Countdown on to new 52 Weeks Festival

The countdown is now on for 52 Weeks Festival which will highlight art, music, dance, drama and heritage in every corner of Derbyshire for a year from May 2022.

A festival team, led by Matt McGuinness (creative), Sharon Brown (programming) and Eileen Wright (operations), is already hard at work seeking contributions from groups from across the county.

Programme director Sharon, the long-time organiser of the Melbourne Festival, explained that the festival would be a collaboration between arts, heritage and cultural organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors.

She said: “The vision is that a year of celebrations will encourage communities to create and take part in new artistic activity which, with the backing of the project, will continue beyond 2023 and for many years to come.”

“52 Weeks Festival will build on the strong foundations we already have here in Derbyshire. This is, after all, THE Festival county with over 100 festivals throughout the year, we also have some amazing historic buildings, museums, galleries, theatres and much more besides.”

Patron, Pauline Latham MP for Mid Derbyshire, who is a keen supporter of the arts and has been a driving force behind the event, said: “The Festival between 2022 and 2023 will provide endless opportunities for everyone to celebrate creativity and culture throughout Derbyshire”.

Sharon added: “Since receiving a grant from Arts Council England for research and development we have been working to contact organisations, venues and artists working in the creative, cultural and heritage sectors – no mean task at the moment – to reach out across the county to include as many people as possible in what will be a nationally significant cultural celebration.”

“The current crisis has taught us to enjoy the small pleasures and there has been a huge increase in interest in arts, music and performance online as we fill our time engaging with activities many of us haven’t enjoyed since we left school.

“We want to seize upon that desire for people to express themselves.”

There are still many groups they haven’t yet engaged with, so if your organisation would like to get involved please contact and complete the online survey or leave a message.