From Batman to Spider-Man, Wireless to Green Man and Carousel to Götterdämmerung, the Observer's critics pick the season's highlights. What are you most looking forward to? Post your comments belowDownload a pdf of this calendar here
1 Pop The Stone Roses
The third resurrection of the Roses has already swung from thrill to farce. Fans gibbered with joy at their surprise Warrington gig in May, but by Amsterdam Ian Brown and Reni were at loggerheads. This last of three homecoming gigs at Manchester's Heaton Park will not be uneventful.
3 Film The Amazing Spider-Man
Marvel Comics' flagship superhero, the red-and-blue clad "web-slinger" Spider-Man, gets a Hollywood reboot not 10 years after the character was last blockbuster-ised. Impressive Brit Andrew Garfield plays Spidey this time; Marc (500 Days of Summer) Webb directs. Early reviews: amazing.
4 Dance Dance GB
English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet and National Dance Company Wales join forces in a high-velocity triple bill themed around the Olympian ideals of faster, stronger, higher. Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, until 7 July.
6 Film Blackmail
The BFI's gargantuan Hitchcock season has just got under way. One of the highlights is an outdoor screening of this 1929 thriller at the British Museum, with a live score from Neil Brand. The season continues until October.
Pop Wireless festival
Hyde Park plays host to shows over three nights, with deadmau5, Drake and Rihanna headlining respectively. It's an urban festival for urban acts: look out for the Roots, Canadian hip-hop outfit the Weeknd (sic), plus our own Rizzle Kicks.
7 Art From Paris: A Taste for Impressionism
Boasting a stellar line up of artists, including Renoir, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Degas and Sisley, this exploration of 19th-century art will showcase 70 major works, some not seen in the UK before. Royal Academy, until 23 September.
13 Classical The Proms
The 88-concert 2012 BBC Proms launch in Olympic style with four conductors passing the baton in an all-British first night. July highlights at the Royal Albert Hall include Barenboim's Beethoven, Gardiner's Debussy and the Wallace & Gromit Prom.
14 Dance Metamorphosis: Titian
In this grand-scale, anything-could-happen collaboration between the Royal Ballet and the National Gallery, contemporary choreographers, artists and musicians riff on the theme of transformation. Royal Opera House until 20 July (and at the National Gallery until 23 September).
Art Van Gogh to Kaninsky
The Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh explores imaginative approaches to landscape painting between 1880 and 1910, with works by Gauguin and Munch as well as the artists of the title. Until 14 October.
17 Classical Götterdämmerung
Encounter Wagner deep in the Cotswolds as a tiny, family-run festival reaches the finale of its ambitious Ring cycle over four nights until 24 July. Longborough, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire.
18 Art Tate Tanks
The former oil tanks of Bankside power station – huge concrete cylinders buried in the ground – are opened in their new role as exhibition and performance spaces for Tate Modern.
19 Art Superhuman
From false teeth to the contraceptive pill, this show at London's Wellcome Collection explores how humans artificially enhance their capabilities and how artists (including Matthew Barney) imagine future developments. Until 16 October.
Theatre Peace Camp
For one weekend, eight coastal locations in the UK will be animated by glowing encampments and a soundscape of love poetry produced by director Deborah Warner and actor/ director Fiona Shaw in collaboration with Artichoke. Various locations until 22 July.
20 Film The Dark Knight Rises
The third instalment in director Christopher Nolan's splendid, ambitious trilogy about the DC Comics superhero, Batman, this one introducing Tom Hardy as muscly villain Bane and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Christian Bale, with his special gravelly voice, returns as the Dark Knight himself.
24 Theatre The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
A Simon Stephens adaptation of Mark Haddon's 2003 hit novel, the story of an autistic teen and a murdered pet. Una Stubbs, among others, stars in this production at the Cottesloe, until 27 October. Also broadcast in cinemas on 6 September as part of National Theatre Live.
Art Tino Sehgal
After his conversation piece at the New York Guggenheim two years ago, the divisive British-German artist takes on another challenging space – the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern – for the annual Unilever commission.
27 Photography Another London
London through the eyes of international photographers who visited between 1930 and 1980 and were inspired to capture the city and its people, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irving Penn, Bill Brandt and Dora Maar. Tate Britain until 16 September.
Film Searching for Sugar Man
Nearly 30 years after he disappeared into obscurity, 70s singer-songwriter Rodriguez discovered he had a huge fan base in South Africa. This fine documentary tells the extraordinary story.
30 Pop Blur in a box
To mark their 21st birthday and a last live hurrah – Hyde Park on 12 August – Blur are releasing an exhaustive 21-disc box set of their recordings. Maybe all their answerphone messages aren't included on the five-and-a-half hours of unreleased material, but everything else is.
1 Pop Meltdown
London's Southbank Centre's annual highbrow music gathering features the predominantly female inspirations, friends and co-conspirators of Antony Hegarty, whose own new album is out on 6 August. He's persuaded Cocteau Twin Elizabeth Fraser to do a solo set; Lou Reed (an early supporter) also appears. Until 12 August.
2 Art Dieter Roth Diaries
The life of the prolific German artist (1930-98), whose work flowed across music and writing as well as painting, sculpture and video art, is explored through his diaries at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until 14 October.
3 Theatre/Comedy Edinburgh festival fringe
The sprawling four-weeker boasts a strong international theatre strand in 2012, with well-respected troupes importing shows from Poland and South Africa. Comedy names range from stalwarts (Stewart Lee, Lucy Porter) to unlikely have-a-gos (Suggs, tabloid whisteblower Rich Peppiatt).
8 Theatre Coriolan/us
A modern-day retelling of the downfall of Shakespeare's proud soldier Caius Martius set in the era of 24-hour news. National Theatre Wales, Cardiff, until 18 August.
13 Film The Bourne Legacy
Jeremy Renner, breakout star of 2009's The Hurt Locker, is installed front and centre in the Bourne franchise after Matt Damon's departure. Renner plays another brainwashed superagent (though not Bourne), dealing with existential crises while stopping baddies.
15 Classical Carousel
Opera North's dazzling staging of the classic American musical (directed by Jo Davies) plays at London's Barbican. Hear You'll Never Walk Alone as Rodgers & Hammerstein intended. Until 15 September.
17 Pop Green Man festival
Folk, rock, and points west meet in Wales for one of the festival calendar's most civilised camping trips. Van Morrison, Dexys and Feist are the biggest names on the line-up, but there's plenty to savour further down the bill. The bonhomie often makes up for the weather. Until 19 August.
Understandably billed as the prettiest Pixar film to date, this sumptuous animation tells of a tomboy-ish Scottish princess and her efforts to become a horseback warrior, not a throne-bound royal. Kelly Macdonald heads a host of British names on vocals.
20 Pop Yeasayer
Yeasayer's Odd Blood was one of the left-field American pop releases of 2010. The Brooklyn trio return with the avowedly "funky" follow-up, Fragrant World, which, among other themes, muses on cells taken for medical research without permission.
22 Classical The Rape of Lucrece
Singer Camille O'Sullivan takes on Shakespeare's tragic poem over five evenings at the Royal Lyceum theatre. Part of the Edinburgh international festival running from 9 August to 2 September.
23 Theatre Happy Days Beckett festival
Antony Gormley, Edna O'Brien and John Banville are among those celebrating Beckett at a new festival in Enniskillen, where the Nobel prize-winning writer received his schooling. Until 27 August.
24 Film Shadow Dancer
After success with documentaries Man on Wire and Project Nim, director James Marsh returns to features with this tense thriller about an IRA informant pitted against family members as the end of the Troubles approaches. With Andrea Riseborough, Aidan Gillen and Clive Owen.
29 Film Venice film festival
Terrence Malick and Paul Thomas Anderson are among the directors rumoured to have films at this year's festival which, according to its new artistic director Alberto Barbera, will be a "less glitzy" affair than recent outings. Until 8 September.
Classical Scottish Opera
World premieres by Craig Armstrong (The Lady from the Sea), Huw Watkins (In the Locked Room), Stuart MacRae (Ghost Patrol), plus James MacMillan's Clemency. At the King's and Traverse theatres, Edinburgh until 1 September.
30 Dance Cinderella
The fairytale re-envisioned for St Petersburg's Mariinsky Ballet by wunderkind choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Valery Gergiev conducts Prokoviev's sublime score. Edinburgh Festival theatre until 1 September.
31 Theatre King Lear
Celebrating 10 years as artistic director of the Almeida theatre, Michael Attenborough takes on King Lear with Jonathan Pryce in the title role. Almeida, London N1 until 3 November.
1 Film The Queen of Versailles
Hit Sundance documentary about a mega-rich couple building the largest single-family home in America – and the fallout when the 2008 financial meltdown strikes.
3 Photography Deutsche Börse prize announced
As the winner of the prestigious prize is named, catch the last week of the show featuring work by all four shortlisted artists – from Pieter Hugo's scenes of a computer dump in Ghana to John Stezaker's unsettling montages. Photographers' Gallery, London W1. Starts 13 July, until 9 September.
5 Classical Nixon in China
As the Proms continue at the Royal Albert Hall, American composer John Adams conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra and top soloists in his landmark opera about Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China. One night only.
6 Theatre Love and Information
Thirty years after her seminal play Top Girls premiered at the Royal Court, leading playwright Caryl Churchill returns to the theatre promising "more than a hundred characters trying to make sense of what they know". Royal Court, London, until 13 October.
The Isle of Wight hosts the UK's premier boutique festival, where the music notionally takes a backseat to the dressing up. The line-up does not slouch though: Stevie Wonder, Florence + the Machine, the xx, Frank Ocean and New Order lead the pack over four nights.
7 Film Anna Karenina
The third in director Joe Wright's unofficial Keira Knightley trilogy… Having cast her in his Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, Wright here instals KK as Tolstoy's troubled Russian adulterer. The ambitious adaptation, scripted by Tom Stoppard, co-stars Jude Law and Aaron Johnson.
10 Pop the xx
Coexist is the title of the new album by south London's the xx, a follow-up record that bends the term "highly anticipated" into dimensions. Said to be inspired by club music and packed with sad love songs, it's 2012's unmissable release.
12 Art Pre-Raphaelites
Millais, Rossetti and Holman Hunt are recast as radical trailblazers in this Tate Britain show, the first major survey in 30 years to cover the 19th-century aesthetic movement. Until 13 January.
14 Theatre Steptoe & Son
Oil Drum Lane's most infamous rag-and-bone men visit the West Yorkshire Playhouse for a new production devised by Kneehigh. Until 13 October.
Design London design festival
The annual celebration of interesting-looking stuff brings over 200 events, including "spectacular, intelligent, large-scale installations", to Trafalgar Square and other well-known locations. Until 23 September.
15 Classical CBSO and Andris Nelsons
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andris Nelsons open the new season with a performance of Mahler's cataclysmic "Resurrection" Symphony No 2 and Strauss's wartime masterpiece Metamorphosen. Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
19 Dance Swan Lake
Peter Wright's traditional, exquisitely detailed version of the Petipa-Ivanov classic for Birmingham Royal Ballet. Love, heArtbreak, and that haunting Tchaikovsky score. Lowry, Salford Quays until 22 September and on tour.
20 Theatre Mademoiselle Julie
Following Cate Blanchett's recent turn at the Barbican, Juliette Binoche steps in to perform the title role in a French-language version of Strindberg's play about love, class and the balance of power. Until 29 September.
22 Theatre Twelfth Night
After his Jerusalem triumph, Mark Rylance returns to the Globe to reprise his role as Olivia in Twelfth Night, with Stephen Fry as Malvolio, until 14 October. (He also stars in Richard III from 14 July to 13 October.)
25 Art Maurizio Cattelan
The Italian arch-prankster will be winding up some and delighting others at this Whitechapel Gallery show, drawn from an important private collection. Until 2 December.
27 Classical Tristan und Isolde
Donald Runnicles conducts the BBC Scottish SO and an international cast in Wagner's great love epic at Glasgow's City Halls. Also at Usher Hall, Edinburgh, on 30 September.
28 Film Holy Motors
Alongside "brilliant", "bonkers" was the adjective most frequently used when Leos Carax's latest film premiered at Cannes. Denis Lavant plays the mysterious shape-shifter in the limo and – even weirder – there's a cameo from Kylie.
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