Carlisle Arts Fest

Carlisle Arts Fest

A 4-day festival appreciating and supporting the arts in Carlisle and Cumbria

We did it!

On 27th Apr 2017 we successfully raised £30 with 2 supporters in 28 days

Carlisle Arts Fest

Fall in love with Carlisle Arts Fest.. a fabulous mid-summer weekend break in the heart of Cumbria! A four-day festival with a wide variety of live music, artistic workshops and spell-binding visual arts taking place at some of the best venues in town. Thrilling atmosphere, captivating talent, roaring headline acts and a bag full of surprises!

The new and exciting Roman Cavalry event will also be taking place at the iconic Bitts Park and the celebrated Carlisle Farmer's Market will be making an appearance in the city centre!

Carlisle Arts Fest will kick off with a variety of lively, energetic music including toe-tapping reggae, melodic blues, alternative rock and psychedelic funk to get everyone on their feet and the rhythm flowing at the symbolic venue, Old Fire Station. If you're a member of the Carlisle nightlife scene, it's the place to be! 

McGrew's Bistro will be serving up their finest refreshments and we hope to see you at Source That Sound & Sound of the Suburbs this weekend!

Friday night is always huge in Carlisle, so that's why we are bringing you a vast range of musical shenanigans to suit all tastes and backgrounds! Classic show tunes, Rock 'n' Roll, 60's, original covers and the freshest pop songs around, all under one roof at the unique and vibrant, The Source Collective. A diverse array of talented performers bringing you a full programme of music to serenade your ears.. If you fancy a laid-back evening or the complete opposite & feel like dancing on the tables, this is the event for you!

(Bar is open all night for refreshments.)

On Saturday 1st July our special family fun will hit the streets of Carlisle taking place outside the Tourist Information Point in Carlisle City Centre. Expect to see street performers, live entertainment, arts and crafts stalls, bouncy castles, face painting and lots more to be announced! There is something for all the family — come on down and enjoy a day of activities, competitions, challenges, Cumbrian fresh produce and more! 

Saturday night is well under way with Carlisle Arts Fest biggest, craziest indoor party yet — a mind-blowing, eye-popping spectacle of music, special effects and good times! You'll be listening to the best quality selection of House, Reggae, Rock 'n' Roll and Smart Indie and you can dance away to some of your favourite old school anthems across two unique rooms complimented by The Venue's bespoke staging, stunning decor, dazzling lights and booming sound system.. And of course, your wild weekend antics!

You can also expect well-stocked bars serving quality spirits, beers and cider, as well as a range of shots and a selection of wine for the ladies. Weekend tickets are also available for Sound the Alarm and Source That Sound - don't miss out!

Book yourself a great value hotel, discounted B&B or get digs with your mates, grab your festival tickets & look forward to a superb weekend in the historical and cultural city of Carlisle!

Where did it begin?

When University of Cumbria performing arts students, Hollie Bragg and Lucy Bodenham, realised there wasn’t a festival for the arts in Carlisle, they took inspiration from the area, formed a company and started recruiting performers and arranging venues for the event.

Hollie Bragg explained, “There is an immense pool of talented performers here in the Carlisle area and we want to celebrate this with the local community and create an event that promotes Carlisle as an arts destination.”

Carlisle Arts Fest is a new event that aims to demonstrate the impact that arts and cultural activity has on the city of Carlisle through the provision of a range of engagement and participatory events that will also provide an opportunity for local artists to showcase their talent to a new and wider audience.

We are targeting a broad range of audiences from children through to adults who love to be creative, enjoy listening to music, want to be involved in artistic workshops and are interested in the activities we offer. 

We are using local community groups, performers and artists from Carlisle and Cumbria to perform at the event. We also have some acts from outside areas such as Kendal, Penrith, Manchester and Glasgow who are also supporting the promotion of Carlisle and the event within these areas. This will encourage people from wider areas to visit Carlisle and the festival. Carlisle Farmer’s Market will be an integral feature of our Saturday daytime event. Within the event, we will also see a special performance from Steve Wharton, who will be telling historic tales and stories about Carlisle’s History.

Whilst we recognise this is an ambitious project we believe there is the energy and the momentum within the city of Carlisle to make a significant contribution to the economy through its arts and cultural excellence. We are a newly formed company and, with business support, we have the commitment and drive to make this work. 

Why do we need your support?

As we are not-for-profit organisation and in our first year as company, we are seeking financial contributions to assist us with the pre-production and running of the festival. The money will be put towards resources such as equipment for our artists, covering travel and accommodation costs for performers, headline artists, marketing materials and design and hiring of venues.  We particularly need help raising funds for our FREE family fun-day in Carlisle City Centre on Saturday 1st July. This is due to the costings our day event taking up almost 50% of expenditure and receiving very little income in return on the day. We must hire outdoor equipment and staging for our artists and we have also approached CFM Radio to compere for the day. These both come at a very high cost and the money raised would allow us to proceed with these activities. We have set until April 31st to raise funds for our event, after this, we will then review our financial shortfall and see what is achievable with the budget available. This unfortunately may result in cancelling events throughout the weekend.

With your help we hope to make Carlisle Arts Fest an annual event in the community and further afield. Check out our rewards for a small fee that could go a long way! We hope to see you in 2018.

The Festivents Co x


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