Derby Feste 2018

27/09/2018 - 29/09/2018, Various times - day and night

2018 marks the 12th appearance of Derby Feste in our city! This popular annual festival has been extended to three days for the first time this year – bringing a bag full of tricks and a sprinkling of magic to the city centre on Thursday 27, Friday 28 and Saturday 29 September.

This year Derby Festé 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 festival kicks off on Thursday night at Bass’ Recreation Ground with the first of three performances of an exciting and exhilarating circus by French company, Circa Tsuica.

Presented by Crying Out Loud, ‘Now or Never’ will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday early evenings and is billed as a reinvention of circus traditions for the 21st century.  Tickets are limited for each show and are priced at just £10 each.

As the party begins in the Big Top, the 11 performers mingle with the crowd, making and sharing Breton crêpes, before they launch into a feast of music and circus. They fly, fling and swing across the tent on trapezes, tightropes, Cyr wheels, trick bicycles, trampolines and seesaws.

All the while, Circa Tsuica’s acrobat-musicians play their thundering brass rhythms accompanied by young musicians from Derby Music Centre Circus Brass.

The city’s popular Bustler Market will be having a double header, bringing street food and drinks from around the world at Riverlights and the Market Place on Friday evening, and all day on Saturday.

Friday night will see the opening of the Jon Marshall’s traditional 1950’s Side Shows on the Market Place alongside the virtual reality piece, ‘VR Playground’ by Thrill Laboratory.

The live performance will be courtesy of French company Cie Dyptik who will thrill the crowds with their energetic hip-hop dance performance ‘D Construction’ staged around metal scaffolding.

On Saturday the streets will burst into life from 11am with a circus procession through St Peters Quarter and the Cathedral Quarter – trumpeting the start of street entertainment performance across the city centre including live music, circus performances, dance, and some incredible characters.

The Saturday evening starts with a mesmerising parade ‘FierS á Cheval’ which is a company of beautiful larger than life glowing white horses winding through the Cathedral Quarter.

The parade will finish in the Market Place where visitors can then enjoy light projections dancing on the buildings in a finale to celebrate 10 years of QUAD.


For more information about Derby Festé please click here.  Tickets are available now for ‘Now or Never’ by Circus Tscuia – please click here to purchase.


Derby Festé is produced and presented by Déda, Derby LIVE, QUAD and Derby Theatre in association with the Without Walls Associate Touring Network. Without Walls is the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor arts shows, taking inspiring new work to audiences all over the country and beyond.

Festé is funded by Arts Council England and Derby City Council, with sponsorship from the University of Derby, Smith Partnership, Cathedral Quarter and Intu Derby.

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