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The Globe’s Arts staff have rounded up the summer’s most promising cultural highlights

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Ryan Gosling, left, and Margot Robbie in a scene from "Barbie", out this summer.Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures/The Associated Press

Barbies, bomb-makers and too many Batmans to count

Another year, another Hollywood crisis (or, really, another set of crises). But while the writers’ strike, the financial instability of America’s theatre chains and the looming threat of AI threaten to rain out the 2023 summer movie season, there are still more than enough whiz-bang blockbusters and interesting indies to distract us from the industry’s troubles. And all of them are exclusively on the big screen (sorry, Netflix!).

Read more from Barry Hertz.

Concerts and Festivals

2022 Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. Garry Woodcock/Handout
A concertgoer with a fan displaying the artwork from Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” album outside the Friends Arena in Sweden, where the star began her latest tour on May 10, 2023. Felix Odell/The New York Times

Beyoncé, Brueggergosman, Boygenius and, maybe, Neil Young

From on high, Neil Young declared the concert touring business was broken. “It’s over,” he posted on his website last month. “The old days are gone.”

Young is not the only one frustrated. Fans of Taylor Swift filed a class-action lawsuit against Ticketmaster and parent-company Live Nation Entertainment for “unlawful conduct” after the Swift ticket debacle, and U.S senators held an antitrust hearing earlier this year to investigate whether Ticketmaster and promoter Live Nation hold a monopoly in the ticketing industry.

Amid the outrage, however, the concert business rolls on robustly. Live Nation just posted a record-breaking quarter of US$3.1-billion in revenue, with a record 19.5 million fans attending its events globally. If people are protesting, they are doing it with their words (and lawsuits), not their pocketbooks.

Read more from Brad Wheeler

Galleries and Museums

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The Audain Art Museum in Whistler offers a first major North American solo show of work by the Japanese artist Manabu Ikeda.Eric Baillies/Handout

Bright ideas abound

Canada’s museums and galleries will be busy this summer. The sector has emerged from the pandemic with lots of bright ideas about how to draw visitors. Climb inside a submarine, film yourself on a green screen or simply admire some unusual contemporary art from the bold carvings of the Northwest Coast artist Dempsey Bob to the dense works on paper by the Japanese artist Manabu Ikeda.

Read more from Kate Taylor


Kaytranada performs at the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 14, 2023 in Indio, Cali. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Coachella
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs at the Sonic Temple Art and Music Festival at Mapfre Stadium on May 19, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. Amy Harris/Invision/AP

New musical releases from Arlo Parks, Foo Fighters and, maybe, Frank Ocean

It’s far too early to prejudge what might be the song of the summer, but the fun is in the hunt, anyway. These albums cast their gazes both forward and backward for inspiration, explore love and despair, and often carry hope – either in their lyrics, or in the expectations of their fans, since in some cases these albums may or may not have even been recorded yet. What is summer for, though, if not for longing?

Read more from Josh O’Kane


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In Vancouver, Bard on the Beach’s 2023 season centres on a revival of director Daryl Cloran’s hit Beatles-infused production of As You Like It (June 8 to September 30) - a show back for a victory lap after success all around North America.Handout

Shakespeare from coast to coast and fresh new Fringes

The Globe and Mail mainly turns its critical eye on the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival in the summer – a couple of classics-plus destination theatre companies in Ontario among the most prestigious in North America. But there’s so much more going on in the performing arts between June and September.

Canada’s city stages are dominated by the Bard and the no-holds-barred – that is to say, William Shakespeare and the Fringe Festival circuit – but there are ample opportunities to see circus and musicals and ultramodern miscellany, too.

Read more from J. Kelly Nestruck

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