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A mini-guide to festivals in Derbyshire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 11 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:21 27 January 2017

Sarruga Dragons, Derby Feste

Sarruga Dragons, Derby Feste


It looks like it’s going a fun-filled of year of festivals.

24th March-23rd April

FORMAT International Photography Festival

A wide range of projects exploring HABITAT through a series of exhibitions and events at some of Derby’s most iconic buildings.


28th-30th April

The Donington Historic Festival

Hundreds of world-class historic racing cars and huge numbers of classic car club displays.

Donington Park, Castle Donington, www.doningtonhistoric.com

29th April-29th May

Belper Arts Festival

Incorporating theatre, art, music, dance, comedy, literature, photography and film. Highlights include an arts trail from 30th April to 1st May and Belper Open Houses from 27th to 29th May.


5th-14th May

Derby Comedy Festival

Stand-up comedy from favourite acts and local talent, plus comedy clubs, films and plays.


6th-14th May

Chesterfield Area Walking Festival

A series of guided walks, with themes ranging from history and heritage to wildlife.


13th-25th May

National Forest Walking Festival

A host of walks to suit all abilities, led by local enthusiasts.


25th-28th May

Bearded Theory Festival

Performing and creative arts festival, recently voted Best Family Festival at the 2016 UK Festival Awards.

Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, www.beardedtheory.co.uk

26th May-4th June

Derbyshire Open Arts Festival

Over 100 artists and craftspeople display their work in venues across Derbyshire.


9th-17th June

Derby Book Festival

Talks with internationally celebrated authors and local talent, plus book-related events and activities.


16th-18th June

Eroica Britannia

The vintage cycling and lifestyle festival moves to its new home at Friden Grange this year. The festival includes vintage stalls and experiences and a packed entertainment programme, culminating in a pre-1987 bike ride on the 18th – ridden by thousands of cyclists dressed in vintage clothes.

Friden Grange, Newhaven, Buxton, eroicabritannia.co.uk

16th June-2nd July

Ashbourne Festival

Festival of music, literature and drama, with street theatre, concerts, talks and exhibitions.


7th-23rd July

Buxton Festival

‘A happy marriage of opera, music and books’ with appearances from world-renowned authors, artists and musicians, and a celebrated programme of musical recitals and literary talks, with a popular Fringe event (5th-23rd July).


8th-9th July

Caterham 60th Anniversary Festival

Iconic Caterham machines hit the track in a number of races.

Donington Park, Castle Donington, www.donington-park.co.uk

21st-23rd July

Stainsby Festival

A family-friendly festival of folk and world music with entertainment, workshops, storytelling, theatre, poetry and film.

Brunts Fields, Stainsby, Chesterfield, www.stainsbyfestival.org.uk

28th-30th July

Indie Tracks Festival

A unique combination of steam trains and indie pop music with train rides, railway attractions, live music and workshops.

Midland Railway Centre, Butterley, www.indietracks.co.uk

4th-6th August

Classic Motorcycle Festival

One of the UK’s biggest celebrations of historic motorcycling with hundreds of racing machines, off track displays and stars of the sport.

Donington Park, Castle Donington, www.donington-park.co.uk

2nd September

Festival of Fireworks

The UK’s greatest fireworks spectacular – four amazing displays, all set to music, all in one night!

Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, www.jubileefireworks.com

8th-24th September

Wirksworth Festival

Rural arts festival showcasing work from local and international artists, with a popular Art and Architecture Trail, music, dance, drama, street theatre and Fringe events.


22nd-24th September

Art Out Loud

A literary festival dedicated to talks by those with a connection to the art world.

Chatsworth, www.chatsworth.org

29th and 30th September

Derby FestÉ

Music, comedy, street theatre and a series of outdoor spectaculars throughout the city centre.


Throughout September

Melbourne Festival

Creative and performing arts festival with a renowned art and architecture trail on 16th and 17th, concerts, talks and exhibitions.



New Mills Festival

Community festival with a diverse mix of art, music, plays, poetry, exhibitions, talks and walks, culminating in a magical lantern procession.



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