Festé – The Circus Comes to Town!

Sit back, relax and enjoy our latest blog courtesy of Andrew Lowe, marketing and communications manager at Marketing Derby

Roll up, roll up –Derby Festé 2018 is celebrating 250 years of the circus and, with the popularity of the recent Hollywood Blockbuster “The Greatest Showman” starring Hugh Jackman, is the ideal time to be bringing the very best of street performers from around the world to the city.

For the first time, Derby Festé 2018 has been extended to cover three days including magical performances by French company, Circa Tsuica within a Big Top at Bass’ Recreation Ground and their “Now or Never” show.


Derby Festé is the jewel in the crown in Derby’s packed calendar of events, and the dates are firmly established within our household as the last weekend in September each year.  We’ve been fortunate to attend every Derby Festé and the line-up for the year looks just as spectacular as previous editions.

The circus theme for Derby Festé 2018 opens up a broad range of acts and it’s difficult to pick out one from the programme,  A key element of the Festé programme is a parade through the city centre, which really captures the imagination of those watching and following the route.

The images of the giant and beautiful glowing white horses that will be heading up the parade for 2018 look truly spectacular and top the list of performances that we are looking forward to.  The performance called “FierS á Cheval” sees a return to Derby by French company, Compagnie des Quidams, who entertained thousands of people on Cathedral Green with their atmospheric “Reve d’Herbert”.

The atmosphere in the city is electric and alive, the acts are unique, fascinating and unusual – and it’s all orchestrated in a totally interactive way, drawing you in, making you feel part of the whole experience.

Promoting Derby

Marketing Derby is proud to support Derby Festé again this year.  Our mission statement is to “Promote the city to support and attract investment.”  A large part of this work involves attracting new investors and companies to the city.  Having a vibrant and diverse cultural offer is key to both attracting new talent to the city, but providing opportunities to engage with those that live and work in Derby.

Derby Festé is incredibly important to the city and is gaining more and more credibility each year with more people coming here and staying overnight for the incredible programme of live music, dance and street theatre.

The variety of acts that Derby Festé brings to the city each year is truly astounding.  Whilst it’s very easy to plan your Festé experience around the performance times, very often it’s when you wander around the city and stumble across an act, or find that you’re drawn in to be part of it, that you get the full “Festé experience.”

As a family we’ve had so many wonderful memories from Derby Festé and this year looks set to bring many more.