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Virtual Events: How To Get Your Culture Fix at Home

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Embrace the new entertainment norm

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From workouts to exhibition tours to festivals, the past year has proven that pretty much everything can be adapted for the digital world. Here we bring you the best virtual events, tutorials and shows to tune into this season.

Best Virtual Events 2021

The Affordable Online Art Fair

Martin Miller Gin x Affordable Art Fair

Explore 50 hand-picked galleries from around the world at this year’s Affordable Online Art Fair, running in partnership with Martin Miller’s Gin. The fair coincides with the premium gin brand’s recently launched tagline, From Madness To Genius, which is inspired by the eponymous founder Martin Miller, who defied traditional gin production to try something new and genius – which was considered a ‘mad’ idea at the time. This theme will be explored at the Affordable Art Fair, going on to play out at a series of events and experiences, culminating in an artist commission at the fair’s autumn edition in October. You’ll have a chance to meet these two artists, Spanish painter, printmaker and sculptor Violeta Maya, and designer and visual artist Persiis Hajiyanni, in a virtual panel discussion on 9 April, led by Martin Miller’s Gin. Alongside the artists, the event will feature the founder of Affordable Art Fairs Will Ramsay plus Robert Eastham, global sales and marketing director at Martin Miller’s Gin. affordableartfair.com

The Hepworth Wakefield’s Spring Flower Festival

The Hepworth Wakefield Garden

Jason Ingram

Back in 2019, The Hepworth Wakefield transformed a strip of grass outside the gallery into a beautiful garden, decked out with perennials, beech hedging, trees and shrubs. The space – which remained open throughout the pandemic, serving as a symbol of hope – is now being celebrated in an online festival, running for two weeks from 19 April. 19 April – 2 May. hepworthwakefield.org

Fashion Revolution Week

Who made my fabric? We’re being encouraged to ask brands this key question as part of a new campaign for Fashion Revolution Week. Tune into the signature live-streamed event at 1pm on 19 April, where panellists will be discussing the overall theme of Rights, Relationships and Revolution. 19 – 24 April. fashionrevolution.org

The British Cheese Weekender

Canopy Market

One for the cheese lovers: the British Cheese Weekender is back. Taking place online from 23 – 25 April, the free event will involve virtual farm tours, online masterclasses and tutored tastings, with guest appearances from Michelin-starred chefs like Simon Rogan and Tommy Banks. 23 – 25 April. britishcheeseweekender.com

World Book Night 2021

Anna Jones

©MattRussell

Lockdown turned you into a bookworm? Celebrate at this year’s online World Book Night. Authors like Sandi Toksvig, David Nicholls, Kazuo Ishiguro will be leading digital events. while Hugh Bonneville, Adjoa Andoh and Samantha Bond are narrating an exclusive new audiobook. You can also get involved by simply picking up your book for #ReadingHour, taking place from 7-8pm on the night. 23 April. worldbooknight.org

Borough Talks

Borough Market

The latest instalment of Borough Market’s digital series features the likes of Anna Jones and Carolyn Steel, with an event taking place every month until June. First up: how is the pandemic shaping our food future? Then, in May, Polpo founder Russell Norman will be discussing food and travel alongside Yasmin Khan. In June, meanwhile, a panel of experts will be doing a deep dive into the meat vs veganism debate. 21 April, 12 May and 16 June. boroughmarket.org.uk

The Digital Decorative Spring Edit 2021

Digital Decorative Art Fair

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair is back for a new digital iteration this spring. This works as an online showcase for over 70 dealers specialising in traditional and decorative antiques, with a range of eye-catching art, unusual accessories and beautiful textiles available to buy. Image: STREETT MARBURG & Charlotte Casedejus, 18th Century Limed Oak Bruges Vitrine. 13 April – 12 July. decorativefair.com

Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Steve Winwood, Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Spend the May Bank Holiday weekend enjoying world-class jazz by tuning into the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Hosted by BBC 6Music presenter Cerys Matthews and the festival’s Artistic Curator Gregory Porter, the weekend will feature headline shows from British rhythm and blues star Steve Winwood and US vocalist Gregory Porter, with other acts including saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch, and revered sibling duo Zoe & Idris Rahman. 1–2 May 2021. cheltenhamfestivals.com

Hamptons Virtual Town to Country Roadshow

Longing to move to the country? Luxury estate agent Hamptons is hosting a virtual Town to County Roadshow which will offer guidance and advice to Londoner’s and other city dwellers desiring a move to greener pastures. According to the company, 34 per cent of Hamptons’ applicants registering to buy in the country so far this year have come from London – a record high. Hence, a number of guest speakers will be on board to offer their expert advice on outmigration, from guest host and Executive Editor of Country Life, Giles Kline, who will discuss all things interiors and ‘making your country house a home’, to an exploration of the second home trend with a series of Hamptons experts. 27 April, register at hamptons.co.uk

London Design Week

Longing to change your interiors after spending so long cooped up inside? Get inspired at London Design Week 2021, which involves a mix of in-person and virtual events. Sustainability is a key theme across the new season collections, with an increasing variety of natural designs on display. 16 – 21 May. dcch.co.uk

Cambridge Film Festival At Home

Booksmart, Cambridge Film Festival

Cambridge Film Festival will be running a series of digital film-related events this year. First up: ‘A Film I Love’, in which special guests will present and discuss their favourite film prior to a screening – up next is Holly Tarquini on Speed Sisters. cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk

Main image: London Design Week

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