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Dust Off the Hamper for a Packed Programme of Summer Concerts in The National Forest

Tuesday, 2nd June 2009

The parkland landscape of Calke Abbey provides a beautiful setting for two fantastic open air concerts.  Calke’s 1980’s Party Night on 14 August, has a star-studded line-up of ABC, Human League, Go West, Belinda Carlisle and T'Pau. The concert will climax with a stunning fireworks finale. 

This is followed on 15 August with Calke’s Spitfire Proms Spectacular. The English National Orchestra, led by Jae Alexander, will perform a superb programme of classic arias and proms favourites.   For more information on both events telephone 01603 660444 or visit

ZZ Top, Marilyn Manson, Faith No More, The Prodigy and Def Leppard are among the bands headlining at the Download Festival at Donington Park on 12-14 June.  Contact 01332 810 048.

 Sir John Moore at Appleby Magna is hosting Midsummer Music and Fireworks on 4 July this is followed on 29-31 August with Appleby Jazz and Blues Festival.  For information contact 01530 273 629.

 Set beside a pretty lake and surrounded by woodland, Conkers’ covered amphitheatre will be rocking audiences with a packed programme of bands throughout the summer months.  Rumours of Fleetwood Mac and Classic Clapton start off the programme on 13 June. Nine Below Zero and Dr Feelgood will get feet tapping on 11 July and former Fairport Convention star, Richard Thompson will rock the audience on 24 July.  Then on 1 August classic rock show band, Rockaholic, make their much awaited return to Conkers with the sounds of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and Queen.  This is followed two weeks later on 15 August by Limehouse Lizzy, Atomic Blondie and the Kounterfeit Kinks.  Eagles tribute band - Talon, and Colvin Quarmby perform on 5 September.  For more details on the individual events at Conkers visit the website or call the booking hotline 01283 216 633.

The National Forest Folk Festival is putting on an impressive line-up of bands at Conkers from 3-5 July including Seth Lakeman and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.  Visit  Also at Conkers, Moira Male Voice Choir will perform in the Tree of Life Hall on 18 July.

Rosliston Forestry Centre is hosting two music events in its Glade arena, set within the young woodland.  These are Derbyshire Live Aid 29-30 August and Last Night of the Proms on 12 September. The booking line number is 01283 519 119.

The annual Bloodstock heavy metal music festival will be held on 14 - 16 August at Catton Park. Chris Slade from ACDC described the concert by saying “Bloodstock is a festival NO metalhead should miss”.  For tickets tel: 01332 666 370 or visit  Catton Hall then hosts its Annual Garden Party on 31 August.  Contact 01283 716311 or

The Melbourne Festival, 4-20 September, features an Art & Architecture Trail and a Festival of Performing Arts, as well as an impressive series of concerts.  Visit for more information.

But if visitors want to hone their own singing voices, there is a workshop ‘Everyone Can Sing’ with Robert Newton on 26 September at YHA National Forest.  For information and to book on this stress-busting session contact 01530 412 132.

As well as the music concerts, there are hundreds of events taking place across The National Forest throughout the year.  These include outdoor performances such as Shakespeare’s much loved comedy Twelfth Night in the beautiful grounds of Calke Abbey on 29 August, the Clash of the Knights at Ashby de la Zouch Castle on 1-2 August and on 16 August Quantum Theatre will perform ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’ within the woodland setting of the Glade arena at Rosliston Forestry Centre. To find out what is taking place this website provides a full listing on the events page.  The National Forest’s newsletter, Forest Scene, also has details of events, dates and contact numbers to get tickets.

Penny Wilkinson, Tourism & Promotions Officer for the National Forest Company said: “The National Forest makes a fantastic back-drop for music and theatrical events which is why it is becoming increasingly popular as a venue for organisers wishing to stage concerts here.”

For more information on attractions, activities, events and places to stay in and around The National Forest, the 2009 visitor guides to the Forest and Beyond are bursting with great ideas.  These are available from Tourist Information Centres or from the National Forest Company on 01283 551 211, email: