Derby city centre will take on a Covent Garden-style atmosphere again this September with a packed day of family-friendly street entertainment.
Derby Festé, which will return to the city on Friday September 27 and Saturday September 28, attracts more than 30,000 visitors to the city centre over the two-day festival which features performers from across Europe in a celebration of street entertainment including dance, contemporary circus, music and comedy.
The second day of this year’s Derby Festé on Saturday September 28 will feature a wide range of international performers who will entertain the crowds across the Cathedral Quarter, St Peters Quarter and intu Derby.
The Market Place will again be at the centre of the action with a number of stunning acts.
‘Ockham’s Razor: Belly of the Whale’ (1.45pm and 4.30pm) will focus on a giant half-circular see-saw for a performance blending circus skills, humour and breath-taking moments of risk.
Also on the Market Place at 1.15pm and 4.15pm will be UK outdoor premier of ‘PULSE!’ which is an adrenaline-fuelled dance and live music show performed by Joss Arnott Dance around a unique 3.5m high percussion wheel which has been engineered by Rolls-Royce in Derby.
Meanwhile, ‘Fantabulosa!’ promises a children’s cabaret show featuring interactive story-telling, music and lots of glitter courtesy of the UK’s leading drag artists. Performances will start at 12 noon and 5pm at the Waterfall with activities, games and the chance to meet the performers.
Elsewhere on the Market Place, the unmissable ‘Cie Barolosolo: Ileo’ is a truly unique and hilarious performance at 11.30am and 2.30pm set in a pool that is full of water – despite one of the performers being terrified of water.
And two brand new shows ‘Un Dia’ and ‘Jukebox’ that are still under development will be the ‘Test Bed’ features of this year’s Festé with Derby audiences asked for their feedback before the performances are finalised for future street festivals across Europe.
Entertainment in the nearby Cathedral Square in Iron Gate will see the musical adventure of Sam – transformed into superhero ‘Bicycle Boy’ – who will need the audience’s stamina to help pedal power the performances at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
Cathedral Green will be home to ‘Splash’ which, having first performed the previous afternoon, will treat the crowds to a beautiful story about growing up, family and independence at 1pm and 4pm. The story centres on a mysterious underwater world is brought to life by performance company Extraordinary Bodies with a multi-sensory show of circus, puppetry and British Sign Language.
The Spot will be the transformed into the Festé Street Circus between 12pm and 5pm with a spectacular line up of skilled performers including jugglers, acrobats, contortionists as well as fire artist and compere ChangoFuego.
Elsewhere in St Peters Quarter, ‘Lion Fish’ – who are brightly-coloured sea creatures on stilts – will mingle with and entertain the crowds in St Peter’s Street at 12.15pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm.
The other street performances on St Peter’s Street will be at 11am, 1.15pm and 3.30pm with ‘Around the World with Philias Fogg: Day 79’ following the antics of the intrepid explorer and his valet Passepartout trying to coerce their hot air balloons to go in the right direction and cross the finish line at the Reform Club.
Visitors to intu Derby will be treated to amazing feats of grace and brute strength when ‘Strong Lady’ Betty Brawn flexes her muscles for breathtaking shows at 2pm and 3.30pm.
The day will finish with ticketed performances of Close-Act Theatre’s ‘Malaya’ at Bass’ Recreation Ground starting at 8pm which will take the audience through a journey in time moving from dream-like tranquility to explosive nightmares.
The other ticketed performance is by award-winning Catalan circus company Los Galindos who will perform ‘UduL’ in a small yurt erected on Cathedral Green with just 90 tickets available for each of the four one-hour shows – afternoon and early evening – on both Friday and Saturday.
Friday September 27 focuses on the Festé theme this year of ‘Space Moon and Tides’ and starts at 4.30pm with performances on Cathedral Green, the chance to see ‘The Museum of the Moon’ installation in the Cathedral and the ‘Full Moon Procession’ of futuristic creatures starting at the Spot at 8pm and finishing at the Cathedral at 9pm.
Derby Festé is produced and presented by Déda, Derby LIVE, QUAD and Derby Theatre in association with the Without Walls Touring Network Partnership – a project that takes world-class UK outdoor arts to parks, square and high streets across England.
It is funded by Arts Council England and Derby City Council with sponsorship from Derby Cathedral, University of Derby, Cathedral Quarter, Foundation Derbyshire and intu Derby.
Stephen Munn is the Artistic Lead of Derby Festé and Artistic Director of Déda in Derby which is a nationally-renowned centre for dance, contemporary circus and outdoor performance.
He said: “The free Saturday street entertainment never fails to attract thousands of people in to the city centre.
“There will be so much to see from thrilling acrobats to hilarious walk about street theatre. The main challenge is to pick up a programme early and plan the day so as not to miss any of the fantastic acts.”
The Saturday street entertainment and Friday’s performances are free of charge. Tickets for both ‘Malaya’ and UduL’ are available online at the Déda Box Office 01332 370911; Déda website and for information about all the performances at Derby Festé please visit the website and follow on social media.