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'OUT NOW' in Great Britain

Visit Britain

Out’s editors have curated a list of the must-see arts attractions that should be on every LGBT traveler’s itinerary. 

The UK has global influence on the arts which in part is due to the diverse people and cultures which come together to express themselves freely in this welcoming and inclusive country. Giving us world renowned talent from Shakespeare to Boy George and musical productions like Mama Mia and Les Miserables, the UK is undeniably a world capital of the arts. Such diversity in the art sector offers the city a unique opportunity to host a variety of cultural events. London alone is home to a West End theater scene that rivals our own Broadway, over 400 art galleries, almost 200 museums and over 20,000 musical performances annually. With such an expansive cultural scene, Out editors are sharing our list of must see experiences and recommendations, that are Out Now in 2019!

Andy Warhol: Polaroid Pictures, Bastian Gallery, London

Immerse yourself in the world of Andy Warhol through his Polaroid lens. London's hottest new gallery, Bastian in Mayfair presents "Andy Warhol: Polaroid Pictures" running through April 13 but if you can't make it, be sure to check Bastian's schedule for announcements on future exhibits. The gallery's inaugural exhibition showcases over sixty Polaroid photographs by Warhol from New York City in the '70s and '80s marking first time that many of Warhol's personal portraits are being shared with the public. Through this series, visitors can transport themselves into Warhol's infamous 'Factory' studio where his entourage of distinguished intellectuals, drag queens and celebrities, including gay icons like Madonna, David Hockney and Jane Fonda frequently gathered.

Keith Haring Exhibit, Tate, Liverpool

In the 1980s, artist, activist and friend of Warhol, Keith Haring invented his signature beloved chalk babies. Almost forty years later, Haring's work finally makes its way to Great Britain as the exhibition at Tate Liverpool is surprisingly his first major show in the UK. Beginning June 14 through November 10, visitors will experience the New York City art scene and street culture from Haring's large-scale paintings, drawings and sculptures that deal with burning LGBTQ+ social and political issues at the time including homophobia, AIDS, drug addiction etc. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, take advantage of this opportunity to reflect on Haring and the others who have helped pave the way for the rest of the community to walk freely.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Any fashion aficionado should immerse themselves in the glamour and elegance that is Christian Dior at this not-to-be-missed exhibit at the V&A Museum. Though Dior was not openly gay, like many fashion designers of this time, he kept his sexuality a secret to avoid discrimination and even arrest. Making women feel beautiful and powerful was a way for many haute couture designers of the twentieth century to express themselves by "living out their fantasies." From now through September 2019, the V&A brings spectators all the way back in time to 1949 when Christian Dior started the brand -- with iconic Dior couture, classic fragrance bottles and original design sketches, the exhibition not only documents the brand's history, but also examines its relationship with the Great Britain overall. The V&A also recently expanded to Dundee, making it Scotland's first and only design museum showcasing Scottish creativity and international design.

Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury

For five days each year, music fanatics from all over the world camp out in a Somerset field to bask in the sounds of some of the world's most renowned musical talent at Glastonbury Festival. Join other fans as they scream, cheer and dance through the night as their favorite musicians from a diverse array of genres take the stage. Music legends and LGBT icons like David Bowie, Katy Perry and Beyonce have all graced the stage of Glastonbury. The 2019 lineup includes the Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson, Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monae and Lizzo. As of now tickets for the 2019 Glastonbury Festival are sold out but additional tickets will be released so definitely keep an eye out for another chance to attend one of the world's largest greenfield festivals.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie,West End, London

Inspired by the 2011 BBC documentary, 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' made its West End debut in late 2018. The hit musical features 16-year-old Jamie as he shares his dream of becoming a drag queen while overcoming hate and bigotry to his first steps into the spotlight thanks to his loving mother and supporting friends. Though one of our biggest allies, Michelle Visage's brief stint on the show has come to an end, you should still make it a priority to see this on the West End before any of your friends back home can as it's rumored to hit Broadway sometime soon.

The Spice Girls Reunion, Across Great Britain

We know that a Spice Girls reunion (without Posh, of course) is what you want, what you really really want and luckily, the foursome's Spice World Tour is hitting multiple cities in the UK this summer. After waiting over a decade, fans can expect to see Baby, Ginger, Sporty and Scary's flawless dance moves that we've all memorized and performed for our friends in the 90's. We can only hope to find the iconic lollipops at the merch station but if not, be sure to bring your own Chupa Chups just in case. Grab your tickets now because they are going extremely fast!

Manchester International Festival (MIF), Manchester

Held from July 4-21, this biennial festival brings together talent from different art forms to show off their newest work. Experience the beauty of Manchester as you immerse yourself in the dynamic arts scene by attending some of the 30+ free and ticketed events throughout the city in unique and expected venues such as parking lots, churches and railway stations. Make sure you jump on the opportunity to see fellow queer music artist Janelle Monae's MIF debut on July 4th. Shortly before Janelle Monae takes the stage, Yoko Ono will gather in Cathedral Gardens to send a message of peace to the world with thousands of diverse voices and a people's orchestra of bells which is a free event that you won't want to miss!

Edinburgh Festivals - Scotland

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Most notably known for the Edinburgh Castle which offers picturesque views of the city from this historic landmark set atop a rocky volcanic outcrop, Edinburgh is also home to a series of festivals throughout the year. The variety of festivals offer something for everyone so whether it's the International Festival, Arts Festival, Film Festival, International Children's Festival or the Festival Fringe, be sure to check out the schedule and plan your trip accordingly. Festival Fringe (August 2-26) is always an LGBTQ+ favorite with 2018 performances featuring Courtney Act, The Lady Boys of Bangkok and other notable drag and boylesque shows. The 2019 program will be released on June 5 but you can pre-order your copy here to start planning your itinerary sooner rather than later.

Hay Festival - Wales

Since 1988, Wales which was known for its multitude of bookshops, began hosting Hay Festival - a literary festival bringing writers and readers together to ignite conversations. The 2019 Hay Festival in Wales will take place from May 23 - June 2 and is the perfect place for any LGBTQ+ bookworms looking to crawl up in the grass with their favorite book, meet some of the literary geniuses in attendance or browse the many exhibitors selling a wide variety of merchandise. For any LGBTQ+ families looking for kid-friendly activities, we suggest attending HAYDAYS. With the 2018 theme of inclusivity and science, attending authors and illustrators spark imagination and inspire children to read to prepare for them for the modern world and global society.

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