10 fun and colorful street art festivals this summer

Here are the best street art festivals across the globe this summer. From Ibiza to Copenhagen and Montreal – they put the ‘art’ in party with these creative events

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Artist spray painting a mural in Montreal for MURAL festival

Category Cities

Date 22nd May 2017

The urban landscape is not all glass and concrete. Since the graffiti art boom of the 1980s’, artists and creative souls the world over have added color to city streets, beautifying empty spaces with one dexterous stroke after another.

Experience the process behind the spray cans and stencils and come face to face with some of the masterminds of the urban canvases of our cities at these street art festivals this summer.

Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival – Tauranga, New Zealand

Feast your eyes on a broad palette of bespoke works at Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival
Feast your eyes on a broad palette of bespoke works at Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival @ Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival

Tauranga’s brand new street art festival is being marketed as something of a paradox. Not only has it brought street art from all over the world into the confines of an art gallery, it has also turned the city of Tauranga into an embellished outdoor gallery, curated by revered international artists. In fact, all the murals here are bespoke works, created in and for the city of Tauranga by the likes of Sofles, Wongi, and Seth Globepainter.

Featuring the most extensive assembly of street artist Banksy’s works in the Southern Hemisphere, the festival also plays host to several exciting events featuring local artists.

When: March 28 – 15 June

Find a flight to nearby Auckland

Brockley Street Art Festival – London, England

Brockley Street Art Festival is home to many colourful murals such as this one of Bob Marley
Brockley Street Art Festival is home to many colorful murals such as this one of Bob Marley

Now in its 3rd year, Brockley Street Art Festival sheds light on Brockley’s thriving street art scene in a bid to cultivate its local identity and showcase some of its more obscure urban areas in a more endearing manner. The area’s rich artistic heritage and its proximity to Goldsmiths college, in itself a cultural hub, have been pivotal in securing its status as one of London’s vibrant newcomers on the street festival scene.

When: June 2 – 10

Find a flight to London

Stencibility – Tartu, Estonia

Take part in workshops and other interactive activities at Stencibility
Take part in workshops and other interactive activities at Stencibility @ Ruudu Rahumaru

Stencibility focuses on bridging the gap between performers and audiences. You will find no shortage of street art here, showcased by a palette of knowledgeable artists in intimate surroundings aimed at getting upcoming artists more involved in the scene through interactive activities such as workshops.

In fact, there’s more than just street art to indulge in here – debate clubs, film screenings, and installation art framed within the urban narrative are all central elements of Stencibility, whose previous lineups have featured work from artists such as Biancoshock, Kashink, MTOMr. Thoms, and many more.

When: June 12 – 18

Find a flight to Tartu

Stockholm Urban Art – Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm's street art scene is rapidly making a name for itself globally
Stockholm’s street art scene is rapidly making a name for itself globally

Stockholm Urban Art is a component of Stockholm Street Festival – a broader tribute to street performers such as acrobats, magicians, and comedians. The urban art scene hopes to bring together leading figures from Sweden’s street art scene whilst acting as a platform for any festival attendees who would like to try their hand at spraying a wall or two.

When: June 30 – July 2

Find a flight to Stockholm

M.I.A.U. Fanzara – Castellon, Spain

The Spanish village of Fanzara contains over 40 murals, most of which are re-worked annually at the M.I.A.U Fanzara
The Spanish village of Fanzara contains over 40 murals, most of which are re-worked annually at the M.I.A.U. Fanzara @ RafaGascó

The Museo Inacabado de Arte Urbano (The Unfinished Museum of Urban Art) takes a slightly different approach to street art – expanding its scope to focus on disciplines such as sculptures, land-art, interventions, and 3-D installations, in addition to more traditional mural (wall)-based initiatives.

M.I.A.U. has, in fact, been instrumental in putting the Valencian village of Fanzara on the map, boosting its cultural profile, and steering it away from the decline experienced by many small Spanish villages with weakened economies and diminishing tourism.

When: July 6 – 9

Find a flight to nearby Valencia

Graffiti Na Gradele – Brač Island, Croatia

Croatia’s Brač Island - known for its pebbly beach and now, a marquee street art festival every summer
Croatia’s Brač Island – known for its pebbly beach and now, a marquee street art festival every summer

The idyllic shores of Croatia’s Brač Island, close to the city of Split, play host to one of the region’s largest graffiti and street art festivals every summer. A non-profit initiative that is run under the auspices of Bol Summer Festival, Graffiti Na Gradele’s focus is hinged on gathering young regional talents under a common platform. You will also find plenty of parties and social gatherings taking place as part of the Bol Summer Festival.

When: July 27 – 29

Find a flight to Split

Meeting of Styles – Copenhagen, Denmark

Get up and close with some of Denmark's iconic street artists at Meeting of Styles Copenhagen
Get up and close with some of Denmark’s iconic street artists at Meeting of Styles Copenhagen

Meeting of Styles is one of the largest street art gatherings worldwide, featuring events in over 30 cities over the course of the year, all linked by a common theme – the age of abundance. Copenhagen’s event takes place this July and will, as in previous years, be held at Pumpehuset – a vibrant music venue in the middle of the Danish capital. Not much about the event is known at this stage but keep an eye on their Facebook page for more information.

When: July 21 – 23

Find a flight to Copenhagen

MURAL Festival – Montreal, Canada

Get ready for an eruption of colour at Montreal's Mural Festival
Get ready for an eruption of color at Montreal’s Mural Festival

Canada’s Mural Festival is a mammoth among street art festivals that hosted over one million visitors in 2016. Word on the street is that this year’s event will continue the trend, with artists such as Nuria Mora, Ricardo Cavalo, and Ron English headlining the proceedings. In addition to the 80 plus murals and installations, Mural Festival also features several block parties and a series of after parties, making it a truly immersive street experience.

When: June 8 – 18

Find a flight to Montreal

Upfest – Bristol, UK

Upfest is a street art festival rebel with a cause
Upfest is a street art festival rebel with a cause

Bristol is one of The UK’s street art mecca’s, featuring areas such as gentrified Southville and the lively Stokes Croft, both of which contain an effervescent selection of works.

Upfest 2016 hosted 300 artists from all over the world and gathered in excess of 35,000 people, cementing its status as one of the world’s marquee street art festivals.

Not only is Upfest Europe’s largest free street art festival since 2008, it’s also a party with a cause – the fest raises money and awareness for parents and children suffering from domestic alcoholism for the National Association for Children of Alcoholics  (NACOA).

When: July 29-31

Find a flight to Bristol

Bloop Festival – Ibiza, Spain

There is more to Ibiza than its club life - keep your eyes peeled for some great murals at this year's Bloop Festival
There is more to Ibiza than its club life – keep your eyes peeled for some great murals at this year’s Bloop Festival © sage_solar

The Balearic paradise of Ibiza adds even more fizz to its riveting streets with the annual Bloop Festival – a thought-provoking showcase of works by some of the isle’s local and international talents. Last year’s theme took a stab at modern-day challenges such as FOMO (fear of missing out) and the pitfalls of mass communication via social media and featured an eclectic selection of interpretations from a wide range of artists.

When: August 23 – September 3

Find a flight to Ibiza
Looking for more travel Inspiration? Check out these unconventional art galleries around the world or feast your eyes on these beautifully decorated metro stations

Originally published

22nd May 2017