August has arrived. You ticked off the activities you’ve been waiting to do all year within the first month of the summer break and now you’re looking for other ways to make the most of the holiday. Here are five arts-related ideas to make it an August to remember:
1. Watch a performance outdoors
Despite British summers averaging a mere temperature of 14.3°C, theatre companies across the country make the most of the long days by taking their productions into the open air for the summer months. This year, Sheffield Botanic Gardens plays host to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in London is running Jesus Christ Superstar, and Cornwall’s Minack Theatre boasts a range of shows with a seaside setting.
2. Re-read Harry Potter
With no lectures to attend and no deadlines to hit, there is simply no better time to re-read all seven books (3,407 pages in total) from everybody’s favourite childhood series than during the summer holiday. 2017 is a significant year in the Harry Potter calendar as it marks 20 years since J.K Rowling’s creation first took to our bookshelves and Pottermore has set up the online Wizarding World Book Club to celebrate, where Potter fans can discuss the books together.
3. Treat yourself to a trip to the Edinburgh Fringe
If seeing one show this summer is not enough to quench your thirst for theatre, a trip to the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe running throughout the month of August will certainly do the job. Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the Fringe offers performances by more than 3,000 theatre, dance, comedic and music acts from across the globe, taking place in pubs, libraries and even at a football club in the city.
4. Volunteer at a festival
It’s no secret that festivals are an expensive form of camping in a crowded and often waterlogged field, made up for by entertainment and an atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else.
To avoid the costly ticket prices, organisations such as Oxfam, Wateraid and Festaff offer an exchange of working shifts at festivals for free entry. There are still places available for festivals including Boardmasters, Boomtown Fair and Shambala which, in addition to music, offer everything from swing dance classes to headdress making workshops.
5. Start a book group
A cheap way to enjoy a range of books is to set up a book exchange with fellow literature lovers. Each person reads a different book and, when they have finished, every member swaps their book with someone else in the group.
A perk of this is that you will have no trouble finding someone to talk about what you’ve just read with (and eventually spoilers will be a concern of the past).