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Derbyshire festivals

Take a look at all the amazing festivals that Derbyshire has to offer right into 2020, right on your doorstep - come along, join in the fun and see the world-class entertainment.

Festivity logo - summer 2019Many of the festivals featured here are members of Festivity, a forum for joint working between all the festivals in Derbyshire who work together to bring a vibrant and varied menu of artistic events to the festivals season each year. You can also find out more about thousands of festivals events on the  Visit Peak District and  County Signpost websites.

There's something for everyone so read on and discover what there is to see and where to be seen at this year in Derbyshire. 

15 January and then monthly 
Buxton Adventure Festival
The festival is a celebration of cycling, running and climbing consisting of 10 mini festivals throughout the year.  The festival is a vibrant mix of speakers from the world of adventure sport and photography exhibition and film.

9 February 
Erewash Festival of Light
The Erewash Festival of Light began in 2006 and is a rolling programme of activities, free festivals and events which celebrate a range of traditional and culturally diverse celebrations from September to February each year.  These include Harvest Moon, Diwali, Christmas, Winter Solstice and Chinese New Year.  It takes place in various locations around the borough of Erewash. The Chinese New Year lantern parade celebrating the year of the Pig will take place on Saturday 9th February starting at Erewash Museum in Ilkeston. 

7 March
World Book Day
A celebration of books, authors and reading - millions of book tokens are given away and there are events and celebrations galore for old and young alike

15 March - 14 April 
Format Festival

International Photography Festival in Derby features over 200 photographers. You can go on a Heritage tour, meet Artists in the galleries, enjoy real ale venues and independent food outlets.

22 - 24 March 
A full weekend in the village of Youlgrave for enthusiasts of Klezmer dance and music, Yiddish song, film and culture. Most people come for the whole weekend, usually sold out well in advance so advance bookings advised. There is a concert on the Sunday afternoon, with international performers, which will be open to people not attending the rest of the weekend.

Buxton Opera House4 - 7 April  
Wirksworth Book Festival 
A small book festival to highlight local authors, encourage readers and generally celebrate books, with readings, talks, activities, walks and a quiz. 

4 - 5 April
Bonsall Arts Trail
A new and exciting curated arts trail showcasing Derbyshire artists in various venues throughout this beautiful Peak District village. There will also be workshops and live music

1 May - 13 June
Belper Arts Festival
1000 performers - 100 venues - 60 events - and Princess Diana. Art, Music, Film, Theatre, Dance, Photography, Installations, Crafters, Comedy in performance, Exhibitions, Talks and Workshops

3 - 6 May 
Dronfield Arts Festival

A weekend packed with so much to do! From live music and art exhibitions to face painting and craft stalls, with competitions, performances and childrens' events, there will be plenty to keep the whole family entertained all weekend. 

4- 6 May 
Hardwick Hall Great British Food Festival

Promises 3 days of foodie fun with over 100 food traders, tasty street food and thirst quenching bars, chef demos, a new BBQ stage - plus live music and a craft marquee.

5 - 6 May  
Belper Arts Trail  
The 6th Belper Arts Trail will take place on Sunday 5th May and Bank Holiday Monday 6th May. There will be well over 100 artists in over 50 venues around the centre of Belper involving shops, businesses, pubs, churches and private houses. Captain Dan and the pirates will return for the children at the Ritz cinema and there will be food, drink, activities and a full  programme of music in the Memorial Gardens with hidden gems elsewhere. A fabulous weekend and one of the highlights of Belper's year.

14 - 17 May
Little Ed Fringe Festival
Presented by Furthest From The Sea, Little Ed will be hosted at various venues across Derby, programming new work and scratch shows, while promoting positive conversation about mental health. Little Ed's Big Saturday will invade businesses and outside spaces throughout the Cathedral Quarter, filling them with pop-up performances and hands-on activities for all, as part of the national Get Creative Festival.

12 May 
Derby Arboretum May Fest

The May Fest includes stalls, activities for the children, dance groups and entertainment such as a May Hat Competition, Traditional table games, Giant Games and Craft stalls. More information from: 

18 - 19 May
Derbyshire Food & Drink Fair 
Derbyshire Food & Drink Fair is set within the grounds of Kedleston Hall, a National Trust property. Visitors to the fair have free access to 820 acres of National Trust parkland. There is also a music stage incorporated as part of the weekend of activities. 

23 -26 May     
The Bearded Theory Festival The Bearded Theory festival is held in the beautiful grounds of Catton Hall in Derbyshire over the May Bank Holiday weekend. It won the Best Small Festival 2013 prize at the UK Festival Awards, although it is actually the largest performing arts event in the Midlands. Originally conceived as a birthday party that took place behind a pub it has grown into a family friendly, independent full blown three day party that’s up there with the best of them. 

24 - 27 May
Live music, real ale, good food, camping, flushing toilets on site - what more can you ask for? Small and friendly WinsterFest, in the small village of Winster, near Matlock.

25 - 27 May  
Derbyshire Open Arts  
Derbyshire Open Arts is a friendly, not for profit, visual arts organisation. It organises and promotes a free county-wide event over the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May. The event gives artists and crafts people the opportunity to open their studios to the public or exhibit with others in a combined venue such as a village hall or art gallery.

25 - 27 May   
Wirksworth Carnival & Well Dressing
Wirksworth Carnival is celebrated in conjunction with the traditional Well Dressings. The Carnival hosts three days of entertainment including children's entertainment, fantastic stalls including local groups and handmade items. We have a wheelbarrow race, running race, local team football on the rec, music evenings, rides and more! Plus we finish it off with a parade, music and food. 

30 May - 1 June
Mermaid Festival
Mermaids, Buxton and the Spirit of Water: a festival inspired by the 'Buxton Mermaid', is a celebration of all things Mermaid for children, adults and anyone with a tail. More details:  Rob Young website

29 May - 6 June  
Derby Book Festival  
Derby Book Festival aims to 'bring books to life' in over 90 exciting events over nine days, focussing on the joy of books and reading for all ages and interests. Now in its sixth year, the festival attracts some of the biggest names in the literary world as well as celebrating local writing talent, with great writers, poets, politicians, historians, illustrators, storytellers and musicians. There's something for everyone!

Derby Book festival31 May - 2 June 
Belper Goes Green

An eco-festival featuring: kids games and forest skills, bikes / travel / transport, Bash the Trash and a scarecrow competition. 

2 June 
The Big 1
Chaddesden Park hosts Derby's annual summer festival and fun fair for all the family to enjoy.

11 - 14 June
RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
Enjoy an inspirational day out packed with stunning show gardens, colourful floral displays, top nurseries, have-a-go workshops, unique shopping and delicious food and drink.

14 - 16 June 
Celebrating Cromford

This is a family-friendly festival in a beautiful World Heritage site setting with open gardens, steam engines, duck racing, literature and pudding competitions and canal boat pulling among other delights.

13 June 
Furthest From The Sea Festival 2020

Derby Market Place anticipates a Pirate Takeover as Furthest From The Sea Music, Comedy & Arts CIC present their 7th annual festival.  Enjoy a free day of performance, participation and piratical shenanigans for all the family and celebrate Derby's home-grown actors, dancers, poets, musicians and more.

17 - 22 June
Glossop Music Festival  
Tickets will be available from May for the sixth Glossop Music Festival which has welcomed top class musicians such as cellist Matthew Sharp, bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu and members of the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata. One-off concerts are also held throughout the year.

21 June - 7 July
Ashbourne Festival
An exciting mix of entertainment in a rural setting. Each year the festival brings the best in performance art to Ashbourne and the surrounding area. STREETFEST our free street theatre event will be held over the weekend of Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June.

22 June  
Derby Fake Fest  
Six pro-level fake bands.  If you love your tribute bands, then Fake Fest is the place to go!

22 June 
Long Eaton Carnival
The Long Eaton Community Carnival parade is through the town and there is a show on West park. 

29 June   
Duffield Carnival & Music Festival

Many events are planned for your entertainment throughout the festival including the Duffield Carnival.

28 - 30 June 
Exile Music Festival
A well established small, family friendly music festival held at Sabine Hay just outside Darley Dale in the grounds of a private house, set in a tranquil tree-lined valley away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The festival hosts an eclectic mix of bands, a real-ale bar and on-site catering. As well as the music there's lots to do including various activities for the children such as story-telling, games and a fancy dress parade.

27 - 28 June
Festival of Leisure Weekend 
Swadlincote hosts South Derbyshire's Festival of Leisure bringing the town to life with music, cultural events and interesting side shows.  A fun-packed weekend for all. Enjoy Main Arena Entertainment together with brass bands, fairground rides, sports activities, cultural events, side shows, displays and much more. 

29 June 
Bakewell International Day of Dance
A celebration of dance and music from around the globe, showcasing a wide variety of dance styles at venues around the town on this busy and vibrant day. Dance workshops introduce beginners to the range of styles showcased and there's something for everyone with lots of events free. 

7 July 
One World Festival
Taking part in New Mills, don't miss the One World Festival.

Family at Timber5 - 7 July 
Timber Forest Festival
 Awarded Best New Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2018, Timber is back in 2019! Step into an incredible weekend festival of debate, celebration and reflection in the National Forest

1 July - 22 September  
Summer Nights Outdoor Film Festival
QUAD’s bring outdoor film to beautiful heritage venues across Derbyshire and the rest of the UK.  

1 - 19 July 
Buxton Festival Fringe

The Buxton Festival Fringe is one of the largest arts festivals in England. An open festival that does not select or censor, it runs alongside the Buxton Festival, with hundreds of events happening around the town and further afield.  Many artists use it as a preview before appearing at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Fringe is a charity run by volunteers.

3 - 19 July
Buxton International Festival
Recognised nationally and internationally as one of the UK’s leading arts festivals, Buxton Festival is a summer celebration of the very best opera, music and literature at the heart of the beautiful Peak District.    

6 July
An opportunity for authors and illustrators to meet the public and exhibit their work; a variety of workshops and activities will be on offer including some specifically for children; held in the Central Methodist church from 2 - 6 pm.

6 July 
Eckington Festival

Craft bands, a licensed bar, a dog show, food and drink vendors, live entertainment and much more.

Derby Caribbean Carnival
Derby West Indian Community Association celebrates its 43rd year of hosting Derby's very own Caribbean Carnival.  Go along to Osmaston Park and join in the fun.

19 -21 July 
Stainsby Festival   
Stainsby Festival is a well-established, intimate and family-friendly music event in a beautiful rural setting, held in large marquees on a greenfield site in the picturesque hamlet of Stainsby in north Derbyshire. 

30 July 
Medieval Market & Fun Day
Join in the fun as Chesterfield remembers its medieval heritage with an encampment, battling knights, fun fair, medieval entertainment and lots more.

25 -28 July
Rock & Blues festival
For one weekend a year, The Coney Grey Showground in Pentrich is home to the Rock and Blues Custom Show & Old School Weekender. A great weekend for the whole family – three days of live music on three stages + Two day indoor Custom Show = One serious Weekend party including trade stands and entertainments. 

25 -28 July  
Y-Not Festival
This small, fresh and loud festival promises a carefree and good-time atmosphere. Offering stunning panoramic views of the countryside, a fully stocked bar of local ales and ciders, a mouth-watering selection of food and more live music than you could ever possibly take in, all you need to provide is the memories (and a killer fancy dress outfit). 

24 - 26 July  
A unique music festival; each year around 50 new and established indiepop artists perform across a range of stages at the festival. Visitors are free to enjoy steam train rides, railway attractions and museums, discos, art and craft workshops, great food and a selection of real ales.  

1 - 4 August 
SpoonFest is the international celebration of the carved wooden spoon! Spoonfest has everything that any spooncarver could ever desire: masses of green wood, lots of sharp tools to try out for free, the best carvers in the world doing free demonstrations - a wonderful festival atmosphere in the heart of the Peak District countryside.

8 - 11 August 
Bloodstock is the UK's largest heavy metal open air festival that features the greatest names in heavy metal music in it's packed programme, held in Catton Park.  Hurry for tickets though as they sell out fast. 

14 - 18 August  
Barlow Carnival

Barlow Carnival is a week packed full of fun and entertainment for all the family. The highlight of the week is Carnival Day with a parade, Carnival Queen, floats, bands and fancy dress through the village. 

September 2018 – February 2019 
Erewash Festival of Light
The Erewash Festival of Light is a rolling programme of activities, free festivals and events which celebrate a range of traditional and culturally diverse celebrations from September to February each year.  These include Harvest Moon, Diwali, Christmas, Winter Solstice and Chinese New Year.  It takes place in various locations around the borough of Erewash. 

Chesterfield Well Dressing 
Watch the well dressing being made and then the finished piece will be put on display after the blessing.

15 September  
Lark in the Park   
A summer celebration in Derby Arboretum Park with stalls, activities, music performances, games, refreshments, cakes and much, much more.  Take the whole family for a summer's afternoon out. Contact:

6 - 8 September 
Whitwell Festival of Music

Described by the Derbyshire Times as 'Derbyshire's best kept secret', Whitwell Festival of Music is a community event in a village setting, getting bigger and better every time.  Run by a small team of volunteers (Whitwell4Ward), the festival has raised thousands of pounds for local causes.  Featuring a wealth of musical and artistic talent across all genres - the festival also offers a range of locally brewed real ales, ciders, value-for-money food, arts and music workshops and children's activities.

13 -29 September 
New Mills Festival  
Two fun and fabulous weeks of events, exhibitions, music, walks, talks and happenings for all the family! 

New Mills festival11 - 20 September   
Wirksworth Festival
A leading rural arts festival – with art for everyone. 2019 will be the celebration of 25 years of the Wirksworth Festival. Enjoy the work of more than 150 artists plus an inspiring programme of performances and events in this historic market town, right at the heart of the Derbyshire Dales.  

7 September - 27 October (weekends) 
Matlock Bath Illuminations 
A fun-packed family event featuring a spectacular parade of illuminated and decorated boats along the River Derwent.  During the 7-week season the Matlock Bath Venetian Boat Builders' Association decorate themed models with an array of coloured lights which are mounted on rowing boats and paraded on the River Derwent each Saturday and Sunday in Derwent Gardens, giving a unique and luminous display.  Plus a firework display every Saturday evening.

7 - 8 September 
Wardlow Mires Pottery and Food Festival
This is a unique event, bringing together fine foods and pottery from some of the most renowned makers in Britain and further afield.  It is an ideal opportunity to spend a weekend in the Peak District; there is camping at the nearby farm and plenty of B&Bs close by.  As Christmas will be only a few months away, it would also be an ideal opportunity to buy some very personal presents without the hassle of the mad throng which is normally associated with Christmas shopping.

7 - 14 September   
Chesterfield Well Dressing
Well dressing is an ancient custom unique to Derbyshire. Chesterfield began well dressing in 1864 when the Town Pump in Market Place was decorated after a very dry summer.  The custom died out, but was revived in 1991 when a well was dressed as part of an exhibition about Derbyshire traditions.

September - October 
Melbourne Festival   

Melbourne Festival has established itself as the highlight of South Derbyshire’s cultural calendar.  Each Autumn the Festival brings a celebration of the Creative and Performing Arts to this gem of a village in South Derbyshire just half an hour from Derby, Nottingham and Leicester. Each weekend through September and October features live music, theatre, comedy and much more!

14 September
Altitude Festival
As part of the Wirksworth festival, Altitude takes place at the Derbyshire Eco-centre. It is a free, family-friendly event which provides the young people of Derbyshire with a creative platform to showcase their amazing musical and artistic talent!

14 - 15 September  
Melbourne Festival Art & Architecture Trail

The jewel in South Derbyshire's cultural crown. Each year 150 professional artists from the East Midlands exhibit their work in over 70 venues in the heart of Melbourne in rooms and gardens which are not usually open to the public, as well as public buildings. Entry is with a £5 guide. All of the work on the Trail is original, for sale, and the artists and makers all accompany their work and many demonstrate their skills. In addition look out for fantastic food, Busk stops with live music and a Family Trail for children at Story Stops along the Trail.

14 - 22 September 
Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival
There will be walks along the entire 46 mile length of the canal system from Chesterfield to West Stockwith with about 40 walks on offer over the period of the festival and most of them free to take part in.

12 - 13 September  
Tapton Lock Festival  
A wonderful weekend for all the family along the banks of the beautiful Chesterfield Canal at Tapton Lock. Join us for amazing theatrical performances, great music, arts and crafts workshops, canoeing, boat rides and lots more. For more information visit or call us on 01246 209219

18 - 20 September
Chatsworth Arts Festival
A dynamic weekend of culture, thought and performance from artists, makers and designers

20 - 22 September
Duffield Arts Festival
Duffield Arts Festival has a broad programme of performances, workshops and talks across the fields of music, drama, art and books, plus much more. Includes the Duffield Scarecrow Festival which kicks off the week. 

Woodland festival19 - 20 September
Derbyshire Woodland Festival
In the grounds of Elvaston Castle Country Park, from 10 am - 5 pm each day, this popular event celebrates traditional and contemporary woodland crafts.  Watch woodland experts at work, have a go at some crafts yourself, sample delicious campfire cooking or just enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the park and woodlands. Something for everyone to enjoy!  

27 - 28 September
Derby Feste 

28 - 29 September
Ofton Festival
'Ofton', a local pronounciation of Alfreton, will celebrate the town's history and unlock places of interest not normally open to the public such as the Houses of Confinement. Free access to sculptures and installations, performances and workshops, all designed in response to this year's themes: Migration, Discovery and Awakening. Work has been co-produced by young people and professional artists in the local area.

4 - 6 October 
Derby Folk Festival
Featuring concerts from a huge range of artists and a full programme of sessions, dance displays, workshops, craft stalls and a great atmosphere throughout the weekend.

6 October 
Bolsover Festival of Brass

One of the leading Brass Band entertainment contests of today which for the last 3 years has produced a live broadcast around the world to an audience of over 15,000 in addition to the home audience.

25 - 27 October
Repton Literary Festival
An exciting mix of events from Vikings to Roald Dahl and Detectives to Black Beauty!

9 - 11 October     
Derwent Valley Mills Discovery Days
The Discovery Days Festival is the biggest annual event in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The theme for 2020 is 'women'.  

26 - 29 October     
Chesterfield Market Festival
Chesterfield is famous for its Market come along to join in the 4 days of fun including special markets, entertainment and other events. 

Matlock Bath illuminationsOctober
Middleton by Walking
A family walking festival based around Middleton by Youlgrave in the Peak District.

31 October - 2 November
Family Arts Festival, Derby
The festival runs from Thursday 31 October until Sunday 2 November with a selection of shows and events perfect for grown-ups and younger ones alike.

31 October  
Chesterfield 1940s & Vintage Week-end Festival Chesterfield Market heads back to the 1940s with traders in fancy dress, vintage cars, entertainment and music. 

2 November 

Luminate is a lantern festival being held in Derby Arboretum, organised by Spiral Arts, Friends of Derby Arboretum and Rotary club of Derby in partnership with Derby City Council Parks Dept.  Go along and help light up the winter skies of Derby. Contact: 

11 November - 10 December
2019 Winter Festival
Dronfield Hall Barn hosts plenty of events, activities and workshops taking place over the next couple of months.

14 - 17 November
Derby Film Festival
One of the leading film festivals in the UK, bringing together film fans, film makers and industry figures for ten days of screenings, previews and showcase events with major figures from the world of film accompanied by panel discussions, workshops and master classses.

22 - 24 November
Banks Mill Open Studios  
Visit Banks Mill to meet and buy from over 50 artists, designers, makers and creative service businesses. This is your opportunity to browse five floors of creative space and meet the people behind the designs.

29 November - 1 December
UK Ghost Story Festival
Presents a host of readings, author interviews, talks, film screenings, workshops and much more, taking place around one of the UK’s most haunted cities.

30 November
Bolsover Christmas Festival and Lantern Parade
Bolsover will be bursting with festive traders, family entertainment and food and drink stalls. Bring your lantern and help light up the streets as the mesmerising lantern parade winds its way around the streets creating a spectacular bright winter night.

7 - 8 December 
Bonnie Prince Charlie Parade
Hosted annually by the Charles Edward Stuart Society, there are parades and battles commemorating the 1745 Jacobite rebellion - taking place in Swarkestone and Derby

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett


Derbyshire Festivals

Take a look at all the amazing festivals that Derbyshire has to offer right throughout 2019, right on your doorstep - come along, join in the fun and see the world-class entertainment.

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