As the days lengthen and we start to see the leaves turning, that doesn’t mean that Leicester stops after the hectic summer we’ve just had, In fact it’s quite the opposite as we begin to rev up for autumn, where some of our most popular events take place. So take a look at our run down of some of the best events, shows, gigs and food festivals to enjoy until mid October!

Museums and heritage

The Heart of the Nation NHS exhibition at Leicester Museum is a fantastic exploration of the contributions that immigrants have made to our wonderful National Health Service. Telling the story of how they came here and what they have done, it’s a moving and insightful journey through a national treasure.

From 8-17 September, Heritage Open Days returns and gives you the chance to explore the history of Leicester and Leicestershire, with talks, tours, and chances to explore the hidden history of some of our most iconic buildings and areas.

From history to the future of our species, the 22 September sees Space Lates at the National Space Centre focusing on the search for life in the Universe. Space Lates was created for people who want to know more – those who have an interest in astronomy, space missions, and the exciting research happening across the world. There’s even a chance to book a sleepover ticket under the stars.

Leicester, a festival city

We know Leicester loves to celebrate and that continues through the autumn. On the 9 September, Africa Fest comes to the city’s Humberstone Gate. You can expect a wide variety of African themed stalls, fashion show, live entertainment and DJs, great food and loads more. It’s an entirely different feel on 10 September in Loughborough as the town celebrates its history of bellmaking with the first ever Loughborough Bell Festival. It includes a parade to Queen’s Park, live music, art activities and morris dance performances.

Crafting is the order of the day as Belgrave Hall hosts a Food and Craft Festival on the 9-10 September, and then, from 16-24 September, Leicester’s history as a hub for textile production will be celebrated in the Leicester Textile Festival, with community yarn bomb, trails, skill shares and much more.

 It has become a mainstay over the summer, but still many people don’t know about this fantastic free event on the last Sunday of every month. Open Streets is a celebration of cycling, but it’s so much more than that. With streets around Leicester closed for the event, there are performances, climbing towers, sport demonstrations and have a go sessions, plus all the info and help you need with your bike.

To round off September, The Botanic Gardens are holding Autumn Fest on Saturday 30 September. The gardens will be open and the whole thing is totally free, with live music, activities for the kids, quick lectures and public demos of experiments from the University of Leicester. Make sure your reserve your tickets though as this will get busy!

A city full of live music

Leicester is a city with a thriving music scene and this summer we have been celebrating punk rock. One of the recent success stories out of this has been the explosion in bands formed by women recently, featured in the Guardian and other music press. The Unglamorous all-dayer on 10 September showcases some of these amazing bands with 16 of them appearing on the day, including Wonky Portraits, Glitch Magnet, Neon Rising, Velvet Crisis and Virginia's Wolves. The Unglam continues on 22 September as part of LCB Depot’s sounds season, with three of the Unglamourous bands performing at the Sounds Unglam Punk Night. Something slightly more modern at the Soundhouse on the 1 October as 90s stars Wheatus are performing, yes they of Teenage Dirtbag!

Now it’s sold out but we couldn’t not mention the biggest gig in Leicester for 20 years. Radio 2 in the Park comes to Victoria Park on 17-18 September with acts including James Blunt, Pretenders and Kylie playing to more than 30,000 people. It’s a gentler night out at De Montfort Hall on 13 September as classical maestro Alfie Boe comes to town and there are limited tickets available.

The classical music continues with the Leicester International Music Festival at Leicester Museum from 21-23 September. On Thursday 21 September you can see a lunchtime performance of Mozart concertos, then on Saturday there’s a free lunchtime Immersive Walkabout Concert followed by an evening performance of Mozart and contemporary works by great British female composers.

Autumn on stage

The autumn is when the theatre really comes alive and there’s loads to get through this month.

He’s here, the Phantom of the Opera, which is coming to Loughborough Town Hall from the 5-9 September. Then it’s time for a mystery  for Mrs Marple as Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced comes to the Little Theatre from 11-16 September. Over to the Curve and it’s a musical adaptation of the literary classic The Book Thief running from the 29 September to the 14 October

De Montfort Hall has loads of shows coming, with a really varied line up. Starting with Most Haunted the stage show, presented by Yvette Fielding, on 3 October. Then on the 8 October there’s a celebration of the music of John Williams by the Bardi Orchestra, expect Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and many more favourites. And get in there quickly to get the remaining tickets for Jack Whitehall  who is doing two shows in the same day!

Looking for something for the kids, then Michael Rosen’s classic children’s book We’re Going On a Bear Hunt is going to be on stage at Curve from 17-22 October. Then get out of his swamp as Shrek the Musical explodes onto stage at Curve from 17-21 October. Star of CBBC and for many people the successor to David Attenborough, Steve Backshall will be at De Montfort Hall on 20 October with his brand new stage show Ocean, bringing the seas to life!

The Phoenix is taking you back to the 90s with a season of films from the height of GenX. All through September, for only £4 a ticket you can see classics including Jurassic Park, The Fugitive, Goodfellas, The Matrix and many more.

Harvest-time Food and Drink

Being the autumn there’s plenty of food and drink events happening starting with the Scoff Food Festival at the Gate Hangs Well pub in Syston. It is fast becoming a fixture in the foodie calendar and it’s back on 30 September.

Melton Mowbray plays host to two food festivals in October. First off is one of the biggest dates in the foodie calendar as the East Midlands Food and Drink Festival 7-8 October. It has been going for 19 years and showcases the very best local food and drink. So you know you’ll be getting top quality produce. Then on 19 October, the town’s market place welcomes the Melton Mowbray Vegan market. This one’s a little newer, but showcases the growing popularity of Vegan food and again showcases great local producers and makers.

Half term treats in the city

Half term may seem a lifetime away, but it’ll roll around sooner than we think. So here’s a couple of things to put in your diary, and both run by the fantastic Leicester BID organisation. First up is Leicester Restaurant Week, which runs throughout the week and offers you the chance to sample selected dishes and menus in city restaurants for a fraction of the normal price. Running alongside this is a massive treat as a trail of glowing inflatable monsters takes over the city centre’s most iconic buildings with the Leicester Monster Trail.




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