19 Events in 2019

Make the most of Lancaster in 2019 with our top 19 events…


  1. BBC Philharmonic – Lancaster Arts – 7 February

Lancaster Arts are excited to welcome dear friends, the BBC Philharmonic, back to the Great Hall this February. Lancaster University’s new partnership with this outstanding orchestra is the start of a close relationship between the musicians, our audiences and academics. To celebrate, they are dedicating this concert to John Ruskin on the eve of his 200th Anniversary, and the centrepiece of the evening is a beautiful concerto by the lake district-based composer, Edward Cowie, performed by one of the UK’s foremost performing artists, Julian Bliss.


  1. Pinocchio – Lancaster Grand – 7-9 February

Stage Struck theatre group proudly present Pinocchio. If you loved “Witches” you’ll be enthralled with Stage Struck’s magical retelling of the dark, sometimes scary, often hilarious tale of Pinocchio.


  1. Russell Watson – Lancaster Grand – 6 March

Join four-time Brit Classical Award winner Russell Watson for a very special evening, accompanied by his pianist and guest choir. Having sold more than seven million albums worldwide, Russell Watson is firmly established as the UK’s best-selling classical crossover artist of all time. Captivating to watch and enchanting to listen to, Russell continues to wow audiences with his enigmatic and entertaining live performances.




  1. Lancaster Beer Festival – The Ashton Hall – 8 March

The Lancaster Beer and Cider Festival is back! The festival will feature an exciting line up of Cask Ales, Cider, Craft on Draught, Lager, Wine, Gin, Prosecco and an assortment of other beverages, including soft drinks for those needing to stay sober. Admission includes your commemorative glass, programme and a fantastic bill of live entertainment. 




  1. Lancaster Litfest – Lancaster City Centre – 8-31 March

 Litfest is a volunteer board-run organisation that develops writers, engages readers and audiences, and celebrates literary excellence. This is done through the annual literature festival which has been staged since 1978 and a range of other events and projects that have positioned the organisation at the heart of Lancashire’s cultural and creative activity.


  1. The Tiger Who Came For Tea – the Dukes – 12-13 April

 The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger. Join the tea-guzzling tiger in this delightful family show packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos! A stunning stage adaptation of the classic tale of teatime mayhem… expect to be surprised!




  1. Big Up North Dance Theatre Festival – the Dukes – 26-27 April

 Ludus Dance and The Dukes present two nights of performance that ‘Big Up’ the diverse and exciting range of high quality dance theatre talent on our very own doorstep.

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COMMUNITY, SCHOOLS, YOUTH COMPANIES – Apply now #BigUpNorth19 We’re showcasing the best in dance theatre from around the North West in partnership with The Dukes, Lancaster on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April 2019 Community, youth and schools companies, will be invited to perform at the event on Saturday 27 April. During the day, you will attend a variety of fun, vibrant, and energetic multi-arts workshops, including exploring VR technology and film, as well as having the opportunity to showcase your work in a professional venue. We are particularly interested in hearing from groups with new and exciting work, demonstrating innovative choreography, openness for exploring new dance styles, and daring to try something imaginative and different. Your piece can feature any dance style. Apply at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BIGUP19cyp If you need any more information, please email, get in touch with laura.worden@ludusdance.org #bigger #bolder #better #brilliant

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  1. Wray Scarecrow Festival – Wray Village – 27 April-6 May

 The villagers of Wray are back this year to create some weird, wacky and wonderful scarecrow creations to surprise and delight visitors. Each year visitors can wander around Wray village, discovering the host of scarecrows (all themed in annual topical themes) that have popped up in village gardens, and can be found peeking out of windows and perching on balconies.

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BFG ❤️❤️ #wrayscarecrowfestival

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  1. Lancaster Food and Drink Festival – Lancaster Leisure Park – 4-6 May

The Lancaster Food and Drink Festival is back. The 2019 festival will be held over three days on May Bank Holiday. Now in its 7th year the festival is a world class foodie heaven with plenty for your palette. Expect fantastic food & delicious drinks by high quality local producers. Once again, coordinated by the team at Lancaster Brewery, the beer garden at Lancaster Leisure Park will be transformed into a foodie paradise with 50 exhibitors showcasing only the highest quality local produce.


  1. Highest Point Festival – Williamson Park – 17-19 May

Highest Point 3-day music festival set within the scenic surroundings of Williamson Park will return in 2019. Organised by the team that brought about A Wing at Lancaster Castle and 2016’s sell out Hacienda Classical show, the 3-day festival will be the biggest Lancaster has ever seen. Offering free, family orientated performances during the day and ticketed partying until late, Highest Point will play host to a variety of acts for all ages and tastes.



  1. Dino Day – Lancaster City Centre – 31 May

 Did you know that Sir Richard Owen, the man who invented the word Dinosaur who was born right here in Lancaster! Lancaster BID are celebrating the history of Sir Richard Owen, with a Dinosaur themed day of fun for all the family. Rex the T-Rex will be back in the city and this time he is bringing some friends with him as well as multiple appearances from some adorable baby dinosaurs and live egg hatches. Have a ROARsome day!


  1. Down By the Riverside Festival – the beautiful heartland of Bowland – 31 May – 2 June

Down By The Riverside is a Unique Festival set on the banks of the River Wyre in the beautiful heartland of Bowland, the ancient hunting ground of the Kings. We deliver all the usual festival goodies with 3 Live Music Stages, DJ’s, Outdoor Theatre, Craft Ales, Cocktails, Foods from around the world, Funfairs, Activities, Workshops, Camping & Glamping. Each year we bring you something different, so for 2019, dress the kids as “SUPER HEROS” & come and join in with the Stories, Myths & Legend’s Down By The Riverside.


  1. Halton Millfest Family Festival – Halton Mill – 15 June

 This family festival returns to the banks of the River Lune. Enjoy hours of great music, delicious food, craft beers, and a party atmosphere. It’s a showcase for the district’s huge musical talent. From midday to midnight.



  1. Festa Italia – Lancaster City Centre – 8 September

Lancaster BID will welcome the popular Italian Festa back for 2019! Lancaster city centre will be taken over with a celebration of all things Italian. With Italian entertainment, food and drink, and a street market showcasing top Italian brands alongside artisan produce, there really is sure to be something for everyone.


  1. Lancaster Jazz Festival – Lancaster City Centre – 11-15 September

 Each September Lancaster Jazz Festival provide an artist’s playground that is both pioneering and unique. They produce an ambitious jazz festival based in the centre of Lancaster. Creating a community where high quality, diverse, emerging artists can experiment, develop, collaborate, learn and grow as musicians.

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We're really looking forward to seeing Yiasena play on our lovely Sun Square outdoor stage on the Saturday – right next door to The Music Room and the @sunbury.coffee.house Yiasena is a Quintet co-led by the Guitarist Ozenc Duzenli and Alto-Saxophonist Sofia Roubati. Yiasena it is a combination of the Greek words yia meaning ‘for’ and sena meaning ‘you’, their music is “For You” – their audience and they hope you will find your own truth in their music. Yiasena is fuelled by a passion and great admiration of their traditional Greek music and a love of jazz and creative improvisational music. The band formed with the idea of combining Greek traditional music with jazz and see where that journey took them. The resulting sound is an exciting and successful blend that is both intriguing and exciting. Their name represents them well and signals their belief in the importance of bringing tradition closer to people. Listen on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/yiasena More information here: https://www.lancasterjazz.com/yiasena.html Where / Sun Square When / Sat 15 Sep, 1.10pm Tickets / Free

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  1. Heritage Open Days – various locations around Lancaster – 13-22 September

 Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers. Be part of the celebration of the country’s fantastic architectural and cultural heritage. Search and explore Lancaster’s hidden gems. Enjoy one-off tours, events and activities bringing history and culture to life. And even better it is all FREE.


  1. Ben Elton Live: 2019 – Lancaster Grand – 21 September

More than 30 years ago, Ben Elton exploded into the national consciousness hosting Channel 4’s ground breaking Saturday Live. Now, after a 15 year absence, the Godfather of modern stand-up returns to the medium he did so much to define. Back on the road with an all new stand-up show, Ben promises to try and make sense of a world which appears to have gone stark raving mad.




  1. Lancaster Music Festival – Lancaster City Centre – 10-14 October

 Lancaster’s award-winning Music Festival: Welcoming Walkable Wonderful is famous for reflecting the city of Lancaster’s vast musical abundance, excellence and diversity while bringing in top notch acts from around the UK and worldwide. Driven by well over 200 acts performing a wide range of genres, the festival takes place over 5 days at over 40 venues bringing the entire city to life with live music. No wonder the festival is dubbed as Lancaster’s Unofficial Bank Holiday weekend!



  1. Light Up Lancaster – Lancaster City Centre – 2-3 November

 The annual festival sees thousands of visitors take to the streets after dark for a magical city-wide experience and illuminating art trail, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display. Experience a magical after-dark light-art trail that literally shines a new light on the city’s familiar places, with massive projections, artworks and installations illuminating handsome historic buildings, squares, parks and monuments. As with every year the festival concludes with a magical extravaganza of fireworks launched from Lancaster Castle on the Saturday evening.  The display, which lights up the historic landscape and skyline of the city, continues to be one of the finest displays in the north.  The fireworks will be launched from the roof of Lancaster’s medieval castle. Set to a rousing soundtrack, this will be an amazing experience with a great atmosphere – not to be missed!



For a full list of events on offer in 2019 in Lancaster visit the what’s on page.