Riverside Festival will return to Nottingham on the weekend of 5 – 7 August, and the popular family festival will once again be the biggest event of the summer.

The 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 fantastic free day out with lots to do for everyone.

Visitors will enjoy live music from top artists, a fantastic range of food and drink stalls, street theatre, a craft fair, Children’s Zone, Sports Zone, the Fujifilm 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.

A brilliant line-up of musical acts will once again give locals and visitors the chance to see both established and up and coming artists completely free. Bands will perform across four stages with something on offer for everyone, from world music and jazz to folk and the best local musicians.

The Big Top Folk stage will host its strongest line-up yet, with world famous folk musician John Tams performing on Sunday 7 August. The several times winner of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards has made over 80 albums as singer, writer, musician or producer, and will perform with respected singer and musician Barry Coope at Riverside Festival – the pair have also won Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The folk stage will also see BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr perform with husband James Fagan, as well as Jamie Smith’s MABON, (who The Guardian called ‘epic’) to close the festival on Sunday 7 August.

World music fans will love the offering on the Monument Stage, which includes lively performances from French rockers Ezza, Cajun music from Cajun Roosters and energetic DJ beats from Transylvania, who cite Dracula among their influences.

The North Bank Jazz stage will get jazz fans up and dancing, with the programme highlight set to be an energetic performance by Nottingham Jazz Orchestra, with seventeen musicians and big band sound to close the festival.

On the Bandstand Stage, festival goers can discover up and coming local talent, including Super Furniture, the four piece indie rock band who won the ‘Future Sound of Nottingham’ competition and won the chance to open Splendour Festival, and Eyre Llew, an ambient rock trio who Drowned in Sound called ‘one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from Nottingham’s currently thriving music scene’.

There’s so much to do for children at Riverside Festival, and it’s all free. Street theatre along the river will entertain and delight kids and big kids alike, as they meet bumbling ballerinas, shambolic golfers, and disastrous girl guiders, and witness shambolic makeovers. Families can also enjoy Professor David Reakes – a fun storyteller who likes his audience to do most of the work, and Isabella Storyteller, with a new show inspired by Japanese Paper Theatre.

In the Children’s Zone area, a full programme of creative fun will be on 12 – 9pm Saturday and 12 – 6pm Sunday, including puppet, kite and fairy wand making, circus skills and games, and the chance to create an Egyptian head dress and necklace with artist Cath Connolly.

Nottingham Playhouse will be in the Children’s Zone too – with panto dame John Elkington reading captivating fairy tales for little ones in the magical Aladdin themed den, as well as the chance to win tickets to the Playhouse Christmas panto.

Back for 2016 to celebrate Nottingham’s status as England’s Home of Sport is the Sports Zone. With ten sports to try completely free, including netball, bowls, badminton and archery, plus the orienteering maze, it’s a great chance to try something new and have some fun.

The FujiFilm Wonder Photo Tour will visit Riverside as part of its tour around the UK. With a kids fun zone with free soft play and games and a free fridge magnet from everyone, plus the Instax VW Camper, it’s sure to be popular.

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, located next to the Bandstand. Visitors are being asked not to smoke at the family area of the festival as part of Smokefree Summer – an initiative aiming to prevent smoking from being seen as normal by young people.

BMI The Park Hospital Nottingham are sponsors of the 2016 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:  “We are very pleased to be involved with this fantastic event for the second year in a row; it’s a real family event and is our chance to give something back to the community. I am sure it is going to be a great success as always.

“We’ve all got our fingers crossed hoping the recent sunshine is here to stay! There is lots for people to see and do at the festival, and it’s great for us to be able to attend and meet patients both past and present.”

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re immensely proud as a city council to be putting 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 amazing support of the festival.”

Download the full Riverside Programme here.

  • Car parking is available, at a cost of £6 per car per day. The entrance for public parking is via Riverside Way off Queens Drive. Plan a journey by public transport at https://www.traveline.info/
  • Roadworks on Saturday 6 August on University Boulevard mean that there will be no access into the city from Beeston along this route. Visitors to Riverside should use the A52 as an alternative route into the city, or catch the tram which will still be running along University Boulevard. See www.mynottinghamnews.com for a full press release on these works.
  • Visitors to Riverside can also enjoy a broad range of food and drink, including Thai food, Vegetarian Indian food, Greek and Mediterranean food and Pakistani food in addition to traditional treats including candy floss, doughnuts, burgers and hot dogs.
  • There will also be several Marston’s bars on site selling craft beers as well as other popular alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.