5th - 7th August

The East Midlands’ biggest free summer festival will be back on Nottingham’s Victoria Embankment from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 August, with over 250,000 visitors expected at the Riverside Festival after a two year hiatus.

The festival traditionally features a wide range of fun for all ages. Music is, as ever a big part of the festival with three massive live music stages. There will be a whole mile of fairground rides, games and attractions along the banks of the Trent plus numerous street food and drink vendors, a Riverside market and all kinds of river based activities from dragon boat racing to the annual duck race.

One of the most popular elements of the festival is the fireworks display.  The 10-minute display, which sees crowds of up to 40,000 lining the Trent to watch, will now take place on both nights – Friday and Saturday at 10:30pm.

The festival’s three live music stages will host a wide range of musical influences.

The Monument Stage boasts an eclectic mix from glam rock to global beats. Expect to be rocking with Dr and The Medics headlining Friday night supported by the East Midland’s own aquatically enthused Seas of Mirth.

Saturday’s line up will open with a funk, soul and hip-hop session from Fat Digester and the Southern African rhythms of Kudaushe Matimba and Harare, a spectacular mix of music and dance.  The show will close with the exciting nine-piece Maroon Town providing their high-energy musical fusion of ska, rap and dub for a headline set.

Sunday will see the Franco-Algerian band Tiwiza’s percussion rhythms followed by the UK’s longest established Brazilian/Latin band, Viramundo.  King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, a jive and swing band will bring the festival to a jumping end on Sunday afternoon.

The Big Top stage features a range of musical styles across the 3-days.  Friday will see DJ’s take to the decks (to be announced) whilst on Saturday some of the country’s leading folk acts take to the stage. The Riverside Festival folk day is considered to be one of the best free folk line-ups in the UK, which this year includes Katie Spencer who will bring songs from her new album, with their suggestions of folk and jazz matched by her lyrical style and Bird in the Belly will be performing their unique blend of little known poems and lyrics from around the UK with their ‘hypnotically original musical compositions. Headlining the Folk day is Flats & Sharps, the Cornish four-piece outfit, will close out Saturday night with their foot-stomping, spirited bluegrass.

Sundays Big Top stage programme is more chilled and  will see Carlton Brass, Nottingham’s premier brass band, and Nottingham Big Band performing throughout the afternoon. Carlton Brass have over 100 years of performing history and have been brining music to Nottingham since 1902. Nottingham Big Band features the very best of the city’s jazz musicians, drawing their influences from the great swing band era.  They will be featuring swing classics from the greats, such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra for a laid back Sunday afternoon vibe.

The Bandstand Stage will have full programme of great bands and artists across the three days. Friday night headliners are Blood Red Moon, a Nottingham five piece playing blues and blues rock. Saturday sees EEVAH closing out the night with the Leeds band performing their electro-pop inspired set list. Rounding out the festival on Sunday is Alex Mighten (formerly known as Karizma) who will be bringing his R & B style to the stage. Hailing from Nottingham, Alex Mighten has spent his lengthy career evolving his sound after gaining notoriety in the renowned musical crew Out Da Ville.

Sunday will bring the river into focus with the annual Dragon Boat races return with over 20 local businesses will represented as crews battle it out over the 200m race course with crews of 10 people each with a drummer at the front beating time. The Rotary Club’s annual Duck Race will be raising money for their charities and will launch at 4.30 pm.

This year’s festival will include plenty of opportunities to eat and drink, with Hawaiian, Sri Lankan and Jamaican street food as well as a Nottingham favourite, The Filthy Vegan. 

On Saturday and Sunday, in the little ‘Big Top’ area, younger festival goers will be able to brush up their circus skills.  The workshops will feature stilt walking, mini tightrope, plate spinning, juggling, novelty bikes and space hoppers. Wolly the clown will also perform two family shows with his hilarious, physical comedy and breath-taking stunts.

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said; “After a two year absence, we are really looking forward to Riverside Festival and getting the whole city back together, and welcoming thousands of people down to Victoria Embankment

With such a varied and packed programme of entertainment and experiences, the free annual festival is one of the highlights of a Nottingham summer that has been enjoyed by generations of Nottingham folk since its inception in 1973. .

Festival opening times

Friday           17:00 – 23:30

Saturday       12:00 – 23:30

Sunday         12:00 – 18:30

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