We’re getting into the busiest time of the year for events, and this year it’s busier than ever, thanks to the small matter of the crowning of a new King! The Coronation of King Charles III takes place on Saturday 6 May and there’s so much going on for that we’ve created a separate blog to cover it all. Check it out here.

Other than that, there’s so much happening around Leicester and Leicestershire that rather than doing two months, we’ve done a month and a half for this post. So check it all out below and keep an eye on our events calendar, which currently has more than 700 listed events.


Stars on stage

Leicester is well known as a hotbed of theatrical and musical talent and there’s no letting up even though we’re heading into summer. We’re just highlighting a few of the choice events. From 2-5 May, the stage adaptation of film classic The Shawshank Redemption comes to Loughborough Town Hall. On 3 May a legend of music, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi brings his acoustic and chat show to Leicester’s Y Theatre. There are only a few tickets left for this, so get them soon. One of his 80s compatriots, Midge Ure, will be at De Montfort Hall on 24 May will be playing tunes from across his 40 year career.

Staying with music there are two unsung (but fantastic) artists coming in May. At the Musician on 10 May, Nashville’s Jason Ringenberg brings his solo show to town. A stalwart of alt country since the early 80s he has worked with legends of the genre and this is a rare chance to see him in a small venue. Then on 13 May, Nottingham’s Ferocious Dog come to the O2 Academy at Leicester Uni, with a folk-punk style and politically aware lyrics, they always put on a raucous show.

Mid to late May sees a host of great shows come to town, with 42nd Street bringing Broadway spirit to the Curve Theatre from 17 May to 3 June. Patel’s Millions, on at De Montfort Hall on 20 May is a Bollywood musical telling the story of an unlikely millionaire. Curve also plays hot to two modern retellings in June as Michael Rosen’s retelling of the Charles Dickens classic Unexpected Twist, is showing from 7-10 June. Then the award winning Six comes to town from 13-18 June. This musical comedy is a retelling of the stories of Henry VIII’s wives from their musical point of view and is a riot!


History and heritage

There are lots of outdoor activities coming, starting right at the beginning of the month at Bosworth Battlefield as the House of Bayard bring history to life with encampments and battle recreations. Every Wednesday afternoon throughout May and June you have the chance to go behind the scenes at Taylor’s Bellfoundry in Loughborough as they are running tours of the foundry, which has been closed for refurbishment.

Leicester is going punk this summer as a new exhibition comes to Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. Punk Rage and Revolution tells the story of the punk movement with artefacts, photographs and much more, all on display from 27 May. On 30 May at the Guildhall there’s a party of a different kind as the Right Royal Knees Up celebrates the Coronation of King Charles III with a Royalty themed family fun day.

Belvoir Castle has some fantastic events coming up. They have a special event for the weekend of the Coronation (more on that up at the top of this article) and then on the weekend of the 13/14 May it’s a busy one as they host Steampunk Fairytale, as the castle is transformed into a wonderland of cogs, gears and outlandish costumes and lots of family friendly fun. Elsewhere on the estate, it’s a dog lover’s heaven as Dogfest comes to Belvoir. There’s the Big Dog Walk, Fun Dog Show and plenty of have-a-go activities to get stuck into with your four-legged friend. Tickets for all Belvoir Castle events can be found here.


Fantastic festivals

Festival season is here and there are some amazing events coming up, starting with the Let’s Dance International Frontiers Festival which explores dance technique and history, while showcasing some of the UK’s leading performers from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora. At Phoenix cinema from 4-14 May, the UK Asian Film Festival takes over. Running across four UK cities including Leicester, it’s a celebration of on screen storytelling.

Time to bring your stretchy trousers as Melton Mowbray celebrates all things fromagey. The Artisan Cheese Fair comes to Melton’s Stockyard on the 20th and 21st May and will leave your belly full and your dreams those that only a cheese overdose can conjure. From cheese to beer as the Pint of Science Festival takes over venues across the city to bring groundbreaking research to pubs, cafes and community halls. Running from 22-24 May, you’ll hear from leading Leicester-based researchers in a series of talks, demonstrations and live demonstrations.

Coming to Belvoir Castle from the 2-4 June, the Forbidden Forest Festival is the biggest electronic festival in the Midlands, with 30,000 music fans attending. With acts including Glitterbox, a Groove Armada DJ set, Bru-C and Example, it’ll be a weekend to remember. The same weekend Leicester is hosting a rather more genteel celebration as the Riverside Festival returns to the city. With canal boats, dragon boat races, craft stalls, great food and music performances, the festival is always a great time

And finally, it’s the highlight of the heavy music calendar, the second largest music festival in the UK and it’s held at the hard rock mecca of Donington Park right here in Leicestershire. The Download Festival is celebrating its 20th birthday and runs from 8-11 June. More than 100,000 metal heads will descend on North West Leicestershire to see two headline sets from the mighty Metallica, Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, Halestorm, Disturbed, Ghost and many more. Weekend tickets are already sold out but there may be some day tickets left. Get them here.


Super sports

To conclude there are a few sporting events worthy of note. The Leicester Tigers conclude a topsy turvey season at home to Harlequins on 6 May, having already secured their spot in the play-offs with a demolition of the Exeter Chiefs. Last year’s Champions have endured a torrid time, but they are hitting form at the right time and the last home game of the season will have a festival atmosphere. Tickets are available here.

The darts returns to the Morningside Arena as former World Champions Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price top the all-star billing as Armageddon Darts showcases some of the best darting talent on 19 May. Get your tickets here. And finally, not content with hosting the biggest metal festival in the country, Donington Park is returning to their bread and butter as the Bennett’s British Superbike Championship comes to the race track on the 20 May for three days of 180mph wheel to wheel action.

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