There are some that say Art is the quintessential magic that makes a festival what it is. Dede Flemming, Co-Founder at Do LaB and Lightning in a Bottle, said earlier this year that without art a festival “is merely a concert.” In his Festival All-Star Interview with Fest300, Daniel Popper (who is an internationally recognized sculptor at festivals all over the world) also stressed it’s importance at events, even noting that more ought to be done to support the artists who create these experiences, and that big art installations in particular ought to be promoted like music lineups. Some festivals have moved in the direction of celebrating this form of expression less, instead relying on stacked music lineups to generate the buzz to sell tickets. Tickets do sell, but the multi-sensory sensation is more like being in a sweat lathered traffic jam than the dreamworld art installations can create across a landscape. Indeed, art is woven throughout the fabric of festival culture, but how can we identify the best of the best in art installations? From last year alone, we found numerous installations that offer a looking glass into the near future. See some of our favorites below!
To ensure they were hot now we only surveyed art installations that were built in the last year. As a rule, installations could not also be a stage or an immersive theater space or an art car, since both generally have disproportionate sums of money invested into them. To encourage you to explore new adventures, we also didn’t want to showcase only art from only one event or artist – no matter how great they may be.