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Arts and Culture Events to Look Forward to in 2020

Image © English National Ballet via Facebook

Look forward to the new year with these fabulous upcoming cultural events!

We’re heading into another decade of the swinging ‘20s, with 2020 quickly waltzing into our lives. Whilst the UK serves up plenty of arts and culture events throughout every year, we’re certain that a brand-new decade will bring an abundance of fantastic happenings and important anniversaries to celebrate. Check out our brief guide to what’s coming up. 


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Celebrating 125 Years of the National Trust
National Trust sites make up a huge part of the UK’s history and heritage, with over 500 heritage properties being owned, maintained and run by the charity. It is, in fact, one of the UK’s biggest charities and possesses buildings ranging from lofty country estates to the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney. The charity was started in 1895 and is therefore celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2020, culminating in some huge fundraising events for various properties on the beautiful English Riviera. Aiming to raise £125,000 through crowdfunding and individual fundraising, the trust is aiming to restore Agatha Christie’s summerhouse at Greenway, create an accessible all-weather path at Coleton Fishacre, restore the woodlands paths at Bradley Manor and finally create garden seating at Compton Castle. If you want to support this cause then head to their Just Giving page to donate or click here for information on how you can help raise funds. The National Trust has sites all over the UK, so be sure to visit one or two throughout 2020 to appreciate 125 years of this wonderful British charity! 

To win a year long membership to the National Trust enter our competition here

The English National Ballet’s 70th Anniversary
Another big anniversary for arts and culture next year, this time celebrating 70 years of the English National Ballet! Originally started as the London Festival Ballet company in 1950, the group was started by Ballets Russes dancers Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin with a small troupe of British dancers. The company has grown in size and reputation in the past 70-years, touring the UK and worldwide to bring both classic and modern ballet to the masses. Celebrate the momentous anniversary with a Gala at the London Coliseum this January. Performing three shows over two days, the production will merge archive footage of the company over the years with live performances of some of their most iconic dances. The audience will also be treated to a short show from the English National Ballet Youth Company, completed by a performance of one of the troupe’s signature pieces from 1955. 
The shows take place on 17-18 January 2020 at London Coliseum and you can click here for tickets! 

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Glastonbury Festival Turns 50
2020’s biggest music event will, no doubt, be Glastonbury Festival’s 50th anniversary. The world-famous contemporary performing arts festival began in 1970 with a headline performance by Led Zeppelin. Since then it’s grown into one of the biggest festivals in the world, organised by the owner of Worthy Farm, Michael Eavis, and his daughter Emily. Tickets to the festival are notoriously hard to procure, with the 2020 weekend selling out in just 34 minutes! Whilst the line-up won’t be announced until the new year, Sir Paul McCartney has already confirmed as a headliner, and the iconic Diana Ross will be playing the Sunday afternoon legends slot. Despite waiting for another 700 acts to be announced, we can assure you that it’s set to be an unforgettable weekend. The 40thanniversary in 2010 say Stevie Wonder sing Happy Birthday to the festival alongside Michael Eavis himself, so we’re sure the father-daughter pair have something up their sleeve to make this year even better. 
Sadly, tickets are completely sold out and the Spring 2020 resale will no doubt be just as in demand. But you can buy the official 50 Years of Glastonbury book here
Japan-UK Season of Culture
Whilst this event started in 2019, the Japan-UK Season of Culture will most certainly be one of the UK’s biggest cultural events throughout 2020. Those who put two-and-two together will realise that this coincides with the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games which will be hosted in Tokyo, as well as the Rugby World Cup which was hosted there in 2019. These events aim to put Japan’s multifaceted attractions into the limelight and encourage a mutual understanding that will help create an enduring legacy. You may have already noticed Japanese events taking place at institutions across the UK, with Art & Design, Theatre, Film, Academia, Business and Sport all being widely presented. Notable events include an exhibition of work by Taki Katei at Liverpool’s World Museum and an unforgettable performance of Madama Butterfly featuring the Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall (amongst many other exciting events!)

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VE Day 75th Anniversary
May 2020 will see the UK celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day with an exciting Friday Bank Holiday! Sadly, they’re taking the May Day Bank Holiday away in exchange, but the day off work on 8 May will still give people everywhere the chance to enjoy a ‘shared moment of celebration’. For those who don’t know, Victory in Europe (VE) Day took place on 8 May 1945 and marked the surrender of Nazi Germany and the end of WWII. Celebrations took to the streets of the UK when the fighting stopped, creating VE Day. The 75th anniversary is a chance to remember the sacrifices made by many throughout both World Wars, and sacrifices that continue to be made to ensure our freedom. Extended licensing hours will be granted to pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels to ensure as many people as possible get chance to celebrate this historic event over the weekend of 8 – 10 May 2020. 
We’re sure you’ll find plenty of local VE Day events taking place around you, but check out this website to find the official event proceedings.