Accessibility Tools

13 April 2023

Two Festivals for Leicester’s City Centre this Summer

Journeys Festival International returns in July and we launch our brand-new Re/action Festival on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Summer holidays in Leicester are set to start and finish in celebrations as two festivals bring world-class performances, installations, exhibitions and creative activities across the city centre and all for free.

Journeys Festival International 22-23 July 2023

On Saturday, 22 July, and Sunday, 23 July, the streets of Leicester’s city centre will be filled with outdoor shows, circus, dance, hip-hop and disco bikes. People will be able to watch paintings spring to life, discover a blend of virtual reality and live performance or enjoy an urban safari as Journeys Festival International returns for an excellent weekend of free creative and cultural activity. Last year’s festival saw almost 15,000 people enjoy a host of free performances from across Europe on one of the hottest weekends of the year!

Re/action Festival 26-27 August 2023

To celebrate together over the August bank holiday weekend, a brand-new festival is coming to town. Art Reach in association with Leicester City Council present re/action festival: exploring creativity for the climate. A huge part of the festival will be dedicated to upcycling and using creative workshops that will teach us how to use old things in new ways. The festival will explore issues surrounding the climate crisis, such as sustainability, recycling and how small actions can lead to big changes. On Saturday, 26 August, and Sunday, 27 August, we invite everybody into the city centre to enjoy outdoor shows, giant puppets and tiny creatures. Audiences will explore the world of bees and trees, and see an orchestra perform on vegetable instruments and soup.

Lorna Fulton, Creative Director of Art Reach, shares more about the exciting summer plans:

“Thanks to funding from Arts Council England and Leicester City Council, Art Reach will be delivering both of these marvellous events in Leicester annually for the next few years. With the new festival called Re/action Festival this August, we really wanted to learn and share how the little actions that we can all take in our daily lives can create huge benefits for the climate. The festival will have lots of outdoor performances, installations, cultural activities and creative ways for us to explore and celebrate our local environment.

Journeys Festival International, the festival in July, was first opened in Leicester in 2013. As one of the most diverse cities in the UK, it’s a perfect place to experience different world cultures and stories of migration. The festival will ignite your imagination with tales of wonder, acrobats and aerial performances all of which explore the world around us and encourage people to celebrate their different journeys together.

Working with the City Council allows us to create these amazing weekends of free outdoor arts and creative events for the people who live and work in the area. Leicester is a city that really wants local people to feel confident and to enjoy and celebrate what’s great about the area and each other. Two weekends of world-class performances and cultural activities at either end of the summer sounds like a great start to me!”

The festivals are also striving to be as accessible as possible for everyone to enjoy. The website has integrated screen readers, translation tools and highlight functions to make it easier to read about the shows and events coming this summer. We also have a dedicated Access Officer for you to contact if you have specific access requirements.

It looks like the summer holidays are set to start and finish with a flourish in Leicester this year!


A crowd are watching projections against an old building. The projections are above an outdoor performance on a large stage.

Image: Chris Patrick Photography

This image shows a logo for Journeys Festival International. It has some dates on it and a picture a carnival dancer, on stilts.
This image shows a logo for the Re/action Festival. It has some dates on it and a collage of a carnival dancer, some flowers and a young boy with a butterfly net.