a day or period of celebration.
an organised series of concerts, plays or films, typically one held annually in the same place.

Festivals are the true definition of summer; with the summer months arriving, the air getting warmer and the sun out for longer it’s a perfect time to get together with friends and family to celebrate.

This summer, Newark and Sherwood is the home of festivals with more than 20 events for you to enjoy with your loved ones. We’ve got music festivals, food & drink festivals, family fun festivals and everything in between!

One of the brilliant things about this vast variety of festivals is if you’ve come to the area for one, you can always pop to another – they’re so close to each other that it is possible to enjoy more of what the area has to offer! For example, you can enjoy the pleasures of all things literary in Newark at the Newark Book Festival on a Saturday 13th July, then on the Sunday hop over to Orchard Farm and get your taste buds tingling with the East Midlands Chilli, Beer & Artisan Festival.

You can find all of our festivals on our festival web page and use it to plan your trip to the area this summer, but we thought we’d run through a couple of them here.

Gate to SouthwellGate to Southwell Festival

6th – 9th June – Southwell Racecourse

If you love roots and acoustic music then the Gate to Southwell Festival is perfect for you! Four days of the best in roots, folk, gypsy, Irish, Scottish, Americana, spoken word, singer-songwriter, ska and so much more – it’s a perfect place to spend sunny summer days with friends and family. There’s plenty to of things to see and do and is perfect for families with children as well. Dust those dancing shoes off and get down to Southwell for what promises to be an epic four day celebration great music!

While you’re at the Gate to Southwell then why not consider popping into the beautiful town of Southwell, just a short walk or drive from the Racecourse. With over 100 independent shops, a stunning Minster and picturesque streets and scenery it really is worth the visit – plus it will be dressed up and decorated to celebrate the fantastic Gate to Southwell festival!


Major Oak Woodland Festival

8th – 9th June – Sherwood Forest

Celebrate the Green Man this summer in the legendary Sherwood Forest. This fantastic festival celebrates Britain’s favourite oak tree – the Major Oak. The festival will delve into its history of traditional woodland crafts, explore how it has been a productive woodland and salutes its communities past and present! Drop in and explore the stalls with bodgers, furniture makers, toy makers, willow weavers and other traditional craft demonstrators and traders. Watch demonstrations, talk to craftspeople, love Sherwood! It’s a brilliant family friendly event which blends the traditions of Sherwood Forest’s past with the modern day – it’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get stuck in, get involved and see how we used to live all those years ago!


Newark Festival

14th – 16th June – Newark Riverside

Newark Festival is back and it’s better than ever! Newark Festival returns to the Riverside this summer and it’s going to be one heck of a party! On the Friday night Becky Hill & SIGMA kick off the party in style whilst Saturday will feature some of the biggest names in music; Razorlight, Lightning Seeds and The Feeling! There will be top quality music, endless dancing, sizzling food and drink.

We’re also running a competition on our Facebook page to win weekend tickets to the whole festival, check out our Facebook page – you have until the 31st May to enter!


Newark Book Festival

12th – 14th July – Newark Town Centre

Newark Book Festival celebrates and showcases the world of books through an exciting, engaging programme from author events to panels, crime fiction, contemporary, literary fiction and a children’s programme. Taking place in beautiful venues across Newark, the festival will fire your imagination, challenge and inspire you and present the very best in literature and the arts.

Once again there are some big names from the world of books coming to talk about their fabulous works including Joanne Harris (Chocolat), Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season and The Priory and The Orange Tree), Mark Billingham (Tom Thorne series) and Alison Weir (Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets, Innocent Traitor).


European Juggling Convention

3rd – 11th August – Newark Showground

The European Juggling Convention is one of the world’s biggest social gatherings of jugglers, aerialists, hula hoopers, flow artists, extreme unicyclists, whip crackers and knife throwers! A festival of talent and skill but also one of fun and relaxation. This festival is all about having fun and giving it a go, maybe there is a hidden juggler in you yet!

Sunday 4th August will bring the European Juggling Convention to the heart of Newark town centre with the Big Day Out! The festivities will start at the Riverside with a colourful parade over the river, past Newark Castle and on to the Market Place!


Robin Hood Festival

5th – 11th August – Sherwood Forest

Each year the forest plays host to a week of fun and festivities in August, celebrating the life and legend of Sherwood Forest’s most famous resident – Robin Hood. Join in, dress-up, take part and enjoy seven days of re-enactment, song, dance, storytelling, skirmishing and adventures with the outlaws. There will be food and drink stalls, craft stands, demonstrations, medieval music, archery lessons and plenty of activities that will immerse you in the legends of Sherwood!


Southwell Music FestivalSouthwell Music Festival

21st August – 26th August – Southwell

Southwell Music Festival is an annual, top-quality classical music festival taking place each August Bank Holiday to celebrate classical music, and the towns magnificent Medieval Minster and to inspire local musicians – especially young musicians.






Previous Blog Posts 2019

Fun for Everyone in Newark & Sherwood this May Half Term, May 13, 2019

Shopping in Southwell this Spring, May 7, 2019


Early Bank Holiday Fun, Apr 29, 2019

The Adventures of Robin Woof, Apr, 8, 2019

Easter Fun in Newark & Sherwood, Apr 1, 2019


Time to Escape? Mar 18, 2019

The History and Culture of Newark & Sherwood, Mar 4, 2019


Half Term Fun in Newark & Sherwood, Feb 11, 2019


Combat Blue Monday in Newark & Sherwood, Jan 21, 2019

Shop Independently in the Picturesque town of Southwell, Jan 14, 2019


Previous Blog Posts 2018

Technology-less Family Fun in Newark & Sherwood, Dec 17, 2018

Newark Wonderland, Dec 3, 2018