolutely true, when we say that ’there’s something for everyone’! From classical Spanish performances in music and dance, to rock and pop, and from electronic dance music to Latino EDM, hip hop and more, it is impossible to not find a show or live gig to your liking. Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo and Il Divo have all graced the stage there, but Elton John, Christian Aguilera, Diana Ross, Maluma, Ricky Martin, David Bisbal, Sting and Luis Fonsi, Alejandro Sanz, Gipsy Kings, Maná, as well as Hardwell and many other top-notch DJs have also been part of incredible line-ups over the years.
If you’re in beautiful Andalucia and happen to be on the Costa del Sol, you simply must go and sample this incredible summer experience. But first, hit that play button to watch our programme and catch the flavour of this hugely eclectic festival, that’s always worth a visit.
STARLITE FESTIVAL – THE VENUE
Many years ago, three men had a vision: they wanted to convert the quarry above Marbella, with to-die-for views of the Med, to a live music venue. They were Prince Alfonso zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Julio Iglesias and Placido Domingo! They presented their vision and project with an original tenor concert in 1983 – and what a concert that must have been! The rest is history…
Today, La Cantera de Nagüles is home to an absolute jewel of a festival, Starlite Marbella! It is one of the biggest summer attractions on the Costa del Sol for holidaymakers and residents alike, making you feel as if you were ‘on the moon’, as Jamie Cullum described it once (watch our programme about his concert on our Art & Culture channel in the EVENTS – EUROPE section)! The platform, on which the festival gets erected every year anew is surrounded by 60m high natural stone walls, holding an auditorium of about 3500 seats. Apart from only 20 or so rows in the stalls, where you can watch your favourite star at arm’s length, 8-seater ‘Bubble-boxes’ also offer a full VIP experience with waiter service throughout the concert. The podium, or tribune, holds the rest of the seats, arranged in a viewer-friendly way. Sitting in the very last row at the top makes you think, you could be on a roller coaster (so not that great for people with a fear of heights)!
It is also home to the Sessions area, with a further stage for live shows and DJ sets, as well as restaurants, VIP lounges and bars, offering delicious food and drink under the stars. Access to the Sessions space, which is also home to a shopping area, can be obtained separately. All in all, this brilliant festival feels like a mini-planet on its own, and although it has been compared to the Red Rock amphitheatre in Colorado, what the festival organisers are doing to this quarry in the foothills of the Sierras Blanca above Marbella, is something altogether more special due to the design-orientated lifestyle concept that gets rolled out in a different look every year. No wonder, that this place attracts 150.000 music & dance fans, who flock up to the quarry every summer, so don’t miss out #mustgo
Access has been a particular issue that needed solving, and over the years, the organisers have been able to sort this subject out too: apart from VIP-packages, which will drive you straight up to the entrance, the main public is carried up to the quarry by a fleet of buses. These drive frequently and all the time, so you might incur a bit of a queue when making your way up or when leaving. But the waiting lanes move permanently and clear quickly in order to get all festival goers back to the car parks safely and swiftly.
When you think summer, sun, beach and nightlife, Ibiza is certainly not the only place to have a great time during the day and a brilliant night out to boot on top! Here’s your cue: MARBELLA. The glitz & glamour of the 60s has made way for quite a bit of ‘Life on Marbs’, but the fact is, that apart from the Brits, it is still a place visited by a huge number of Spaniards, Germans, Dutch, Scandinavians, French and many holidaymakers from the Arab countries, who make their way to the beautiful city at the foot of La Concha (mountain above Marbella) every summer to enjoy life and generally have a brilliant time!
We can talk about sunny Marbs being this highly exclusive spot for the super-rich forever – however, the picturesque nature of the city perched between the Sierra Blanca and the Mediterranean Sea appeals to all sorts of people. Yes, you have Puerto Banús with its luxury yachts and designer shopping, local and international food to-die-for, exclusive living and great hotels, but the charm of the Old Town, with its orange trees and countless tapas bars attracts holidaymakers and sun seekers from all over the world.
With 27km of sandy beaches, famous beach clubs like Ocean Beach, Nikki Beach or Opium Beach Club, the Puente Romano Hotel Resort and Marbella Club Hotel, you can live it large to your heart’s content. Entertainment at night does not fall short either with famous clubs like Olivia Valere and world-class festivals like Starlite. However, daytime fun can be had on the water with a wide range of water sports or on land on one of over 70 top-level golf courses, that gained fame when Sean Connery still lived on the Golden Mile. Not to mention the equestrian sports, as well as hiking and whatever the beautiful Sierra Blanca has to offer, will keep you busy without having to travel far.
Marbella is where old & new glamour exists side by side, and that makes it very special indeed. It’s a real pearl of a place in Andalusia, about half an hour by car from the airport in Málaga and just under an hour by car from Gibraltar. Beautiful towns like Granada, with the Sierras Nevada for skiing, are just over an hour away. If you prefer to head down South, you’ll find Tarifa, Europe’s most Southerly point only just over an hour away. From there, the next stop is the African continent by boat, or drive up the Costa de La Luz along the Atlantic to visit historic cities like Cádiz, Vejer or Puerto Santa Maria in deepest Sherry country.
We think, you might be busy enough to discover all that Marbella has to offer in one trip, but then…there’s always another visit in the offing 🙂</p
Without culture, we have nothing – and film festivals are the perfect outlet to learn about your own and foreign cultures too! Inviting you to visit and experience the culture of the festival’s venue is yet another way of bringing us all closer, whilst enjoying the razzmatazz and glamour provided by all the film stars & directors, the glitzy locations do the rest.
What do we take away from visiting and taking part at a film festival: enjoying its locality, hospitality, food & drink, getting to know its people, as well as making friends is just the start. Learning about a country’s artistic talent is another, and learning about other countries’ artistic talent and another nation’s social issues, or whatever a film’s subject might be, will be yet another highlight of being part of it all.
Whether you might visit a metropole or make the effort to travel to a boutique event, the adventure starts right at the beginning. Seeing your favourite stars in the flesh is where the highlights continue and making it a city break, staying somewhere in style, gives it all another dimension. Try Berlin, Vilnius, Istanbul, Krakow, Rotterdam, Málaga, Munich, Brussels, Cannes and Locarno, and you’ll experience a wild variety of all sorts of adventures. Check the list below for the best film festivals in the most picturesque locations in Europe and then start making plans…
LEADING EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVALS:
- 24 Jan – 04 Feb’24: Int’l Film Festival Rotterdam (iffr.com)
- 16 – 26 Feb’23: Berlinale, Berlin Film Festival (berlinale.de)
- 03 – 19 March: Borderlines Film Festival/ UK (borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk)
- 10 – 19 March: Málaga Film Festival (festivaldemalaga.com)
- 15 – 26 March: BFI London Film Festival/ United Kingdom (whatson.bfi.org.uk)
- 16 – 31 March: Sofia Int’l Film Festival/ Bulgaria (siff.bg)
- 16 – 26 March: Vilnius Int’l Film Festival/ Lithuania (kinopavasaris.lt)
- 7 – 18 April: Istanbul Int’l Film Festival/ Turkey (film.iksv.org)
- 27 April – 7 May: IndieLisboa/ Portugal (indielisboa.com)
- 16 – 27 May: Cannes Film Festival/ France (festival-cannes.com)
- 28 May – 4 June: Krakow Film Festival/ Poland (krakowfilmfestival.pl)
- 11 – 17 June: Annecy Int’l Animation Film Festival/ France (annecy.org)
- 9 – 18 June: Transylvania Int’l Film Festival (tiff.ro)
- 23 June – 1 July: Munich Int’l Film Festival/ Germany (filmfest-muenchen.de)
- 27 June – 5 July: Brussels Int’l Film Festival/ Belgium (briff.be)
- 30 June – 8 July: Karlovy Vary Int’l Film Festival/ Czech Rep (kviff.com)
- 13 July – 23 July: Jerusalem Film Festival/ Israel (jff.org.il)
- 2 – 12 Aug: Locarno Film Festival/ Switzerland (locarnofestival.ch)
- 11 – 18 Aug: Sarajevo Film Festival/ Bosnia & Herzegovina (sff.ba)
- 18 – 23 August: Edinburgh Int’l Film Festival/ UK (edfilmfest.org.uk)
- 30 August – 9 Sept: Venice Int’l Film Festival/ Italy (labiennale.org)
- 14 – 24 Sept: Helsinki Int’l Film Festival/ Finland (hiff.fi)
- 22 – 30 Sep: San Sebastian Film Festival/ Spain (sansebastianfestival.com)
- 28 Sept – 8 Oct: Zurich Film Festival/ Switzerland (zff.com)
- 10 – 21 Oct: Film Fest Gent/ Belgium (filmfestival.be)
- 26 Oct – 5 Nov: Raindance Film Festival/ UK (raindance.org)
- 8 – 19 Nov: Stockholm Int’l Film Festrival/ Sweden (stockholmfilmfestival.se)