Europe still planning events, openings in 2021
A year ago at this time, few could have imagined the turn cultural events scheduled in 2020 would take. The cancellations, postponements and reimagined online versions of festivals, sporting competitions and celebrations that would have otherwise brought together large numbers of people are likely to continue for a while yet. As ongoing coronavirus concerns keep us locked in wait-and-see mode, here are some of the events, festivals, grand openings and other activities organizers hope to stage in 2021.
Sporting competitionsThe FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, an alpine skiing competition organized by the International Ski Federation, take place in odd numbered years. As of this writing, they are still set to take place in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Feb. 9-21. Online: cortina2021.com
The World Figure Skating Championships, the annual figure skating competition sanctioned by the International Skating Union, is considered the most prestigious outing after the Olympics. Although the 2020 Championships, originally scheduled for Montreal, Canada, were ultimately canceled, the 2021 version of the event is still scheduled to go forward in Stockholm, Sweden March 22-28. Online: stockholm2021.se
The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, postponed by a year, is presently scheduled to take place June 11-July 11. To celebrate what the 60th anniversary of the competition, the tournament is being hosted by not one but several countries. The Stadio Olimpico in Rome is slated to host the opening game, and London’s Wembley Stadium is the site of the semi-finals and final match. Other cities hosting matches include Amsterdam, Baku, Azerbaijan, Bilbao, Spain; Bucharest, Romania; Budapest, Hungary; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dublin; Munich, Germany; and Saint Petersburg, Russia. Online: uefa.com/uefaeuro-2020
Museum openingsFollowing a dramatic transformation led by famed architect Tadao Ando, the former stock exchange in Paris is slated to reopen as an art museum on Jan. 23. The revamped Bourse de Commerce will house the collection of art collector and businessman Francois Pinault, who has amassed more than 5000 works from the 20th and 21st centuries. By collaborating with Pinault’s other museums, the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice, this latest venture will expose his holdings to new audiences. Online: boursedecommerce.fr/en
Norway’s capital city is one iconic building richer as the Munchmuseet, also known as MUNCH, moves into its new home, a sleek mirrored tower standing alongside the Bjørvika Bay. Oslo’s new museum will give “The Scream” a safe space and room enough to house temporary exhibitions that complement the work of Norwegian expressionist painter Edvard Munch. The opening is scheduled for the spring of 2021. Online: munchmuseet.no/en
The Children's World of the Jewish Museum Berlin, ANOHA, was scheduled to open in 2020. When hygiene regulations allow, the new museum geared toward ages 5-12 will retell the story of Noah's ark. A large round wooden structure resembling the boat will house more than 150 animals made of recycled materials. Species both large and small, lovable and not so loved, living and extinct, are represented. Online: jmberlin.de/en/ANOHA
Cultural capitalsEach year, the European Commission designates at least two cities as European Capitals of Culture. Insofar as the two cities designated in 2020 had little opportunity to implement their planned programs, Rijeka, Croatia and Galway, Ireland, can extend their year in the spotlight to April 30. The cities originally slated to hold the honor in 2021 will bump their programs forward. Novi Sad will wear the honorific in 2022, while Timisoara, Romania and Elefsina, Greece, are now looking toward 2023.
New recreational facilitiesLake Constance gains a luxurious attraction as the Therme Lindau am Bodensee opens up directly upon its shores. After soaking in its warm waters or heating up in the saunas, spa-goers can treat themselves to stunning views of sparkling water and mountain peaks. Its “textilwellness” section will be appreciated by those shy about getting naked with strangers. Online: therme-lindau.com
Kynren – “An Epic Tale of England” is a live outdoor show staged in Bishop Auckland in northeast England on Saturdays from June through September. The spectacle depicting key moments in British history from the Roman conquest through World War II is narrated by a ten year old child. This year, the show which debuted in 2016 will benefit from the opening of 11Arches Park, offering family friendly activities and live action shows in the daytime hours prior to Kynren. A playground, maze, horseback stunt show and live music will be among its offerings. Online: kynren.com
The United Kingdom’s Royal Horticultural Society plans to unveil its latest project, the RHS Garden Bridgewater, on May 11. One of the largest gardening projects in all Europe is transforming the land surrounding the 154-acre Worsley New Hall, a demolished mansion just a few miles west of Manchester. Plans to open Bridgewater, the RHS’s fifth garden, have been in the works since 2017. Online: rhs.org.uk/gardens/bridgewater
Festivals and eventsRolling Loud Festival, a three-day hip-hop music event that got its start in Miami, Florida, sets out to conquer the world with ambitious plans to stage shows in Japan, China and Europe. Portimao, a city in Portugal’s Algarve region, hosts the event’s European debut, slated for July 6- 10. Acts include A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott and Future. Online: rollingloudportugal.com
WorldPride has been shining a light on LGBT issues by means of parades, festivals and other cultural activities since 2000. Copenhagen, Denmark, along with nearby Malmö, Sweden, will host the rainbow-hued celebrations Aug. 12-22. The two cities also host the EuroGames, a LGBTI+ inclusive sporting event encompassing 29 disciplines, Aug. 18-20. Online: copenhagen2021.com
AnniversariesFrom Jan. 23 through May 25, 1521, The Holy Roman Empire held an imperial assembly known The Diet of Worms at which the Protestant reformer Martin Luther was called to answer charges of heresy and recant his writings. Luther stood firm in his faith, and although he was branded an outlaw and heretic, he was not executed like many other reformers before him. Worms, Germany, marks the 500th anniversary of this historical event with a “Luther Moment,” a multi-media projection against its Holy Trinity Church on April 17; a play about Luther performed in front of the Worms’ Cathedral July 16-Aug. 1 and an exhibition titled “Here I stand: Conscience and Protest,” July 3-Oct. 31 at the Worms City Museum. Online: luther500fest.com