Festival events

The full programme for the 2024 festival appears here in date order. (Booking will open in early April.)

You can also home in on events that are particularly suited to children and families, Music, Drama, Exhibitions, Workshops and Activities or Sporting events  or use our Calendar to see what’s on on a particular day.

Sat 18May2024

Festival Saturday

Free entertainment supported by a grant from Nailsworth Town Council

From 10.00 am until mid-afternoon

The free entertainment should appeal to all the family. As ever, there will be a market and many other activities across the town with Duck Races, courtesy of Nailsworth PTFA. Watch out for the Eco Fancy Dress competition from 11.15 am and “Face Painting” by Jack’s Beauty Bar between 11am and 3pm.

Entertainment in Mortimer Gardens
10.00 Blues Triad - Hill Country blues from the deep south of Gloucestershire
10.30 Leo Live - Playing crowd-pleasing tunes
11.15 Children’s Eco Fancy Dress Competition
11.45 Punch and Judy - much loved puppet show by Poulton’s Puppets, with a modern approach to traditional entertainment.
12.15 Moonlighting Swing Band - playing Swing Jazz from the era before Rock ’n’ Roll
13.00 Leo Live with more popular live music
13.45 Nailsworth Primary School Choir - always a hit with their enthusiasm and lovely singing
14.15 More laughs with Punch and Judy
14.45 Moonlighting Swing Band - bring your dancing shoes

Buskers in Market Street:
10.50 - 11.20 Blues Triad
11.30 - 12.00 Nailsworth Community Choir
12.00 - 14.00 Folk music from the Fruit Bowlers

Sat 18 - Sun 19May2024

Visit Gigg Mill and Dunkirk MIll

18th May: Gigg Mill open 10am - noon and 2pm to 4pm.
18th and 19th May: Dunkirk Mill open 2pm to 4pm.

As part of your Festival experience, visit Gigg and Dunkirk Mills and learn about the history of the cloth industry in the Stroud Valleys. Try your hand at weaving at Gigg Mill and see the water wheel turning at Dunkirk Mill.

These events are presented in  collaboration with the Stroudwater Textile Trust.

Sat 18May2024

Eco Fancy Dress Competition

11.15 am until 11.45 am

Gather at far side of Mortimer Gardens in advance (look for the sign!). Judging starts 11.15

Open to individuals or groups, ages 0-7 and 8-100.

Costumes: Eco-friendly/ hand-made/ recycled or up-cycled. All ideas welcome, no specific categories.


Overall Best aged 8-100: A family day for four at adventure park ‘Cattle Country’.

Overall Best aged 0-7: A family day for four at Slimbridge, including Welly Boot Land.

Also prizes for both age groups, 1st, 2nd and 3rd: Amazon Gift Tokens.

Rosettes for all entrants. Special prizes for Judges’ choices.

Entry forms at Nailsworth Library or by email to: [email protected]

(Give your name, costume title, school and age).

Sat 18May2024

Sports Fest

2.00pm until 4.00pm

At King George V Playing Field GL6 0HT


If you and your family enjoy being active, come along to King George V playing fields for an afternoon of fun and fitness with Nailsworth Youth Club. Skipping, table tennis, badminton, tennis, hoops and balls are just some of the activities available. Entrance is free and refreshments will be provided. Boys and girls, mums, dads, grandparents and carers all welcome.

Sat 18May2024

"A Rose by any other name"

by Lou Beckett, performance by Parrot Productions

7.30 pm

At Town Hall, GL6 0JF


When a literary journalist starts to ask questions about the authorship of the Shakespeare plays, she finds herself facing a wave of hostility from her boss, her boyfriend and a Shakespearian scholar. And when she has the temerity to suggest a woman, Mary Sydney, might have contributed to the plays, the Twittersphere lights up… Performance (about an hour) will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions of the author.Parrot Productions

Quotes from their Cheltenham performance: “That was thought provoking and fascinating, made you really think. Well written, brilliantly performed and great to see.” “Good casting, very relevant; very professional. Thanks.” “Superbly researched and written! Well developed characters.”

(For more quotes, see our news item.)


How to book

Sun 19May2024

Playcircle - A Boatman and his Friends

Creative, musical storytelling and imaginative play for little folk

11.00 am until 12.00 pm

At Town Hall, GL6 0JF

£2 per person


Playcircle and Cotswold Canals Connected partners, Stroudwater Navigation Archive Charity bring you the musical storytelling of ‘A Boatman and his Friends’. This performance is best suited to the youngest members of our community but the stories can be enjoyed by all the family.

Tickets must be booked in advance using 




Sun 19May2024

“Fauré 100” with Martin Roscoe on piano and Fenella Humphreys on violin

Sponsored in memory of the late Robert Stiling, Brownshill, Stroud

7.30 pm

At Christ Church, GL6 0DQ


With the 100th anniversary of Fauré’s death approaching in the Autumn of 2024, Martin Roscoe and award-winning violinist Fenella Humphreys have put together a beautiful programme of French music by Fauré and his Belle Epoque contemporaries. An evening of delightful music not to be missed.

The programme includes Fauré’s Romance op. 28, his Andante op. 75 and his Sonata no. 1 op 13. Compositions by his teacher and friend Saint-Saëns, by Ravel, Enescu, and Lili Boulanger also feature.

Refreshments available

How to book


Mon 20May2024

Susan Lewis in conversation

Author and raconteur

7.30 pm

At Egypt Mill, GL6 0AE


Susan Lewis is an international bestselling author; she’s also a fascinating and delightful raconteur (If you’ve not heard her story about living in LA, with George Clooney as a neighbour, then come along for that alone!).

Her novels encompass family dramas, thrillers, suspense and crime; yet, if you read Susan’s memoirs recounting her 1960s childhood in Bristol, you’ll realise her own life has been every bit as extraordinary, moving and surprising as any fiction. She will be in conversation with Katie Jarvis. Susan’s fee is going to the charity Cotswolds Dogs & Cats Home.


How to book

Mon 20May2024

“Moody Sky - Golden Roots"

Musical poetry with Pete Ways & Shelley Rider

7.30 pm

At Mortimer Room, GL6 0DU


An evening of musical poetry featuring a range of acoustic colours, melodies and words brought to you by Pete Ways and Shelley Rider.

Pete is a renowned singer and composer continuing his musical journey in the UK. He was originally from Poland, where he had a varied musical career. He will sing original poems, written by Shelley and transformed into songs.

Shelley is a poet who has lived in Nailsworth for 20 years. She is involved in the local community and is a member of St George’s poetry group. During the evening they will launch their debut album “Moody Sky”.


How to book

Tue 21May2024

Make your own Sizzling Vietnamese Crepes

At Natural Cookery School, Days Mill, GL6 0DU

£12 per person

New session now available at 5.00pm. (Previously advertised sessions at 6.00pm and 7.30pm are fully booked - sorry.)

Join Erin and team at the Natural Cookery School for a mini hands-on cookery lesson. Vietnamese food is fresh, fragrant and delicious. We want to share our favourite Vietnamese recipe, Bánh xèo, with you. Bánh xèo is a savoury Vietnamese Sizzling Crepe.These crispy pancakes are loved by everyone that eats them and the best part is the delicious dipping sauce! We will show you how to make the batter, you will cook your own, prepare the fillings and make your own dipping sauce. After you make your pancake, you can have a seat in the dining room to eat your creations or take them away with you. Everything is provided including recipes to take home. The pancakes are naturally gluten free and vegan so everyone can enjoy!

Booking essential via naturalcookeryschool.com/classes/category/taster-class/ or by email [email protected] 01453 832444

Tue 21 - Sun 26May2024

Jonathan Oakes & Joanne Casling

An Exhibition of original abstract artworks

At The Setting Gallery, Three Storeys, GL6 0JE (entrance in Town Hall car park)

This is a rare chance to see the wonderfully emotive artworks of Jonathan Oakes and Joanne Casling, whose paintings and drawings are created from a wealth of experience, research and dedication to their individual skills. @art4oka and @jocasling

Tue 21May2024

“Neolithic communities in the Cotswolds”

Change of speaker: Professor Julian Thomas

7.30 pm

At Town Hall, GL6 0JF


An insight into the Neolithic communities that made their homes in our area in 4000BC. In this event, Professor Julian Thomas will talk about the impact of these early people and their customs. He will look at some of the monuments they built that can still be seen in today’s landscape.


Julian Thomas pictured here with Alice Roberts

We’re indebted to the brilliant Julian Thomas – Professor of Archaeology at Manchester University – for taking the place of our original speaker, Tim Darvill at our Neolithic event. Julian is a specialist in Neolithic and Bronze Age prehistory, and author of several books including Understanding the Neolithic, and Neolithic Britain, the Transformation of Social Worlds.He is vice president of the Royal Anthropological Institute and former Secretary of the World Archaeological Congress.

We send our very warmest wishes to Tim, who is unable to attend due to medical treatment.


How to book


Tue 21May2024

Frankie Archer

The Nailsworth Festival Richard Valentine Memorial Folk Concert


At Ruskin Mill, GL6 0LA


Frankie Archer is fresh on the scene and shaking up genres and traditions, sharing lesser-told sides of stories, championing women, challenging perspectives and calling for a fairer future, to a unique mix of synths, samples, drum tracks, earthy fiddle, and voice.

Her imaginative and bold fusion of genres shows her Northumbrian fiddle roots, her deep love of electronic music and her immersion in soulful folk songs from the North East of England and around the world.

Frankie’s music has been played on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 6Music. ‘Over the Border’ was chosen by Fatea for their Showcase Session and ‘Close the Coalhouse Door’ was included on the BBC Introducing Mixtape.

 “Gorgeous trad playing and creative vocal twists... a fascinating and intoxicating blend of the contemporary and the traditional.” - Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

To book please contact

Ruskin Mill 01453 837537

Wed 22May2024

Five Valleys Acoustic & Roots

Six musical acts, all based in and around the Five Valleys

7.30 pm

At Three Storeys, GL6 0JE (entrance in Town Hall car park)


Bringing to the Festival both original and familiar songs in folk, roots, Americana, blues and popular styles. This promises to be a highly entertaining evening, in the intimate venue of Three Storeys, packed with great music!

Charlie’s Angels: Sweet harmonies from Jan and Anne.

Frostbiter: Irrepressible duo with an act that you won’t forget.

Lyn Briggs: Singer-songwriter living in Stroud.

The Peekies: Chris and Christina, a highly popular husband and wife duo.

Pete Blackwell: Better known as one of the Boogie Bop Boys, Pete also writes some fine songs of his own.

Tim Hughes: Folky blues with songs inspired by Nailsworth and surrounding area.


How to book

Wed 22May2024

“When Sue met Diarmaid”

A fun evening of lively conversation

7.30 pm

At Nailsworth Town Hall, GL6 0JF


Sue Limb is an acclaimed writer - Radio 4’s comedy series “Gloomsbury” being a hilarious case in point; Diarmaid McCulloch is Professor of Theology at Oxford (as well as a biographer and TV presenter).

We could sell this to you as an academic chat between two well-respected souls... or a naughty natter between friends. What we can promise is a hugely fun evening of conversation ranging from gossip about Anne Boleyn, to the Anglican Church’s hypocritical attitude to homosexuality.

What’s not to like?


How to book

Thu 23May2024

Elvis in “Blue Hawaii”

The brand-new comedy from Spitz & Co

7.30 pm

At Town Hall, GL6 0JF,


Expect the usual mayhem and lots of audience interaction - plus all your favourite Elvis songs. Award-winning Elvis impersonator Joe Reeve (Best Sideburns: GlosVegas 2014) stars in his version of the classic Elvis film “Blue Hawaii”. His long- time tour manager, Josephine Cunningham, is there to keep the show on the road... next stop: Vegas!

A musical comedy which will leave you all shook up. So, dig out your best Hawaiian shirt and escape to Paradise! Family friendly show - suitable for all ages.

“The funniest and silliest thing I’ve ever seen - pure joy!”  Stagetalk Magazine on Gloriator

“Riotous slapstick and immaculate comic timing.” The Stage on Spitz & Co.


How to book

Fri 24May2024

The Film: “Cabaret”

Nailsworth Film Club

Doors open 7pm, start 7:30 pm

At Arkell Centre, GL6 0BG


A chance to join Film Club members at the Arkell Centre to enjoy this classic and enjoyable film.

How to book

Sat 25May2024

Nature Crown Workshop

10.30 am until 12.30 pm

At Nailsworth Library GL6 0DU

Nailsworth Library will be the venue for a “Nature Crown Workshop” during the festival, hosted by Wild & Green Outdoor Learning. Join the team for this fun Springtime activity, perfect for all of the family. The session is free, but spaces are limited.

To book a slot please visit the library website: www.gloucestershire.spydus.co.uk

Suitable for ages 3+ years.

Sat 25May2024

Moscow Drug Club

A welcome return for Moscow Drug Club presenting their unique show.

7.30 pm

At Town Hall, GL6 0JF


A curious musical place where elements of Berlin Cabaret, Latin Tinge, French Musette and storytelling meet...

Imagine having a few to drink and staggering arm in arm into the darkness of an Eastern European cobbled street and stumbling into a bar where Django Reinhardt and Tom Waits are having an after-hours jam with the local Tziganes.

Combining their original material with songs by the likes of Jaques Brel, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen & Eartha Kitt, Moscow Drug Club deliver an intoxicating and intimate musical experience.

Moscow Drug Club have played some great venues and festivals of note including: WOMAD, National Theatre London, International Gypsy Guitar Festival, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Purbeck Folk Festival, Royal Albert Hall, Bristol Beacon, Birmingham Jazz Festival and Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival.


How to book