Melbourne Festival goes back to nature

To celebrate Melbourne’s position on the edge of National Forest the main theme of this year’s Art and Architecture Trail is Wild Wood.

On September 17 and 18 more than 130 artists will be exhibiting in venues around the heart of the town.

The Wild Wood exhibition will be in the Melbourne Assembly Rooms and will feature 15 East Midlands artists creating art using wood or featuring trees, forests and woodland animals.

Among the artists to look out for are Jane Bevan, exhibiting her woodland vessels, Lynn Hazel who sculpts native British wildlife, Victoria Brown with her stunning blossom paintings and Michael Cook with his stark trees and native creatures.

The theme continues around the Trail with Peter Woods of Greenwood Days exhibiting his beautiful Windsor chairs and look out for his willow rowing boat in Melbourne Hall Visitor Centre.  You can read about him on the following pages.

Elsewhere Susan Heale exhibits her stunning resin treescapes and Helen Hallows will be showing her mixed media pieces.

This year the Family Trail is inspired by The Wind in the Willows and there will be guest appearances by Toad and his friends

The Melbourne Festival concert programme runs for six weeks from September 2. Highlights include Melbourne Festival Comedy Night this year featuring affable observational comic Andrew Bird, with Ivan Brackenbury, making a return visit to Melbourne and Jo D’arcy compered by Garrett Millerick.

A new play written by George Gunby of Belper, Boleyn – The Death and Life of a Queen – takes to the stage on September 24, this is a must for anyone who missed its premiere at Belper Festival in May.

Award-winning eight-piece acapella vocal ensemble OCHO will be entertaining their audience on September 25.

There is much more going on throughout the festival. For full details of all events go to