Second Dronfield Arts Festival ‘surpassed expectations’

Thousands descended on the Dronfield Arts Festival over Bank Holiday weekend as the stand-out event returned to the town for a successful second run.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 12:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 12:31 pm
The lantern parade on Saturday.

Organisers said they had ‘another fantastic response’ to the festival which ‘surpassed expectations’ thanks to a vast array of free displays, exhibitons, activities and workshops.

Manned by volunteers, the flourishing community project was founded by Derbyshire firm FWD Motion and the Dronfield Heritage Trust last year.

It aims to bring intrigue and spectacle to the county with more than 60 events offering a mix of fine art, music, poetry, dance, cookery, literature and more.

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Chesterfield Garland Dancers. Pictures by Jason Chadwick.

Mike Priestly, FWD Motion director and one of the festival organisers, said: “All the artists involved hail from Derbyshire, something which was very important to us from the off.

“It’s a great opportunity to encourage and celebrate art in the local area.

“The highlight of the event was definitely Saturday’s lantern parade. This saw schoolchildren who made their own lanterns during workshops we’ve held over previous months walk through the town with their creations before gathering at Dronfield Hall Barn for a fire show. It was quite magical.

“A burlesque performance at Dronfield Civic Hall on the Sunday was also a hit.”

Artist in residence John Sutcliffe in his Ocean World interactive lightshow in the Peel Centre.

Organisers are now hoping to hear from any creatives or potential sponsors who would like to be involved in next year’s festival.

More information is available on the festival’s website at and on Facebook at

Special thanks has been paid to sponsor venues Dronfield Hall Barn, Manor Gardens, the Green Dragon pub and Dronfield Civic Hall.

Volunteer stewards Gary Ruddle and Leigh Smith admire the works in the open art exhibition.
There was Scottish Dancing on day two.