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Festivals galore make city the place to be this August

Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

An image from a previous Caribbean Carnival in Leicester

LEICESTER’S summer of festivals continues throughout August, with highlights including the Caribbean Carnival, Gigs in the Gardens and the City Festival.

Festivals take place in the city throughout the year, from innovative new events like Bring the Paint to world-renowned Diwali celebrations and a much-loved programme of events at Christmas. Each year, Leicester City Council hosts or supports a huge range of high-profile exciting, cultural events that celebrate and unite the city’s diverse communities, with seven exciting events taking place in the next month alone.

The month is a whirlwind of activity, kicking off with the Caribbean Carnival this Saturday (3 August), when thousands of people are expected to turn out for celebrations on Victoria Park and a colourful carnival parade through the city. The theme of this year’s carnival is Windrush and the contribution Caribbean people have made to cultural and economic life in the UK. Join the multicultural street party and experience the sights, sounds, food and culture of the Caribbean.

A new addition to Leicester’s summer programme for 2019 is Gigs in the Gardens – a series of live performances from the likes of Professor Green, Bugzy Malone, Busted, Years & Years and the Kaiser Chiefs. DJ sets will come from Groove Armada and Pete Tong, plus there’s a day of up-and-coming local artists and a performance from the Bardi Symphony orchestra, playing music from stage and screen. The gigs take place in the tranquil gardens of De Montfort Hall and run from 16-18 August and from 23-26 August.

Celebrate all things cycling with the Ride Leicester Festival, which runs from 17-31 August. At the heart of this two-week celebration is Let’s Ride Leicester, on 25 August. This mass cycle ride will see streets closed to vehicles and opened up for people to enjoy, with the chance to ride a traffic-free loop linking the King Power stadium and the city centre. It’s completely free to join in - and this year the ride will also incorporate Open Streets, when family activities, food and stalls will be brought out onto the streets in the Greyfriars area of the city.

Journeys Festival International, from 15-30 August, showcases artistic works from the city’s asylum-seeker and refugee communities. Now in its seventh year, it includes exhibitions, talks, cookery demonstrations, theatrical performances and musical talent, taking place at venues across the city. Journeys Live, in Jubilee Square on 16 August will feature a line-up of incredible musical artists from across continents – and it’s all free.

More multicultural celebrations will take place at the Leicester Belgrave Mela on 18 August, with attractions including music, Bollywood dancing, an Indian bazaar and free family activities in the community art zone. This year will see the very first Rangoli village at the event, so prepare for colours galore, and enjoy following a Rangoli trail around the city.

A giant dome on Jubilee Square is the focal point for this year’s City Festival, running from 19-25 August. Expect international street arts and international, family-friendly activities during the daytime, while in the evenings, you can enjoy music and comedy from the likes of BC Camplight and Lloyd Griffith. The theme of this year’s festival is Out of This World, tying in with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings.

Round off a packed August with Pride, Leicester’s annual celebration of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Taking place on 31 August, this free family event begins with a spectacular parade through the city, ending up at Victoria Park, where attractions will include live music, market stalls and funfair rides. It’s a bold, brash and unmissable celebration of the city’s equality and diversity, attended by thousands of people – and all are welcome!

To find out more, visit and click on ‘Summer of Festivals’.

More information about the Journeys International Festival is available at