Newbury is set to be brought back to life as never before this summer with our free, open-air Summer Series of Events. The series is due to bring together local residents and visitors from further afield to enjoy this cultural programme of live music and performance. Musicians and DJs who have performed at the likes of Notting Hill Carnival, WOMAD, Latitude Festival, Glastonbury and Bestival are booked for the event, alongside those who are just starting to make a name for themselves across West Berkshire and beyond.
The Summer Series opens with a bang (or shall we say, baseline) on Sunday 25th July, as two DJs selected from a pool of local talent occupy the Market Place to perform live sets between 12 noon and 5pm. By contrast, the following event on Sunday 1st August takes a more tranquil twist with its laid-back afternoon of Acoustic Anthems. Starting at 1pm, the Series begins with an eight-piece jazz band, before featuring three other local acts over the course of the four-hour event starring, guitars and a piano to accompany the vocals of a duo band, solo artist and covers act.
The events will then take place on a fortnightly basis, with the third event of the series resuming on Sunday 15th August. Glastonbury Festival and club night regulars in London and beyond, Disco Shed, will be dominating the Market Place with their giant music shed following their award-winning appearance on Channel 4’s Shed of the Year series (garden gnomes included!). The World-Famous Disco Shed is kitted out with decks, lights, and an Inferno Smoke Machine (TM) and will be live from midday until 5pm.
For the ultimate event in the series on Sunday 29th August, we’ve pulled out all the stops to create a Grand Finale: Big Band Day. The event, beginning at 12 noon, will consist of a platformed stage and will extend into the evening as 24 performers from nine different acts take to the stage over the course of the day, tying up the end of the Summer Series at 8pm.
In addition to the music events, three Family Fun Days will be taking place for free across the town, with Jollypop Entertainment confirmed for all three dates. Hosting meet-and-greets and performing showstopping songs with some popular and classic children’s characters, children’s rides and balloon modellers will also be in town alongside a range of free arts and crafts workshops and activities, delivered by at least two local creative organisations per event.
The Family Fun Days will have shows and performances throughout each day at three key locations across town, in the Market Place, Kennet Shopping Centre, and Parkway Shopping, and will feature children’s favourite princesses, superheroes, and storybook characters. You can catch the Family Fun Day events on Wednesday 28th July, Wednesday 11th August and Tuesday 24th August between 10am and 5pm.
Local pottery painting favourite, Ugly Duckling, will be providing free activities on all three dates, while the Corn Exchange will be delivering activities on Wednesday 28th July and Tuesday 24th August, and City Arts on Wednesday 11th August. In addition, Parkway Shopping will be dedicating their Big Summer Screen to the event on Wednesday 11th August, screening children’s Disney films throughout the day.
With its eclectic mix of live music and family-fuelled Fun Days, the news of the series is expected to be welcomed with open arms by both town centre businesses and residents alike. Such events not only bring some much-needed cheer to the town after a year of limited activity but are also key footfall drivers into Newbury.
Many of Newbury’s town centre businesses, including the array of hospitality venues that surround the music event’s Market Place location, will be open for business and ready to welcome new customers on all dates of the series. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the variety of eateries across the town centre, catering for both lighter lunches and post-retail therapy dinners. Market go-ers are also advised to take a walk-up Newbury’s quirkier quarter to get a taste for all the independent businesses on offer in the town that line historic Bartholomew Street during their visit.
Alison Drummond, our Operations Manager, states:
Dates for your diary:
Summer Series of Events: 12 noon – 5pm Sunday 25th July, 1pm – 5pm Sunday 1st August, 12 noon – 5pm Sunday 15th August, 12 noon – 8pm Sunday 29th August.
Family Fun Days, 10am – 5pm: Wednesday 28th July, Wednesday 11th August, and Tuesday 24th August.
Check out our Summer Series of Events on our Facebook here.