Saturday, September 30, 2023

Belper Arts Festival 2018 Arrives In Style

The first week of the sixth Belper Arts Festival opens on 5th May with a special concert at St. Peter’s Church by soprano Margaret Keys with the Fishpond Choir and Bel Canto.

The biggest Arts Trail to date takes place on 6 / 7 th May with a walk around Beth’s Poetry Trail on 10thMay.

“The first few days are always a bit special and this year is no different,” said Co-Ordinator George Gunby.

“The Festival will also be honouring local a local community champion with the ‘Andy Potter Community Award’ at the opening concert.”

Soprano Margaret Keys is coming to Belper in the middle of a concert tour with Russell Watson. She has sung with Andrea Boccelli. Alfie Boe, Rod Stewart and Aretha Franklin amongst others. Earlier in April she appeared with Michael Crawford in a special ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ event.

“We were very lucky to get Margaret at a time when she is touring and preparing for the release of a new album. It promises to be another special Belper night at St. Peter’s.”

George went on to expand on the Andy Potter Community Award: “Andy’s death left a big hole in the arts landscape. We all know about his big interviews for Radio Derby but his first love was local art and artists. He gave his time generously to community groups and he was a great friend of Belper Arts Festival. The award is a way of recognising an individual or group who has walked the extra mile to develop the arts in Belper.”

The Arts Trail will be the biggest and best yet with over 130 artists in 50 venues and 70 groups and musicians on ten stages. Pirate Captain Dan and his motley crew will be dropping anchor in the Ritz Cinema and ‘Writing On The Wall’ returns. A new addition is the demo marquee sited on the Market Place where visitors will be able to see experts demonstrate their skills.

Arts Trail Badges and Guides, priced at £3, will be available at points around the town centre.
Go to for full details.

Beth’s Poetry Trail is a permanent memorial to Beth Fender who founded Belper’s two poetry groups.
A poem is installed at twenty sites around the town. Poets represented include Spike Milligan, Emily Dickinson and Philip Larkin. The Poetry Trail Walk takes place on 10th May at 1:15pm beginning by the bandstand in the River Gardens. Allow up to 3 hours for the walk.

Finally, look out for a full programme of events at Fleet Arts and Number 28 which opens with the Peace Walk Labyrinth on 5 May. This is followed by Give The Guitar A Go.

Full details can be found on including tickets.

Claire Meese


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