I’ve always been a proud advocate of Nottingham. Born and raised here, I love living in a city that’s so full of character and diversity where there’s always something exciting to do.
Nottingham is the chosen destination for tens of thousands of students every year, and our two leading universities are just a small part of the appeal. Pre-pandemic, Nottingham was well known for its buzzing night life, thriving food & drink scene and variety of independent businesses.
Now as BoJo’s roadmap out of lockdown progresses and local entertainment venues prepare to re-open, there’s lots of things to look forward to this year in Nottingham. Below are some of my favourite events and activities that have been announced for 2021 so far.
Spring Loaded at Nottingham Playhouse — April to June
This month Nottingham Playhouse launch Spring Loaded, a brand new programme of digital and live events. Featuring a range of productions, from one man shows to lockdown dramas, this season’s theme is ‘local stories and East Midlands talent’. The programme will run from mid-April to the end of June, check out the Nottingham Playhouse website for more info and to book your tickets.
Nottingham Castle re-opens — date TBC
The renovation of Nottingham Castle started in 2018, following a whopping £29.8 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage fund, and after three long years this historic site is finally set to re-open its gates to the public. As a big history lover and fan of the Robin Hood legend, I’m particularly excited about this news because until the renovation I enjoyed visiting the castle several times a year. The castle and its grounds are a great place for people of all ages to spend the day. Keep an eye on the Nottingham Castle website for updates, as we’re likely to see an exciting programme of launch events released once an official opening date has been confirmed.
Splendour Festival — 24th July
After being cancelled by the ‘rona last year, Splendour Festival returns in late July and 80’s fans especially will love the line up! Pop sensation Belinda Carlisle and the rickrolling legend himself Rick Astley are among the acts set to perform in Batman’s back yard this summer. Splendour has everything you need for the perfect summer’s day — booze, food and live music. The festival does seem to have an annoying habit of falling on a rainy day though, so remember to pack a waterproof jacket!
Outdoor Cinema Screenings — various dates in May and July
I love outdoor film screenings, although I learned the hard way to always arrive equipped with blankets and camping chairs. Even the musical delights of Grease couldn’t distract me from the backache I got after spending two hours lying on the grass! Wollaton Hall and Newstead Abbey have announced showings for summertime (details below!) and the list includes several film favourites, so book your tickets ASAP to avoid missing out.
- Friday 28th May – The Dark Knight
- Saturday 29th May – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Mamma Mia!
- Sunday 30th May – Jungle Book and Les Miserables
Film and Food Festival — 15th to 18th July
The Film and Food Festival at Victoria Embankment will provide Nottingham foodies with more opportunities to make the most of the summer weather with open-air cinema showings (including an ultimate Disney classic, the animated version of Robin Hood) during the day and live comedy in the evenings. On the festival’s opening night, you can also enjoy a special short film showcase featuring work from local independent filmmakers.
Nottingham Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival — 13th to 16th October
A four day event dedicated to booze — do I really need to say more? Whether you’re a cider connoisseur or faithful Fosters fan, the 1000 different beers and 200 different ciders available at the Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival guarantee there’ll be a tipple to suit every taste. There’s always a brilliant atmosphere and the delicious food for sale is perfect for lining your stomach! Due to lockdown restrictions, tickets are yet to go on sale but you can register your interest on the Trent Bridge website to guarantee you’re among the first to know when bookings go live.
Hockley Hustle — 24th October
Music and arts festival Hockley Hustle is also back in October this year, celebrating its 15th birthday and the very best that local culture has to offer. A £11 wristband grants you access to live music from a variety of artists performing in top venues across Nottingham’s city centre. You can expect lots of exciting activity on the streets of Hockley too with live entertainment and food stalls.
Live shows at Metronome — all year round
A contemporary events venue situated in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, Metronome is known for hosting unique and diverse acts from around the world. Their 2021 line-up includes gigs, comedy and spoken word performances for you to enjoy live or via live-stream. Next event coming up is a socially distanced show by synth-pop inspired band Deco on Friday 4th June.
What are you most looking forward to in 2021? Have you made any plans yet? Are there any unmissable events happening that aren’t on my list? Let me know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to check out my other Nottingham blogs: