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All Aboard for Stratford River Festival - Fancy that!

Jun 2015

                                                  ALL ABOARD FOR STRATFORD RIVER FESTIVAL – FANCY THAT!

Ahoy....thousands of people expected to flock to Stratford next month for the annual Stratford upon Avon River Festival are being asked to dress for the fancy dress! 

Organisers of the two day extravaganza – which takes place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July – are asking revellers attending the Saturday night festivities to dress up to add to the party atmosphere.


Ruth Wood, Event Manager said: "The River Festival is already Stratford’s biggest and best free party but we wanted to add even more colour to the event.”

"There is no particular theme, we are just suggesting people dig out whatever is at the bottom of their wardrobes and come along and party. Pirates, fairies, super – heroes, 70s funksters will all be welcome. There will be prizes for the best.”


The Festival - now in its seventh year - will once again be centred on the river and adjacent Recreation Ground. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend over the weekend.


Ruth Wood added: “The River Festival is definitely one of the highlights of the Stratford annual calendar and there is truly something for everyone over the two days whether you are three or 93 – and best of all it is free!”

Central to the Festival will as usual be the hundreds of boaters who bring their colourful river and canal boats to the event. Thanks to the Avon Navigation Trust around a hundred vessels are expected to be moored up on the river for all to see. Clive Matthews from the Trust said:

"We are very proud to be the main partner working with Stratforward on this prestigious event. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to show the huge amount of work our wonderful volunteers do with all the towns on the river.

The Trust are also organising the Illuminated Boat Parade on the Saturday night. Clive went on: "We hope this year it will be bigger and better than ever with a marvellous new trophy for the best boat taking part."


Immediately after the parade will be the traditional fireworks finale at 10.30pm.  To mark the Festival coinciding with American Independence Day , Forest Fireworks are planning a "Stars and Stripes" theme.

Back on land, masses of free music and entertainment will be on offer. There will be two stages in operation throughout the event – The Bandstand and The Acoustic Stage.   

Stratford based choir Amicantus will kick off the Festival at 12:15pm on the Saturday with their diverse repertoire which includes everything from Mozart to Take That and even a bit of Disney!

Other highlights will include: Kinky Farnham a nine-piece funk and soul band who are headlining on the Saturday night; and award winning singer songwriter Kristy Gallacher - who has recently supported Ed Sheeran – on the Sunday.  A full entertainment programme will be published shortly.


For those needing a little retail therapy there will be a craft market with stalls selling everything from traditional narrow boat ware to handmade books and the work of talented local artists.

Food and drink will also feature heavily. In addition to three bars, there will be a wide range of food offerings including:  BBQ’s; crêpe stalls; Thai, Japanese and Italian cuisine; and even vintage-style toasties served from a classic VW camper van.

The Festival runs from 10am on Saturday 4 July until 8pm on Sunday 5 July and is FREE to attend.

Further information is available from 





Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) organises Stratford River Festival. It represents over 450 shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and businesses in Stratford upon Avon town centre. 

Others involved in organising the festival include: The Avon Navigation Trust.

Festival sponsors include: Touch FM, Avon Boating, Stratford Marina, Stratford Town Trust. 

Festival supporters include: Stratford District Council, The Dirty Duck, The Garrick Inn.

Media sponsors: Touch FM





Stunts in the punt at Stratford River Festival from left to right: Jay Swinfen of Avon Boating, Ruth Wood and Tor Wilkes of Stratforward, John and Heather Dews of Stratford Marina. Fancy dress courtesy of Stratford Fancy Dress Hire.


Boat Loads of Fun at Stratford River Festival from left to right: John Dews of Stratford Marina, Jay Swinfen of Avon Boating, Tor Wilkes and Ruth Wood of Stratforward, Geoff Atkinson of Touch FM. Fancy dress courtesy of Stratford Fancy Dress Hire.


For further media information, please contact Tor Wilkes at Stratforward BID on 01789 299011 or email                 




Stratford River Festival July 4th & 5th

Jun 2015

Stratford Pubs Rule

at Stratford River Festival!

The Sun is finally shining, the days are getting longer and the 7th Stratford River Festival is less than a month away!  It takes place on Saturday 4th July & Sunday 5th July at the Recreation Ground in Stratford.  The Lazy Cow, The Keys and Kitchen and The One Elm will be providing drinks at the event which is the most popular of all of Stratford's free outdoor festivals.  The festival is supported by many organisations including the Avon Navigation Trust, Avon Boating and Stratford Marina. 

The Lazy Cow will provide the Cider and Lager tent.     Jodie O’Meara the Operation Manager of the Lazy Cow group said ‘We’re thrilled to be awarded the Cider and Lager Bar at this year’s River Festival.  We’ve seen the event grow each year and as a local Business we’re really excited to be involved.’

The Keys and Kitchen will be in charge of Pimms, Wine and Champagne.  The One Elm will be serving up traditional Real Ales.   Chillers have been ordered to ensure all drinks are served at the right temperature!  Stratforward Events Manager, Ruth Wood, has put in her own order for glorious weather!

A quintessentially English weekend of fun for the whole family awaits visitors to the Stratford-upon-Avon River Festival this year.  Festival organisers, Stratforward BID, have an action-packed programme of activities and attractions which, feature a craft market, family and charity zone, climbing wall, and live entertainment from world class bands and performers on the bandstand.

Stratford’s River Festival is less than a month to go, so plan to come to this free two day event and laze on the grass, listen to class music, and enjoy some shopping both at the festival and in town, and a little indulgence.  Its a real treat for boat lovers, Saturday evening’s illuminated boat parade is followed by a grand firework finale!

 For further information and event schedule visit

Advertising Opportunities in Upcoming Festival Programmes

May 2015

Would you like to promote your business at the upcoming Stratford free events?

Read on MacBeth!

Comedy Hullabaloo Stratford-upon-Avon

May 2015

A Huge Bank Holiday Weekend of Comedy

On 21-25 May the Comedy Hullabaloo came to town to a chorus of applause. 

It was bigger and better than ever! Jack Dee, All Murray, Russell Kane and Jon Richardson and more entertained in the two Spiegeltents!








Fantastic Atmosphere at Stratford Festival of Motoring

May 2015

Fantastic Atmosphere at Stratford Festival of Motoring! 


Almost 500 classic cars and high performance motors participated in Stratford Festival of Motoring this bank holiday weekend. People flocked into town to see the cars and soak up the sunshine. Car entries were sold out for both days, though the inclement weather on Sunday morning meant that the owners of some convertibles were unable to participate as they had no rain cover; better weather on Monday ensured a fuller turnout.  Live music added to the atmosphere courtesy of The Rocking Dinosaurs, The Voice contestant Karl Loxley and Rozie T's Dance Academy.

The Town centre was largely pedestrianised for the event and full of a huge variety of cars shimmering in the sunshine; from Maserati’s by the theatre, to an exotic chrome wrapped Lamborghini, retro 1980s and classic British vintage cars.  The newest cars included a 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 and an electric Renault Zoe.  Tesla’s high performance electric cars also caused a stir and local dealership, Listers of Stratford, showcased four brands, Honda, Audi, VW and Toyota.  American cars in Wood Street included the oldest car at the festival, a 1913 Model T Ford.  The Motor Heritage Centre, Coventry Transport Museum and the Auto Adrenalin Club added to the mix.

Participating cars were waved off by the festival patron, motoring journalist and Stratford based celebrity, Quentin Willson on a scenic drive around a choice of routes through stunning local countryside.  The Chateau Impney route included driving through a ford. Whilst some drivers chose to avoid it others, spotting a photographer, accelerated or even went through twice to make a big splash!   On arrival back into town they drove slowly through the town centre on a Lap of Honour before parking up according to car themes.  


Children had a fantastic time particularly at the family area in Rother Street where there was Go-Kart action, an art stall, a bouncy castle and the addition of a climbing wall on the Monday.  Children grinned from ear to ear as they clambered aboard the fire engine and had their photos taken!  The children’s car model hunt was really popular with children and parents who set off around Rother Street in search of ten model cars hidden in business windows. Prizes include an impressive Doug Brown radio control Car, tickets for The Creaky Cauldron and Stratford Butterfly Farm. 

Trophies were awarded in a variety of categories and Quentin Willson presented the award for his favourite entrant, a Ford Mustang Shelby owned by Adrian Waller. Adrian first saw the car when he was 17 and it took 20 years from him to be able to buy it!  The Furthest Travelled Award went to Peter Darby who had travelled all the way from Dumfries with his vintage Morgan.  The Treasure Hunt Winner was Owen Bannister in his 1968 Mini Cooper.  The Mayor’s Choice trophy was awarded to Bernard Long of Stratford for his 1953 Triumph Mayflower. 

Over 70,000 extra visitors came to Stratford to enjoy the spectacle and boost the local economy. The organisers, Stratforward, work on behalf of almost 500 town centre businesses, Ruth Wood, Events Manager said, “It was great to see the town centre filled with so many people enjoying the spectacle!  Participants and visitors were delighted that the event was in Stratford town centre as there were able to enjoy the excellent range of shops and restaurants. They loved the Festival and found Stratford so welcoming and friendly. We couldn’t stage this Festival without the support of businesses and the Wellesbourne Lions volunteers. We would like to say a huge thank you for helping to make this event such a success.”




Stratford Festival of Motoring here at last!

May 2015

Stratford Festival of Motoring is this bank holiday weekend on May 3rd and 4th from 930-5pm in Stratford Town Centre.

Over 300 stunning cars will be displayed in town from the theatre through the heart of the town upto Henley Street.  In Rother Market there is a family area with lots to do including a free treasure hunt.  

Live music in Bridge Street with the Rocking Dinosaurs from midday and then The Voice participant Karl Loxley at 2pm.  

Come and enjoy your Bank holiday weekend in Stratford and make the most of the fantastic selection of shops and cafes.


Stratford Festival of Motoring SOLD OUT

Apr 2015

Car entries are now full for Stratford Festival of Motoring!  This is a free festival for the public and takes place in Stratford town centre.

The owners of participating cars are doing the finishing touches to their stunning cars.   Final plans are coming together.  Have you seen the posters and banners up everywhere?

More volunteers still needed to help with the parking and handing out leaflets please.  Work a half day and receive lunch!

Roads will be closed in Stratford Town Centre from 9am to 5pm on Sunday and Monday.

Come and admire the stunning cars including some delights from the Gaydon Heritage Centre -1936 MG SA, 1985 MG 6R4 rally car and a Drive Zone Ford Fiesta!




Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations

Apr 2015

Come to Shakespeares Birthday Celebrations!  Park & Ride open on both Saturday and Sunday!

Stratford’s tradition of the Birthday Celebration dates back more than 100 years and brings together residents and visitors in a vibrant mix of pageantry and performance. This year's grand Birthday Procession takes place in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday 25 April, winding through the historic spine of Stratford and finishing with the laying of flowers on Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church. 

Information below is from 

Friday 24th April

4:00pm Shakespeare Centre (map:1) Shakespeare Birthday Lecture by Dame Harriet Walter – 01789 204016.

7:00pm Stratford Arts House (map:26) Singing Shakespeare Young People’s Concert –  or 01789 207100.

Saturday 25th April – The Big Celebrations Day

*All Day from 10:00am Enjoy a variety of events and entertainment throughout the town organised by SBT and RSC before and after the Shakespeare Birthday Parade.

*Shakespeare Shop Window Competition trail Look out for shops with black and gold balloons outside, taking part in the Shakespeare Shop Window Competition Trail. Free for everyone to join in, pick up an activity sheet from any of the shops and join in the fun!

*10:00am Bancroft Gardens (map:6) Schools country dancing with Shakespeare Morris.

*10.30am Shakespeare Birthday Parade with newly extended route and flag unfurling ceremony. See map for Parade route

*12:00-5:00pm Shakespeare’s King Edward VI School (map:19) View Shakespeare’s schoolroom.

12:00  Avonbank Gardens -Shakespeare Birthday Luncheon.

*12:30pm Waterside (map: 10) Stratford College catering and carpentry staff and students will be handing out their Shakespeare’s birthday cupcakes from a bespoke stand

1:00pm Holy Trinity (map:25) Viewing of floral tributes to Shakespeare around his grave – small charge

*1:00pm-2:00pm Hall’s Croft Gardens (map:16) Knights & Nymphs toddler party for families with children under 5.

*4:30pm Bancroft Gardens (map:5) The Great Morris Slam.

7:30pm The Guild Chapel (map:19) Singing Shakespeare Concert with ‘Khymerikal’ 01789 204016

*RSC Tower Free entry all day

All 5 Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Properties (map:  12, 16, 17, Mary Arden’s Farm and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage) Free entry for all *CV37 residents to with activities and birthday cake at all the houses.

Sunday 26th April

*9:00am  Starting in Church Street – Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon finishing in recreation ground.

*10:55am Town Hall (map: 14) to Holy Trinity Church (map: 25) Shakespeare Birthday Parade.

*11:15am Holy Trinity Church (map:25) The Shakespeare Service.

*11:00am-4:00pm Shakespeare’s King Edward VI School (map:19) View Shakespeare’s schoolroom.

4:00pm The Royal Shakespeare Theatre (map:20) The Birthday Bash or 0844 800 1110.

Keep checking our website for more information and updates

Festival of Motoring Sunday & Weekend Passes SOLD OUT

Apr 2015

Sunday and Weekend Passes are now SOLD OUT


Comedy Hullabaloo May 21 – 25 2015

Mar 2015
Comedy Hullabaloo May 21 – 25 2015

The five-day comedy spectacular returns to Stratford-upon-Avon following fabulous festivals in 2013 and 2014.

Presented by Underbelly in association with Stratforward and the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Comedy Hullabaloo takes place over the late May bank holiday weekend, and events are now on sale.

Comedy Hullabaloo will feature an array of shows per day, with top name comedians alongside handpicked emerging acts.

The hub of this four-day comedy feast will be the Aurora Spiegeltent and the Romantiek Spiegeltent, in the Swan Gardens Acts include Al Murray, Jon Richardson, Jack Dee, Russell Kane, Jason Byrne, Ardal O'Hanlon, Robin Ince, Mark Watson, Zoe Lyons, Sara Pascoe and many more.

How to book


Telephone: 0844 800 1110