Arts Derbyshire


New Mills Festival event announcements!

Bank Holiday weekend over, and you’re wondering what else is coming up?

We’re bringing you much welcome news of some of the events the New Mills Festival has planned for later this year. There’s a lot to look forward to; this is far from the full list as the Festival dates of 9th to 25th September begin to fill up. And it’s not too late – if you have an event you’d like to put on during the festival, the deadline for inclusion in the brochure is 26th June – info here:

First instalment of newly announced events:

  • The New Mills Duck Race – Sunday 26 June at 12:00 at the Torrs Riverside Park
  • The Handlebards performing “Twelfth Night” – Wednesday 27 July, “doors” open 18:00 High Lea Park
  • The Lantern Procession – Saturday 24 September start slots 18:30, 19:00, 19:30, 20:00 and 20:30 starting at the Rock Tavern
  • Street Party – Saturday 24 September 17:00 onwards
  • Lantern workshops – various dates and locations (watch this space)

New Mills Duck Race 2022

How to explain this and do it justice?

It’s a Duck Race! You buy a ticket which allocates you a plastic duck. All ducks are equal; there are no racing models available. The Ducks are all released at the start line at the same time and the first one to the designated finish point wins.

Things you need to know:

  • The ticket money is shared between Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) from local primary schools and nurseries and the New Mills Festival
  • There are three races in the event – one for businesses, one for schools and a public competition
  • There are prizes! And trophies!
  • The Bubbleologists will be there, and there will be a PTA cake stall, doing cakes as only a PTA can, as well as street food
  • It’s huge fun, 1500 ducks participated in the last event, and it’s not just for the kids!

The event will be held on Sunday June 26th from 12.00pm. The route will be along the River Goyt, starting near the viaduct and Goytside Farm.

Please note access is by foot only, please use the town carparks if travelling by car.

Tickets for the ducks priced at £2 each can be purchased from the participating schools and nurseries, and from:

  • Priscilla’s Cards (Hallmark): Market Street NEW MILLS
  • Pretty Little Things: Market Street, NEW MILLS
  • OR online at

In addition, you too could become a Duck Race Supporter. If your business or organisation would like to take part in the Corporate Duck Race Ducks can also be purchased at

There’s a very professional set of terms and conditions here, in case you were worried this isn’t a serious event!


The Handlebards – Twelfth Night

Join The HandleBards at High Lea Park for a bicycle-powered, laugh-out-loud production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

The HandleBards are cycling Shakespearean actors who carry all of their set, props and costumes on the back of their bicycles, performing extremely energetic, charmingly chaotic and environmentally sustainable Shakespeare plays across the UK. We feel sure they’ll enjoy the hills of New Mills and be energised by the climb up to High Lea Park.

So, the rough Shakespeare plotline: Duke Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia, but she won’t have anything to do with suitors. Viola is shipwrecked and believes her twin brother Sebastian to be dead. Meanwhile, a bunch of Olivia’s servants plot to make a fool out of her pompous butler, Malvolio. There’s drunkenness, frivolity and cross-dressing a plenty.

The show will take place on Wednesday 27th July, doors open 6pm, performance 7pm to 9pm in High Lea Park. Tickets are £11 per adult, £21 for a family of three, £31 for a family of four, and student / senior citizen concession tickets are £9. Tickets available here:

This is an outdoor production, so please bring your own chair or blanket to sit on, a picnic to dig into, and dress for the weather!

Things you need to know:

  • Doors open at 6pm, so bring a picnic and come and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
  • Chairs, picnics, blankets and any other low level accessories are welcome.
  • In case of rain, please don’t bring umbrellas as they block sight-lines for other audience members. Ponchos and raincoats are just as fetching, so please wear these instead.
  • Feel free to bring a picnic, although food, drink and ice cream will be available from Ape about Pizza, Bakes and Bars, and Zoppi’s Ice Creams.

Important Ticket Conditions – Please Read

  • You can bring your tickets digitally, on a phone or tablet, so save the trees and please don’t print them.

The New Mills Lantern Procession

It’s back!

Tickets for the 2022 New Mills Festival Lantern Procession, which is taking place on Saturday 24th September 2022, will be going on sale for the first time on Saturday 11th June at the New Mills Festival stall on the Carnival Showground at New Mills Carnival. We are asking a minimum donation of £1 per person and tickets are for available for the following times:

  • 6.30pm Twilight walk for younger children.
  • 7.00pm Slower pace for those with reduced mobility.
  • 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm to experience the full beauty of the lanterns after dark

We’re so pleased to be putting this on once again, it’s been a while. Such a long while that let’s refresh our memories of what the Lantern Procession is! There’s a lot of information here:

You are the event. Yes, you. The Lantern Procession is anyone that takes part in it, with home made lanterns or purchased for £4 from the Lantern Procession box at the bottom of Union Road. We walk at a meandering procession pace through the Torrs with lanterns held high, past fire sculptures, displays, entertainment. There’s a stewarded one way system as we slowly snake our way along the lantern route, enjoying the spectacle and the atmosphere. The procession entry point is near The Rock Tavern.

Things you need to know:

  • Walking to the start or taking public transport is recommended. Trains run to New Mills Central or New Mills Newtown from surrounding towns.
  • The Town centre car parks will be closed but there are four Festival car parks set up (see the website).
  • It’s ticket only, with a recommended contribution.
  • Lantern making workshops will be announced.
  • The theme this year is Places and Spaces
  • There’s a street party before, during and afterwards (well worth checking out)
  • There will be road closures and bus service alterations, so plan accordingly (see our website)
  • We need volunteers! If you’re interested email

New Mills Street Party

Brilliant. Closed roads, food stalls, entertainment, fun with your neighbours and family and friends. Everyone is welcome.

Billed as a support event to the Lantern Procession, but much much more than that, you could spend many happy hours here. The New Mills Street Party was my first encounter with our local ice cream producer Ginge & Co, and there’s many other locally produced edibles, drinkables, and non edibles available. Sample delicious foods from all over the world from authentic ‘street food’ vendors. Enjoy live music and marvel at the fire eaters, jugglers, stilt-walkers and other performers who will be entertaining you throughout the evening.

Many of our local shops, restaurants and cafes will also be opening their doors late into the evening.

26th September from 5pm, Market Street and surrounding area.

Consider carefully your transport options for the obvious reasons of road closures! See the festival website for road closure information and alternative parking suggestions. If you can come on foot or by public transport, we’d recommend that.

We’ll be bringing you details of Lantern making workshops and other events as part of the two week festival 9th to 25th September over the coming weeks.

New Mills Festival is a Community Interest Company and is entirely volunteer run. The festival committee organises events throughout the year to raise funds. The festival also acts as a marketing partner for the many community groups, organisations and individuals that come together to provide a wide range of events and happenings during the two week festival in September.

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