Riverside Festival will return to Nottingham on the weekend of 31 July – 2 August, and it’s set to be the biggest and best free event of the summer.

This year’s BMI The Park Hospital Riverside Festival will take place at the Victoria Embankment from Friday evening to Sunday evening and as ever, it’s a free, fantastic day out for everyone.

Visitors can enjoy live music, a range of food and drink stalls, street theatre, a craft fair, Children’s Zone, the BBC Make it Digital Tour, craft stalls, a display of traditional steam engines and organs, plus dragon boat racing and the charity duck race. The popular fireworks display will end the evening on Saturday at 10.30pm.

Music is a focal point at Riverside, and this year bands will perform across four stages with something on offer for everyone, from world music and jazz to folk and the best local musicians to watch. BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominee for Folk Singer of the Year Jez Lowe will perform on the Big Top Stage along with Bob Fox and Young Generation and others, while The Jeanie Barton Quartet and the Bob Wilson Dixieland Quartet will entertain on the jazz stage.

World music fans will be delighted with the offering on the Monument Stage, which includes traditional Celtic music from Sketch, French folk rock from Epsylon, and West African sounds from N’Faly Koyaté. Home grown talent including Lacey (who recently sold out Rock City) and Eyre Llew will play on the Bandstand Stage – a fantastic opportunity for visitors to see up-and-coming local acts before they make it big.

There’s so much on offer for children at Riverside! Street theatre along the river will entertain and delight kids and big kids alike, as they meet waddling penguins, eccentric dinner ladies, and plundering Vikings. Visitors can drop into the Children’s Zone for a full programme of creative fun, including the chance to learn circus skills.

The BBC Make it Digital Tour will visit Riverside as part of its thirteen city tour around the UK. Visitors can explore the digital world by learning how to programme and present the weather and program the Daleks in a devious game against Doctor Who. Plus, they can learn about the latest digital technology with talks and information from local groups including the National Videogame Arcade.

Exciting dragon boat racing, raising money in aid of Rainbows Hospice, will take place on Sunday 2 August along the river between 11am – 4pm approximately. The annual charity rubber duck race will also take place on Sunday at 4.30pm.

A full festival programme will be handed out by stewards on site, or visitors can pick up a copy at the Information Desk.

BMI The Park Hospital Nottingham are the sponsors for the 2015 Riverside Festival. As a result of this sponsorship income, Nottingham City Council has been able to make these events better than ever before – investing the income from sponsorship directly back into improving the event for the people of Nottingham.

John Lindars, Executive Director at BMI The Park Hospital, said: “It is going to be a fantastic event and we are very proud to be so involved with it. It is our chance to give something back to the community and I am sure it is going to be a great success.

“It is a real family event and we are sure there will be record-breaking numbers attending. Now we’ve all got our fingers crossed hoping for some summer sunshine to go with the celebrations!”

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re immensely proud as a city that we put on fantastic, free events such as the BMI The Park Hospital Riverside Festival for the people of Nottingham to enjoy. With such a varied and packed programme of things to do for everyone, this year’s festival is sure to be a massive success and a really fun weekend.

“I hope everyone will join me in recognising the incredibly hard work of the Nottingham City Council events team in organising Riverside, and also in saying thank you to our sponsors BMI The Park Hospital Nottingham for their support of the festival.”