Highlights of the festival include:

  • More than 20 major festivals and events in Nottingham in October – including the UK’s first-ever major Caves Festival
  • Eight days of amazing performances in the Spiegel tent – a beautiful 100 year-old mirrored tent
  • Tenth anniversary of the Hockley Hustle with 250 acts performing in 25 venues around the city
  • Thousands of varieties of beer and cider at the Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival and Oktoberfest Beer Festival
  • The UK’s oldest travelling fair, the Goose Fair
  • Europe’s biggest cultural video gaming festival, GameCity
  • A Robin Hood celebration – including International Robin Hood Day and the Robin Hood Pageant at Nottingham Castle

Nottingham is building on the success of last year’s first ever Nottingham October Festival month to offer an even bigger programme of events this year  – with more major festivals and events in October than any other city in the UK.

Nottingham City Council has joined forces with Experience Nottinghamshire, Galleries of Justice, Broadway, Hockley Hustle, GameCity and CAMRA, to name but a few, to bring the city alive in October.

More than 20 festival and major events will be taking place throughout the month, including, what is believed to be, the UK’s first-ever Caves Festival. From family fun to music, arts to beer, to videogames and comic book heroes, Nottingham’s festival fever really does offer something for everyone.

No festival in Nottingham would be complete without a celebration of its world-famous outlaw – Robin Hood – and this year’s October Festival includes a number of events, including jousting and medieval merriment, at Nottingham Castle’s Robin Hood Pageant, and sampling some of the 1,200 real ales on offer at the four-day Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival, which is now in its 41st year.

For the second consecutive year, The Spiegel Tent will add a sprinkle of Victorian splendour to Nottingham’s iconic Old Market Square.  The largest surviving tent of mirrors in the world, this beautiful 100 year-old tent, which Marlene Dietrich once performed in, and which was loved by Marilyn Monroe, is the unique venue for various live events including comedy, burlesque and music as well as family fun and pantomime.

Beer and food lovers will be well catered for and, in addition to the annual Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival at Nottingham Castle, the second Oktoberfest German Beer Festival at the Forest Recreation ground will have thousands of varieties of beer on offer, along with great food and live music.

The Hockley Hustle music festival, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, includes over 250 Nottingham acts performing at over 25 venues across the city. Along with great music, street entertainers and street food the event brings a carnival atmosphere to the streets of Hockley, and has been the springboard for much local talent including Jake Bugg.

Film buffs can enjoy the very best in horror at the ultimate fright fest, Mayhem Film Festival at Broadway Cinema, and the Nottingham International Microfilm Festival will be screening microfilms, training filmmakers and bringing industry professionals together from across the globe to discuss industry developments in short format content.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “Our ambitious campaign to attract visitors during October will result in real economic and cultural benefits for our city. I’m delighted to be building on the great results achieved in 2015 with an even better programme of events and festivals that once again confirm Nottingham’s status as the UK’s festival city for October.”

David Wallace, Chief Executive, Experience Nottinghamshire, said: “Nottingham’s October Festival provides us with a terrific opportunity to raise the profile of Nottingham as the UK’s leading festival city in the month of October.   This year’s festival builds on the success of last year’s inaugural event to make the 2016 programme even bigger and better.

“We are particularly excited to announce, what we believe to be, the UK’s first-ever Caves Festival as part of the extensive line up.  By holding such a diverse range of events we are hoping to attract a large number of visitors to the city, which will clearly have a positive impact on the region’s visitor economy, especially as many of the visitors will incorporate an overnight stay in the city.”

Find out more about October in Nottingham, the UK’s Festival City: https://www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/october

The major events for October in Nottingham include:

Nottingham Caves Festival

Late October 2016

Discover a hidden world of wonder, deep underground the city of Nottingham, which is home to more than 500 man-made caves, many of which date back to the medieval period. The inaugural Nottingham Caves Festival will see a range of events taking place in caves across the city – including live music, food and drink events, special tours and storytelling events. A Caves Festival hub will also provide visitors with insight into the history of the caves, and interactive activities to bring the stories of the caves to life.

Spiegel Tent in Old Market Square, Nottingham   

1 – 8 October 2016

This beautiful Belgian 20th Century travelling dance hall, made of wood and complete with ornate decoration and mirrors will return to the Old Market Square for the second year to host a diverse range of events including music performances, pantomime, dance shows, a comedy night and burlesque shows.

Nottingham Canal Festival

1 October

Celebrate the heritage of our waterways and enjoy a family fun day out at Castle Wharf in the heart of the city.  Have a go at angling, try canoeing, take in a boat trip, or simply soak up the atmosphere by the water.  Historic boats from across the UK will give a flavour of how the wharf would have looked in its industrial heyday.

Goose Fair, Forest Recreation Ground, Nottingham

5 – 9 October

The UK’s oldest travelling fair, with more than 700 years of history, the Goose Fair is renowned as a fantastic event for all ages. With more than 500 attractions, from the latest white knuckle experiences to family rides and old favourites including waltzers, carousels and Hook-a-Duck, plus traditional Goose Fair food including mushy peas and mint sauce, candy floss and brandy snaps.

Leonardo Da Vinci: 10 Drawings from the Royal Collection

Until 9 Oct

A new exhibition at Nottingham Castle displays ten of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection, in an incredibly rare chance to see them.  The works show the extraordinary scope of the artist’s interests, from painting and sculpture to engineering, zoology, botany, mapmaking and anatomy.

Hockley Hustle

9 October

The streets of Hockley in the heart of the Creative Quarter will be filled with festival fever when 250 Nottingham acts perform in over 25 venues to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the event which has helped to springboard a large number of musical acts, including the hugely successful Jake Bugg who performed at the festival six years ago.

Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival, Nottingham Castle

12 – 15 October

Renowned as the festival with the world’s biggest selection of draft cask condition beers, with more than 1,200 on offer, sample some of the country’s finest best beer and cider whilst enjoying  the picturesque grounds of Nottingham Castle.  Fantastic food and live music add to the festive atmosphere of this legendary event.

Mayhem Film Festival, Broadway Cinema

13 – 16 October

This cutting-edge event brings you the very best in horror, sci-fi and cult features and shorts from around the world, often with guest filmmakers in attendance. From premieres, new releases and previews to cult classics, breakthrough shorts, midnight movies, masterclasses and live experiments.

Get Creative Family Arts Festival

Various venues throughout October

Enjoy eye-boggling arts for all the family with a series of events taking place at various galleries and theatres across Nottingham during October as part of the Arts Council’s nationwide festival.

Diwali Festival of Light 2016

15 – 16 October

Celebrate Diwali at Highfields Park and Lakeside Arts with a variety of light and music events.  A chance to make floating lotus flowers to add to the light installation on the lake, or enjoy a special production of Olli goes to Bollywood.

Nottingham International Microfilm Festival, various venues

20 – 22 October

Celebrate all things microfilm with screenings, screen industry networking events, talks, presentations, panel discussions and masterclasses at various events across the city.

Rockingham Live

21 – 23 October

Three days of the finest melodic hard rock from around the world which will be this year held at Nottingham Trent University’s Students’ Union building.

Malt Cross Festival

21 – 23 October

To celebrate the opening of this Victorian music hall in the heart of the city in time for the Goose Fair in 1877,  throughout this three-day event, watch national bands on the historic Top Hat Stage, or up and coming acts in the sandstone caves.   Other activities include family friendly craft workshops, film screenings, historical storytelling and exciting local food delicacies to try.

Nottingham Oktoberfest 2016

26 – 30 Oct

Enjoy the amazing atmosphere and a taste of Bavaria in Nottingham when the huge Oktoberfest festival opens on the Forest Recreation ground, offering German beer, food and live music. Lederhosen optional!

International Robin Hood Day

29 October

Celebrate Nottingham’s famous outlaw Robin Hood, with a day dedicated to the man himself!  Visit Old Market Square for free Robin Hood themed crafts and activities, or head to Nottingham Castle to enjoy the festivities at the Robin Hood Pageant.

Robin Hood Pageant, Nottingham Castle

29 – 30 October

This ever popular event offers a great opportunity to experience a taste of medieval life at a celebration of Nottingham’s infamous legend.   The Robin Hood Pageant, which transforms the grounds of Nottingham Castle into a medieval village, sees Robin Hood and his Merry Men, King Richard I in his royal camp and living history demonstrations entertaining the crowds.  Archery, falconry, wood carving and spectacular jousting tournaments are among the many activities at this extravaganza of medieval merriment.

Nottingham Comic Convention

29 October

Nottingham Conference Centre will once again play host to the event that celebrates everything comic, with the opportunity to meet your favourite characters, as artists from all walks of the comic world unite.  Now in its fourth year, this fun for all the family event attracts comic fans of all ages.

Halloween at Galleries of Justice Museum

Throughout October

Dare you enter the most haunted building in the UK this Halloween? Throughout October the Galleries of Justice Museum will have a variety of atmospheric events including Witches Trials, Ghost Tours, Terror Tours and a selection of fun family activities.

GameCity Festival

26 – 29 October

This October, Make Fun! when GameCity, the world’s best loved videogame festival is back for its eleventh year.  Nottingham becomes the capital city of videogames once again, with more new games per square-foot than anywhere else in the world!  Plus the infamous city-wide Sheriff’s Gauntlet will be taking place on Saturday 29 October, starting at the Old Market Square.