Beginning with a prize-winning Fanfare for Three Trumpets to announce Cheltenham Music Festival’s 75th birthday, Imperial Gardens will be jam-packed with free music over the weekend of 5 to 7 July. Featuring crowd-pleasing carnival, soul and jazz bands, up-and-coming singer-songwriters from BBC Introducing in the West and Decca Showcase Artists, gospel and world music, the new Cheltenham Music Festival Free Stage will offer a feast of music for people of all ages to enjoy. Free family activities on Saturday and Sunday include circus performers, face painting, balloon modelling and lots of bubbles.
The Opening Weekend is presented in partnership with Cheltenham BID and Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station, who will broadcast the Opening Night Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra live across the UK from Cheltenham Town Hall on Friday 5 July.
Head of Programming at Cheltenham Music Festival, Camilla King, said: “We’ve had a huge amount of fun putting together a weekend of free music that’s going to create a real party atmosphere for all ages, which we know Cheltenham will love. We’ll also have delicious food and drink from Cotswolds Distillery, Dunkertons Cider and Nyetimber.”
A few lucky ticket holders will experience an intimate and immersive experience in Schumann Square, supported by Savills. Inside three elegant Regency town houses, which as private residences are never normally seen, are a series of chamber music concerts celebrating the 200th anniversary of composer Clara Schumann.
When the music on the Free Stage finishes the party continues late into the night at Lucky Onion’s No 131.
Full listings for the Opening Weekend Free Stage below