Art Basel on a Budget

By Shira Wolfe

Art Basel 2018 is just around the corner, so it’s time to start planning your days wisely. From June 14 to June 17, the city of Basel will be bursting with cutting-edge art by over 4000 artists and countless artist talks, exhibitions and events. However, we know life in Basel isn’t cheap, so we’ve compiled a list of great Art Basel events that are free to the public, and shouldn’t be missed. Here’s how to do Art Basel on a budget.

A Day Ticket costs CHF 50 (€43). If you plan to go all four days, cut costs by buying a Permanent Ticket which covers your entrance every day, and costs CHF 130 (€113). Alternatively, you can opt for the Evening Day Ticket, which only costs CHF 28 (€24) and allows you access after 5pm. Once you’ve sorted out the main program, enjoy the myriad of free events at Art Basel. Some of these events even start a few days before the main program, so if you plan to spend some extra days in Basel, you’ll have enough to do. Take a look at our top 5 free events:

1. Parcours

This year will be the ninth edition of Parcours, where 22 internationally renowned and emerging artists will create artistic interventions around Münsterplatz area. Samuel Leuenberger, founder of SALTS, the non-profit exhibition space in Birsfelden, Switzerland, is the curator of Parcours. Imagine site-specific sculptures, interventions, and performances in the city’s most historical neighbourhood next to beautiful Basel Cathedral. The opening of Parcours is on Monday 11 June between 1pm and 8pm. Also consider attending Parcours Night on Saturday 16 June, from 7pm to 12 midnight. This special evening program hosts live performances, and museums and venues presenting Parcours projects will have extended opening hours.

2. HeK Voice Theatre 

HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) has its opening on Sunday 10 June at Augusta Raurica, a beautifully preserved ancient Roman theatre. Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s ‘Voice Theatre’, a site-specific and interactive installation, will be featured there. Visitors can record their ideas and their voices will reverberate through the theatre, in a choreography of light and sound.

3. Swiss Art Awards

The Swiss Art Awards celebrates the award-winning Swiss artists, curators, and architects of 2018. Find out who’s making their mark on the Swiss art scene these days. The event is on Monday 11 June from 5:30pm till 10pm in Hall 3, Messe Basel. From 10pm onwards there’s an afterparty at Volkshaus Basel.

4. Kunsthalle Basel Night

On June 13 between 7pm and 10pm, Kunsthalle Basel is organising a special public program for the solo exhibitions by German artist Raphaela Vogel and London-based New Zealand artist Luke Willis Thompson. Experimental Nigerian-British musician Klein will perform a live concert for Luke Willis Thompson’s new film.

5. SALTS Opening and Garden Party

Granted, SALTS is not actually in Basel, but in Birsfelden. However, it’s just a 20 minute drive and worth seeing this gallery. On June 14 at 6pm, SALTS is celebrating the opening of the solo shows of three fantastic artists: Mexican artist Rodrigo Hernandez, Palestinian artist Jumana Manna, and British-Punjabi artist Bhanu Kapil.

Get more information about Art Basel here.