New Mills Festival preview

Bubble fest at New Mills. Photo contributed.
Bubble fest at New Mills. Photo contributed.

It’s almost festival time in New Mills and organisers are hoping this year’s two-week event will be better than ever.

Kicking off tomorrow (Friday), the packed programme combines music, comedy, art, talks and walks and culminates in the awe-inspiring lantern procession.

This year’s celebration is on the theme of food and drink and aims to build on the success of 2013, while still retaining its core values of community spirit and involvement.

Last year, more than 15,000 visitors attended the dozens of events that go to make up the New Mills Festival.

Thanks to a fantastic response from sponsors who have come forward with offers of money, materials and time, to funding appeals from loyal townsfolk, and also supporters from outside New Mills, the town will witness the most spectacular festival yet.

Committee chairman Lyn Bannister said: “The theme is perfect for the festival. We always have lots of food and drink events included in the programme and the options for lanterns based on this theme are almost limitless - doughnut lanterns, anyone?”

This year’s pre-festival fundraiser, Lloyd Cole at the Art Theatre, was a huge sell-out success, causing cries for the Buxton-born rockstar to make a return performance.

Other fundraiser events such as The Old Dance School at the town hall, not to mention the inaugural Festival Tea Dance promise to be equally popular.

Tickets are limited so make sure you don’t miss out.

Music, to suit all tastes, is always a feature of the festival and this year is no exception with events showcasing pop, rock, folk, brass, choirs and even a music train to bring the crowds into the town.

Highlights include The King and Us Too at the Art Theatre, A Tale Of Two Bridges at Spring Bank Arts Centre plus New Mills Band and Chapel-En-Le-Frith Male Voice Choir at the town hall.

Other highlights of this year’s events calendar include Chalkers Comedy Night for an evening of unmissable jokes, and a firm favourite with kids of all ages Exploding Custard at Spring Banks Arts Centre.

There will also be all the usual and not so usual walks, talks, runs, plays and poetry, talent shows and open days, a feast of food and drink events, art exhibitions, and an amazing performance from The Bubble Man.

The jewel in the crown is the increasingly fabulous lantern procession on the final Saturday, September 28, which ends with a street party on Market Street with street food from all corners of the world, and a multitude of street performances.

This year, the area of roads closed has been increased to accommodate more stalls, a stage area for the music and street entertainment for the crowds.

Three fire performers, each doing several performances during the evening, should satisfy the thrill-seekers.