Sunday, December 3, 2023

Belper Arts Festival 2017 Programme Announced

The programme of events for this year’s Belper Arts Festival has been published containing a mixture of tried and tested favourites alongside new and exciting pieces.

The Festival highlights will include the return of the Young Kanneh Mason Family, a performance of Mozart’s Requiem and the wonderful Karen England with the Dalesmen and A’quired Taste as they celebrate the Last Night Of The Proms.

‘Past Lives : Belper’ will feature film footage and live music at St Peter’s Church. For the third year the enchanting Woollen Woods will bring knitted creatures to life in the Park Woods. The Arts Trail and Open Houses, which have drawn large crowds in past years, will bookend the Festival. The Arts Trail grows each year and it will contain Captain Dan plus new initiatives entitled ‘Word On The Street’ and ‘Writing On The Wall’. Open Houses, when artists open their homes and studios to the public, will feature over 27 – 29 May.

Putting the festival together has been challenging, with its Chair & Co-Ordinator George Gunby stating: “This is the fifth Festival and it has been the most difficult in terms of raising new funding.”

“Businesses such as George’s Tradition and Bridge Hill House B & B have continued their support. It’s been harder to generate new advertisers and sponsors. Belper is thriving with great events, but businesses are not bottomless wells. They can only offer a certain amount of support. The opportunity to advertise or sponsor is available until 14th of February.”

New to the Festival are the plays ‘DIVA’, ‘Hamp’ and ‘Light One Up’. Unusually the Festival will open with a performance of DIVA at Wirksworth Town Hall. Larry Waller returns to the Director’s chair for John Wilson’s World War One play ‘Hamp’. ‘Light One Up’, written and directed by Jane Wilton, returns by public demand. Other theatre based events include an event affectionately titled ‘Bill’s Big Day’. The Bill is Shakespeare and a certain highlight is an appearance by 1623’s Ben Spiller who will talk about King Lear and Dementia.

Other events include an evening of poetry, comedy at Number 28, a concert for Lute and Voice and a day of Victorian entertainment. The full programme can be found on

Tickets go on sale from 1 March with most available from OXFAM Books and Music and online

For advertising opportunities please contact George Gunby on 07847 478251 or email

Claire Meese


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