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There are certain cultural events you really don’t want to miss out on. In association with Mercedes-Benz, Square Meal looks back on the best events of 2012 and gives you a sneak peek of what’s in store for 2013.
Manchester’s creative strength was laid bare in May at FutureEverything, the most imaginative of ideas festivals. Among the highlights was musician Matthew Herbert performing his One Pig show, which looks at the journey of a pig from birth to plate and features a new custom instrument, the ‘Sty Harp’.
The festival of candy-coloured sheep, music, poetry, performance and literature returned to the muddy fields of Suffolk to delight a leftfield crowd. Headliners Bon Iver, Elbow and Paul Weller delivered the goods, while comedians Tim Minchin, Rich Hall and Phill Jupitus had the crowd laughing into their pear ciders. The film tent delighted, with the Chemical Brothers’ film Don’t Think providing a visceral wormhole into their live act.
Tim Walker, the master of photographing fairytale fashion stories, was granted his own retrospective exhibition at Somerset House last autumn. The neoclassical building was the perfect backdrop against which to display Walker’s portraits of subjects including Alexander McQueen, Tilda Swinton and Stella Tennant.
In 2006 it was the performance that reopened the Roundhouse. Six years on Fuerzabruta (or Brute Force), the explosive, visual, physical theatre show, returned to the Camden venue from its native Argentina, complete with mobile pools and flying curtains, to immerse audiences in its pulsating, energetic soundtrack and tightly choreographed performance. Unforgettable.
Sean Rogg’s Waldorf Project, which cleverly mixes an immersive dining experience with performance art, returns in March (25-31). The first Project saw dancers doubling as waiters, musicians composing a bespoke soundtrack and dishes matched to rare wines. While mystery surrounds the next chapter, it’s sure to be an experience.
More details at waldorfproject.com
Following its successful transfer last year to British shores, the world-famous Sundance Film Festival will be back at The O2 from 25-28 April. The four-day event, which celebrates the best of independent cinema, will include films shown at January’s Sundance Festival in Utah, as well as Q&As with filmmakers, musical performances and workshops.
Full details at sundance-london.com
Exciting music plans are afoot in Wales once more as Festival No. 6 returns to the stunning coastal town of Portmeirion from 13 to 15 September. The first year saw performers wearing lampshades and dressed as clowns wandering the streets, while headline acts New Order, Primal Scream and Spiritualized dazzled audiences. Expect the event to come back even bigger and better.
More details at festivalnumber6.com
Expect the unexpected at contemporary arts fair Frieze London (17-20 October), which always brings a creative buzz to the capital. London art galleries coincide their headline-grabbing exhibitions openings with the event, which is now in its 11th year and one of the major dates on the global art calendar.
Full details at friezelondon.com
This feature was published in the 2013 issue of Square Meal Restaurants & Bars Guide.