Urban Culture To Take Centre Stage At Derby Festé

The People’s Stage will return to Derby Festé this September to celebrate the best of urban and Black community arts in the city and county. Organised by Derby-based Baby People – the stage will be set in the Market Place on Saturday September 24, which is the second day of the 10th annual Derby Festé.

DJs and MCs will play a selection of sets including Eyez – one of the best known MCs with a national following. Pupils from a range of local secondary schools including Bemrose and  Littleover schools in Derby, Wilsthorpe in Long Eaton and John Flamsteed in Denby will come together to perform as an urban choir with a wide repertoire of harmonised pop music covers - and a few surprises up their sleeves.

Dance action will be courtesy of the award-winning Trinity Warriors urban dance group who continue to win trophies across the UK for their break dancing prowess.

Meanwhile the West Indian Carnival troupe will bring a carnival feel back to the city centre with their colourful costumes and upbeat routines. Baby J is managing director of Baby People which works with young people and adults to develop their artistic talents through a wide range of education and work placement programmes. He said: “The People Stage will be a fantastic celebration of urban and Black culture.  The acts will attract a wider audience to this year’s Derby Festé who will then have the opportunity to experience the whole day of street entertainment on offer across the city centre – perhaps for the first time. “The young people involved will gain great experience from performing as part of the festival and I hope that people who would not normally experience urban and Black music and dance will really enjoy and appreciate the energy and vibe that these performances will bring to the festival. “I personally love Derby Festé and the atmosphere that it creates throughout the two days in the city.   “It brings together people of all ages, cultures and walks of life who interact with each other through sheer enjoyment and wonder at the quality of the local and international artists who perform here. “We therefore feel privileged to be part of this fantastic occasion for the city again this year.”

The People Stage will be one of the many highlights on Saturday when the Cathedral Quarter and Intu Derby shopping centre will be a bustling hub of street entertainment featuring more than 20 different acts including dance, aerial performance, theatre, comedy and contemporary circus. A special Derby Festé commission of Tarzanna by Ilkeston-born aerial artist Ria Ashcroft and the Gramphones Theatre Company will make its debut performance at Derby Riverlights.

Acts across the city centre will range from juggling act Gandini and aerial performers Highly Sprung to musical comedy artists Stop Gap Dance Company and contemporary dancers Company Chameleon. There will also be a wide range of stunning walkabout street artist, from all over the UK and internationally, moving around the area from giant butterflies to majestic slinkies. The action then moves to Bass’ Recreation Ground on Saturday evening for the climax of Derby Festé. The area transformed into a magical underwater spectacle by French company Transe Express who will bring its brand new outdoor performance MÚ which will be only its second performance in the UK.

On Friday September 23, Derby Festé kicks off with a performance of Carousel by the Southpaw Dance Company on Cathedral Green.   The headline act on Friday evening will be the return of the stunning giant fire-breathing Sarruga Dragons that took the city by storm at the first Festé in 2007. The breath-taking parade will start at Derby Riverlights and wind its way through the Cathedral Quarter before making a spectacular entrance to the Market Place.

From 9.45pm, the Market Place will then be transformed into a party space with The New York Brass Band and Alex Blood & The Diggers performing live on stage. Throughout the evening, the popular Night Market by Sheena Holland which has become a popular calendar date in the Cathedral Quarter will be set up in the Market Place.

Derby Festé first came to the city centre streets in September 2007 to mark the opening of the Westfield Derby shopping centre (now Intu Derby) and then, the following year, the opening of QUAD arts centre. The annual festival is produced and presented by Derby LIVE, Déda, QUAD and Derby Theatre in association with the Without Walls Associate Touring Network. It is funded by Arts Council England and Derby City Council, with sponsorship from Cathedral Quarter, Intu Derby, Derby Riverlights and Park Farm Shopping Centre.

MÚ is Derby Festé’s only ticket event.  Prices are £7 each and will be available to purchase online or via the Derby LIVE Box Office www.derbylive.co.uk
All the other performances are free of charge and the full programme is available to see at www.derbyfeste.com

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