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What’s on in Leicestershire and Rutland this October

Have a laugh with a whole raft of comedy, incredible theatre, food festivals and more all this month!


Head over to see a new exhibition over at The Chapel Gallery to kick off Black History Month. Here, artists explore themes from intergenerational trauma, environmental issues, heritage, presence and identity. As well as this, films from the Blaxploitation era will also be screened over at Phoenix, workshops will take place over at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery and there’s also comedy nights to catch too over at the city’s new venue, The Big Difference (more on this below!).

Photo by Prashant Gupta on Unsplash

Celebrating the start of the Hindu New Year, the annual light switch-on for Diwali will take place on 24 Oct. Head to the city’s Golden Mile to enjoy festivities, dance shows, a fire garden and of course the Diwali Village where you can tuck into festive food stalls and let the kids enjoy the fun fair rides.

Lincoln Book Festival, takes place from 11 – 17 Oct. Guest authors include award-winning author and journalist Will Self, crime-writing superstar Mark Billingham, million-copy best-selling novelist Christy Lefteri, and broadcaster and art historian Loyd Grossman. There are free events for children and young families, readings, competitions, and workshops too. Most events take place at The Collection on Danes Terrace in Lincoln’s Cultural Quarter. Author events are usually priced at £10 per ticket.


Hairspray at Curve

Autumn theatre is back with a bang at Curve. There’s a whole raft of brilliant stage productions from this city arts venue. Theatre lovers are going to be itching to get the best seats for everything from Hairspray (4-9 Oct), Matthew Bourne’s Midnight Bell (11-16 Oct), Tell me on a Sunday (12- 16 Oct), Tokyo Rose (18-20 Oct) and for littlies, The Tiger Who Came to Tea (21-24 Oct)

PopOut Festival, Lincoln, 1 – 10 Oct

Just beyond Rutland, the Cornhill Quarter is delighted to welcome back the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre who will be marking the fifth return of PopOut Festival with a brand-new programme of outdoor theatre and circus events. Kicking off on Friday with a cycle-based theatre show which invites the audience to climb aboard one of Captain’s vehicles and be whisked off for an adventure around the centre. In a jam-packed schedule, the festival will also platform hilarious irreverent Shakespeare, feel-good drag theatre and mesmerising magic shows. 


Siobhan Phillips recently wowed audiences as the only female finalist in Britain’s Got Talent 2019. Described as “the love child of Peter Kay and Victoria Wood”, her hilarious self-penned songs really struck a chord with the nation, who could totally relate to a selection of her observational daft ditties on 7 Oct at The Y Theatre.

In his debut UK tour, award-winning, Josh Berry (Now Show, Dead Ringers, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show) mocks people who went to slightly more prestigious private schools than him for an hour. He’ll also in all likelihood do quite a few impressions although he’s really trying to leave
all that stuff behind because he thinks he’s artistically above it now. Catch him and Rufus Hubris at The Big Difference on 9 Oct.

Join Sukh Ojla in her one woman comedy show, Life Sukhs on 23 Oct at The Y Theatre. Following her debut solo run at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019, Sukh tries to figure out how to move forward in reverse.  From dealing with mental illness to moving back in with her parents, Sukh explores mental health, identity, and living a double life in a searingly honest look at what happens when life doesn’t go to plan.

Comedy Of Black Origin is taking place as part of Black History Month. If you need an evening filled with laughter and more, then you are not going to want to miss this experience – grab your tickets today!  Acts: Kane Brown, Aurie Styla Kat B, Annette Fagon. Taking place at The Y Theatre.

Enjoy a cocktail shaker of creativity with Rough Drafts at The Y on 26 Oct. This free event has been put together by a handful of Leicester creatives. Once a month they hold their scratch nights, each artists getting fifteen minutes to share their work, be that script in hand or something more polished. Then there’s an chat with the audience, ask questions, get answers. Got something you want to share? Get in touch by emailing

As tour support for both Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle, with seven sell out tours and six smash hit comedy specials:  the multi award-winning Slim has been called the King of the Black British Comedy Circuit, but how does he feel about this title? Catch this spectacular star as he guides us through hilariously honest tales of fatherhood, relationships and working life, all whilst racking up 20 years as a comic. 27 Oct and tickets here for £22. Taking place at The Y.

Meanwhile, Leicester City’s De Montfort Hall is back with a bang and a whole raft of comedians including Rhod Gilbert on 6 Oct , Rob Beckett 7 Oct and Frank Skinner on 14 Oct.


Get outside, enjoy the fresh air and get fit during the Rutland Walking, Cycling and Outdoor Festival is on from 2-24 October this month. Turn your pedometer on and enjoy the two week festival that includes over 30 sessions for all ages and abilities, including countryside walks, casual bike rides, nordic walking and more.


Photo by William White on Unsplash

The Big 90s Festival is coming to Leicester’s Victoria Park on 1 Oct with live 90s acts including Phats and Small, Baby D, N Trance, Five and more (final acts TBC for Leicester) and incredible performances to take you back to your youth! Get those glow sticks ready!

There’s some thrilling musical acts we’re really looking forward to at De Montfort Hall. Enjoy some fantastic live music from acts including Billy Ocean on 16 Oct, Scouting for Girls on 18 Oct, Jason Donovan singing his greatest pop hits along with his favourite songs from his career in musicals, all accompanied by a full live band on 19 Oct, Paloma Faith on 20 Oct, Kasabian on 27 Oct, Russell Watson on 24 Oct and more.

If sports is more your thing, you won’t want to miss an evening with Manchester United’s treble winning captain, Champions League Winner, European Champion with Denmark, Peter Schmeichel. He’s coming to Leicester on the 8 Oct and will be talking about his sporting history and the release of his autobiography.


Discover a feast of fabulous wines at The Lutterworth Wine Fair on the afternoon of 2 Oct at Wycliffe Rooms. Enjoy a glass or two from small producers – many of which are not available in supermarkets. There will also be champagne and gin. Tickets £3!

Photo by Jose Hernandez-Uribe on Unsplash

This next event may not be for all of your G&T sipping darlings, but Oktoberfest is big this year and Leicester has not one, but two events taking place. The first one is in Victoria Park on 2 Oct. Taking place inside what is set to be one of Europe’s Largest beer tents, there will also be an authentic oompah bands, a large selection of traditional German foods plus those all important steins! Most of the VIP tables have already sold out but there are some standard tickets still available for the afternoon session from noon to 5pm and even evening session from 5-11pm. The second event is on 23 Oct at the Morningside Arena. Expect live music, german food and of course, beer!

East Midlands Food Festival is back on this year from 2-3 Oct over ‘Rural Capital of Food’ Tickets are 6 and under 16s go for free. Famed for its artisan producers of cheese, pies, charcuterie and other foodie goodies, this event will also include a street food area. Don’t miss the Food Theatre with local chefs demonstrating easy recipes, many using the ingredients found at the festival.

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

Love trying new food? Then you’ll be pleased as punch to hear that the city is hosting the first ever Leicester Restaurant Week 18 – 24 Oct! The event celebrates the city’s diverse dining scene and some of the best local eateries will be offering fixed price menus at £10 and special family ones too. Get those elastic pants ready.

But, wait! There’s more in Rutland too! The popular Rutland Food and Drink Festival on 10 Oct will see stalls lining up along Mill Street, Market Place in the Castle Grounds and even inside Oakham Castle. Sample lots of lovely food and drink from local businesses including Kiran’s Spice Kits and Ruddy Fine Gin. If that wasn’t enough, from 25-31 October, there’s also the Discover Rutland Food & Drink Week, a festival of samplings, beer tastings, pumpkin picking and special menus created by the county’s best chefs, culminating in the Rutland Ball on the 31st at Barnsdale Lodge – it’s like the foodie diary event of the year!

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