The last time we made this list was in the heady days of January 2020. There were rumblings of a virus originating in Wuhan, but life was normal. We made plans. We looked forward to a lot of new cultural stuff happening worldwide.
But now, happily, we live in a world where vaccines have allowed things to return to some semblance of normality. And while we skipped a 2021 edition of this definitive global event and openings calendar, we’re pretty confident that almost all of the fantastic things you’ll find below will happen next year. So, Omi C permitting, here are the 5 best new things to do in the world in 2022, from massive unique museums to huge gigs, theatre shows, and art exhibitions you won’t miss.
1. Hit up the world’s most remote club night
Are you already bored of going out again? Sticky floors, sweaty ceilings, and overpriced cab home not entirely cutting it? How about a ‘party at the world’s edge to spice things up? Detour Discotheque has got you covered. In the fishing village of Þingeyri, in the Westfjords of Iceland, you’ll soon find a pop-up club night based on the discos of 1970s New York (from April 29 to 30). The capacity will be limited to 160, so it’s very intimate. A line-up of DJs from Iceland, the USA, and the UK will be providing the tunes, and the room will be decorated with a gigantic spinning mirror ball (of course). The first in a series of parties in remote locations worldwide, it’s sure to be a night out like no other.
2. Go large at an 11-day music bash
Remember when tickets went on sale for Primavera 2022? It felt like mass hysteria. But there’s a reason why there’s so much hype. For starters, the festival always turns Barcelona into one huge beachside party (and draws a fun audience from all corners of the globe). But next year, it’ll also be more significant than ever: the 2022 event takes place across two weekends in June, with bonus concerts and a different DJ event at the end. That means an 11-day sun-kissed bender with music’s hottest names. The organizers have got together a pretty diverse program: the Strokes, Tyler the Creator, Pavement, Gorillaz, and Dua Lipa are all lined up, along with DJs Jamie XX, Jeff Mills, LCY, and Shanti Celeste. Ooft.
3. See the world’s most awe-inspiring immersive theatre
You have to go back eight long years to the sprawling Hollywood epic ‘The Drowned Man for the last major London event by immersive theatre gods Punchdrunk. But the wait is very nearly over. Outdoing themselves for sheer scale and ambition, the new show ‘The Burnt City (March 22 to August 28) takes place in not one, but two former military arsenal buildings and will be a (sort of) adaptation of two Greek tragedies set during the Trojan War. It’s hugely exciting that Londoners will soon be able to step back into Punchdrunk’s awe-inspiring worlds, more minor works of theatre than full-blown waking dreams.
4. Load up your Insta feed at a very colorful exhibition
Next year the eye-popping, kaleidoscopic installations of roving interactive museum Color Factory will rock up in Chicago this spring. Its largest-ever exhibition will take over Willis Tower, giving Chicagoans a chance to load up their Insta feeds with a big splurge of fluorescent lighting. Previous shows have featured candy-pink rooms and NASA-themed ball pits, so expect a wildly in-yer-face mix of classic Colour Factory replicas and new rooms themed around Chicago.
5. Take a sleeper train across Europe
Prague, Czech Republic, to Brussels, Belgium
You doze off in ever-magnificent Prague, wake up 800 kilometers away in the EU capital, and waffle-and-beer-paradise Brussels. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, in 2022, this is a reality, thanks to a new batch of sleeper trains run by the Regiojet network. Spurred on by the climate emergency, it’s the most significant extension to Europe’s night-train network in years and part of a vast continent-wide drive to revive the good old-fashioned sleeper. Regiojet’s new route will run between Prague and Brussels via Dresden, Berlin, and Amsterdam, and all the trains will also have free wi-fi, coffee, and breakfast. Swanky, huh?