What’s On at Ashbourne Festival - 20th June to 6th July 2014

C-12 Dance Theatre's 'Trolleys'

C-12 Dance Theatre's 'Trolleys' - Credit: Archant

The annual Ashbourne Festival aims to bring some of the finest classical and contemporary artists to the area

Helen Mort

Helen Mort - Credit: Archant

Over the years Ashbourne Festival has attracted some of the best musicians, comedians, artists and writers in the world and 2014 is set to be no exception. The two-day International Streetfest, which opens the festival on 21st and 22nd June, will give visitors the chance to see talented street performers from as far afield as Hawaii, the USA and Australia – including C-12 Dance Theatre and their innovative street ballet with supermarket trolleys.

Stuart Maconie

Stuart Maconie - Credit: Archant

The main festival line-up features talks from well-known broadcasters such as historian and Georgian town expert Dan Cruickshank, radio presenter Stuart Maconie and Archers actor Tim Bentinck.

Stand-up comedy performances from Jo Caulfield, Matt Richardson and Paul Tonkinson will take place on Comedy Night and for music-lovers, the tribute act ‘Not the Rolling Stones’, Dante Quartet, local choir Cadenza, Ashbourne Town Band and the female barber shop ensemble, The Affinity Show Choir, will offer something to suit all tastes.

The festival’s drama and literary offering remains as varied as ever. International folk artist Lester Simpson will perform his moving piece ‘Standing in Line’ to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War I, and Tayo Aluko will recall the life of singer, actor and activist Paul Robeson in his world-renowned play ‘Call Mr Robeson’. The Scary Little Girls’ production of ‘The Full Bronte’ and the much-loved Poetry in the Garden, held at the picturesque Dove Cottage with Derbyshire Poet Laureate Helen Mort, both present unmissable occasions.

Once again, Ashbourne Town Hall’s elegant ballroom will be the backdrop for the annual Summer Art Exhibition, which showcases work from both professional and amateur artists, and this year’s Festival Fringe will offer a variety of talks, walks and community-based events.


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20th June - Not the Rolling Stones 8pm

22nd June - Cadenza choir and Ashbourne Town Band workshop and concert

25th June - Tayo Aluko 7.30pm

27th June - The Dante Quartet 7.30pm

28th June - Affinity Show Choir 7.30pm

2nd July - Standing in Line 7.30pm

6th July - Picnic in the Park 1pm

Talks & Literature

21st June - Tim Bentinck 7.30pm

23rd June - Danny Wells ‘Art of the Garden’ 7pm

24th June - ‘Idleness: Virtue or Vice?’ Discussion 7.30pm

26th June - Creative writing workshop with Cathy Grindrod 2pm

28th June - Poetry workshop with Helen Mort 10am

28th June - Poetry in the Garden at Dove Cottage 2.30pm

29th June - Dan Cruickshank ‘Georgian Towns: Works of Art by Accident’ 7.30pm

1st & 3rd July - Danny Wells History talk and tour

3rd July - CW Sellors Blue John talk and demo 7.30pm

5th July - Stuart Maconie ‘The People’s Songs’ 7.30pm

Drama & Comedy

26th June - Riding Lights Theatre Company ‘Roughshod – Incredible’ 7.30pm

30th June and 1st, 4th and 5th July - Outlaw Shakespeare Company ‘Taming of the Shrew’ 7.30pm

1st July - Scary Little Girls ‘The Full Brontë’ 7.30pm

4th July - Comedy Night with Jo Caulfield, Matt Richardson and Paul Tonkinson 8pm


21st to 28th June - Summer Art Exhibition in Ashbourne Town Hall

27st June and 1st July - ‘Catherine Booth: Born in Ashbourne’ tour with Danny Wells

28th June - Young Musician Competition

Tickets are on sale at the new Visitor Information Centre in Ashbourne Town Hall and online at www.ashbournefestival.org