Free summer arts festival for Bolsover

See off the Summer, a big, bright and brilliant free outdoor arts festival is being staged in Bolsover and Mansfield in September

The two days of entertainment for all the family are being presented by First Art and produced by by John Simmit, best known for playing Dipsy in 365 episodes of BBC TV’s international phenomenon Teletubbies.

John is guest producer for First Art, and has programmed an exciting range of free events including a Jedi Fight Workshop from Star Wars actor Andrew Lawden, a pottery demonstration from Sandra Whyles from BBC TV’s Great Pottery Throwdown, storytelling for youngsters from Teletubbies cast member Nikky ‘La La’ Smedley and live musical performances including soul hitmaker Junior Giscombe singing hits like ‘Mama Used to Say’.

The packed days will also include some of the best outdoor arts acts in the country featuring theatre, dance, comedy, crafts and interactive arts activities from renowned companies such as circus specialists Acrojou, mini theatre from Ye Gods, nine of the region’s best vocalists (in a Midlands Voices strand) and hip hop dance from London’s Far From The Norm. On the final evening, in Mansfield, a spectacular pyrotechnic finale featuring a human Catherine wheel is promised from Emergency Exit Arts.

The festival will also showcase work commissioned and produced by the First Art project throughout the last 12 months, including artists in residence at Mansfield Museum – The Gramophones Theatre Company, who will be offering a promenade theatre experience in the town centres, and Write Track, an exciting new theatre collaboration with Mansfield Palace Theatre.

It’s happening in Hornscroft Park, Bolsover on September 3rd 12pm – 6pm, and Titchfield Park, Mansfield on September 10th 12pm – 9pm.

See off the Summer is a bit different from appearing in fur as Dipsy for Simmit: “This has a been exciting challenge to me. I’ve produced shows nationally, in London’s west end and at American arts festivals, but until now nothing outdoors or family centred like See off the Summer”.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “What better way to see off the summer than with a festival of art and culture? Working with John Simmit, First Art are bringing together a great line up of performances and events that are sure to entertain and inspire people of all ages. We hope everyone has a great time.”

Visit the festival webpage at for a full run down of all that is available.

First Art is a fun, friendly project which aims to create exciting arts opportunities for the people of Ashfield, Bolsover, Mansfield and North-East Derbyshire – whether that means taking part, creating or being part of an audience. The project is funded by Arts Council England through its innovative Creative People and Places programme and runs until (at least) 2017.