Arts Derbyshire


Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

Derby Market Place is changing. Later this month a large marquee will be erected on the city centre alfresco dining space ready to host live entertainment, markets, festivals and more throughout the Summer and into the Autumn.

Outdoor dining will still be on the menu, so audiences can book a table and enjoy a meal from our local partner restaurants, or a takeaway of their choice, before the show. While ticket prices apply for shows, tables are free, but booking is essential if you want to be guaranteed a table or chalet. Tables seat up to six people. You can also watch the show without enjoying alfresco dining.

Two extra performances of The Wind in the Willows from Derby Theatre, a gig by former Bellowhead frontman Jon Boden, Derby Folk Festival, concerts from Derby Jazz, classical music from Sinfonia Viva, a beer festival, Mainframe Market and even a creative family art maze by Artcore are among the highlights from June until the end of October. Full listings information is below.

Derby LIVE, Derby City Council’s arts and events arm, is working closely with its cultural and local partners to use the Derby Market Place space creatively and flexibly, in line with whatever Government restrictions are in place at the time.

As ever, the safety of the public is our priority in our COVID-secure space, and some shows are currently on sale with social distancing in place, awaiting further Government guidance.

Councillor Ross McCristal, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “Since its launch last year, Derby Market Place has given small, independent businesses in the hospitality industry a much-needed boost, providing them with some extra outdoor seating space, and now it’s time to do the same for our cultural industries.

“With the Derby Ram Trail, and the opening of the Museum of Making, we are thrilled to be a part of the city centre’s recovery as it opens up again, and we are using all our experience of running events safely at Derby Market Place last year to bring something special and vibrant back to the heart of the city, with something for everyone.”

Derby Market Place is supported by our media partner, Smooth Radio. Unless specified, all tickets are available online from Derby Market Place or by calling the Sales and Information Centre on 01332 255800. Full listings are below, with more events being added – keep an eye on Derby Market Place social media for the latest updates.

The Alfresco Dining Experience is also available at Derby Market Place from 12 noon to 3pm every day, and from 6pm to 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays, even when shows are running.


Derby Theatre presents: The Wind in the Willows

Join Mole, Ratty, Badger and Mr Toad as they bring their adventures to the city in a perfect summer show for all the family, in the undercover and airy marquee space.


Derby Jazz presents: Tony Kofi – Inside Straight

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

One of the UK’s finest saxophonists, Tony Kofi has worked internationally with the world’s best including the World Saxophone Quartet, Abdullah Ibrahim’s Ekaya, Ornette Coleman and more.

Now Derby Jazz have teamed him up with some of the finest jazz musicians in the East Midlands to create a quintet playing Cannonball Adderley tunes. Under Tony’s leadership Inside Straight will be playing music from the later years of Adderley’s career, such as Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Jazz Samba, Country Preacher and of course, Inside Straight.

Featuring Gemma Fuller on trumpet, Andrew Wood on drums, Matt Ratcliffe on keyboards and bassist Martin Spencer.

  • Saturday 24 July at 8pm
  • Tickets £16


Artcore: Creative maze

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

An interactive family maze in the marquee by Derby-based Artcore, a centre for contemporary art and creativity based in Derby. Full details to be announced soon on the Derby Market Place website.

  • Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 July


Derby Beer Festival

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

Travel gurus at Lonely Planet describe Derby as the “best place to drink real ale in the World” so why not find out at the Derby Beer Festival. Following on from last year’s successful Beer sessions, held within the Derby Market Place, the Festival will offer a great selection of the best real ales from microbreweries in the local area. Guest will be able to sample some new flavours in this celebration of Derby beer.

Taking place in the marquee space within the Derby Market Place, with tables outside for you to enjoy drinking with friends and the entertainment on offer.

There will also be cider, gin, wine and prosecco, so raise a glass and enjoy the best local ales and entertainment. Upgrade to a chalet for up to six people to make the most of the event.

Alfresco Dining will not be available during the festival.

Wednesday 4 August – 6pm to 11pm
Thursday 5 to Saturday 7 August – 12pm to 5pm and 6pm to 11pm
Sunday 8 August – 12pm to 5pm

  • Tickets: £3 for Wednesday
  • £4 for both Thursday sessions and 12pm to 5pm Friday
  • £5 for 6pm to 9pm Friday and both Saturday sessions
  • £4 for Sunday
  • Chalet upgrade: £25 for up to six people


Josh OKeefe

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

Nashville-based Josh OKeefe makes a rare visit back to his birthplace of Derby. Although a relatively new artist, the young guitar and harmonica-playing singer-songwriter delivers unforgettably potent lyrics with the gravitas of a seasoned veteran. A rebel artist, a protest singer, the heir to Bob Dylan, or – when he’s doing one his lighter satirical numbers – a harmonica-tootin’ Mr Bean… with raw, topical storytelling and a voice that crackles with authentic folk tradition, OKeefe is all of those and more.

“…his songs don’t hesitate as they pick their way through the moral maze of the world” – The Irish Times

  • Wednesday 11 August at 8pm
  • Tickets £13


Rockin’ Robins Summer School

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

For budding drummers aged from 7 to 12. Three days of drumming with a final performance at Derby Market Place for family and friends. The three days will be jam packed with all things drums and give participants hands on experiences like never before!

Rockin’ Robins is the brainchild of professional musician, Ben Tennett, who at just 24 has over ten years’ experience of performing and working as a Drum Tech all over the UK and Europe. The Rockin’ Robins drum tuition service is aimed at complete beginners, giving them an insight into the music industry alongside learning to play. Our mission: to raise the drummers of the future!

More information about the summer school is available from the Rockin’ Robins website.


Jon Boden

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

Jon Boden is best known is the lead singer of the progressive folk juggernaut Bellowhead who sold 250,000 albums, had seven singles playlisted on Radio 2 and sold out hundreds of venues including The Royal Albert Hall. Since Bellowhead split up in 2016 Jon has continued his development as one of the foremost names in English folk music.

In this solo show, Jon performs the self-penned songs of Songs From The Floodplain, Painted Lady, Afterglow and Rose In June, material from Bellowhead, Spiers & Boden, and his A Folk Song A Day project in which he recorded 365 folk songs in one year, music from newly released album Last Mile Home (March 2021, Hudson Records) and more.

  • Friday 20 August at 8pm
  • Tickets £19


Derby Jazz presents: Alison Rayner Quintet

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

Bassist and composer Alison Rayner’s award-winning quintet combine richly nuanced compositions, rhythmic interplay and folk-infused melodies; this, along with their love of improvisation, creates a strong sense of narrative and cinematic quality. ARQ play ‘songs without words’ and are lauded for their vibrant, communicative performances. Awards include the Ivor Novello Composer Awards 2019 and Ensemble of the Year in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2018.

‘A series of vivacious musical adventures.’ – BBC Music Magazine

  • Saturday 21 August at 8pm
  • Tickets £16


Mainframe Make & Trade Autumn Market

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

Mainframe is thrilled to host this year’s Make & Trade Autumn Market in the fabulous Derby Market Place, making the most of the new marquee. The market will celebrate Derbyshire’s proud history of crafting with stalls full of wares from local makers and creators.

Free to enter, with up to 30 stalls, the site will be managed to allow for a safe and spacious shopping, food and entertainment experience – right in the heart of the city.

  • Friday 3 and Saturday 4 September, 10am to 7pm
  • Sunday 5 September 10am to 5pm.
  • FREE entry


Derby Jazz presents: Phil Robson Organ Trio

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

The concept of an organ trio has always been close to Phil Robson’s heart. One of his first professional gigs was with the great American organist “Big” John Patton, but that was a long time ago. Since then Phil has developed his own, unique take on this great tradition and he joined forces with the Hammond virtuoso Ross Stanley and the inspiring and powerful drummer Gene Calderazzo to form this brand new, all-star band.

“This was a blast! Three superb players bringing the organ trio into the 21st Century” – Bebop Spoken Here

  • Saturday 25 September at 8pm
  • Tickets: £16


The Open Road

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

The long overdue and eagerly anticipated reunion of Derby folk favourites The Open Road. Their lively stage performance, with catchy melodies and thought provoking lyrics, has the makings of a great evening for lovers of good acoustic music. Their music has been played on BBC Radio 2 and the band has appeared at many festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, Derby Folk Festival and many top venues around the country. Join them for what promises to be a great night! With special guest Kelsey Shaw.

  • Thursday 30 September at 8pm
  • Tickets £13


Derby Folk Festival

The Market Place marquee plays host to the Mick Peat Stage as Derby Folk Festival returns to the city centre as a live event for 2021. Artists include Kitty Macfarlane, India Electric Co, Winter Wilson, Home Service, O’Hooley and Tidow and more, plus a special tribute concert for Mick Peat with Narthen and guests on Saturday 2 October.


Sinfonia Viva presents: Mozart Clarinet Quintet

Join members of the Grammy-nominated and RPS winning orchestra Sinfonia Viva, for a night of passion and vibrant virtuosity.

With a fantastic range of music and emotional resonance the concert features Coleridge-Taylor’s stunning Clarinet Quintet, the early classical perfection of Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen’s String Quartet No.4 and one of Mozart’s most famous, well-loved and instantly recognisable pieces with his Clarinet Quintet.

Demonstrating the power of precision and passion the performance will be led by Sinfonia Viva’s Leader Sophie Rosa and will feature soloist Chris Swann on clarinet. Running time: approx. 80 mins.

‘finely judged detail, expansiveness and lots of heart’ – The Guardian, 2021 on Sophie Rosa

  • Wednesday 6 October at 7.30pm
  • Tickets £14, under 16’s £11


Kristian Thomas Company presents: The Vallis

Sit back, grab a drink and toe tap away as Kristian Thomas Company presents The Vallis. – a four-man vocal line up with a live band, paying tribute to the legendary Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

Including classics such as Sherry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Walk Like A Man and Beggin’ as well as some modern day tunes with a Vallis twist!

Oh what a night? It sure will be!

  • Thursday 14 and Friday 15 October at 7.30pm
  • Tickets £13


Sinfonia Viva presents: Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

Join Grammy-nominated and RPS winning orchestra Sinfonia Viva and experience the undeniable power of a live orchestra.

Featuring moments of lively eccentricity and emotionally potent beauty, the concert features a breath-taking solo from Sinfonia Viva’s Leader Sophie Rosa in Piazzolla’s tango infused Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Alongside this the hugely popular Bartok Rumanian Folk Dances, Philip Herbert’s Elegy and Tchaikovsky’s devastating and achingly wondrous Serenade for Strings.

A welcome move back into the live setting, don’t miss the orchestra on fiery form as they return to live performance with this impassioned programme. Running time: approx. 80 mins.

  • Thursday 21 October at 7.30pm
  • Tickets £16, under 16’s £13


Sinfonia Viva presents: Flutter & Fly

Theatre, music, markets and festivals at Derby Market Place

From award winning orchestra Sinfonia Viva comes a magical musical adventure chock-full of spectacular story telling.

Become immersed in this interactive story, as flitting birds, jet planes and a kite tied with string are all imaginatively portrayed in sing-along songs written by guitarist and composer Jack Ross and performed with Jack and members of the orchestra, alongside amazing projected illustrations by Eleanor Meredith.

PLUS you’ll receive a free illustrated book of the story and music…so you can relive the adventure again and again.

  • Sunday 24 October at 11.30am and 3pm
  • Tickets £6

Submit your news to Arts Derbyshire

Submit your news items to or fill out this news submission form.

You can also register as a member to list your arts business and events in our directory.


Related news posts

Sign up to our newsletter

Find out what’s on with the Arts Derbyshire newsletter.

Artists, creatives, cultural providers, arts and health specialists – Sign up for one of our professional mailing lists.