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Music takes centre stage at Riverside Festival

Published on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

THE cream of local and regional bands are set to take to the stage this weekend at the 21st annual Riverside Festival in Leicester.

As the city’s biggest free family-friendly festival, the event will bring thousands of visitors to Bede Island, Castle Gardens, Western Boulevard and the River Soar’s Mile Straight on June 2 and 3.

Bede Island will play host to the festival’s main stage, which will provide a packed stage programme of top-notch music.

Saturday’s headliners Last Edition will bring their brand of high-energy sax-fuelled, ska punk to the riverside, with support from alternative rockers The Midnight Dogs, the Siobhan Mazzei Band, 1 City 1 Celebration, and the DMU Music Society.

Sunday’s bill includes performances by Gateway College, the popular Sing for Water gospel choir event and a stomping headline set from blues rock outfit The Della Grants.

The year’s festivities also feature a number of new attractions. Castle Gardens, on the bank of the River Soar, will host the Broken Records Swing Festival throughout both days.

It will see live performers and bands recreating the heyday of jazz, big band and swing music combined with dance classes to give visitors the chance to follow in the footsteps of popular swing dancers from the 1920s to 1940s.

The swing event is organised in collaboration with The Shed music venue in Yeoman Street, and will include everything from dance sessions to gypsy jazz, and Latin dance to French chansons.

The Riverside Festival, also includes a programme of street entertainment and live music, fun fair and children’s activities at Bede Park, a street market selling arts, crafts and food, as well as plenty of river-based activities including a narrow boat rally, rides and demonstrations.

This year also sees the first ever Art On the River exhibition, involving local artists displaying their works along Western Boulevard.

Leicester deputy city mayor responsible for culture and leisure, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “This year’s Riverside Festival is once again set to be a fabulous weekend of family-friendly fun along the River Soar.

“The addition of Art on the River and the Broken Records Swing Festival will bring new attractions into an already very popular, thriving event, and I very much look forward to it.”

Full details of the Riverside Festival are available at: