Leicester’s festivals already draw thousands of people from around the country, and in the case of Diwali – the world.
This year the city council is aiming to attract more visitors by highlighting the best of the events set to run from May to September in a new summer programme.
The Summer of Festivals brings together 10 major events taking place across the city, ranging from live music to family-themed fun and breath-taking public art projects.
Leicester’s City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby
said: “We’re already very proud of our diverse range of festivals which offer something for everyone, but this year we’ve got even more to offer with brand new events that we hope will also become part of our annual programme.
“As there’s so much going on we’ve picked out some of the key events to give everyone a flavour of what they can expect if they join us in Leicester this summer.”
The programme begins with the return of Bring The Paint, which last year attracted the cream of graffiti artists from across the world to create stunning, large-scale public street art on public buildings. It takes place from May 20 to 26, and as well as the creation of giant murals will include music, an art fair, street food, exhibitions and workshops.
Leicester’s ever-popular Riverside Festival will bring two days of family-friendly fun and activities to the banks of the River Soar, bringing alive the Mile Straight, Bede Park, Castle Gardens and Western Boulevard. The free festival will include fun on and off the river, live music and street performances, art, dancing and activities for all ages on June 1 and 2.
Revive festival is a first for 2019: running over three weekends in June it celebrates the Mods of the 1960’s and gives people a chance to experience the decade through vintage fairs, live music and events, and more scooters than on the set of Quadrophenia. Inspired by the Mods: Shaping a Generation and Modified exhibitions running at New Walk Museum and Soft Touch Arts, Revive will take place at various venues across the city from June 15 to 30.
Also unique to 2019 is One Giant Leap – a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landings. Running from July to October, activities range from a family astronomy session to a night in the museum, as well a whole series of events at the National Space Centre.
Leicester’s Caribbean Carnival has grown into one of the largest outside London since it was first held in 1985. This year’s theme is ‘The Windrush’ with the focus on the Caribbean community’s contribution to the UK. As well as a street parade of multi-coloured floats through the city centre there’ll be a massive party with music and food on the city’s Victoria Park, all on August 3.
New to Leicester this summer are the Gigs in the Gardens – a series of large-scale outdoor concerts in the beautiful surroundings of De Montfort Hall taking place between August 16-26. Kaiser Chiefs, the Vaccines, Jax Jones and Busted are among the top acts performing there, as well as DJ sets from Groove Armada, Pete Tong and Danny Howard. The series will end on a classical note with a family performance from the Bardi Orchestra rounded off with a firework finale.
From August 17-31, the two-week Ride Leicester festival will bring more than 30 fun, free cycling-related activities to the city centre and neighbourhoods, aimed at helping people to enjoy discovering the city by bike.
The festival’s flagship event is Let’s Ride Leicester, on August 25, when thousands of riders of all abilities join a 6km traffic-free, mass participation ride across the city centre, with cycling-themed attractions and activities along the route and the chance to ride your bike through Leicester City’s King Power Stadium.
The Leicester Belgrave Mela returns on August 18, bringing a day of amazing street performances, mouth-watering South Asian cuisine and the Mela shopping bazaar. Visitors can enjoy awe-inspiring performances from the Grand Indian Circus and music from the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band.
From August 19-23, Leicester's City Festival will deliver five fun-packed days of street entertainment, sports, culture, music and arts. With a theme of ‘Out of This World’, the celebrations will continue into the early evening, with a number of concerts on the main festival stage.
There's a celebratory event to round off Leicester's Summer of Festivals, as Leicester Pride - the city’s annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) festival - takes to the streets. Join the parade and march with pride through the city centre on August 31, before enjoying music, a fun fair and great family entertainment on Victoria Park.
Download the Leicester City Council events programme here.
Full details of the Summer of Festivals programme and other things to do in Leicester are available at visitleicester.info