Life-size dinosaurs, a dragon, medieval knights, a flash mob, The Goonies, fireworks and a lantern parade – these are just some of the highlights of the jam-packed programme of outdoor events that we’ve got in store for you this year.
Our Arts & Events team has been working hard to create another great programme for Tamworth families and visitors.
The 2017 calendar includes all the favourite free events such as the St George’s Day festival, We Love Tamworth, the fireworks display and the Christmas lights switch-on. The popular Outdoor Cinema is also back for 2017, along with another helping of outdoor theatre in Dosthill Park.
This year’s programme also features a focus on live music events as part of the Arts in Unusual Spaces project, funded by Arts Council England. The ‘Music Outside’ element of the project incorporates this year’s Summer Bandstand Concerts, Tamworth Jam – which has been developing the skills of budding young performers – and a live marching band workshop with a twist.
Outdoor entertainment starts with a bang with one of the town’s most popular annual events. St George’s Day celebrations will take over the Castle Grounds on Saturday, April 22, with wall-to-wall medieval-themed activities.
This year’s extravaganza will see the return of festival favourites such as the Grand Medieval Joust, a medieval encampment, skirmishes, have-a-go archery, fairground rides, stalls and the Children’s Zone (entrance to the Zone priced at £3 per child). There’s also a brand-new dragon for 2017, storytelling, pottery making workshops, Morris dancing and a medieval comedy show.
The outdoor element of Music Outside launches on Saturday, May 20, when young people who have been working with professional artists to develop their singing, songwriting and musical skills will showcase their talents with live performances in the town centre.
The Tamworth Jam group will then kick off the summer season of Bandstand Concerts, performing in the historical Castle Grounds bandstand on Saturday, July 1. A variety of local bands and singers will follow them to the stage on weekends throughout the summer. More details of this will be announced nearer the time.
Life-size dinosaurs will be coming to Dosthill Park on July 16, following two successful seasons of outdoor theatre in the community location. This year’s helping is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, which is being performed by open-air touring theatre company Illyria. Prehistoric thrills, monster laughs and dinosaurs abound in this summer’s must-see show.
More than 1,100 people voted to decide the films that would be shown at this year’s Outdoor Cinema on Saturday, August 5, with Pretty Woman topping the poll for the 9.15pm screening and The Goonies winning the midnight movie slot. Although tickets for Pretty Woman sold out within just five days of going on sale, tickets are still available for The Goonies, at the discounted price of £8 until July 1 – although they’re going fast!
The popular We Love Tamworth event returns to the town on Saturday, September 2, when the Castle Grounds will come alive with fun, games and activities for the whole family. These will include fairground rides, a dog show, stalls, Tamworth’s strongest man competition, a Children’s Zone and much more.
This year’s event will also include surprise flash mobs as local brass bands will be invited to brush up on their marching skills with help from the unique and exciting Mr Wilson’s Second Liners marching band, where New Orleans meets ‘90s club classics.
Fireworks will light the skies above Tamworth again with the town’s annual display of pyrotechnics, on Saturday, November 4.
The programme ends with the Christmas Lights Festival on Sunday, November 26. This year’s Christmas lights switch-on will also include a special lantern parade.
Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “This is another great line-up of events, with some exciting new features alongside the more popular festivities which have put Tamworth on the map in recent years. Thousands of people travel for miles to come to some of our larger celebrations, such as St George’s Day and the Fireworks.
“Providing quality entertainment for our residents and to attract visitors to the town remains a key priority for the council and our thanks go to the Arts & Events team for organising another fantastic selection. We hope to see lots of people coming out to take part in the fun.”
Tickets for the Outdoor Cinema and The Lost World are available online at www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk, in person from Tamworth Information Centre in Marmion House, Lichfield Street, or by calling the Box Office on 01827 709618. A transaction fee of £1 is payable on all online and telephone bookings.