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. So if you’re a pretend adult like me, you may want to get some of these in your diary.
I’m going to be real with you, I’m passionate about putting Gloucester on the map and Google tells me that ‘Gloucester Cheese Rolling’ is a popular search term. So, to make sure my article gets noticed, I’ll be spurting ‘Gloucester Cheese Rolling’ quite often in this events guide – it won’t always make sense, just go with it and help a girl out.
25th – 27th January 2019
‘Europe’s longest running Cajun & Zydeco festival is back for its 26th year. Headlined by the likes of Hogan’s Heroes, The Po Boys and Zydeco Diamonds, plus sets from Rough Chowder, Boat Band and Bayou tapestry. With a mixture of live music and dancing all day, the party atmosphere is contagious. There are dance workshops for beginners to experts and the Swamp Rock DJ’s between bands, all topped off by authentic Cajun & Creole cuisine, the festival brings the spirit of Louisiana to Gloucester.’
February / March
12th February to 27th March 2019
Strike a Light is a Gloucester based organisation striving to make Gloucester a city with a vibrant culture for all. Running from 12th February to 27th March, Strike a Light showcases a number of original performances supported by Arts Council England and other significant art centres. Performance 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.
22nd – 24th February 2019
Over the weekend, Folk Musicians from around the county will perform a series of FREE concerts around venues across the city. Expect traditional and contemporary folk acts, poetry, talks and traditional craft.
Saturday 11th May 2019
Fake Festivals are bringing top ‘touring-grade’ fake bands to this fake festival, featuring six great tributes to Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, FooFighters, Duran Duran, Bowie and Blondie. There will be support from local bands and a fully stocked bar all inside our huge marquee plus an outside entertainment area.
Sunday 12th May 2019
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.
Saturday 25th – Monday 27th May 2019
The Historic Gloucester Docks will be shown in all their splendour over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in 2019 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.
Monday 27th May 2019
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.
12th – 21st July 2019
First launch 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 carparks 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.
4th – 7th July 2019
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 day, Barn on the Farm is the place to be for undiscovered new music.
27 July – 4 August 2019
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.
26th July – 3rd August 2019
The Three Choirs Festival is a week-long programme of choral and orchestral concerts, cathedral services, solo and chamber music recitals, masterclasses, talks, theatre, exhibitions and walks, rotating each summer between the beautiful English cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester. It is the oldest non-competitive classical music festival in the world, which celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2015.
Saturday 27th July
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.
23rd – 25th August (Bank Holiday Weekend)
With big name artists such as Sigma, Ella Eyre and MNEK, the Witcombe Cider Festival is fast becoming the Gloucester Glastonbury. At just six 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.
1st -16th September
Gloucester is well renowned for its rich history, heritage and culture. Each year in September, the city comes together for a two-week long festival which celebrates not only local but international history. This encompasses a wide programme of talks, workshops, performances and tours of historic buildings which are often closed to the general public.
Some of these events are even free of charge, and the aim of the festival is to engage all members of the local community, as well as visitors, in the fascinating subject of history. These events take place in a variety of locations across Gloucester, and really allow the visitor or even local to get to know the city on a more personal level.
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 2019 with more terrifying horror attractions. Prices start from £17.50 if you’re brave enough?
November / December
Come on, it’s only January! Check back after summer ok?
And let’s not forget… The Severn Bore
A river bore is caused by the tidal surge of the sea being funnelled up stream, around 60 rivers in the world have bores, 8 in UK. The shape of the river Severn and the fact it has the third highest tidal range in the world creates one of longest ride able waves in the world. Find out more