Spiegel “BIG TOP” Tent, The Market Square, Nottingham, 4th October 2015

The hugely popular Spiegeltent will be returning to the city this April with the opening few days being announced and going on sale from Friday 21 February 2020. The attraction, which has been visiting the city since 2015, will be staged in Old Market Square between Wednesday 29 April and Sunday 17 May 2020.

The extended programming for 2020 is due to a partnership with Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID). The city will host a wide range of shows, entertainment and performers designed to appeal to all ages and tastes. These will include music, circus, cabaret, theatre, comedy and the ever-popular burlesque.

Known for their wild and decadent ambiance, Spiegeltents are exquisite pop-up venues. Literally translated as ‘mirror tent’ they were built in Belgium in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and now regularly tour the world’s cities and festivals. Stepping inside the beautiful century-old travelling dance hall, made of wood and complete with ornate decoration and mirrors is like a step back in time. The tent, bigger than ever before, is the Palais du Variété which makes an annual appearance at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and tour Europe throughout the year.

The programme kicks off on Wednesday 29 April with a Just the Tonic comedy headlined by national treasure, TV and film star Johnny Vegas. Johnny made his name doing stand up in the late 90’s. Since winning the acclaimed Festival Critics’ Award at the 1997 Edinburgh Festival, and being nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award, (a feat never before achieved by a newcomer), Johnny has created a sensation wherever he has played, performing triumphantly to packed houses all over the country, and indeed the world. 

Johnny’s unique abilities as a live performer are the stuff of legend, alongside his ability to mix quick fire audience interaction with heart-wrenching pathos and Butlin’s style singalongs. He is joined by comedians Kelly Convey and Scott Bennett – both enjoying a rapid rise to fame.

The event will be compered by Darrell Martin, Just the Tonic Founder and organiser. Tickets are available from 9am on Friday 21 February.

Also on sale from Friday is music from Hope and Social. Described by The Independent as “One of the UK’s top five live bands”. Hope and Social play the Spiegeltent on Thursday 30 April. After eleven years, six albums, thousands of gigs, Glastonbury, Leeds Arena, and many a pub and front room up and down the country; Hope and Social is renowned for making every gig an event. The band throws itself wholeheartedly into every performance, perfectly bridging the gap between the stage and the audience. Expect anthemic songs, infectious melodies and a formidable live experience! Support will be announced soon.

A novel experience for the younger audiences will be Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure on Saturday 16 May. SK Shlomo is a world record-breaking beatboxer who makes all kinds of music using just his mouth and a mic. Join this sonic superhero and become one of his sidekicks in a world of funny sounds, brilliant noises and cool music, whether you’re aged 1 or 101!

On Friday 1 May, The Gilded Merkin Burlesque and Cabaret returns to the Spiegeltent. This is an eclectic variety show packed with glamour, comedy, music, circus and more. Produced by Nottingham born performer Scarlett Daggers it stars only the very best international acts across sold out shows in Nottingham, Birmingham and Cardiff, guaranteeing an unforgettable night of exhilarating entertainment.

Nottingham-born comedian, Matt Forde is already on sale with his Brexit, Pursued by a Bear tour which comes to the Spiegeltent on Wednesday 13 May. A former advisor to the Labour Party, join Britain’s leading political comedian as promises his last show as an EU citizen. Matt has been seen on Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week, The Royal Variety Performance and Unspun.

Regular favourites and traditional sell-out shows such as Bamalamasingsong will return alongside many new performers for 2020. Details will be confirmed shortly.

Further Spiegeltent acts will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Keep up to date at where you can also subscribe to the weekly What’s On newsletter to get the first news on the latest announcements.

Keep an eye on the website where all the latest Spiegeltent events will be confirmed.

Councillor Dave Trimble, portfolio holder for leisure and culture said: “Thanks to our partnership with Nottingham BID, we have been able to programme even more events for the Spiegeltent. There will be great shows and activities in the day and in the evenings and they will appeal to all ages and interests. We’ve had some great feedback from audiences of all ages since the Spiegeltent has been visiting the city and we think this year’s programme is going to be the best so far. We expect that many of the shows will sell out very quickly, so I would urge people not to miss out on this truly novel entertainment experience.”

Jeff Allen, chairman of Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) said: “The last time we saw the Magnificent Spiegeltent in Old Market Square it was a huge success, bringing a large number of people and families into the city centre to enjoy the various acts and activities. City centre events such as this help increase footfall for our members, particularly bars and restaurants. Therefore we are delighted to be partnering with Nottingham City Council to help make the event bigger and better than before and we can’t wait to see the beautiful travelling dance-hall back in Nottingham this Spring.”

Currently on sale:

Wednesday 13 May    Matt Forde: Brexit Pursued by a Bear

On sale from 9am on Friday 21 February 2020:

Wednesday 29 April   Johnny Vegas Headlines a Comedy Special

Thursday 30 April       Hope and Social
Friday 1 May               The Gilded Merkin Burlesque and Cabaret

Saturday 16 May         Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure

For the current list of the shows and to book your tickets visit: