This time of the year, it’s normally a busy schedule of interior design, garden and craft events to attend in the UK. If you’ve been feeling that this year there’s a lot less to look forward to, don’t panic! Organisers all over the world, though, have been stepping up to rescue their events by moving them online.
The good news is that means that you can now ‘visit’ events internationally for free, with no plane ticket or hotel costs involved. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite virtual events!
The Virtual Design Festival
April should have seen the world’s biggest annual design event, unofficially known as Milan Design Week, kick off the summer season and the start of over 400 events. With things so uncertain, a lot of the content has now moved online to www.virtualdesignfestival.com which includes content for architects, designers and individuals.
Craft fairs and artisan markets across the UK have had to cancel their regular events, but a lot of them have moved online and set up virtual markets instead. It’s not quite like the real thing, but does give you a chance to support small businesses and buy some little ‘cheer up’ gifts for yourself or friends. Some vendors are delivering the goods by post, others are dropping off locally (particularly with food items). For a more authentic experience, take your tablet into the garden and put some music on while you browse!
London’s SoLo Craft Fairs have moved to Instagram every Saturday from 12pm to 2pm (@solocraft). The Treacle Market in Macclesfield, Cheshire, has moved its monthly market to Facebook (@TreacleMarket) – the next one is on 31 May. Some traders have even banded together to create virtual markets just for the duration of the outbreak – search ‘virtual artisan market’ on social media to see what’s around. South Central Makers, which normally hold monthly craft markets in Romsey, Southampton and Lyndhurst in Hampshire, have moved their markets to an online version and on the day they share videos of all the makers products. Their Facebook page has details of upcoming events
This artist-led exhibition and fair should have been held in July, but has now been cancelled completely for this year and will return in July 2021. In the meantime, artists will shortly be selling online at www.celebratingceramics.co.uk.
Chelsea Flower Show
The UK’s biggest and best-known flower and garden show was due to take place from 18 to 23 May – and it still will! No need to go to Chelsea, though – all the content is available online. There are interviews with experts, gardening tips, how to videos, interactive Q&A sessions and tours of the designers’ own private gardens and nurseries.
Museums and galleries
Lots of the UK’s museums are throwing open their virtual doors for tours and exhibitions, including the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery. Lots of others are live streaming events – sign up to newsletters to find out what’s happening.
Lots of very talented artists have moved their courses online, so you can do them from the comfort of your own home – and you don’t even have to be in the same country! What’s on offer differs from artist to artist – some are holding actual live classes via Zoom so you can see and chat to other participants, others are delivering online course work to be completed at your own pace, so make sure you know what’s on offer.
Watercolour artist Moira Spencer of Fresh Art Takeaway (search ‘Fresh Art Takeaway’ on Facebook) is running regular virtual classes for adults and children, while macrame artist Isabella Strambio is holding regular online classes to make your own crafts – visit her website www.twome.co.uk to find out more.
All images (c) Pixabay1