About Us

Who we are and what we do

Ashbourne Market - Graeme ReedRead on and find out all about us. Ashbourne Festival takes place every June and July in the small market town of Ashbourne, situated at the southern end of the Derbyshire Dales. It is close to the popular tourist areas in the Peak District National Park. Its rural location and Georgian buildings make it the perfect location for this small and eclectic festival. However, the festival is not just about this heritage, it aims to bring the best possible classical and contemporary arts to the town.  Ashbourne Festival has hosted some of the best street theatre, musicians, comedians, artists and writers working in the region, nationally and internationally.  It is a cultural oasis in a popular area that is still relatively isolated from significant arts venues.  The Festival is now established as one of the town’s unusual mix of traditions, which include Shrovetide football and the Highland Gathering.

The Festival is created and managed by a dedicated and experienced team of volunteers, a unique situation within the East Midlands for a festival of this size. It has an excellent reputation with audiences, artists, performers and funding organisations.  The steering group originally came together in 1999 through the enthusiasm of members of the local community.  It is now a charity running a festival which includes Streetfest, the mini festival of world class street performance, as well as the 17 day main event programme.

The members of the steering group of the Festival represent a diverse range of talents and long experience, but have a common purpose to see art and culture in the area develop and flourish.  As well as promoting professional performers, the festival aims to encourage community participation and involvement from both the local residents and visitors alike.

The Festival continues to grow in stature, and to provide for the cultural ambitions of the town and surrounding area.