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WELCOME Festivals help bring our city to life every summer as we get out and about and have fun. 2012 is going to be no exception with a bumper year packed full of things to do. Alongside firm favourites such as Riverside Festival, Leicester Belgrave Mela, Caribbean Carnival and Castle Park Old Town Festival, our city will be in full party mood through the summer days of 2012. To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year there will be the Big Lunch Street Parties, Beacon Lighting and a special concert. The Olympic Torch will be visiting the City and will herald the start of a packed programme across the city including the amazing giant crochet Lionheart project in Orton Square and the Official London 2012 Live Site in Humberstone Gate West, where you will be able to watch all the live sporting action as well as trying new activities for yourself. 2012 is shaping up to be a year to remember - I hope you enjoy it as much as I intend to! Peter Soulsby City Mayor


Look out for the 2012 stamp next to festivals & events that have been organised to celebrate this very special year.

Experience the atmosphere and excitement of the Queens Jubilee Celebrations and London 2012 Olympics in the city centre this summer! Watch live coverage of the summer’s main events on the Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West and enjoy cultural events, activities, exhibitions and concerts. Highlights include:-

The Big Lunch

Torch Relay and Evening Celebration

Beacon Lighting Festival

Live Olympic & Paralympic coverage on the London 2012 Official Live Site

3rd June, Humberstone Gate West

4th June, Abbey Park

The Jubilee Concert from Buckingham Palace

2nd / 3rd July

from 25th July – 9th September, Humberstone Gate

4th June, Humberstone Gate

Visit the websites for more details or


CHRIST IN THE CENTRE Friday 6th April 10.00am – 12.00noon Leicester City Centre & Humberstone Gate Now in its 10th year, Christ in the Centre will again bring the true meaning of the Easter story to life on the streets of Leicester with a dramatic presentation of Christ’s teaching, trial, passion, crucifixion and resurrection.


CONTINENTAL MARKET Wednesday 11th – Sunday 15th April Humberstone & Gallowtree Gate Find yourself in Paris smelling freshly baked baguettes or spoiling yourself with Belgium's finest mouth-watering chocolate. Stroll the bazaars of Persia in search of sweet baklava, continue your journey into the Tuscan countryside with the finest handmade leather accessories and into deepest Africa and its native artwork. Finally, why not treat yourself to a glass of wine straight from the rolling hills of Provence.

T: (0116) 223 2371 W:



Saturday 21st April & Monday 23rd April 12.00noon – 5.00pm Cultural Quarter & Leicester Market The entertainment begins on Saturday 21st April with a family friendly outdoor festival on Orton Square, featuring live music, dance displays and other activities. With its theme of ‘Kings & Queens of England’ to herald the forthcoming celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the festival promises entertainment for all the family with evening events to keep the party going. Historical and themed street arts and walk-about characters will be in and around the Cultural Quarter. On Monday 23rd April, Leicester Market hosts its annual re-enactment of St George slaying the dragon and rescuing a damsel in distress. Actors will put on a play of the legendary tale in two performances. 500 red roses will be handed out to visitors and a narrator will explain the significance and importance of St George’s legacy.

T: (0116) 238 5085 W:

MOROCCAN MARKET Tuesday 8th May – Saturday 12th May Humberstone Gate Browse the colourful and exciting stalls, enjoy the sounds of live music and sample the flavours of Morocco at a range of stalls selling freshly prepared food. Among the wide variety of traditional Moroccan handicrafts for sale will be rugs, leather goods, jewellery, ceramics and glasswork including tagines and tea glasses, decorative brass and metalwork and a mouth-watering selection of herbs and spices.

T: (0116) 223 2371 W:

LET’S DANCE FESTIVAL Saturday 12th – Sunday 27th May Various Venues


The festival that brings to Leicester the best dance from around the world.

T: (0116) 242 2945 W:

PUCCINI’S LA BOHEME Thursday 17th May 6.00pm Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West


The BBC, The Royal Opera House and Leicester City Council are delighted to welcome you to a magical evening live from Covent Garden. Bring a picnic and chairs and join us for a live relay from the Royal Opera House of one of the most loved of all operas; Puccini’s La Boheme. One freezing Christmas Eve, a struggling poet meets a beautiful, fragile young woman who will change his life forever. If you’ve never been to an opera before, this is the ideal place to start. Performance starts at 7.30pm with pre-performance activities from 6pm. Please note Humberstone Gate West is an alcohol free zone, limited seating will be provided.

T: (0116) 238 5132 E: W:

BIG DANCE SCHOOL PLEDGE WORLD RECORD BREAKING EVENT Friday 18th May 1.00pm Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West The Big Dance School Pledge is a mass participation dance event for schools and takes place on the day that the Olympic torch arrives in the UK. The event aims to showcase a range of different types of dance performed in unusual places and this year will be a world record attempt. Come along and see school groups from across the city and county take part and support them in their world record breaking attempt. Big Dance in the East Midlands has been developed by the Big Dance Hub and supported by Dance4.

T: (0115) 941 0773 W: /


SUMMER FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL Sunday 27th May Leicester Market Sample food and drink from across our region with over 200 stalls, all jam-packed into Leicester’s historic market. From spicy curries from the city’s best Indian restaurants to local cheese and meat farm produce from the counties, there really is something for everyone. As well as the individual stalls, there will be an array of entertainment and cookery demonstrations taking place in the Corn Exchange Square.

T: (0116) 223 2371 W:

THE SPARK CHILDREN’S ARTS FESTIVAL Monday 28th May – Sunday 10th June Various Venues Now in its 10th year, the Spark Children's Arts Festival returns to venues and schools around the city. This two-week festival is packed full of different shows, events and workshops for children and young people aged 0 - 13 years.

T: (0116) 261 6893 W:



Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th June 12 noon each day Bede Park, Mile Straight & Western Boulevard One of Leicester’s biggest outdoor free festivals with activities for all ages, on and off the water. This popular free festival offers activities for all ages including boat trips, live music, an arts and craft street market, children’s fun fair, a variety of food stalls and displays. Highlights on the river include colourful boats from across the region, canoe demonstrations and trips. On land, the festival continues to build on its reputation for great live music by showcasing some of the best bands and artists. Once again there will be an environmental focus to the festival bringing together workshops and displays, helping to raise awareness of environmental issues.

T: (0116) 238 5085 E: W:

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BANDS ON PARKS Sunday 10th June – September 3.00pm - 4.00pm City Parks A season of popular community brass band concerts taking place in summer throughout parks in Leicester. Bring the family for a picnic and listen to music from our local brass bands, on one of our beautiful city parks, for free. Includes the 2012 Bandstand Marathon on Sunday 9th September between 2.00pm - 4.00pm at Abbey Park, featuring The Melton Band.


RADIO 1’s HACKNEY WEEKEND Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th June 4.00pm - 10.00pm Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West


BBC Radio 1 present it’s biggest-ever free, ticketed live music event - the Hackney Weekend 2012. Humberstone Gate West will be part of the fun with the screening of the music live over the whole weekend on the Big Screen. Come down, have fun and dance the night away to Leona Lewis, Tinie Tempah, Plan B, Florence and the Machine and many more. Please note Humberstone Gate West is an alcohol free zone.

T: (0116) 238 5132 E: W:

LIONHEART Thursday 28th June – Tuesday 10th July Orton Square


Marvel at the amazing Lionheart project as three giant lions in a custom-built, 16 metre glass case make up the biggest crochet sculpture in the world. Harking back to the days of travelling menagerie shows, the sculpture is based on the lions in Richard Lionheart’s crest and is hand-crocheted from 36 miles of yarn by artist, Shauna Richardson. Part of the Cultural Olympiad 2012.

T: (0116) 238 5084 E: W:

LEICESTER RACE FOR LIFE 30th June & 1st July Western Park Every two minutes someone in the UK is told they have cancer. Ladies, let’s walk, jog or run Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 2012 to help more of them survive. In 2012 we want more women, raising more money for more triumphs against cancer. Take part for you, for a loved one, for everyone affected by cancer and enter the Leicester 5K or 10K Race for Life now at:

T: 0871 641 111 W:

WIMBLEDON TENNIS FINALS Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th July Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West


As part of a fantastic summer of sport, the Big Screen in Humberstone Gate will be screening both the Women’s and Men's Wimbledon Finals.


FARMER’S FESTIVAL Tuesday 10th July 10.00am – 4.00pm Market Corner, Leicester Market Learn about farming life as the farm yard comes to the city centre. Enjoy an educational day of activities and demonstrations with local farm animals.

T: (0116) 223 2371 W:

LEICESTER BELGRAVE MELA Festival of Indian Culture & South Asian Arts in the City Date tbc 11.00am – 6.00pm Leicester City Centre The famous South Asian arts and Indian cultural festival is back with a glittering mix of live entertainment, celebrity guests, community performances and a fantastic music and dance programme. The event boasts free arts activities for families and the magical Mela Bazaar, featuring mouth-watering Indian food, clothing, jewellery, Asian arts stands and more.

T: (0116) 222 1905/ (0116) 222 1013 W:

RATHAYATRA Sunday 29th July Gallowtree Gate & Cossington Street Recreational Ground Experience a three chariot festival procession and at Cossington Street Park, activities for all the family including festive music and free vegetarian food.

T: (07974) 677170 W: www.iskconleicester/

LEICESTER CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL Saturday 4th August 12noon – 8.00pm Victoria Park Now in its 27th year, Leicester Caribbean Carnival is a celebration of Caribbean cultural identity, social cohesion and creative partnership. The celebration lends itself to embracing art forms from Leicester’s diverse community while at the same time ensuring that the true meaning of the Caribbean Carnival remains intact. Carnival is a platform for Caribbean people to display their true talents through costume, food, music and dance.

T: (0116) 273 6649 W:

LEICESTER FRINGE FESTIVAL Friday 10th August – Thursday 16th August Vaious Locations The Leicester Fringe Festival showcases the best in regional talent across the arts including music, digital arts, photography and comedy to a local and national audience. The event is hosted around the best venues across the city centre, each linked by the traditional open-top buses specially chartered for the event to provide festival-goers unlimited travel between fringe venues. Watch out for Leicester Fringe Festival 2012 announcements over the coming months via the website and social media channels.

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SAFFRON FETE Saturday 11th August 11.00am – 4.00pm Aylestone Recreation Ground The 2012 Carnival parade will leave Goldhill Adventure Playground at 11am and arrive at the park for 12pm for the official opening. On the park there will be stage acts, stalls, hot & cold food, fun family activities, rides, info stalls, sports and much more. Join us for our 2012 celebration.

T: 0778 423 3997

SUMMER SUNDAE WEEKENDER Friday 17th – Sunday 19th August De Monfort Hall & Gardens Summer Sundae Weekender is an award-winning, three-day festival with over 100 acts including Public Image Limited, Asian Dub Foundation, Grace Petrie and Willy Mason plus comedy. Keep an eye on on our website below for details of this year’s line-up, theme and special ticket offers. Come and join us at the East Midlands’ favourite festival!

T: (0116) 233 3111 E: W:

MUSALLAH AL EID Saturday 18th August – subject to moon sighting Spinney Hill Park The Festival marks the end of Ramadhan (Muslim fasting month), beginning with the sighting of the new moon. On the actual day of the festival, people rise early, bathe and put on new clothes. A congregational prayer takes place in the local park, which is organised by the Musallah Al Eid group and at the local Mosques. Muslims pray together and remember the poor and needy by giving alms to charity. Later, meals are shared and gifts are distributed amongst family, friends and the wider community.




Monday August 20th – Monday 27th August Various Venues in Castle Park Area Leicester has many royal connections and in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year the theme of this year’s festival will be Kings & Queens of England. The theme will be highlighted throughout the festival with walking tours, lectures and exhibitions and the popular ‘Hidden Gems’ tours of significant buildings. Leicester Cathedral will host its second Food Fair and will also be the setting for the festival’s headline concert. There will be a host of children’s activities on weekdays at various venues including Newarke Houses Museum, The Guildhall, Jewry Wall Museum and St. Mary De Castro Church. Many of the venues and pubs in the area will be presenting evening entertainment. The festival finale will be the traditional family day at Castle Gardens, featuring historical re-enactments and walk about ‘royal ’characters, live music, arts, crafts and food stalls, boat rides, children’s circus skills and theatre activities as well as the ever popular maypole dancing for all the family.

T: (0116) 238 5083 E:

THE RIDE LEICESTER FESTIVAL Thursday 23rd – Monday 27th August City Centre Five days of cycling fun across the city including the annual Skyride, where you can experience Leicester on traffic-free roads. All you need is your bike and your zest to zoom into the city on two wheels!

T: (0116) 223 2114 W:

SPORTSFEST Saturday 25th August Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West As the Paralympic flame arrives in Leicester, Sportsfest will bring the city centre alive in true celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic spirit. Take part in a wide range of free participatory sports activities for all the family around Leicester’s Big Screen.

T: (0116) 233 3127 E: W:

LEICESTER PRIDE Saturday 1st September Victoria Park Leicester Pride Festival is a colourful and vibrant event celebrating diversity and freedom of expression in Leicester. Highlights include live music, market stalls, funfair rides and health and wellbeing information. The theme for this year’s parade is Masquerade.

T: (0116) 254 7412 W:

KNIGHTON PARK COMMUNITY FUN DAY Sunday 2nd September 11.00am – 5.00pm Knighton Park A great family day out, this annual event includes music, entertainers, food and craft stalls.

T: (0116) 246 0176

LAST NIGHT OF THE PROMS Saturday 8th September Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West


Watch the finale to the world's greatest classical music festival, live from The Royal Albert Hall, on the Big Screen. Bring a picnic, a flag, a passion for pomp and ceremony and enjoy a special evening that rounds off a summer of spectacular events in Humberstone Gate West. Please note limited seating will be provided, Humberstone Gate West is an alcohol free zone.

T: (0116) 238 5132 E: festivals W:

LEICESTER INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th September New Walk Museum & Art Gallery and Leicester Cathedral The finest classical chamber music played by world-class artists within the wonderful surrounds of New Walk Museum’s Art Gallery and Leicester Cathedral. This year, the music of seven brilliant composers is featured including Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

T: (0116) 270 1026 W:




6th April

Christ in the Centre

City Centre & Humberstone Gate

11th – 15th April

Continental Market

Humberstone & Gallowtree Gate

21st April & 23rd April

St. George’s Day Festival & Celebrations

Cultural Quarter & Leicester Market

8th – 12th May

Moroccan Market

Humberstone Gate

12th – 27th May

Let’s Dance Festival

Various Venues

17th May

Puccini’s La Boheme

Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West

18th May

Big Dance School Pledge World Record Breaking Event

Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West

27th May

Summer Food & Drink Festival

Leicester Market

28th May – 10th June

The Spark Children’s Arts Festival

Various Venues

9th & 10th June

Leicester Riverside Festival

Bede Park, Mile Straight & Western Boulevard

10th June – Sept

Bands on Parks

City Parks

23rd & 24th June

Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend

Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West

28th June – 10th July


Orton Square

30th June & 1st July

Leicester Race for Life

Western Park

7th & 8th July

Wimbledon Tennis Finals

Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West

10th July

Farmers Festival

Market Corner, Leicester Market


Leicester Belgrave Mela

City Centre

29th July


Gallowtree Gate & Cossington Street Recreation Ground

4th Aug

Leicester Caribbean Carnival

Victoria Park

10th – 16th Aug

Leicester Fringe Festival

Various Locations

11th Aug

Saffron Fete

Aylestone Recreation Ground

17th – 19th Aug

Summer Sundae Weekender

De Montfort Hall & Gardens

18th Aug

Musallah Al Eid

Spinney Hill Park

20th – 27th Aug

Castle Park Old Town Festival

Venues in Castle Park Area

23rd – 27th Aug

The Ride Leicester Festival

City Centre

25th Aug


Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West

1st Sept

Leicester Pride

Victoria Park

2nd Sept

Knighton Park Community Fun Day

Knighton Park

8th Sept

Last Night of the Proms

Big Screen, Humberstone Gate West

13th – 16th Sept

Leicester International Music Festival

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery and Leicester Cathedral

LEICESTER FESTIVALS & EVENTS TEAM: The Festivals and Events Team directly manage a wide range of activities, including Abbey Park Bonfire and Diwali celebrations. The team also works in partnership with independent organisations to co-promote and deliver festivals and events. The team provide advice and support for the community and festival organisers on staging outdoor and venue based festivals and events within the city and also take bookings for parks and open spaces where festivals and events are held.

CONTACT US: T: 0116 238 5082 E: W: @leicesterfest

Leicester Festivals & Events, 1st Floor, Wellington House, Wellington Street, Leicester, LE1 6HL

ADMISSION INFORMATION: Most of the festivals and events listed in this guide are free. For further details, please visit:

TRAVEL INFORMATION: For information on visiting our events: By public transport, contact Traveline on 0871 200 2233. By rail, contact 08457 484 950. By bicycle: On foot: and By car: All details are correct at the time of going to print. We apologise for any changes which may be necessary.

Produced by Leicester City Council Marketing & Brand Management Team Printed on 9lives™ 100% Recycled.


Leicester Festivals & Events Spring Summer 2012