Arts Derbyshire Header Image

Derbyshire Festivals

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

Festivity logo for Derbyshire Festivals

Many 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.

22 - 24 March
KlezNorth
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.

March
Buxton Festival of World Cinema 
There is a packed and wide-ranging programme of films from Europe, the US, the Middle East and Far East including classics alongside recent successes. There are 8 Days, 22 Films, 12 Countries represented + workshops and talks. 

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.

April
Furthest From The Sea's 'Little Ed'
A free comedy and variety fringe festival from Furthest From The Sea will bring a taste of the Edinburgh Fringe to Derby City.

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.

April
Buxton Film Festival
The annual Buxton Film Festival has a feast of great films mixing current and classics and a helping of family friendly films too.

May   
Derby Film Festival
Derby Film Festival is one of the leading regional 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 masterclasses. 

4 May  - 1 June
Belper Arts Festival  
Over 28 days - 1000 performers - 100 venues - 60 events - and Princess Diana. Art, Music, Film, Theatre, Dance, Photography, Installations, Crafters, Comedy in performance, Exhibitions, Talks and Workshops.

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.

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: friendsderbyarbo@gmail.com

13-14 May
Willington Arts Festival
A showcase for local artists, providing inspiration for the visitor, as well as the opportunity to buy unique art work. Get hands on with pottery or circus skills, and vote for your favourite art work in the Mercia Marina art competition.

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.

24 -27 May 
WinsterFest
 
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.

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. 

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. 

June 
Belper goes Green
 
An eco-festival featuring: kids games and forest skills, bikes / travel / transport, Belper station mosaic project, 'Bash the Trash' (music from scrap!) and a scarecrow competition.

31 May - 8 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 fifth 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 festival

June 
Dovedale Arts Festival
Held at the Izaak Walton Hotel: an energising cocktail of music, talks, walks, and art with a strong focus on the locality. 

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.

June
Celebrating Cromford
This is a family-friendly village festival in a beautiful World Heritage Site, with live music, stalls, Open Gardens, beer festival, stationary steam engines, literature & pudding competitions, decorated ducks, non-decorated duck race and canal boat pulling. 

June
Furthest From the Sea
  
With over 100 performers and 5 stages dotted around Derby, there is so much happening at this festival that it would not be difficult to find something you like. Go along to sample comedy, folk music, workshops, exhibitions, photography, pop music, plays and poetry. But there is no need to wait until June, with monthly events happening from March throughout the year.

June
Belper Carnival
Organised by the Rotary Club.

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 its surrounding area. STREETFEST our free street theatre event will be held over the weekend of Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June.

June - July 
Duffield Carnival & Music Festival

Many events are planned for your entertainment throughout the festival including Duffield Carnival on Saturday 30 June, so put it in your diaries.

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.

29 - 30 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 2018 One World Festival.

5 - 7 July
Timber Forest Festival
Timber is a festival of music, arts and ideas, inspired by Forests. Join us at Feanedock in the National Forest for an unforgettable, exhilarating weekend where the tonic of wilderness rules supreme.

Family at Timber

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

3 - 24 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.

5 - 21 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.     

15-16 July
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.

20-22 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. 

24 July
Chesterfield 
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.

26-28 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. 

26-29 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). 

27-29 July 
Indietracks 
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. 

TBD
Buxton Family Festival 
There's lots on at the Pavilion Gardens during Buxton's Family Festival,  featuring a huge variety of fun activities for all the family: fairs, music, outdoor recreation, markets and much more. 

2-5 August
SpoonFest 
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
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. 

TBD
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 LightThe 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. 

3-15 September
Chesterfield Well Dressing
Watch the well dressing being made from 3 September, and then the finished piece will be put on display after the blessing on 8 September.

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: friendsderbyarbo@gmail.com

7-9 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, now in its 8th year, 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 - over 25 bands and artists over the weekend - the festival also offers a range of locally brewed real ales, ciders, value-for-money food, arts and music workshops and children's activities.  

New Mills Festival 2018

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

6 -22 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.

9-10 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.

TBD
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.

7 September - 26 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 - 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.

15-23 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.

14 - 15 September 
Tapton Lock Festival  
A weekend celebration from 11 am to 4 pm each day on the Chesterfield Canal with Junction Arts and Derbyshire Countryside Service. We've got music and performance in the marquee with amazing street theatre. You can join an arts workshop, try your hand at traditional crafts, or get physical and have a go on the water in a canoe, or up the climbing wall. With refreshments on site, there is something for everyone.

20-23 SeptemberDuffield 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. 

22-23 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!  

27-29 September Derby Feste 
Derby Festé is always exciting and new – with a whole range of local, national and international artists performing in the streets of the city.  This year the theme of the festival is to celebrate "250 years of circus in the UK".  There will be 40 events over the Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening of the festival with many of the events free to attend. 

4-7 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.  2017 will be the 11th year for the region's leading folk event.  

26 October - 3 November 
Derwent Valley Mills Discovery DaysThe Discovery Days Festival is the biggest annual event in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site that takes place in the October half term.   

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 Illuminations[1]

27 - 29 October
Middleton by Walking
A family walking festival based around Middleton by Youlgrave in the Peak District

1 November 
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

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: friendsderbyarbo@gmail.com 

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.

1 December
Bolsover Lantern Parade

Bring your Lantern and light up the streets in this years Bolsover Lantern Parade. Enjoy the market stalls, carol singing and maybe even enter our Lantern competition! This year is the 25th anniversary.

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett

Featured articles

Derbyshire Festivals

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

Courses, workshops and education

Check out these courses and workshops across Derbyshire through the year.

artsderbyshire on Facebook and Twitter

Come and join in the conversation.