Ashbourne Festival 2015 - mini events guide

This year’s festival takes places from 19th June to 5th July

Performances that aim to delight, inspire and amuse are in store for visitors to this year’s Ashbourne Festival. Celebrating classical and contemporary arts, the festival begins with an energetic musical tribute to Michael Jackson, followed by the equally lively International Streetfest, which attracts talented artists from across the world. Performances range from a trapeze fairytale and a roving theatrical experience to The Smallest Theatre in the World - a two-seater motorcycle side car where festival-goers can enjoy the epic King Kong.

The main festival line-up includes talks from former MP Edwina Currie, historian Lucy Worsley and broadcaster and food critic Jay Rayner. A talk on the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard promises to be both fascinating and intriguing, whilst verse-lovers will make a beeline for Poetry in the Garden at Offcote Grange, with performance poet John Berkavitch.

The Comedy Night’s crowd-pleasing offering boasts radio and television stars Gary Delaney and Paul Sinha of ITV’s The Chase. Continuing the lighter mood, but with a more poignant tone, is Geoffrey Holland’s tribute to comedian Stan Laurel – This is My Friend Mr Laurel.

The musical offering includes shows from soul and R&B star Geno Washington, ceilidh band Pandemonium and the Fiori Musicali chamber ensemble, who will play in the atmospheric surroundings of St Oswald’s Church. At the opposite end of the musical spectrum is Strange Face, a fascinating insight into the discovery of unpublished recordings by influential 1960’s musician Nick Drake.

The Summer Art Exhibition in Ashbourne Town Hall will once again showcase work from professional and amateur artists, enhanced by an art competition supported by St John Street Gallery. As part of a month-long residency, sculptor Rachel Carter will be developing new work in a temporary studio throughout June.

For full details visit Tickets are available from Ashbourne Visitor Information Centre


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19 Michael Jackson Tribute 8pm

20 Pandemonium Ceilidh 7.30pm

24 Strange Face: Adventures with a lost Nick Drake recording 7.30pm

26 Fiori Musicali 7.30pm

27 Geno Washington 8pm

30 Wobble and Wheeze 7.30pm

5 Jul Picnic in the Park 1pm

Talks & literature

19-5 Jul Poetry Trail

22 ‘Ronald Pope: Lost Sculpture’ by art historian Dr Robert Burstow 7.30pm

23 Rousseau Salon: This is Mine, A Source of Inequality 7.30pm

27 Poetry workshop with John Berkavitch 10am

27 Poetry in the Garden at Offcote Grange 2.30pm

28 ‘My Dining Hell’ by journalist, writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner 7.30pm

1 Jul ‘The Staffordshire Hoard ’ by Dr Kevin Leahy 7.30pm

2 Evening with Edwina Currie 7.30pm

4 ‘A Night of Murder’ by Lucy Worsley 7.30pm

Drama & comedy

25 This Is My Friend Mr Laurel 7.30pm

3 Jul Comedy Night with Gary Delaney, Paul Sinha, Julian Deane and Sally-Anne Hayward 8pm

4 Peakland Players acting workshop at 10am, followed by a performance of ‘Longitude and Servitude’ at 2pm

Other events

3-28 June Residency: Sculptor Rachel Carter

20-21 International Streetfest

21-27 Summer Art Exhibition

27 Young Musician Competition 1pm