Arts Derbyshire Header Image

Derbyshire festivals

***We have put together this guide to the arts festivals across Derbyshire in 2020. As you will probably have become aware now, due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus many public events have already been cancelled and we cannot say with any certainty which of the festivals will be going ahead this year.  Please enquire with the festivals organisers themselves before making plans to attend any of the listed events here.***

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. 

All year, 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.

All year 
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.

5 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.

20 - 22 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.

Buxton Opera House

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.

4 - 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. 

25 April - 25 May
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.

1 May - 6 June
Belper Fringe
Belper Fringe launches in 2020, bringing an exciting programme of events to Belper. Embracing all forms of artistic expression, we hope to build on the visual, musical and theatrical arts extravaganza built up over several years, the Fringe will bring to Belper fun, entertainment and more community heart.

8 - 10 May 
Dronfield Arts Festival
Dronfield Arts Festival is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).  Celebrations will include many performances, activities and workshops with a 1940s theme.

8 - 10 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.

10 May 
Derby Arboretum May Fest

The May Fest includes traditional activities and games; music and dancing; refreshments; garden plants, nature and wildlife activities.

16 - 17 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. 

21 - 24 May     
The Bearded Theory Festival 
The Bearded Theory festival is held in the beautiful grounds of Catton Hall in Derbyshire. A family friendly, independent full blown three day party that’s up there with the best of them. 

22 - 24 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. 

22 - 25 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.

23 - 25 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 weekend. 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.

29 May - 6 June  
Derby Book Festival  
Derby Book Festival aims to 'bring books to life', focussing on the joy of books and reading for all ages and interests. 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. Something for everyone!

Derby Book festival29 - 31 May
Belper Goes Green

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

5 - 27 June
Derby Print Open
Currently in it's 3rd year, the Derby Print Open has garnered a vast interest from artists and printmakers around the UK.  Last year, the Derby Print Open extended out into the city, creating a 'Print Trail', hosted by current Derby based small businesses to help display the work received and to help promote Derby as a creative hub for artists and makers.

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.

tbc 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.

19 June - 5 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 areas, and it includes STREETFEST, a free street theatre event.

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

21 - 27 June
Duffield Carnival & Music Festival

Many events are planned for your entertainment throughout the festival including the Duffield Carnival. The 2020 theme is "transport".

26 - 28 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. Various activities for the children such as story-telling, games and a fancy dress parade.

26 - 29 June
Chesterfield Canal Festival
The Festival this year will include evening concerts on 26 and 27 June and a day-long flotilla of all five tripboats up to Chesterfield and back on 29 June.

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. 

tbc 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. 

1 - 19 July
Buxton Festival Fringe 
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.

Family at Timber

3 - 5 July 
Timber Forest Festival
Step into an incredible weekend festival of debate, celebration and reflection in the National Forest. Timber invites you to stand up and be counted as we rethink our relationship with trees and forests.

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.    

4 July 
Eckington Festival

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

17 - 19 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. 

23 - 25 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. 

24 - 26 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.  

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

30 July - 2 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.

6 - 9 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. 

12 - 16 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. 

30 - 31 August
Belper Arts Trail  
The Belper Arts Trail will take place during the August Bank Holiday weekend. 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.

September 2020 – February 2021 
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. 

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!

tbc 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. 

6 - 8 September 
Whitwell Festival of Music

A community event in a village setting, 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.

11 - 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. 

11 - 27 September 
New Mills Festival  
Two fun and fabulous weeks of events, exhibitions, music, walks, talks and happenings for all the family! 

New Mills festival12 September - 1 November (weekends) 
Matlock Bath Illuminations 
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, giving a unique and luminous display. Plus a firework display every Saturday evening.

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

12 - 20 September 
Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival
Guided walks – the majority of which are free – ranging from a children’s walk of just two miles to the full 46-mile length of the canal in three days.

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!

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

19 - 20 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 venues in the heart of Melbourne in rooms and gardens which are not usually open to the public, as well as public buildings. 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 there are Busk stops with live music and a Family Trail for children at Story Stops along the Trail.
Woodland festival
19 - 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 park and woodlands. Something for everyone to enjoy!  

25 - 26 September
Derby Feste 
A programme of events that will leave you breathless…

tbc 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.

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

tbc October
Family Arts Festival, Derby
A selection of shows and events perfect for grown-ups and younger ones alike.

4 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.

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'.  

Matlock Bath illuminations


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.

27 - 29 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.

tbc November
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.

tbc 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.

tbc 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 2020, right on your doorstep - come along, join in the fun and see the world-class entertainment.

Arts Derbyshire on Facebook and Twitter

Come and join in the conversation.