Warning: Dinosaurs are roaming the streets in Chester! #chesterculture

‘You won’t see a tyrannosaur, on the way to the shops. Pretty much all of them have gone the way of Top of the Pops…’

Actually, Biscuithead and The Biscuit Badgers, you’re wrong as dinosaurs are roaring their way into Chester city centre in the shape of two free citywide trails designed to give high street visitors a taste of the Jurassic age, in celebration of Chester Zoo’s popular dinosaur exhibition this summer.

Pre-historic dinosaur fossils and cave finds – many of which were found in the Cheshire region – have been put on display in ten businesses across the city centre as part of a new ‘Dino Chester Trail’. City visitors can pick up a free map to find the fossils, which include a 350 million year old dinosaur footprint, dinosaur bones, shark teeth and a full-size replica Tyrannosaurus Rex skull.

A second ‘Dino Chester Jurassic Facts’ trail launches this Friday (1st July) and will see a range of historic dinosaur facts hidden in a further 40 high street businesses. The trek challenges families to uncover the facts and find the names of ten dinosaurs hiding in the city for the chance to win an annual family pass to Chester Zoo.

To add to the excitement, a life-like Tyrannosaurus Rex from Chester Zoo’s herd of dinosaurs will be making special appearances in the city centre at weekends and Thursday evenings throughout the summer, giving locals and visitors the chance to experience what life was really like when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

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“Having dinosaurs in the city centre is a fantastic addition to our Chester Fiesta events programme this summer and we’re sure it will appeal to people of all ages,” said Julie Charlton, Marketing Manager at CH1ChesterBID, which has partnered with Big Heritage, Chester Zoo and The Grosvenor Museum to deliver this year’s dinosaur-themed trails. “It’s fantastic to have so many of our city centre businesses involved and we believe this campaign will attract thousands of people to our high street, encouraging them to explore new areas of the city and shops they may not have been in before. There are already so many great reasons to visit Chester city centre but with these new dinosaur expeditions, we think this summer will be spectacular!”

City centre locations including Corks Out, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Cotswolds Outdoor and Lakeland all feature on the Dino Chester Trail and the ten fossils have already been put on display within selected stores.

Blackhouse Grill, Deva Travel, Ed’s Easy Diner, Ginger Wine Bar and Deli and Sofa Works are some of the 40 businesses taking part in the ‘Dino Chester Jurassic Facts’ trail, which launches this Friday.

Dean Paton, Managing Director at Chester-based social enterprise Big Heritage, said: “We’ve turned the clock back by more than 400 million years with this new citywide trail and are bringing something that’s fun, exciting and educational to Chester’s high street. The fact that many of the fossils have come from across Cheshire and the Wirral is a huge bonus and it’s fantastic to see them on show for everyone to see in the city centre.”

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Charlotte Smith, head of discovery and learning at Chester Zoo added: “Young or old, people are fascinated by dinosaurs so we’re thrilled to be helping to bring dinosaurs in to Chester city centre with this new citywide trail. The dinosaurs at Chester Zoo have been hugely popular and putting a dinosaur-theme somewhere as historic and iconic as Chester city centre will be a fantastic attraction.”

Both dinosaur trails will be available every day until Sunday 4th September 2016. To find the dinosaurs, city centre visitors need to pick up a free trail map from Chester’s Visitor Information Centre, the Grosvenor Museum, at participating retailers or can download one directly from http://www.experiencechester.co.uk

A New Hope Music Festival. – 17th, 18th and 19th June 2016 – The Carlton Tavern #chesterculture

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The Carlton Tavern, with support from the local music community and chestergigs.com are proud to announce that they will be running a 3 day live music festival starting this Friday, starting at 5pm.

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The event gets off to a cracking start with quality acoustica from Captain Andy Hignett and Dai Banjo, punchy indie from The Jigsaws & Brazen Swagger, Chester Hip Hop from Vil and ending with The Daymons bringing the love, harmonics and a bit of brass to the proceedings.

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On Saturday there’s another packed schedule starting with Carlton favourites and open mic hosts  Bean Rule & Mark Henderson, Urgent modfolk acoustica from Paul Williams, Action Transfers frontman Ian O’ Brien will be bringing 30 years of musical class, plus more leftfield leanings from Shem Sharples and Thor Brown.

After some punky grunge from Ryuko, the event finishes with Wrexham’s synth punk joy Def Neon.

On Sunday Chester Soul Club will be taking over for an afternoon of six decades of Funk & Soul, all on original vinyl. Mark Howell & Russ Hughes are your spinning winners for this Sunday daytime treat.

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And later on Sunday evening, Bean Rule will be hosting an Open Mic session featuring some of the cream of Chester’s gtass roots community.

The venue is completely free entry all weekend will be supplying free munch to soak up the beer and the music.

Come And Join The Alliance.

 

 

The Good Life Experience – 16th, 17th and 18th September 2016 – #chesterculture

tgle-2015-photos-nenad-obradovic-IMG_2085The Good Life Experience presents an impressive and eclectic line-up for the three day festival –now in its third year- from 16th to 18th September 2016 on the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire.

The music and poetry programme is entirely hand-picked by co-founders singer, author and broadcaster Cerys Matthews and music manager Steve Abbot.

Festival goers can look forward to a mix of the very best music with everything from DJ Gilles Peterson, Canadians Gordie Mackeeman + His Rhythm Boys to Saturday night headliners Romanian Gypsy band Fanfare Ciocarlia – which Cerys has described as her favourite live performance of all time – poets John Cooper Clarke + Mike Garry (with his band), The Booka Brass Band from Dublin, Mari Samuelsen + The 12 Ensemble’s performance of Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed, a DJ set from Mercury Rev, Cerys herself performing and much more.

On top of the music, there are some wonderful speakers lined up, including adventurer Ben Fogle, broadcaster Jeremy Vine and multi-award winning author Michael Morpurgo.

There will be an exciting array of world class chefs, all of whom have been challenged to cook over the campfire, from Bill Granger, to Thomasina Miers, Valentine Warner, Welsh barbecuers Hang Fire Smokehouse, Fabulous Baker Tom Herbert, Petersham Nurseries’ Head Chef Damian Clisby, Anna Jones, forager Roger Phillips and many more.

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As founders of homewares brand Pedlars, the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop and award-winning pub The Glynne Arms, co-founders Charlie and Caroline Gladstone know something about hosting a brilliant party. Together with, Cerys and Steve they have created an atmosphere of warmth and inclusion for all ages.

Join the party this year for a weekend celebrating family, friends, dogs, music, talks, adventure, workshops, good food and good drink and The Great Outdoors.

There will be around 40 workshops with traditional craftspeople for all ages, from spoon carving to paddle making, henna art, blacksmithing, axe workshops and more. Almost all these workshops and other activities are free, including axe throwing, archery, tree climbing, tai chi and abseiling to name just a few.

And last but not least there is a wonderful 1930s Vintage Fairground, where all rides are free, running all weekend.

The Good Life Experience
16th, 17th and 18th September 2016
Hawarden Estate
To buy tickets click here
Adults: £69 Non-camping, £99 Camping
12-17 years: £34.50 Non-camping. £64.50 Camping
Under 11s: Free
More information at https://www.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk

Chester Beer & Co – North West Beer Tasting at Chester Beer and Wine, Hoole – Thursday 30th June 2016 – #chesterculture

Thursday 30th June sees the return of Chester Beer & Co‘s  ever popular beer tasting events.

img_0850This beer tasting will feature the best beers from the North West UK paired with some glorious, traditional grub crafted by Chester Beer and Co’s resident head chef, Tom Knox.

Hosted at the award winning Chester Beer & Wine shop in Hoole, you can also enjoy a 10% discount on any extra beers purchased on the night.

But remember, places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment!

Chester Beer & Co presents North West Beer Tasting
Thursday 30th June 2016 – 7pm
Chester Beer and Wine, Hoole
Tickets £18 – click here to book

 

#chesterculture – The Lost Carnival is almost here! Will you support #teamingénue or #teambird? #thelostcarnival

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The Lost Carnival is thrilled to announce a Charleston Dance Off which you can watch online now.

Created by Axis Arts Centre – based at Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire, choreographed by MMUC dance graduate Jordan Williams and supported by a team of six students from the Department of Contemporary Arts, the Charleston Dance-Off will feature throughout the carnival, instructing audiences throughout the evening to learn a swing and jive routine in preparation for a Birds vs. Ingénues dance finale!

Jodie Gibson, Axis Arts Centre Director, says “The carnival thrives on the participation of audiences and what better way to involve them than a high-energy, give-it-a-go dance routine. We are delighted to be working with The Lost Carnival team on this commission, enabling performance students to demonstrate their skills, whilst gaining valuable experience within a professional, high quality outdoor arts event in their University town”.

The Birds and the Ingénues, have been scouring the world to recruit some incredible performers who will join them.

Browse their family albums, get costume ideas, listen to the podcasts and make a choice who to support at www.thelostcarnival.org.uk.

The Birds exude mystery and swagger, dark glamour and intoxicating performance. They are out to clear their name after being accused of sabotage at the 2015 Lost Carnival in Bury. Encounter the charismatic leader of The Bird Carnival, Sergei Bird, their glittering star and aerial gymnast Anastasiya Abramovich and the mischevious Maks Mager the magician at the event. Also performing for #teambird are incredible circus artist and trampoline acrobat Max Calaf Seve, master multi-tasker Rimski on his unique bicycle piano and La Sibylle, a curious female prophetess.

The Ingénues seem to be the heroes of the story with sequins, sparkle and colourful shine aplenty. Look out for Popo Ingénue, the Ingénue Carnival’s inspirational and adventurous leader, Strongman Ivor Pavlov and the impeccable Clare V’oyant at the event. Also performing for #teamingénue are Pif Paf Theatre with Planetary – 3 travellers on their spinning planet forged from 80 metres of steel pipe – plus unforgettable aerial tree-top performance and ground acrobatics from Whispering Woods.

It looks like they weren’t always such rivals though…

Getting the entire carnival crowd going will be the infectious Voodoo Love Orchestra with their big band sounds, plus many other intriguing acts.

Show your support for The Birds or The Ingénues throughout the evening (they will need your help) and witness a thrilling culmination if you dare.

David Agnew, Producer of The Lost Carnival and Director of So It Is says “We can’t wait to step into the unforgettable world of the Lost Carnival this May and welcome audiences for an evening of adventure as two of the greatest carnivals of all time battle for your affections. The Birds and the Ingénues need your family to decide who you will support. Share with your family and friends which carnival family you think should reign supreme using #teambird #teamingenue and #thelostcarnival. We are now counting down the days to find out who will win The Battle of the Carnivals.”

The Battle of the Carnivals is a story beyond your wildest imagination from award-winning producers Wild Rumpus (Just So Festival) and So It Is (Bury Met, Ramsbottom Festival), brought to life by theatre partner LASTheatre. Meet The Birds and The Ingénues – two rival carnival families battling for supremacy. Expect spellbinding theatre and enthralling installations, circus, music, visual trickery and sideshows. Enjoy a magical evening with family and friends.

Will you support #teamingénue or #teambird? Their fate is in your hands as the audience gets to choose who will be crowned the most glorious carnival ever at the end of each evening.
 
Start the adventure now. Buy tickets, choose which family you will support, follow the podcast, intriguing clues, secret messages, dressing up and reading inspiration.

The Lost Carnival
Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th and Monday 30th May 2016
Queen’s Park, Crewe
£12

Under 3 years: Free
Sign up to the newsletter at www.thelostcarnival.org.uk

Follow The Lost Carnival on Facebook and Twitter #thelostcarnival.  

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#chesterculture – Gladfest – Gladstone’s Library – Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September 2016.

The UK’s friendliest literary festival returns Gladfest returns with another programme of the best and brightest writing talents, from old friends returning with their latest books to new-to-Gladfest stars.

The three day literary celebration, held at the UK’s only Prime Ministerial Library in Hawarden, will be welcoming high profile and internationally renowned writers, novelists, poets and academics for its annual festival Gladfest from Friday 2nd September to Sunday 4th September 2016.  Now into its fourth year, Gladfest is back and it’s better than ever.

loyd-grossman_239116kHighlights include Val McDermid (Splinter the Silence) discussing what compels us to consume crime fiction; Scarlett Thomas (The Seed Collectors) who explores her complex relationship with realism and fantasy; Loyd Grossman (Benjamin West and the Struggle to be Modern) on the Georgian craze for history as expressed in books, prints and paintings; Guy Cuthbertson’s perspective on Wilfred Owen and the WWI poets and Richard Holloway (A Little History of Religion) who muses on religious experiences and expressions.

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Michel Faber and Sarah Perry will make a welcome return with their latest books, Undying and The Essex Serpent after sell-out slots at last year’s festival.

Further highlights include Sir Anthony Seldon (Cameron at 10: The Inside Story) on contemporary politics and education; Rachel Holmes who delves into the radical lives of Eleanor Marx and Sylvia Pankhurst; Andrew Tate exploring the ruined futures of dystopian fiction; Ian Parks who considers the poetry of C.P. Cavafy and Peter Blair charting the meteoric rise of contemporary flash fiction.

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If you’re a little more hands-on, there will be workshops throughout the weekend sharpening manuscripts with Francesca Haig (The Fire Sermon), prioritising workload with Michael Nobbs (Drawing Your Life), using the imagination as a literary device with Peter Moore (The Weather Experiment) and creating comics with Simon Grennan (Dispossession).

fantastic20mr20fox201_1For younger Gladfesters, there’s an expanded programme of Young People’s Events and a series of interactive activities inspired by the books of Roald Dahl who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. Young people can explore the poetry of Revolting Rhymes, the characters of Fantastic Mr Fox, the language of The BFG and create prints to take home inspired by Dahl’s marvellous animals and creature creations.

Plus there’s the all-new Gladfest market place filled with the best local designers and contemporary crafts, the Gladbooks bookstall stocking reads from festival speakers (plus the opportunity to get them signed), the Food for Thought servery open throughout the day for delicious homemade hot and cold food, and the Gladbar ready and waiting to serve up festival tipples.

As one of the UK’s only festivals with no green room and no backstage area, you never know who you’ll bump into. Mingle with like-minded festival-goers, share a fireside drink with the authors and really make the most of Gladfest 2016.

For the full lineup click here,
Click here to view the official Gladfest 2016 programme

Gladfest
Friday 2nd September to Sunday 4th September 2016. gladfest20201620speakers
Weekend Tickets: £55
Day Tickets: £30 and Workshop Day Tickets: £40.
Individual event tickets are priced from £7.
For more information call Gladstone’s Reception on 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org.


General release opens at 9am on Wednesday 18th May.

Friends priority booking opens at 9am on Wednesday 4th May.
Friends may book tickets for themselves and up to two guests.

Sign up as a Friend for pre-release tickets, exclusive Gladfest accommodation and a host of other benefits.

 

#chesterculture – The Lost Carnival 2016 – Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th and Monday 30th May 2016 – #thelostcarnival

Over a century after the mysterious Lost Carnival disappeared, The Lost Carnival will appear at Queen’s Park this May. For three short nights only, you can step into a world unlike any other in this large-scale outdoor immersive theatre experience from award-winning producers Wild Rumpus (Just So Festival) and So It Is (Bury Met, Ramsbottom Festival), brought to life by theatre partner LAS Theatre.

The Battle of the Carnivals is a story beyond your wildest imagination.

Meet The Birds and The Ingénues – two rival carnival families battling for supremacy. Expect spellbinding theatre and enthralling installations, circus, music, visual trickery and sideshows.


The Birds and the Ingénues, have been scouring the world to recruit some incredible performers who will join them as they battle to be crowned the most glorious carnival ever. It’s time to pin your colours to the mast. #teamingénue or #teambird?

Browse their family albums, get costume ideas, make a choice who to support and help decide the most incredible contest in carnival history at http://www.thelostcarnival.org.uk.

The Birds exude mystery and swagger, dark glamour and intoxicating performance. They are out to clear their name after being accused of sabotage at the 2015 Lost Carnival in Bury. Encounter the charismatic leader of The Bird Carnival, Sergei Bird, their glittering star and aerial gymnast Anastasiya Abramovich and the mischevious Maks Mager the magician at the event. Also performing for #teambird are incredible circus artist and trampoline acrobat Max Calaf Seve, master multi-tasker Rimski on his unique bicycle piano and La Sibylle, a curious female prophetess.

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The Ingénues seem to be the heroes of the story with sequins, sparkle and colourful shine aplenty. Look out for Popo Ingénue, the Ingénue Carnival’s inspirational and adventurous leader, Strongman Ivor Pavlov and the impeccable Clare V’oyant at the event. Also performing for #teamingénue are Pif Paf Theatre with Planetary – 3 travellers on their spinning planet forged from 80 metres of steel pipe – plus unforgettable aerial tree-top performance and ground acrobatics from Whispering Woods.
Getting the entire carnival crowd going will be the infectious Voodoo Love Orchestra with their big band sounds, plus many other intriguing acts. Show your support for The Birds or The Ingénues throughout the evening (they will need your help) and witness a thrilling culmination if you dare.

David Agnew, Producer of The Lost Carnival and Director of So It Is says “We can’t wait to step into the unforgettable world of the Lost Carnival this May and welcome audiences for an evening of adventure as two of the greatest carnivals of all time battle for your affections. The Birds and the Ingénues need your family to decide who you will support. Share with your family and friends which carnival family you think should reign supreme using #teambird #teamingenue and #thelostcarnival. We are now counting down the days to find out who will win The Battle of the Carnivals.”

Keep your ears to the ground for more news in … all we can reveal is get your dancing shoes ready.

Start listening to the fictional radio documentary podcasts by sleuth Arthur Bird at http://www.thelostcarnival.org.uk. Follow the story and use the podcasts and clues to uncover the carnival’s mysteries. Tell Arthur what you think on The Lost Carnival Facebook page to help influence the drama and investigation in advance and at the live event.

Buy tickets, choose which family you will support, follow the podcast, intriguing clues, secret messages, dressing up and reading inspiration. The adventure starts now!

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The Lost Carnival
Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th and Monday 30th May 2016
Queen’s Park, Crewe
£12

Under 3 years: Free
Follow The Lost Carnival on Facebook and Twitter #thelostcarnival.

#chesterculture – Chester Folk Festival 2016 – Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May 2016

It’s almost time for Chester Folk Festival 2016 and once again the organisers will be putting on a celebration of all that’s best in traditional and acoustic music. Running from 27th to 30th May.

A small, friendly, family festival that takes place in the village of Kelsall. It mixes showcase concerts, featuring some of the biggest names around, with more informal events such as ceilidhs, dance displays, sessions, workshops, a craft fair and a full programme of children’s entertainment, including things like circus skills and Punch & Judy, provided by Panic Circus.

This year’s stellar guest list has breadth and depth aplenty. Multiple BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Nancy Kerr & James Fagan and legendary duo Richard & Jess Arrowsmith (Crucible, Hekety) will be appearing as two separate couples as well as combining to play as the amazing Melrose Quartet. These Sheffield-based friends and neighbours have been capturing imaginations wherever they go with their bold take on old and new English songs and tunes. Glorious four-part harmony singing combines with crunchy twin fiddles, full-bodied melodeon and powerful bouzouki in a set that will leave your heart singing and your feet tapping.

Bringing their brand of gutsy folk rock back to Chester are 2016 Folking Award winners Blackbeard’s Tea Party. Traditional songs and folk tunes are given a heavy rock edge with playful arrangements and driving dance rhythms. This is all mixed up in an engaging, high-octane stage show that frequently leaves audiences cheering for more, so it’s unsurprising they’re one of the most sought-after bands around.

Last year the Wilson Family of five brothers from Teesside celebrated forty years of singing on the folk circuit. Their strong unaccompanied harmony singing of traditional songs and songs of social comment, together with their humour and camaraderie on stage, have attracted innumerable fans over the years, including Sting who asked them to be part of his Last Ship production which premièred on Broadway in 2013. Their appearance at the BBC folk Prom concert with Kathryn Tickell was another highlight, winning them many five star reviews.

This year’s festival will be the fortieth since its inception and to celebrate, organisers have booked a series of returning favourites who have been regular visitors for much of that time. They include the dark brown voice and relaxed singing style of Yorkshireman Dave Burland; the hilarious performances of his own crazy (and clever) poetry of the self-styled professional idiot, the inimitable Les Barker; the glorious singing and gentle Irish humour of Seán Cannon, formerly lead singer with The Dubliners; the masterful playing and singing of Bill Caddick, one of the foremost songwriters on the scene; and the distinctive voice of the multi-talented ‘one man folk industry’ Pete Coe, this time appearing with Alice Jones.

But don’t think the festival is all about the past; there is plenty on offer that is new to Chester. There’s Kelly Oliver who The Times speaks of as ‘an artist who blends traditional values with hints of a bold indie-pop sensibility’; Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker whose performances, laced with ‘misery, mirth and sheer beauty’, helped make them winners of the Best Duo category at the 2015 BBC Folk Awards; folk singer & songwriter Kim Lowings who fronts a collective of musicians called The Greenwood; “one of England’s finest young singers” Gavin Davenport, teamed with the energy, exuberance and emotion of fiddle player Tom Kitching; and banjo player and songwriter Dan Walsh who is described as ‘eclectically inspired and consistently brilliant’.

From further afield the festival will welcome the scintillating Miriam Backhouse-Erasmus. Fondly remembered from when she was a force to be reckoned with on the UK folk scene before her move to live in South Africa, she has continued to impress on her return to performing. BBC Radio 2 producer John Leonard said of her, ‘Miriam’s haunting voice and tasteful instrumental work never fail to impress”. Jeff Warner, from a family of renowned folk song collectors, is a frequent and always welcome visitor from the US. ‘Quite simply, he’s one of the most charismatic, enthusiastic and genuinely versatile performers on the whole scene, with a warm and approachable personality to match his encyclopaedic knowledge of traditional song.’

These are just some of the many delights on offer. In addition there’s a full line up of talented musicians, singers and dancers from around the country including some regular local performers such as Fiddlestone; Full House; Roy Clinging; Graham Bellinger; and The Waite Collective.

And the festival isn’t only about concerts. Once again there will be a daily series of events aimed at the 12 to 20 age group, each one led by Festival guest artists from a similar age range. The Youth Room gives young participants the opportunity to exchange ideas, questions, and experiences, and to create music together; they are encouraged to bring their own instrument and/or voice or just come along to listen. These are non-ticket events, so friends and fellow musicians who aren’t sure about buying full festival tickets can still come along and sample what goes on.

There’s plenty for dancers too with a ceilidh each evening as well as a Saturday afternoon dance aimed at all the family. Some of the top exponents of ceilidh dance music will be taking part, including The Black Box Band, All Blacked Up, Hekety and local heroes The Time Bandits. Experienced callers, like Baz Parkes, Pete Coe, Gordon Potts and Martyn Harvey, will also be on hand to help everyone join in, experts and beginners alike.

With so much going on over the weekend, why not go along and join in the fun?

Day and evening tickets as well as full weekend tickets are available and can be purchased on site by going to the festival office which is located near the Lord Binning pub.

Chester Folk Festival
Friday 27th May to Monday 30th May 2016
Kelsall
Weekend: £75 including camping
All Day Sat or Sun: £29
All Day Mon: £22
Afternoon Only: Sat or Sun £15, Mon £11
Evening Only: Fri £9, Sat or Sun £21, Mon £13
Children 10 – 18: half price
Under 10 years: free
Concessions for students, OAP’s and unwaged:
£5 off weekend tickets, £2 off day tickets, £1 off afternoon or evening tickets
(please bring evidence of eligibility with you to the festival)
Click here to buy tickets

 

#chesterculture – DemFest – Gladstone’s Library – Friday 13th May and Saturday 14th May 2016.

A brand new festival will be making its debut in Hawarden next month.

The Democracy Festival will be held at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden on Friday 13th May and Saturday 14th May 2016.

DemFest, run in partnership with The Raymond Williams Foundation and The Democratic Society, is a space to meet people, develop fairer and more participatory forms of politics, and enjoy a range of democracy-related cultural events. demfest

At DemFest you will have a chance to think, get-together and talk with others with similar interests or projects. You won’t just hear a party line, DemFest is non-partisan and independent.

Why now? We are living in tumultuous times. The UK may be on the brink of fracturing and leaving the European Union, power and resources are increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands and the gulf between the UK’s main political parties is rapidly widening.

Meanwhile, myriad possibilities for new forms of democratization are opening up. Whether through experimentation at community level, developments in online technology or the growing public appetite for more collaborative and less hierarchical ways of living, DemFest is about getting together to explore, celebrate and help re-make democracy for our times.

An affordable festival (prices range from free to £6) aiming to engage and provide a forum for discussion for those of all ages and backgrounds; but you won’t hear a party line; DemFest is non-partisan, independent, and not-for-profit.

Guests include Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party; Peter McFadyen, author of Flatpack Democracy and Robin McApline from Common Weal, a ‘think and do tank’ campaigning for social and economic equality in Scotland.

Confirmed events include Women and Protest, exploring women’s particular history of protest, objection and defiance from Suffrage to SlutWalks; Futures of European Democracy, considering the future of the UK in Europe; State of Emergency: War, Terror and Democracy, defining the responsibilities of ‘democratic’ states in the contexts of migration, asylum and war; and Democratization and the Media, asking what needs to happen to ensure our media is democratic.

There are also a number of free audio and video playback sessions from past events at Gladstone’s Library, including talks from ex-Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti, crossbench Peer, Lord Peter Hennessey, and the Library’s Founder’s Day discussion, hosted by Lloyd Grossman.

For more information and to book online visit www.demfest.org.  man-dual

DemFest
Gladstone’s Library
Friday 13th May and Saturday 14th May.
Tickets are priced between free and £6 with a £2 Concessions rate.
Day Tickets are priced at £45 (including 10 events) or £15 for Concessions.
Alternatively, contact Gladstone’s Library on 01244 532350 or enquiries@gladlib.org.

#chesterculture – Hoole Quarter May Day Festival – Sunday 1st May 2016

Things are happening in Hoole!

Hoole is about to host its first May Day Street Festival courtesy of the community fundraising team Notting Hoole. The event is to take place on Sunday May 1st from 11am – 5pm and will take place along Faulkner Street and Charles Street. The festival will feature hot and cold food stalls, local artists, craft stalls, live music, buskers and children’s entertainers.

The Notting Hoole Team are responsible for the Hoole Christmas Lights Switch On, and have also arranged other community events such as the Annual Summer BBQ, The ‘Ellie’s Cup’ Annual Football Tournament & Hoole’s Got Talent. The events are all designed to be all-inclusive Community events, and to raise money for the Hoole Community Centre and the Christmas Lights Switch On.

Founder and Chair of Notting Hoole, Sue Mason, feels that Hoole has been crying out for a Street Festival for a long time:
“When we won £5,000 in November 2015 for being awarded ‘Best Newcomer’ in the Great British High Street Awards, we asked local residents and businesses how they would like the money to be spent. A lot of people asked for a Street Festival with lots of entertainment for adults and kiddies, and that is exactly what we have done!

We’ve talked to local food producers and suppliers and we have lots of exciting stalls selling hot and cold food, plus talented local artists, arts and craft sellers and of course plenty of live music and entertainment for the children. The local business community has really got behind the event too and many of the shops, bars and restaurants will be open on the day.


We are also holding a children’s art competition asking them to produce an A4 piece of art entitled ‘Cool Hoole’.  The competition will be judged by TV Star Ian Puleston-Davies and the winning artwork will be displayed in Art At 41. This is really going to be a fantastic Community event, celebrating everything that is so special about Hoole, and how important it is to support the local economy.”


Twitter: @NottingHoole         
Facebook: Notting Hoole