VIDEO: First ever Belper youth market and arts festival launch draw hundreds of people into town

Belper was filled with creative talent on Saturday - as two entirely new events combined to bring hundreds of people into the town.

The launch of Belper Arts Festival saw a month-long exhibition at the venue No 28 in the town get under way, while the ‘Beast of Belper’ prowled the town to promote a show scheduled for later in the month.

Meanwhile, young dancers, singers and entrepreneurs were performing and selling their wares at the Market Place for the first-ever Belper Youth Market.

Arts Festival organiser George Gunby said: “Combining the youth market and the start of the festival seemed to work really well. It helped the arts festival get off to a flying start. The exhibition was really busy on Saturday.

“At the weekend the festival will start to escalate and we really get into the programme of events. It was great to have Wildlife Artist Linda Wain come and open the festival - her art work is known all over the world and is already planning for next year. To have her interest carrires a lot of weight.

“Elsewhere, it was great to see the Beast of Belper looking longingly at the meat in the butchers window and seeing the faces of people in Fresh Basil when he joined them for a coffee.”

The festival comprises more than a hundred events spread throughout May.

On Saturday, May 4, gift-makers,caterers, bakers and photographers were among the stalls at the youth market. It is hoped the event will be the first of many.

Organiser Kathy Fairweather said: “There was some amazing talent both from the creative and performing side. It was really good to see so many young people working towards a very successful future.

“It was well supported by the public with a really good turn-out. The young people enjoyed the chance to showcase their talent and get some constructive feedback from then public.”

To see this week’s arts festival listings, turn to page 23 or go to our website at, where you can also see a video from the weekend’s events.

Among the events will be a charity art auction in the Lion Hotel, in the town, at 7pm on Sunday, May 12. There is also a Ceilidh at Strutts Community Centre on Saturday, May 11, by the Mam Torists.

And Art in the Park in the Memorial Gardens on Saturday, May 11, sees artists, a craft fair, facepainting, monster sketching, a big canvas, music and refreshments.

Let us know your thoughts on the arts festival so far too. You can comment on our website, email us at or write to us at the address on page 2.