Tips for finding arts events near you
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Visit Britain and local tourist board websites have arts listings for each nation (VisitEngland, VisitScotland, VisitWales, Discover Northern Ireland), region, and city. So, for us in Sheffield, we can find listings in Welcome to Yorkshire and Welcome to Sheffield. Find these by searching ‘Visit [place]’and looking for ‘things to see and do’.
Some local councils have art and culture events listed on their website – use this gov.uk search engine to find your local council website. Some local council’s websites are better than others, so you might need to dig around for the page. Here’s Birmingham City Council’s listings as an example.
Find art exhibitions at ArtFund, local theatre listings which you can filter by city at What’s On Stage, events for all ages at Fantastic for Families, or art in the great outdoors at Outdoor Arts UK.
A lot of our interview participants used Facebook to find out about events – they liked that events popped up without having to look for them, and that they could say they were ‘interested’ to receive reminders while they decided whether or not to go. Eventbrite and TicketMaster will recommend events to you based on what you’ve been to before. Find local arts organsiations and sign up to their mailing lists – not only will they tell you about their own events, but many recommend other similar events in the area.
Newspapers are still a good place to find out about arts events. The Guardian Culture tends to cover big events around the country, whereas smaller events tend to only appear in local newspapers’ arts pages. However, with art critics being let go from many local newspapers, this level of coverage may reduce in years to come.
…and finally, keep an eye out for other blogs or listings sites that are specific to your local area. For example, check out which arts organisations are part of Independent Birmingham, Liverpool or Sheffield, have a look at Coventry’s City of Culture events, We Are Chester webzine and We Are Cardiff blog, or lifestyle blogs that include arts and culture such as Poppy Loves and Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays. Most blogs have Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, making them event easier to follow.