Derby LIVE

Comedy Giants at Derby Arena

Bondholder Derby LIVE is bringing audiences five giants of British comedy to Derby Arena this year, with John Bishop, Ed Byrne, Russell Brand, Sarah Millican and Jason Manford all making Derby a stop on their tours.

Comedy superstar John Bishop will be kicking off  the year of comedy with two nights of his brand new show Winging It on Saturday 17 at 7:30pm and Sunday 18 March at 8:30pm. His last tour Supersonic was watched by more than 500,000 people and received huge critical acclaim. This latest show, his fifth UK tour, promises to be the biggest, best and funniest one yet! 

Next up Derby Arena will be hosting award-winning comedian and writer Ed Byrne on Friday 20 April at 8pm. In his latest show, Spoiler Alert, Ed Byrne asks the question ‘Are we all spoiled?’ and audiences can watch Byrne take the question, turn it upside down and shake until the funny falls out. His live work has built up legions of fans and he remains the observational stand-up to see and is not to be missed.

On Wednesday 9 May at 8pm Derby can see successful broadcaster, actor, author, columnist and comedian Russell Brand in his latest show Re:Birth. Brand explores the questions brought about by parenthood, unravelling the matrix of modern media, politics, sex, fatherhood and death. Audiences can join one of comedy’s fiercest talents as he tries to make sense of life having just made a new one.

On Sunday 1 July, at 8pm Sarah Millican will perform in front of a sold-out crowd at Derby Arena. Her fifth tour, Control Enthusiast, will mark ten years since Sarah established herself as one of the leading lights of the British Comedy scene by winning the Best Newcomer Award at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe.

Jason Manford will be bringing his new show Muddle Class to Derby Arena on Saturday 24 November at 8pm, following a busy few years for the comedian. This new tour promises to features a wealth of material about growing up ‘working class’, the finding, over the years, that part of him has become ‘middle class’. Delivered with Jason’s amiable charm and captivating with, this is not a show to miss.

Tickets can be purchased through the Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800 or online at They can also be purchased at the Sales and Information Centre, on the Market Place, Derby, DE1 3AH.

The Big Lock Up

Lindsey Hatfield, Marketing Derby's Commercial Development Manager, is taking part in the "Big Lock Up" to help raise money for the Mayor's five chosen charities; including Bondholders Safe and Sound, Derbyshire Children's Holiday Centre and Derby Museums.

She will be one of 12 'inmates' - along with The Mayor of Derby, Councillor John Whitby - to face a mock 'arrest' by Peter Ireson, head of culture and business development at Bondholder Derby LIVE, and Pete Meakin, culture development manager, at their place of work on Friday 20 April.

The motley crew will be charged with a whole host of ‘misdemeanours’ - from crimes against fashion and aggravated assault on dress codes, to cattle rustling, laundering chocolate coins and stalking Gregg’s cheese and onion pasties.

Lindsey commented: " 3 of the Mayors charities are Bondholders which is why I would like to show my support. As well as being a huge supporter of these charities, that do great things in  supporting vulnerable children and families in our city, I would also like to thank them for being supporters of Marketing Derby. I'm not sure I am as  villainous as the rest of the convicts though, whats wrong with a little mischief and misdemeanour?"

After the inmates have been rounded-up by Peter and Pete – who will be playing the role of ‘Ant and Dec’ for the event – they’ll be transferred to the cells at Riverside Chambers, where they’ll be forced to undertake a series of tasks to earn food rations and treats.

Their colleagues and members of the public will be asked to make a small donation to vote for the individual they’d most like to see locked up and make further donations to view the footage of the inmates doing their time in the cells. The more money that’s raised, the longer the individuals will stay in the cells.

Speaking about ‘Derby’s Big Lock Up’, the Mayor of Derby, Councillor John Whitby, said: "It's terrific to see so many partners getting involved with our fundraising efforts for my fantastic charities.

“I'd like to thank all those who have given up their valuable time and freedom to participate in this innovative and exciting initiative. Special thanks goes to Ann Bhatti and the team at Connect Derby for organising the event and allowing us to use the former police cells at Riverside Chambers.
"I'd like to urge everyone from the business community to dig deep in support of the Big Lockup and to help me further exceed our fundraising target of £25,000 for my year in office.”

Market Hall Restoration

Bondholder Derby City Council has awarded a £5m contract to Wates Construction for the first phase of a three-year project to transform the Market Hall and drive its economic regeneration.

The first phase of the project will see the significant improvement to the building’s glazed panelling, copper roof and stonework. It will start with the installation of an extensive bespoke scaffolding structure which will allow traders to operate as normal during the restoration works. The installation of the scaffolding  will start in the spring and end in the autumn followed by building surveys that will inform the extent of the work required.

Wates will engage a local supply chain and provide training and employment opportunities for the people of Derby, ensuring it leaves behind a skills and economic boost for the city. 

Bondholder Pick Everard have been appointed as technical project manager.

Cllr Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader, Derby City Council with responsibility for regeneration and the economy said: “We have pledged to redevelop the Market Hall into a modern, vibrant and bustling destination. The appointment of these contractors is the start of a three-year project to transform the building and its offer to attract a wider cross section of people and drive a stronger footfall in the city centre. The Labour administration has secured in the region of £5m for the works on the roof.”

Matt Hall, Director at Pick Everard said: “The Market Hall building is a hugely important landmark for Derby and will continue to be an integral part of the city. The wider regeneration of the Market Hall is a pivotal scheme to ensure the city has a future for ongoing growth.  We are delighted to be part of the project team working in close collaboration with Derby City Council, Wates and other stakeholders to ensure the smooth delivery of this and other projects across the region.”

The Market Hall, originally designed by Derbyshire engineer Rowland Mason Oridsh, is located within Derby’s City Centre Conservation Area, which also contains Bondholders Derby Cathedral, the Silk Mill and the Guildhall Theatre.


Derby Festé Announces Dates

Derby Festé has been a highlight in the city’s calendar for the past 11 years and this year’s festival will be held on Friday September 29 and Saturday September 30 with the theme of fusing Western and Eastern cultures in the most spectacular fashion.

Regular visitors to Festé will have noticed that the festival is slightly later this year and this is to enable it to coincide with the climax of the Navratri Festival.

The nine-day Hindu festival, which is celebrated across the world, finishes on Friday September 29 and is even more significant this year as it coincides with the 70th anniversary celebrations of India’s independence.

Derby Festé will open on Friday night at Bass’ Recreation Ground which will be transformed into ‘Circus World’ from late afternoon.

Saturday will see the return of the popular free programme of street entertainment across the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter with dance, street theatre, comedy and contemporary circus acts performing throughout the day at various locations.

Then late afternoon, the focus will be on South Asian style cultural celebrations and the crowds will gather for the ‘Colour of Time’ procession.

Dancers and musicians will move through the city centre in a choreographed parade towards Cathedral Green with the audience invited to join the finale - painting the sky with an explosion of Gulal powder.

The Night Market, organised by Sheena Holland was a popular addition to the Festé calendar last year and will again feature a wide range of arts, crafts and vintage stalls as well as food and drink stalls.

Derby Festé 2017 is produced and presented by Bondholders Derby LIVE, Déda, QUAD and Derby Theatre in association with the Without Walls Associate Touring Network, Artcore and Baby People. It is funded by Arts Council England and  Bondholders Derby City Council, with sponsorship from the Cathedral Quarter BID, intu Derby, Derby Riverlights, Park Farm Shopping Centre and the University of Derby.

Derby Gears up for Christmas

With just over a month to go, businesses across Derby are getting ready for Christmas, with a number of fun activities. 

Bondholder intu Derby will be switching on their Christmas lights this Saturday, with a programme of events, including festive food sampling. Changing every 30 minutes, shoppers will be able to sample treats from intu's melange of restaurants and cafes. 

The light switch on ceremony will begin at 5pm and will celebrate the amazing achievements of the local community. The ceremony will feature your favourite Christmas songs from two Christmas choirs, dance groups performing live, and will also see the stars of Bondholder Derby LIVE's Cinderella pantomime performing a song from the highly-anticipated show.

From this Saturday till Christmas Eve, intu will also play host to Santa's Grotto. This year Santa and his elves have had a helping hand from Playmobil to create fantastic gifts.

Tickets are also now on sale online for the Cathedral Quarter 3aaa ice rink, which is set to open on Thursday December 1 in Derby’s Market Place.

Thanks to Bondholders Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District3aaaDerby LIVE and Derby City Council, the Cathedral Quarter 3aaa ice rink will welcome skaters every day (with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) until Wednesday January 4.

Martin Langsdale, chair of the Cathedral Quarter Board and Management Group, which drives forward activities under the area's BID status, said: "Christmas is obviously an important time for the majority of our businesses in the Cathedral Quarter and we recognised that the ice rink is a pivotal attraction to increase footfall to the area and improve the visitor experience.

“We hope that the increased publicity around the Cathedral Quarter’s success in reaching the finals of the Great British High Street Awards will further add to the success of the ice rink and encourage more people to visit the attraction and then further explore this unique part of the city centre.”

As part of the Christmas charm, a post office with a direct line to Lapland has opened at Derby Market Hall in the Cathedral Quarter for local children to deliver their letters to Santa.

Mrs Claus’ Post Office has opened ahead of the Market Hall’s Winter Wonderland which will launch on Thursday December 1 as part of the historic venue’s one-going 150th anniversary celebrations.

Bondholder Mercia Marina is also launching its festive season this week with late night shopping and the switching on of some unique Christmas decorations.

Shops at the South Derbyshire marina will stay open until 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday, November 16 and 17, to give visitors a chance to get some early Christmas shopping out of the way. 
And, with less than six weeks to go until the big day, the marina will also be unveiling some very special Christmas decorations, including several giant “snowballs” festooned with thousands of lights.

Robert Neff, general manager of Mercia Marina, in Findern Lane, near Willington, said: “We are delighted with the result. We can guarantee that visitors will not see anything quite like this, so we hope people will come along and see them.

“We want to make Christmas at Mercia Marina more spectacular every year, so that people even come here solely to see our wonderful Christmas lights display.”


To purchase tickets for The Cathedral Quarter 3aaa ice rink, please click here.

Dragons bring magic to Derby

The tenth annual Derby Festé will return to the city centre this Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September with a packed programme of spectacular family entertainment featuring a host of top local, national and international artists and performers.

Derby Festé is produced and presented by Bondholders Derby LIVE, Déda, QUAD and Derby Theatre in association with the Without Walls Associate Touring Network. It is funded by Arts Council England and Derby City Council, with sponsorship from Cathedral Quarter, Intu Derby, Derby Riverlights and Park Farm Shopping Centre.

The fun starts on the evening of Friday September 23 with a performance of Carousel by the Southpaw Dance Company on Cathedral Green.

The headline act on Friday evening will be the return of the stunning giant fire-breathing Sarruga Dragons that took the city by storm at the first Festé in 2007. The breath-taking parade will start at Derby Riverlights and wind its way through the city centre and into the Cathedral Quarter, before making a spectacular entrance into the Market Place.

From 9.45pm, the Market Place will then be transformed into a party space with The New York Brass Band and Alex Blood and the Diggers performing live on stage.

Throughout the evening, the popular Night Market by Sheena Holland which has become a popular calendar date in the Cathedral Quarter will be set up in the Market Place – offering an eclectic mix of vintage crafts and food and drink stalls for visitors to enjoy.

On Saturday September 24, the Cathedral Quarter, St Peter’s Cross, Riverlights and Intu Derby shopping centre will be a bustling hub of street entertainment featuring more than 20 different acts including dance, aerial performance, theatre, comedy and contemporary circus.

The climax of Derby Festé will see Derby’s Bass’ Recreation Ground transformed into a magical underwater spectacle on Saturday evening. French company Transe Express will bring its brand new outdoor performance MÚ which will be only its second performance in the UK.

Derby Festé Artistic Director Stephen Munn, Director at regional dance house Déda explained: “We are delighted to have two such spectacular headline performances over the Festé weekend. The Sarruga Dragons and MÚ show two different but equally stunning aspects of outdoor performance."

MÚ is Derby Festé’s only ticketed event. Gates open at 7pm for an 8pm performance. Prices are £7 each and are available to purchase on the door or via the Derby LIVE Box Office 

All the other performances are free

Happy Mondays and The Bluetones debut at Arena

Bondholder Derby LIVE has announced a unique one-off gig to take place this autumn featuring alternative rock band Happy Mondays and indie band The Bluetones.

The concert will take place at Bondholder Derby Arena on Saturday 15th October as part of fellow Bondholder Derby County Football Club's former captain Shaun Barker's testimonial team.

Shaun commented: "Following a meeting with Derby LIVE, I was delighted that we decided to collaborate and put on the first major music event at Derby's new, impressive arena. For that gig to be Happy Mondays and The Bluetones with special guests still to be announced is so exciting for me. It will be a great gig for me and, I hope, the people of Derby."

Tickets for the gig which brings together two giants of English alternative and indie rock together to perform on the same night will be available from Monday 18th July at 10am from, or from the Sales and Information Centre on (01332) 255 800.

For that gig to be Happy Mondays and The Bluetones with special guests still to be announced is so exciting for me. It will be a great gig for me and, I hope, the people of Derby.
— Shaun Barker

Brian Cox brings tour to Arena

Famous British particle physicist and science presenter Professor Brian Cox OBE has chosen to extend his hotly-anticipated tour to Bondholder Derby Arena in May 2017 where his show will take audiences on a dazzling journey through space and time.

Brian is perhaps the world's foremost communicator of all things scientific and you may already know him from popular BBC shows Horizon and Stargazing Live, to name just a couple.

His show at Bondholder Derby Arena will delve into 'high science' and will freewheel on the edges of the known cosmos. Professor Brian Cox is known to make highly complex ideas accessible to all, and this is the show to get up close and personal with the man himself with an interview hosted by his The Infinite Monkey Cage co-host Robin Ince.

Brian Cox OBE is a British particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research fellow. He works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Switzerland and is a professor at the University of Manchester. He is best known to the public for boosting the popularity of subjects such as astronomy and physics across a range of BBC science programmes.

Professor Brian Cox Live will take place on Tuesday 9th May 2017 and tickets are now on sale at Bondholder Derby LIVE. Book by calling (01332) 255 800 or by booking online at

Panto celebrity cast announced

Bondholder Derby LIVE has announced its celebrity line up for this year's Christmas family panto, Cinderella, at Derby Arena.

West End star, TV and radio presenter, stand-up comic and star of BBC's EastEnders, Richard Blackwood, will be playing everyone's favourite character, Buttons.

TV sensation and star of hit show Mrs Brown's Boys, Eilish O'Carroll will be bringing her Irish humour to Derby's biggest ball as the family godmother.

Finally, Lloyd Warbey, actor presenter and host of the legendary children's TV classic, Art Attack, will be taking on the role of Prince Charming's faithful sidekick, Dandini.

Cinderella will be on stage from Tuesday 6th December 2016 until Monday 2nd January 2017 at Derby Arena. Tickets are priced from £11.25 and concessions, group, school and family tickets are available.

To buy tickets, call the Box Office on (01332) 255 800 or pick your seats online at

Tunes in the tent

Bondholder Sinfonia Viva is set to take over Derby Market Place on Thursday 9th June for a Flights of Fantasy concert.

Using its innovative inflatable venue the concert will provide a key date in the diary of Derby Book Festival 2016 with nods to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with orchestral backing written by Mendelssohn amongst others.

Peter Helps, Chief Executive of Sinfonia Viva, said: "Flights of Fantasy will be an exciting experience in so many ways. Our aim is to transport the audience into the magical world that Shakespeare created in words and the composer evoked through his music. We are particularly delighted that this concert is part of Derby Book Festival and the Grand Tour 2016 - setting it in a literature and historical context, while the return of our inflatable venue to the Market Place will create a unique setting for this special combination of words and music."

Tickets are priced at £6 - £10 and can be booked through Derby LIVE at the Assembly Rooms box office, by phone on (01332) 255 800 or online at

Sinfonia Viva player receives national recognition

Graham Hall, a founding member of Bondholder Sinfonia Viva, has been awarded the prestigious RPS/ABO Salomon Prize by the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras which celebrates the 'unsung heroes' of orchestra life.

Having started his journey studying at the Royal Academy of Music under James Blades, Graham left London and taught for two years as a peripatetic percussion tutor before going freelance as a player in 1984. He has since then worked with many orchestras throughout the country including Sinfonia Viva.

Graham received his award at a Sinfonia Viva concert at Derby Cathedral on his 56th birthday and commented: "It is important for musicians to have a voice in an orchestra and there are specific challenges for smaller orchestras whose players are freelance and work in many different guises. Although we are not working with each other on a daily basis, we are a tight band of players who share the same work ethos and commitment to Viva."

Supported by fellow Bondholders Rolls-Royce, Derby City Council, Derby LIVE and Derby Cathedral, Sinfonia Viva is also supported with public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Book Festival opens 2nd chapter

Following on from the success of last year’s festival, plans are already underway for the second annual Derby Book Festival.

The festival will be hosted in a number of venues across the city, from the 3rd to the 11th June.

A major reason for the resounding success of the Festival is due to the wonderful partnership between all the arts and cultural organisations in the city and the huge generosity of local businesses
— Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival

The Derby Book Festival celebrates the joy of books and the pleasure and power of reading. It aims to inspire a new generation of readers with an exciting educational programme. Last year’s festival highlights included Michael Morpurgo, David Nicholls, Sarah Waters, Katie Fforde, Simon Armitage, Penelope Lively and managing director of Waterstones, James Daunt.

A number of Bondholder companies played a key role in organising the event, including Derby City Council, Codemakers, Connect, Archer Hampson, Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, Dains, Déda, Derby Telegraph, Derby College, Derby LIVE, Derby Museums, Derby Theatre, Foundation Derbyshire, QUAD, Status Social, University of Derby, WDA Branding, as well as Marketing Derby.

Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival, said: “A major reason for the resounding success of the Festival is due to the wonderful partnership between all the arts and cultural organisations in the city and the huge generosity of local businesses.  Their support was crucial and has helped us to successfully secure funding from Arts Council England.  We look forward to working with them all again to make the second Festival even better.”

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and musician John Sampson will open this year’s festival on Friday 3rd June, at Bondholder Derby Cathedral.

To celebrate the launch of the festival, organisers have launched a flash fiction competition. The challenge is to write 50 word story around the theme of secrets.

To enter the competition, or to find out more information about the festival, please visit