Leicester’s City Festival is back and better than ever for its 6th year. This year’s festival takes place between Friday 17th and Monday 27th August in the heart of the city and celebrates Leicester’s diversity. Bringing the city to life with street entertainment, sports, culture, tours, art, heritage as well as many other interesting, entertaining and culturally diverse events. The festival has something for everyone wanting to see the city at its finest. 

The festival is made up of lots of smaller events that are independent of each other happening throughout the fun-packed 11 days. This year sees new additions being made to the festival, such as the City Street element broadening. Old favourites also return as the Outdoor Cinema makes another appearance for audiences to enjoy.  Boredom will not be an issue as each venue has 2 to 3 events a day. So, you can choose what you want to see and get involved however you wish. 

 An exciting part of the festival that you definitely do not want to miss is this year’s City Streets element which takes place between Wednesday 22nd – Saturday 25th August. City Streets is now in its 2nd year, and is a developing street art festival featuring local, national and international street artists from across Europe. This is a great opportunity for those that want to experience something they haven’t been able to see before. This event has the aim of bringing interactive street theatre to the masses. All of these particular performances are based in the city centre and are easily accessible to all. 

When we say this festival is an inclusive one we mean it. It brings multiple cultures and heritages together, allowing refugees to showcase their talents as part of Journeys Festival.

Leicester’s City festival gives you every reason to venture out of your house this (fingers crossed), warm and sunny August. So get out there and soak up as much of the city’s events, culture, heritage and entertainment as possible!

City Streets events in the City Centre: 

Steli by Stalker Teatro

Stalker Teatro have worked together since 1975, the heyday of Italy’s post-68 cultural and political uproar. Using a distinctive style developed from site-specific events, performance art and participatory theatre, the company’s work is characterised by a strong commitment to artistic experimentation within socially sensitive or challenging situations. Steli is an interactive urban performance with a striking visual impact that bridges contemporary art and live performance. A contemporary happening addressed to a new and wide-ranging audience, the project questions the theme of living and inhabiting architecture in post-industrial cities.

Wednesday 22nd August 

Block by NoFit State and Motionhouse

What happens when dance and circus collide? When they converge, rub against each other, blend into one another? Leading UK companies NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse bring together their unique styles in BLOCK, a powerful fusion of dance and circus that pushes the limits of both art forms. With its daring physicality, split-second timing and thrilling feats, BLOCK leaves audiences gasping. 

Twenty oversized blocks, fashioned to resemble giant concrete Jenga blocks, are deconstructed and reformed into an infinite variety of shapes for the performers to play on, move with and explore. BLOCK is about life in the city; its contradictions and challenges.

Wednesday 22 & Thursday 23 August

Baba Yaga’s House by Dizzy O’Dare

Baba Yaga͚’s House is a ramshackle old cottage, which roams the land on chicken legs, while Baba flies across the landscape in her giant pestle and mortar, and though she may seem scary, she might tell your fortune, in exchange for a year of your life, or then again, she might just eat you. Inspired by Slavic fairy tales, adapted over centuries to excite and scare children and adults alike. Now awoken from her slumber, 300 years later Baba Yaga flies again. 

Thursday 23 & Friday 24 August

Vegetable Nannies by Plunge Bloom

The Vegetable Nannies have left their allotment behind in favour of some fresh air and an exciting day trip, so keep an eye out for an old pram, brimming with some beautiful Vegetable Babes. Audience can feed, comfort and befriend the likes of Magnus, the ambitious downhill-racing watermelon, Jessica, the sweet-potato beauty queen and David, the talented little marrow whose ambition is to become a screen actor.

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 August


The Invasion by Ljud

An Interplanetary expedition of immigrants from outer space has landed on our planet. Members of the expedition belong to different alien species, but as a reaction to the Earth’s atmosphere they gained a new protective colour, so that humans would not take them too seriously. The invasion is a mixture of a visual spectacle and interaction between audience and actors in an unconventional and exciting new expression based on non-verbal physical theatre and site specific live compositions. Prepare yourself for some truly unexpected, interplanetary dialogue! But please, don’t panic! They come in pink!

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 August

Hold On by Stefano Di Renzo

Playing on and around a self-counterweighted slack rope system. Hold On explores the relationship between a man and the system that governs his life. He holds himself afloat just by the strength of his grip whilst precariously balancing on top of the rope he is holding. He is in control of the system but at the same time, he is controlled by it. He is the intrinsic part of the system, he holds it up, he holds himself up, but if he wants to leave, if he decides to let go, he will fall…

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 August

Jukeboxes by Bootworks Theatre

Two beautiful 1950’s JukeBoxes sit side-by-side. Watch them spring to life as two performers (hidden inside) re-create classic pop music videos in a lip-syncing musical medley. Using props, masks, puppets and a terrible selection of wigs, the kitsch duo brings to life some of our favourite celebrity pop-stars from past and present. The Beatles, Sinead O’Connor, Miley Cyrus, Stevie Wonder and Adele all make cameos – and audiences are encouraged to sing and dance along with the show. Whatever your age, there’s a little something for everyone.

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 August

Bees! The Colony by Artizani

With typical panache and imagination, Artizani and Avanti Display collaborate on a new multi-sensory installation. In BEES! The Colony, audiences wander amongst the honey-perfumed Bee Colony, occasionally cloaked in smoke. Finding a variety ways of viewing and interacting with the contents of 6 impossible Bee Hives. In each there is a surprising conceptual twist, which challenges, charms and confounds expectations – you may find yourself looking into the vastness of space or teased by a telescopic hive soaring into the air.

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 August

Other independent festivals taking place as part of the City Festival include:

Outdoor Cinema 

In Association with Sony TV and Arts Council England. 

Bring your picnic blanket and enjoy a classic Bollywood blockbuster under the stars. For the fourth year running, An Indian Summer’s smash hit Outdoor Cinema will be showcased alongside the finest array of food and drinks.

Friday 17 August, 8.30pm – 11pm, Jubilee Square

Journeys Festival International 

From music, digital arts and discussion, to cutting edge performance. Journeys Festival offers something to suit all ages and interests; helping our city celebrate the artistic talents of exceptional local and international refugee artists. 

Friday 17 – Sunday 26 August, Various venues 

Cosmopolitan carnival

Cosmopolitan Carnival brings together and celebrates all the different cultures within Leicester, this spectacular arts festival takes over the city centre with an array of performances areas and stages hosting local, national and international talent. Concluding with a dazzling grand finale performance.

Saturday 18 August, Humberstone Gate, High Street & Jubilee Square

Leicester Belgrave Mela 

Star Plus and Leicester Belgrave Mela invite you to a day of scintillating entertainment, dazzling street performances, mouth-watering cuisine and dazzling arts and Indian culture. Enjoy a host of South Asian arts and cultural experiences and spot a bargain in the UK’s biggest shopping bazaar.

Sunday 19th August, 11am – 6pm, City Centre 

Old Town Festival

The finale of The City Festival takes place on Jubilee Square. Leicester’s history and heritage are celebrated through themed activities and attractions covering various historical periods of life in The Old Town. 2018 marks the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War 1 which will be marked with a designated WW1 area on the square.

Monday 27th AugustJubilee Square 

For further information on the festival go to visitleicester.info


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