Derby Festé brings world-acclaimed artists back to city streets

Music, dance and theatre performances by world-acclaimed and exciting up and coming artists will bring streets to life when Derby Festé returns.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 9:35 am

The popular festival will take over the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter from Friday, September 24 to Sunday, September 26.

Derby Festé has run for many years, previously attracting more than 30,000 visitors.

Steve Slater, artistic lead of Derby Festé, said: “Since 2007, Derby Festé has existed to bring surprise, enlightenment, entertainment and amusement to local communities and visitors alike and is an important element in the city’s bid to be the UK City of Culture 2025.

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Born to Protest is Joseph Toonga's first outdoor work for his company Just Us Dance Theatre. The show is part of a Hip Hop dance trilogy that Joseph is creating to challenge racial stigma. Catch Born to Protest on the evening of Friday, September 24, at Derby Festé.

“Last year we organised Derby Well in the city which was inspired by the traditional Derbyshire Well Dressing festivals and was well received by people keen to re-engage afterthe first major lockdown.

“We are delighted to return with a more recognisable Derby Festé programme this year and I think there will be a real appetite amongst people of all ages and communities to enjoy this cultural celebration.

“This year’s Derby Festé celebrates being present in the moment, opening your mind to the incredible imagination of talented artists and just marvelling in the spectacle that is before you.

“The joy of Festé has always been to bring people of all ages and communities both local and further afield together to enjoy performances that you would usually only see in large UK and European cities.”

Choreography For The Running Male on September 25 will see nine male performers clad in uniforms running through Derby city centre while carrying out unlikely actions that transform expectations of masculine behaviour into something harmless and unexpected. Photo by FOTODIENA.LT

On Friday evening, the live action is focused on Cathedral Green and The Spot with the chance to venture across the city centre and be amongst the first to see the neon and LED works created by artist Tim Etchells in three public spaces across the city centre.

Etchells’ works have been presented all around the world, from Gwangju to Berlin, with New York, Derry, Rome, Lisbon and Blackpool in between and are renowned for their comical and poignant dialogue with everyday spaces and landscapes. For Derby he will create a series of playful interventions in the city – poetic and provocative fragments in light and language which will ask us to look again at the environment we know so well.

The installations will stay lit and be a regular feature in the city centre locations until January 2022.

All outdoor performances are free of charge. For more details, visit

Sib Y Osis is a dance movement performance which will be performed by Waddah Sinada, Kassi Jameson and Pariss Elecktra on Saturday, September 25, at Derby Festé.
Award-winning artist nd British Composer of the Year Ray Lee showcases his latest piece, Chorus, at Cathedral Green on all three days of Derby Festé. Chorus is an installation of giant spinning sound machines with tiny lights creating the effects of planets in motion.