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Return of Newark Festival promises Bank Holiday Weekend full of music and family fun

Music, arts and culture is set to take over the town across the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Back with a revamped format, Newark Festival will be taking over the town centre for four days of live music and family entertainment.

Instead of the focus on Riverside Park, this year there will be acts in the Market Place, Newark Castle and venues across the town centre throughout the weekend.

From sell-out band The Overtones to home-grown talent performing in a multitude of venues there will be music for everyone’s taste.

Ellie Stainsby (58697051)
Ellie Stainsby (58697051)


A focus is put on family fun with a programme of free activities taking place in the Market Place.

Samba parades, the Alex Cadabra magic show, Circus Hub performances and Tourmanke African drumming workshops ­— in collaboration with Newark Book Festival ­— will take place throughout the day, alongside demonstrations from the Charlotte Hudson School Of Dance and Suggys Gym.

The main stage will showcase bands from under-18 music promoters HellCats, including Jack Chapman, Jude Forsey, Alice Lynn and Last Generation.

A craft fair is also set to take place in the Buttermarket.

The festival has even more on offer for children as BeanBlock café hosts Lego Club, another show by Alex Cadabra and a high-energy rave for youngsters with DJ Aicha Daffe.

Elsewhere, Green Hustle kicks off with accessible, sustainably-minded fun at Newark Library and Beaumond Gardens for enchanting family entertainment, including mud monsters, storytelling and crafts.

Activities include making parade costumes with Can Samba, for younger children, a Newark Book Festival storytelling session and stories and crafts with Emma Oldham.

In the garden, Protect Newark’s Green Spaces will lead magic potions, mud monsters and a fairy parade, Newark Community Soup are set for a social soup and chat session and Little Learners embrace the outdoors with nature messy play.

Over at Tree, on Stodman Street, upcycled fruit punnet salad planting with Green Hustle and panel talks with Adam Pickering on taking climate action and fixing the food system will take place.

The surrounding streets will be home to the Minibeast Nature Trail, ending with a cupcake at BeanBlock café.

Inside Tree the focus is on the arts. Poet Gail Webb will lead a poetry workshop, followed by an art workshop with David Moore, of Newark Art Gallery and Studio.

Can Samba take over the venue in the afternoon with a Rio-style drumming session.

NA - Brass explosion in Newark castle grounds. The Brass Explosion is the culmination of a series of brass band Sundays and is this year backed by a family fun day. (50737513)
NA - Brass explosion in Newark castle grounds. The Brass Explosion is the culmination of a series of brass band Sundays and is this year backed by a family fun day. (50737513)


Newark hustle takes over the town’s venues for a day ­— and night ­— of live music from some of the best bands and artists in the county.

Between 1pm and 7pm, the Market Place will host a genre-hopping selection of music from THePETEBOX, Goldwater, The Most Ugly Child, Joel Black and The Hallelujahs, Whisky Stain, Project Zeus and Left Hand Lane.

The Blooze Brothers will be at Ann Et Vin from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Organ Grinder will showcase acoustic tunes from Ellie Stainsby, Jason Runga, Ricky Jamaraz, Jess Thomas, Emma Thorpe, Jack Brett, Eleanor McGregor, Dan Chapman and Phillipa Steele between 1.30pm and 9.30pm.

Hip Hop and DJs will take over the The Rutland Arms as DJ Kold Chillin, Last Sons Local Healers and Louis Cypher, Rico Toms and Elder Wasteman, KAP, Sly and Esther, Elmz, Neo, Omari and Jedyer take to the stage from 2pm to 11pm.

The Castle And Falcon, from 2pm to 10pm, will celebrate rock, punk and metal with acts Paste, Arch Femmesis, Alt Blk Era, Celestines, Diablofurs, Hunchpower, The Mono Grande, Hungry and Noise.

The Duck will present an afternoon and evening of house music on the beer garden stage, with DJs Bassduckfresh, Aaron M, Cozen and C Dub P.

Prog and Americana comes to The Flying Circus from 4pm to 8pm, with The Most Ugly Child and Harmony Of Spears.

The evening, from 3pm to 8pm, at The Prince Rupert will see acoustic acts Raph Achache and Kat Kyriss.

​Indie, rock, blues and punk come together at The Navigation from 12.30pm to 10.30pm with Sancho Panza, Electric Pets, The Chase, LOIS, George Gadd, Cousin Nelly, Kelsey and the Embers, Hungry, BeejaRabbit, Dog Tricks and The Tom Grant Band performing live.

Saturday also sees the second day of events at BeanBlock café, with Alex Cadabra, DJ Aicha Daffe and Lego Club return.

Newark Festival
Newark Festival


Headline act The Overtones take centre stage on Sunday, with their 9pm show at Newark Castle ­— but entertainment starts much earlier with Radio Newark, artists Chris Simmons and Charlotte and BBC Introducing’s breakthrough artists.

The Overtones have seen 11 sell-out tours, platinum albums and six studio albums over their career and promise exquisite vocals and pitch perfect harmonies at their show.

Tickets for The Overtones are on sale via ticketmaster.co.uk

Brainiac will be at Dreamland (15403021)
Brainiac will be at Dreamland (15403021)


The final day of the festival promises more family fun in the castle grounds.

Daredevil science and explosions arrive with a bang for two Brainiac Live: Remixed! shows at 11.30am and 3.30pm, alongside Samba and Capoeira workshops.

Circus skills, Lego Club, green crafts, bouncy castles and more will keep kids entertained throughout the day, before an afternoon of brass from Pleasley Colliery Welfare Band, Newstead Brass, Newark Town Band and Newark and Sherwood Concert Band.

A fireworks finale will end the festival at 10pm.

For the full programme of activities, visit newarkfestival.co.uk

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