Things to do in Gloucester in 2020

So you’ve probably come here to find out more about the Gloucester cheese rolling – an absolutely bonkers event where willing participants chase a wheel of cheese down a steep hill. And while it’s definitely worth a visit, Gloucester has an extraordinary line up of events that you won’t want to miss either. 

Year-round

Strike a Light Festival

Various locations

Strike A Light is a Gloucester-based organisation striving to make Gloucester a city with a vibrant culture for all, hosting extraordinary events in unexpected places across Gloucester. Performances vary from puppetry and dance to spoken word and acrobatics. For something a little out-of-the-ordinary, Strike a Light is making waves in the community.

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 I Am Joan by Viv Gordon at Strike A Light Festival. Photo credit: Barney Witts

I Am Joan by Viv Gordon at Strike A Light Festival. Photo credit: Barney Witts

April

Gloucester Brew Week 2020

Monday 30th March to Sunday 5th April 2020 – Various Locations

The first-ever Gloucester Brew Week is coming to the City, celebrating all things that are brewed, from a nice cup of tea to a nice cold ale, and everything in between.

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May

Dragon Boat Regatta

Sunday 10th May 2020 – Gloucester Docks

Up to 30 teams take to their 40ft long dragon boats and race for victory, with the winning team being presented with the prized Gloucester Dragon Boat Shield. There’s plenty of fun to be had by those who aren’t racing, with visitors encouraged to get in on the act and don their finest fancy dress outfits in support of the rowers. As well as a funfair and an array of stalls, there will also be live entertainment throughout the day, guaranteeing an experience which buzzes from start to finish.

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Gloucester Tall Ships Festival

Dates TBC – Gloucester Docks

The Historic Gloucester Docks will be shown in all their splendour over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in 2020 as they play host to the award-winning Gloucester Tall Ships festival and are chock full of fabulous activities for all the family to enjoy.

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Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling

Monday 25th May 2020 – Cooper’s Hill

The world-famous – and completely bonkers – Gloucester cheese rolling returns on Bank Holiday Monday. For those not acquainted with this odd tradition, spectators flock from far and wide to see the brave and stupid chase the coveted dairy prize – a weighty 8lb Double Gloucester.  Gloucestershire’s Cooper Hill has been host to the traditional cheese rolling event since the 1800s, and triumphant spectators and loyal competitors have continued to descend on Cooper’s Hill, determined to keep this world-famous tradition alive.

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Gloucester Cheese Rolling Photographed by Gloucestershire Live

Gloucester Cheese Rolling Photographed by Gloucestershire Live

July

Gloucester Rooftop Festival

Dates TBC – Eastgate Car Park

First launched in July 2018, Strike a Light and Gloucester Guildhall partnered with the Roundhouse, Gloucester Culture Trust and The Music Works to transform the rooftops of King’s Walk multi-storey and Eastgate Centre car parks into a summer festival of theatre, music and performance.  Together they joined forces with artists across the country to bring the perfect collision of classical music, hip hop, R’n’B, pop, rap, rock and spoken word to Gloucester – combined with a rooftop bar. The best bit? You pay what you like!

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Barn on the Farm Festival 

2nd – 5th July 2020

Barn on the Farm is hosted at Over Farm Market and while it may be relatively unknown, it actually headlined Ed Sheeran! Since music artist manager Josh Sanger is behind the festival, it’s no surprise artists like James Bay and George Ezra have headlined a spot. I guess you could say, Barn on the Farm is the place to be for undiscovered new music.

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 Gloucester Carnival

Saturday 11th July 2020 – Gloucester Park

Celebrating everything that’s great about the city of Gloucester with a vibrant display of floats and entertainers. The procession will navigate the city centre, and celebrations will culminate in Gloucester Park.

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Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival

25 July – 2 August 2020 (official dates TBA) – Various Locations

The Gloucester Rhythm & Blues Festival is a FREE festival. Local, national and international Blues artists converge on the city for a nine-day celebration of the genre with around 70 live performances across the city’s pubs and live music venues.

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Gloucester Food Festival

24th – 26th July 2020 – Gloucester Quays

The Gloucester Food Festival, which is now in its 9th year, is one of the biggest in the South West. The festival includes a cookery theatre, celebrity chefs and attractions, plus a fantastic mix of quality traders including street food, artisan producers, craft and gift, plus live music.

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Gloucester Barn on the Farm by SoGlos

Gloucester’s Barn on the Farm Music Festival by SoGlos

August

Witcombe Cider Festival 

 28th – 30th August 2020 – Festival Field

With big name artists such as Sigma, Ella Eyre and MNEK, the Witcombe Cider Festival is fast becoming the Gloucester Glastonbury. At just seven years old, the festival showcases the county’s finest ciders whilst boasting fun in the sun for the whole family. A single day ticket comes to under £50, with a weekend ticket under £90 making this a truly affordable local festival.

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Gloucester's Witcombe Cider Festival

Gloucester’s Witcombe Cider Festival 2018, by Witcombe Cider Festival

September

Heritage Open Days

11th – 14th September 2020 – Various Locations

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s fantastic historic architecture and culture by offering FREE access to properties which are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Gloucester’s events feature over 120 events, and is among the top three venues in the country with its huge range of activities during Heritage Open Days with guided tours , music and cultural activities in the City Centre, at Gloucester Docks and in the city’s suburbs.

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Frampton Country Fair 2020

Sunday 13th September 2020

Held in 30 acres of beautiful parkland of Frampton Court Estate, this is one of the last truly traditional country fairs. A celebration of the countryside and the people who work and live in it. With over 400 trade stands, three display rings and a traditional fun-fair there is so much to see and do.

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October

Frightmare

In October, we return once again to Over Farm as it transforms itself into a terrifying live Halloween festival – Frightmare. The largest and scariest Halloween Scream Park in the South West is back in 2020 with more terrifying horror attractions. Prices start from £17.50 if you’re brave enough?

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The Offering Attraction at Frightmare. Photo by Frightmare

November

Christmas Lantern Procession

Sunday 15 November 2020 (Official Date TBA)

Lead by Father Christmas, the procession will include a thrilling mix of live music from live bands and hundreds of school children showcasing their lantern masterpieces made in collaboration with local artists.The parade typically travels along Southgate Street, Westgate Street and College Street with the city’s Christmas lights illuminating as it passes underneath. It is followed by a free carol concert at Gloucester Cathedral.

December

Open Air Ice Rink

The large Open Air Ice Rink gives you the opportunity to skate under the stars, after a spot of shopping or a sit down meal.

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