Fireworks at the festival

The East Midlands’ biggest free summer festival will be back on Nottingham’s Victoria Embankment this weekend (2- 4 August) where over 150,000 visitors are expected as the annual Riverside Festival takes place alongside the River Trent.

The festival lasts until Sunday evening, offering a wide range of family fun and entertainment with something for every age and every taste.

Music is, as ever a big part of the festival with two massive live music stages, plus the Bandstand Stage on Sunday is new for 2019 and will have a programme of entertainment for children.

There will be a whole mile of fairground rides, games and attractions along with numerous food and drink vendors, river based activities and a Riverside market.  There will also be the legendary firework display on the River Trent from 10:30 on Saturday night.

Returning for this year in the kids’ zone on Saturday and Sunday is fabland –  inspired by the iconic ice lolly. fab’s free play park is complete with confetti sprinkle geysers, ball pit moats and three huge fab slides under a fab sprinkle dome. #myfabland is open between 10am and 6pm each day and is perfect for the little festival goers in the party (ages 6-12).

On the river, the Dragon Boat competition (Sunday between 10am – 5pm), will be thrilling to watch with crews of 10 people each 30′ boat with a drummer at the front beating time. Over 20 local businesses will be represented as crews battle it out over the 200m race course.

The Royal Marine Visibility Teams will also be attending the festival alongside HMS Sherwood (East Midlands) with an Inshore Raiding Craft display on the water as well as ‘Pull-up’ Challenge and other interactive displays. The teams will take part in the Dragon Boat racing.

The festival’s three live music stages will host a wide range of musical influences. The Monument Stage boasts global beats. Encounter a barrage of bouzoukis, brass, guitars, keys and deranged sounds from Hallouminati on Friday following a funk, soul and hip-hop session with Fat Digester. On Saturday, Niteworks from the Isle of Skye, offers a unique fusion of electronica and Scottish traditional music. They follow Gaslight Troubadours – with a unique blend of electro-swing and steampunk.

Headliner on the Big Top Stage for Friday is guitarist Mollie Ralph, while on Saturday, Scott Bugg and The Vital Few round off the evening with a mix of Indie, Rock and Blues.

On Sunday, the stage will have a folk takeover with Bob Fox headlining. Fox is rated as the best male singer on the British folk scene, The folk line up is considered one of the best free folk festival line ups in the UK.

Families should definitely plan a trip to the Bandstand on Sunday with interactive drumming, sing along sessions and performances from midday. Watch out for slapstick adventure and summertime fun as The Admirable Admirals drop anchor just after one to battle flying fish, each other and any unsuspecting passers-by with their water pistols and salty sea-dog ways. At 2pm, Nottingham legends Johnny and the raindrops perform a set of lively, original songs aimed at the ‘cool kids’ in the audience.

A full list of the acts performing can be found at and there is a download option for festival goers to save the set listings on their smartphones.

As part of the city council’s commitment to managing the environmental impact of the event, the use of polypropylene cups will be trialled at all bars on site. The polypropylene cups are reusable. They are used on a wash rotation for up to five years and are fully recyclable. At the end of their life, they are broken down and turned into items such as coat hangers or ice scrapers.

Customers are required to pay a £1 deposit for the cup which will be refunded once the cup is returned at any point during the event. The polypropylene cups are manufactured in the UK and washed in Nottinghamshire. The washing plant also runs from completely renewable clean energy.

Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture
said; “We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people to Victoria Embankment over the weekend and very proud to be putting on fantastic events such as the Riverside Festival for the people of Nottingham to enjoy. With such a varied and packed programme of fun things to do, and new features such as the Bandstand entertainment on Sunday, it’s not surprising that this is the biggest free festival in the East Midlands and that many people from outside the city also choose to make the trip to enjoy it with us.”

Festival opening times
Friday           18:30 – 22:30
Saturday       12:00 – 23:30
Sunday         12:00 – 18:30

Visit the fab Facebook page for further details:

Parking –Ample event car parking is available for £7 per car (cash or cards accepted) with easy access from both the A60 and A52.

Buses from the city centre – Buses drop off at Trent Bridge

Green 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 from Victoria Centre (Parliament Street) outside Lloyds Bank

Navy 1 or 3 from Beastmarket Hill in the Old Market Square

Buses also pick up on Maid Marian Way, and Carrington Street (for the railway station).

After the event
Frequent buses run between Trent Bridge back to the city centre throughout the Riverside Festival, with extra buses at busy times.

At the end of the Fireworks Display on Saturday night, a special event service will be in place to take people back to the city centre.

Families and couples can travel with a Grouprider ticket at £6 for up to five people (min one adult, max two adults). These tickets allow unlimited use from the time of purchase until 4.29am the following morning and cover all NCT buses in Nottingham.

Tram Travel

The festival can also be accessed via tram by taking the tram and Park and Ride – The closest stop is Meadows Embankment

A group travel ticket offers unlimited travel on one day for 1 or 2 adults and up to 3 children.

An Off Peak Group ticket costs £5 and can be purchased from ticket machines. It is valid weekdays after 4pm and all day during weekends and school holidays. Under 5’s travel free)