33 Reasons To Be Excited About 2021
Illustrations by Mr Antoine Doré
As we collectively attempt to put the past 12 months in the rear-view mirror, we’ve picked out 33 of the most exciting global happenings next year to spark joy and give reason for optimism. Spanning travel and tech, art and culture as well as dining, gaming, shopping and sport, it’s a list that includes exciting debuts, much-hyped returns, promising global trends and life-changing products to ensure you welcome the new year with open arms.
Japan National Stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games, Tokyo. Photograph by Mr Charly Triballeau/Getty Images
The Olympic Games
The Olympic torch finally arrives in Tokyo this summer and, while much of the action centres around architect Mr Kengo Kuma’s leafy National Stadium, surfing, skateboarding and karate will be keenly contested for the first time.
The Games start on 23 July 2021
No Time To Die reaches cinemas
Third time’s a charm for James Bond’s 25th outing. Mr Daniel Craig’s twice delayed curtain call as 007 promises an international caper that also stars Ms Léa Seydoux, Mr Remi Malek and music by Ms Billie Eilish.
In cinemas on 2 April
Launch of Europe’s biggest food hall
The traditional food market gets a supersized makeover next summer as Food Society arrives in Paris, uniting 35 restaurants and bars across 5,000sq m in Montparnasse.
Opening in the summer
Certified Lover Boy by Drake
Described by Drizzy himself as music to “evolve to”, the Canadian rapper’s sixth album is scheduled to drop this month, a fully formed follow-up to this year’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes that promises polished textures and A-list guest features.
Due this January
The Kruger Shalati hotel opens
One of South Africa’s most striking new hotels, the 24-room Kruger Shalati is housed within a train stationed permanently on a bridge overlooking stunning savannah, where the Big Five roam freely.
Black Widow, 1959, by Mr Alexander Calder. Photograph courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2020 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS)
Mr Alexander Calder at MoMA
Adding vibrancy to MoMA’s spring schedule, Alexander Calder: Modern From The Start is a celebration of the sculptor’s work, from early wire and wood figures to the monumental abstract sculptures that defined his career. The exhibition runs from 7 March to 7 August 2021.
National Museum of African American Music
The first national museum in the US dedicated to African American music launches this spring in Nashville, a city where artists such as Mr Jimi Hendrix, Mr Ray Charles and Little Richard all thrived early in their careers.
After victory in 2016, Portugal will attempt to retain the trophy in this summer’s postponed tournament, which, rather than being hosted by a single nation, introduces a continent-spanning multi-city format, with the final, on 11 July, played at Wembley in London.
The tournament kicks off on 11 June
Luxe lodgings at the Château de Versailles
Follow in the footsteps of French royalty and book into Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, a super-opulent boutique hotel in the grounds of the historic French palace that features 14 rooms and fine dining, courtesy of Mr Alain Ducasse. Opens in spring.
The return of music festivals?
If the green light is given, expect hungry-for-it headliners and heightened euphoria over a summer that could include Glastonbury’s delayed 50th birthday, Pavement’s reunion at Primavera Sound Barcelona and Mr Frank Ocean at Coachella.
BMW iX. Photograph courtesy of BMW Group
High-performance electric cars
The electric car revolution gathers pace with a glut of sophisticated releases in 2021, among them the Porsche Taycan, BMW’s iX and the Audi e-Tron, at the launch of which fossil fuels were dubbed “ancient history”.
Mr Francis Bacon at the Royal Academy
Mr Francis Bacon was one of the most important painters of the 20th century. Francis Bacon: Man And Beast charts the Irish-born artist’s fascination with animals over the course of his 50-year career. The exhibition runs from 30 January until 18 April.
Klara And The Sun by Mr Kazuo Ishiguro
In his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Mr Kazuo Ishiguro poses the eternal question of what it means to love in this emotional exploration of artificial intelligence and human relationships.
Published on 2 March
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Evrima Cruise. Photograph courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
Ritz-Carlton’s yacht collection
New music by Ms Lana Del Rey
Between releasing hazy covers of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and Mr George Gershwin’s “Summertime” for charity, Ms Lana Del Rey is applying the finishing touches to her new album, Chemtrails Over The Country Club, which is expected to land soon.
Due in early 2021
Top Gun finally gets its sequel
Thirty-five years after the 1986 original, Top Gun: Maverick hits cinemas this summer, reuniting Mr Val Kilmer and Mr Tom Cruise, who’s forced to confront his past while training a new team of rookies.
In cinemas on 2 July
Mr Jeff Koons in Marseille
Marseille’s Mucem (Museum of Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean) is the striking seafront setting for a blockbuster exhibition that unites 200 of Mr Jeff Koons’ larger-than-life works, including his instantly recognisable balloon dogs. From 5 May to 18 October.
Launch of NoMad London
New York’s Sydell Group crosses the pond this spring with its first international outpost. Boasting 91 rooms, A-list chefs and agave-based drinks, NoMad London is shaping up as one of 2021’s hippest hangouts. Opens February.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Charting the culture and creativity of the movie industry, this high-profile homage to Hollywood will wow cinephiles with star exhibits, including the shark from Jaws and a spaceship from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Opening in Los Angeles in April.
Gran Turismo 7 for the PS5
This glitzy release for Sony’s souped-up new PlayStation is sure to appease petrolheads. A turbo-charged update to the franchise that utilises the PS5’s higher spec and takes full advantage of the new DualSense controller’s haptic feedback.
Due for release in late 2021
Halo Infinite. Image courtesy of Xbox
Halo Infinite for Xbox
The owners of the PS5’s biggest rival shouldn’t feel left out as this year’s most anticipated Xbox release, Halo Infinite, will deliver an immersive first-person shooter with richer than ever visuals.
Released in spring 2021
Riviera chic in Montenegro
Tipped to be one of 2021’s ritziest destinations, dramatic Boka Bay on Montenegro’s mountainous coastline welcomes the One&Only Portonovi hotel this year, offering a luxury bolthole overlooking the Adriatic. Opens on 21 March.
How To Avoid A Climate Disaster by Mr Bill Gates
Computing pioneer and philanthropist Mr Bill Gates turns his gaze to the future of the planet with this fast-paced tome that offers practicable solutions to reversing climate change.
Published on 16 February
Federico Fellini International Museum
A century after his birth, one of cinema’s most influential directors is honoured by his hometown of Rimini, Italy, with the launch in early 2021 of a museum that offers a beautifully curated exploration of his life in film.
Set to open in spring
Tyron by Slowthai
Explosive British rapper Slowthai releases his new album, Tyron, next month, shining a light on society’s darker corners with politically charged polemics delivered with wit and dexterity.
Due out on 5 February
Grand Egyptian Museum
A stone’s throw from the Pyramids of Giza, the world’s largest archaeological museum will house thousands of artefacts from ancient Egypt, including a comprehensive collection of Tutankhamun relics.
Messrs Wally Wolodarsky, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson in The French Dispatch (2021). Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Mr Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch
Inspired by his love of The New Yorker, Mr Wes Anderson casts an A-list coterie of regular collaborators, including Mr Adrien Brody, Ms Tilda Swinton and Mr Bill Murray, as foreign correspondents at a fictional newspaper.
In cinemas on 28 January
The Aman New York hotel opens
Occupying New York’s historic Crown Building with views over Central Park, the luxe hotel group’s latest launch promises an urban sanctuary with 83 sleek rooms, a members’ lounge and vast spa when it opens in spring.
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan
Fans of Mario, Yoshi and Bowser will embrace this high-kitsch new theme park that repurposes Nintendo’s worlds and characters into an interactive experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in their favourite video games.
Opens 4 February
Goya at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
This blockbuster exhibition at the Met in New York explores Mr Francisco Goya’s evolution as a graphic artist across a remarkable collection of drawings and prints. Goya’s Graphic Imagination runs from 8 February until 2 May.
Mr Anthony Joshua and Mr Tyson Fury go head to head
Will the two British heavyweight boxers square off in the ring this year? Both appear keen to confirm a big-hitting bout that would rank among the highest profile of recent times.
World of Wine Museum, Porto. Photograph courtesy of World of Wine
The World Of Wine in Porto
Opened at the tail end of 2020, Portugal’s second city has dedicated an entire district to wine, encompassing six museums, bars, restaurants, wine cellars and event spaces as well as beautiful views over the city.