Derby Festé is Back

The countdown is on for the return of the annual Derby Festé on Thursday 27, Friday 28 and Saturday 29 September when more than 30,000 people are expected to turn out to the city streets to enjoy a feast of free entertainment.

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The line-up will include 22 UK and international companies performing in the city centre as part of their world-wide festival season.

This gives the Derby crowds the chance to enjoy top-flight street entertainment that has already wowed visitors this summer in Califonia, Tokyo, Barcelona and Paris – to name just a few.

Derby Festé 2018 is inspired by the nationwide 250 years of Circus – marking the milestone anniversary of the first circus performance near London’s Waterloo in 1768 by showman Philip Astley.

The company is a vibrant band of international acrobats and musicians – joined by young musicians from Derby Music Centre Circus Brass.

The audience will join in the feast as acrobats and musicians mingle, make and share pancakes with everyone before launching into their exhilarating fanfare of music and circus.

Circa Tsuica will perform in the Big Top at Bass’ Recreation Ground on Thursday, Friday and Saturday early evenings. Tickets are limited for each show and selling fast so must be pre-booked, priced at just £10 each.

Derby’s popular, tasty and vibrant Bustler Market will be part of Festé for the first time this year in two locations at Riverlights and the Market Place. Stalls selling a huge range of tasty food and drink will be open at both locations on Friday September 28 between 5pm and 10pm and then on Saturday from 12 noon to 10pm.

Friday’s fun will start in the Market Place at 6pm.  Highlights include Jon Marshall 1950’s side show with ‘blast from the past’ spectacles including the Headless Lady and Mummy Show. Then climb aboard the Thrill Laboratory VR Playground to experience the latest ride experiment.

The grand finale at 8.30pm is dance troupe Cie Dyptik high-energy dance outdoor performance ‘D-Construction’.

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The packed Saturday programme starts with a colourful circus and carnival parade into the Market Place.

This heralds an afternoon of free street entertainment including juggling, acrobatics, street theatre, comedy and music as well as the side show entertainment from the previous evening.

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Saturday evening will be the last time to catch the final performance of ‘Now or Never’ at the slightly earlier time of 6pm.

The festival climax will be ‘FierS à Cheval’ by Compagnie Quidams which is a herd of beautiful larger-then-life glowing white horses gliding through the Cathedral Quarter.

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Finally there will be beautiful animations projected onto the iconic QUAD building which celebrates its 10th anniversary and has been created in partnership with University of Derby students.

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. It has grown in size and stature every year with more performances, visitors and focus to the city.

The festival is produced and presented by Déda, Derby LIVE, Derby Theatre and QUAD and supported by Sinfonia Viva. It is sponsored by Derby City Council, Derby Cathedral Quarter, Intu Derby, Derby University and Smith Partnership.

For more information on all the acts, including times and locations, please visit

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