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A Packed Programme of Summer Concerts Takes Centre Stage in The National Forest

Tuesday, 11th May 2010

The parkland landscape of Calke Abbey provides a beautiful setting for two fantastic theatre classics.  The family favourite, The Secret Garden, will be performed by Heartbreak Productions on 1 August followed by the Shakespeare’s final masterpiece, The Tempest, on 22 August performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.  For tickets and details contact 01332 863 822 or visit the website

SugaBeat will be playing pop and funk at Snibston’s Transport Festival on 16 May, which will feature some of the award-winning attraction’s lesser known exhibits that are usually held in storage, along with some fantastic visiting classic and vintage vehicles. Highlights of the day will include a Lancaster Bomber Battle of Britain Flypast at around 4pm and a visiting Steam Train from Chasewater Railway.  And at the end of May local radio station Hermitage FM will be keeping visitors entertained at the National Family Week Giant Picnic at Snibston on bank holiday Monday. Free to take part, visitors can just bring a picnic and enjoy some traditional sports day games.  For more information visit

Sir John Moore at Appleby Magna is hosting Midsummer Music and Fireworks on 3 July this is followed on 30 August with a Bluegrass workshop and concert.  For information, contact 01530 273 629.

The annual music festival returns to Heather on 30 July offering a real mix of classical, jazz, folk, rock and cajun music.  And, the best thing is that it is free! For details visit the website

Set beside a pretty lake and surrounded by woodland, Conkers’ covered amphitheatre will be hosting a packed programme of brilliant tribute bands throughout the summer months starting with the ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute band, NEW JERSEY, on 29 May.  The Rolling Stoned and Kounterfeit Kinks guarantee to get visitors rocking in the rows on 19 June, Letz Zep and Limehouse Lizzy perform on 17 July, followed by the mellower Talon – the best of the Eagles and the Simon & Garfunkel tribute band, Sounds of Simon on 14 August. New for 2010, will be the Open Air Cinema at Conkers with Dirty Dancing on 30 July and Mamma Mia on 7 August.  For more details on the individual events at Conkers visit the website or call the booking hotline 01283 216633.

The National Forest Folk Festival is putting on an impressive line-up of bands at Conkers from 2-4 July including Eliza Carthy & Saul Rose, Lau, Peatbog Faeries and Adrian Edmondson with the Bad Shepherds.  Tickets are available from Ashby Tourist Information Centre or through the website

ACDC, Rage Against the Machine, Billy Idol, Aerosmith and Deftones are among the bands headlining at the Download Festival at Donington Park on 11-13 June.  Tickets are available from the website

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 call 01332 666 370 or visit 

Visitors are invited to bring rugs, chairs and picnics for a number of theatrical and musical events at Rosliston Forestry Centre’s Glade arena, tucked away within the growing woodland.  On June 13 Ratatat Theatre Company Ltd presents an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, with family activities taking place before the performance. July 2 will see ‘The Merchant of Venice’ presented by a leading open-air Shakespeare touring theatre company. The 1623 Theatre Company will present ‘The Course of True Love’ & ‘Sinful ShaXXXpeare’ on 24 and 25 July.  And the climax of the performances will be on September 11 with the ever-popular Last Night of the Proms.  For information on these events visit the website or call 01283 563 483.

On 30 - 31 May and 31 July - 1 August visitors to Ashby de la Zouch Castle will see a mighty Clash of the Knights.  Medieval knights will be fighting for their honour in the Castle grounds with awesome combat displays!  Then on 14 August this historic site will provide the atmospheric setting for the magical romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  All the family can enjoy this playful performance of one of the world’s most renowned plays on this summer’s evening (although not midsummer). For further details contact the Castle on 01530 413 343.

To find out what events are taking place you will find a full listing by clicking here.  Or for more information on attractions, activities, events and places to stay in and around The National Forest, the 2010 visitor guides to the Forest and Beyond are bursting with great ideas.  These are availble through this website or from Tourist Information Centres throughout the Forest area.