Derby Festé celebrates different cultures

Derby Festé boasts a celebration of different cultures in a two-day outdoor entertainment spectacular.

This year’s festival will fuse Western and Eastern cultures in the an eye-catching fashion as it coincides with the climax of the Navratri Festival.

The nine-day Hindu festival, which is celebrated across the world, is even more significant this year as it coincides with the 70th anniversary of India’s independence.

Circus World will open the festivities on Friday, September 29, at Bass’ Recreation Ground with a wide range of contemporary circus acts from across Europe, building up to the climax – an aerial performance of The Altitude Show by Gorilla Circus.

Saturday will see a programme of free street entertainment across the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter with dance, street theatre, comedy and contemporary circus acts performing throughout the day.

The focus in the afternoon will be on South Asian style cultural celebrations and the Colour of Time procession.

Choreographed by French company Artonik and involving students from the University of Derby and Derby College, Colour of Time will be a rainbow eruption of coloured powder and dance.

The parade brings a stunning reinvention of the traditional Holi festival celebrated in India. People throw gulal powder in the air, showing joy and mirth, celebrating unity and an acceptance of diversity.

Dancers and musicians will move through the city centre in a choreographed parade towards Cathedral Green with the audience invited to join the finale – painting the sky with an explosion of Gulal powder.

Later, in the Market Place, dancers will lead the traditional Garba dance which is performed as part of the Navratri Festival and originates from the Indian state of Gujarat.

Garba is traditionally performed around a centrally lit lamp or image of the Goddess Shakti and Festé’s interpretation of this will be ornate decoration and lighting suspended high over the Market Place.

A team of dance artists will be visiting schools and different community groups in the run up to Derby Festé to teach them the simple dance steps and they will then be encouraging the audience on the night to join in.

The Night Market, organised by Sheena Holland will again feature a wide range of arts, crafts and vintage goods as well as food and drink stalls.

Derby Festé Artistic Lead Stephen Munn said: “Every year we look to bring a new aspect into the Derby Festé programme and our aim this September is to showcase two different aspects of festival cultures in Europe and in South Asia.”

For more information about the Derby Festé programme, go to