The 2018 Derby Festé

Widely regarded as one the biggest and best annual street-fest celebrations in the UK, Derby Festé has a reputation for bringing something new to the city each year.  And the 2018 edition will be no different, with a contemporary take on the 250thanniversary of the modern circus.


Three days of music, dance, world-class performances, street art, sideshows and sheer fun will spill out on to the streets between Thursday September 27 and Saturday September 29 as the city’s annual festival provides “a bag full of tricks and a sprinkling of magic to the city centre”, and also celebrates 10 years of Derby’s art centre, QUAD.


Performances across the Festé weekend will largely celebrate the many different genres of circus, from dance and music, to thrilling acrobatics and sideshows.


Festé kicks-off on Thursday evening with the first of three performances of an exhilarating circus show by French company, Circa Tsuica.  ‘Now or Never’ will be staged each day of Festé, and is billed as a reinvention of circus traditions for the 21stcentury.  The party will start on Bass Recreation Ground as 11 performers mingle with the crowd, making and sharing Breton crêpes, before they launch into a feast of music and circus.  They will then fly, fling and swing across the tent on trapezes, tightropes, Cyr wheels, trick bicycles, trampolines and seesaws.


While most of the fun at Festé can be enjoyed for free, tickets for ‘Now of Never’ are limited, and are priced at £10 each.


Friday night will see the opening of the Jon Marshall’s traditional 1950’s Side Shows on the Market Place alongside the virtual reality piece, ‘VR Playground’ by Thrill Laboratory.  The live performance will be courtesy of French company Cie Dyptik who will thrill the crowds with their energetic hip-hop dance performance ‘D Construction’, staged around metal scaffolding.


On Saturday, the streets will burst to life from 11am, with a circus procession through St Peters Quarter and the Cathedral Quarter – trumpeting the start of street entertainment performance across the city centre including live music, circus performances, dance, and some incredible characters.


Saturday evening will start with a mesmerising parade ‘FierS á Cheval’ – a company of beautiful larger than life glowing “white horses” – which will make their way through the Cathedral Quarter.  The parade will finish in the Market Place, where visitors can then enjoy light projections dancing on the buildings in a finale to celebrate 10 years of QUAD.


Elsewhere, the city’s popular Bustler Market will be bringing street food and drinks from around the world at Riverlights and the Market Place on Friday evening, and all day on Saturday.


For more information about Derby Festé, visit for ‘Now or Never’ by Circus Tscuia are available at

Image credit: ©MarcVanCanneyt