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Riverside Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Published on Thursday, May 25, 2017

A HUGELY popular free summer festival in the city is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The annual Riverside Festival will once again bring a packed programme of live music and entertainment, a bustling street market, crafts and boat trips to the River Soar’s Mile Straight, on Bede Park, Castle Gardens and Western Boulevard on Saturday June 3, and Sunday June 4.

The free festival, which welcomes visitors of all ages, has grown to become one of the city’s best-loved summer family events since it began 20 years ago.

It originally began as a small Sunday afternoon event, but has now blossomed into a thriving two-day festival showcasing the River Soar and its surroundings.

Bede Park will once again host a full programme local live music.

Musical heavyweights GoldWater will be headlining the stage on Saturday evening, with their unique blend of swampy blues, 60s psychedelia and theatrical rock, bringing to a close the day-long programme.

Sunday’s musical programme will be headlined by enthralling Leicester singer/songwriter David Wyatt and his band.

Elsewhere dragon boats will be taking visitors on free trips along the River Soar throughout Saturday afternoon, departing from Castle Gardens regularly between 12noon and 5pm.

Bede Park itself will feature a children’s funfair, a variety of arts and crafts activities, workshops, beer tent and acoustic music area, as well as free table tennis tables, a giant tipi, storytelling, face-painting and stalls.

Nearby Western Boulevard will host an arts street market selling wares from local artists and craftspeople, an ‘eco area’ and world food stalls.

Ride Leicester will be operating all things pedal-powered, from free secure bicycle parking to pedal-punk bike art, and bike smoothies to information on cycling projects across the city.

Castle Gardens will provide the perfect haven for a relaxing stroll and a range of music, art and crafts activities for all ages including a Down On The Farm area which will give children and grown-ups a chance to meet and learn about caring for animals on a farm.

Leicester City Council festivals manager Maggie Shutt said: “It’s hard to believe that the Riverside Festival has been running for 20 years, during which time it’s grown to become a hugely popular annual event it.

“As ever, the events will animate the Mile Straight of the River Soar, as well as bringing a whole range of activities to Bede Park, Western Boulevard and Castle Gardens.”

The Riverside Festival is run by Leicester City Council, with sponsorship from local housing provider Riverside, The Canal and Rivers Trust , The Inland Waterways Association and JTH sound and stages.

For further information visit

Riverside Festival brochures are also available in most Leicester museums, libraries, and leisure centres.