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Leicester’s annual River-side Festival returns for two days of summer-time fun. The event will take place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June at Bede Park, the Mile Straight of the River Soar, Western Boulevard and Castle Gardens, bringing you music, community stalls and activities suitable for all ages.

The event is the city’s biggest free festival and combines live entertainment with an array of activities, some of which will take place on the river itself, including a floating tea shop, coracle boats, canoe handling sessions and demonstrations by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s water rescue team.

Photo credit: Pukaar News
Photo credit: Pukaar News

Local musicians and bands will be among the highlights of the festival, with the main stage at Bede Park featuring the best local talent. Performers on Saturday will include; The Moderators, Most Ugly Child, James Cull, Jessie Wright, Tim Baker and the Gateway College Showcase, along with winners of this year’s Original Bands Showcase. Sunday’s line-up includes; The Drugstore Cowboys, Sing for Water and the DMU Music Collective. Other Bede Park attractions will include; a giant activity-packed tipi, Riverside Café, table tennis facilities and children’s fun zone with funfair, storytelling, face-painting and more.

Western Boulevard will host an arts street market, an Eco Area featuring environmental stalls and activities, world food and a Ride Leicester hub featuring a range of cycling-related attractions. At Castle Gardens you will find a range of arts and crafts activities, or visitors can simply take a relaxing stroll through the picturesque waterside gardens just a stone’s throw from Leicester Castle.

Photo credit: Pukaar News
Photo credit: Pukaar News

The festival is run by Leicester City Council, with housing association Riverside as its main sponsor. Leicester Assistant City Mayor for culture, heritage, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “The River Soar, Bede Park and Castle Gardens form a real haven just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre, and are the perfect setting for this wonderful annual festival.

“Every year the Riverside Festival proves to be a popular, family-friendly event, and this year’s events look set to continue that success.”

Festival activities take place from 12 noon to 7pm on Saturday, and 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday.

Full printed programmes are now available from outlets including the Visit Leicester Centre in Gallowtree Gate, and on line at: