Belper Arts Festival reveals full line-up for 2017

Poet and Radio 3 presenter Ian McMillan performs with Luke Carver Goss.
Poet and Radio 3 presenter Ian McMillan performs with Luke Carver Goss.

The final details of the Belper Arts Festival programme for 2017 have been revealed, promising a fantastic month of creative action to come.

The annual festival returns from Saturday, April 29 with a heady mix of art, music, theatre, dance, photography, film, literature, comedy, performances, talks and workshops.

For the first time, events will begin outside Belper with DiVA, a new play written by festival boss George Gunby, about a Hollywood star returning to England after falling on hard times.

Director Fliss Goldsmith said: “We were looking for the right venue, and couldn’t find one in Belper - so we’re off to Wirksworth Town Hall.”

The Bank Holiday weekend continues with the Belper Arts Trail, two days of street theatre, buskers, children’s entertainers and creative demonstrations bringing together more than 140 artists at 50 venues across the town.

Expect highlights like Captain Dan, Word on the Street and the Djembe Drummers.

Later in the month, top draws include a performance by poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan, accompanied by musician Luke Carver Goss for a night of verse and humour at Christ Church on May 12.

St Peter’s Church will be the destination of choice for music fans, with a stellar line up of concerts including the seven Kanneh-Mason brothers and sisters, dubbed by Simon Cowell as ‘the most talented family in the world.’

The Derwent Singers will perform Mozart’s Requiem at St Peter’s on May 13, with Lucy Philips and Beate Toyka presenting a programme of springtime classical music that weekend too.

For a slightly different sound, Dave Sturt , bass player with prog legends Gong, will soundtrack archive footage for Past Lives: Belper On Film on May 14, and then performs his latest album on May 20.

That day will also see Karen England, one of the renowned Opera Babes, perform with the Dalesmen for A Last Night of the Proms concert.

On May 25, With A Little Help from My Friends will pay tribute to the many artists who have died from cancer in recent months, with profits going to charity.

Elsewhere, there will be crafts in the woods, storytelling and Shakespeare, before the festival wraps up with an expanded Open Houses weekend, May 27-29.

For full programme details, visit or collect a brochure from any of the festival venues.

Tickets for most events can be purchased at Oxfam, on King Street, or online.