It’s a brand-new year in Gloucester and 2022 holds so much promise, with the long-awaited return of some of the county’s top music festivals, incredible new developments due to be completed and exciting new venues opening, too.
SoGlos has rounded up 22 things in Gloucester to get excited about in the year ahead…
King’s Square reopening
Gloucester’s King’s Square is undergoing a complete transformation to landscape the area, plant new trees, create new seating areas and install water fountains and coloured lighting.
Giving Gloucester residents and city centre visitors a gorgeous new space, it’s hoped that the stunning new King’s Square will be completed by April 2022.
Gloucester Food Dock opening
The highly anticipated Gloucester Food Dock is another exciting development which is due to open in summer 2022.
The 20,000-square-foot venue, which overlooks the Victoria Dock marina, will house 15 new independent food and drink venues and could create up to 120 new jobs.
Completion of The Forum phase one
Building work on phase one of £102 million The Forum development began in August 2021, creating 19 new apartments with views of Gloucester Cathedral and a new retail space set to be occupied by Tesco – and the project is well on its way, with work on phase one due to be completed in summer 2022.
Phase Two – which includes new office spaces, a hotel, gym, restaurants, roof gardens, bars and new cyber innovation hub – was granted in April 2021 and while completion dates are yet to be confirmed, the office spaces are due to be completed by 2023, according to The Forum’s official website.
Over Farm’s Countryside Adventure
After receiving planning permission in September 2021, building work on Over Farm’s new Countryside Adventure is due to start in 2022, with plans to create areas for educational play, animal interactions, a splash zone and even mini-golf!
As well as the return of PYO Fruit in summer, Frightmare and Spookyard at Halloween, Over Farm is also celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022, with plans for celebrations soon to be announced.
Gloucester Tall Ships Festival
Gloucester Tall Ships Festival is also due to make a long-awaited return after being postponed in 2021. The event takes place on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 June 2022, with plans to add an extra day this year to honour the Queen.
Bringing a host of huge ships to Gloucester, the family event has also seen pirates, jet pack rocket man displays and more in previous years – with the spectacle attracting around 100,000 visitors to the city’s historic Docks.
Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling
Renowned around the world, one of Gloucestershire’s wackiest events is set to return this year, with the annual Cheese Rolling event at Cooper’s Hill taking place on Monday 30 May 2022.
Spectators come from far and wide to watch daring competitors chase the cheese – an 8lb Double Gloucester – down the famous hill, with downhill races for men and women and an uphill race for children on the day.
Gloucester Brewery expansion
Gloucester Brewery launched a crowdfunder in November 2021 to help fund the next phase of its expansion – and reached its £500,000 target just over a month later.
With the cash secured, it plans to expand its Warehouse 4 bar with a mezzanine floor plus a sustainable wedding venue and events space above the brewery at Fox’s Kiln – as well as potentially opening a new bar in Cheltenham too!
King’s Walk redevelopment
The Forum developer, Reef Group, is also due to be continuing the redevelopment of King’s Walk shopping centre in 2022.
The planned improvements include recladding the Eastgate Street façade; refurbishing the mall with new ceilings and lighting; installing new signage throughout the centre; and refurbishing the main atrium, giving shoppers a more sheltered shopping environment and all-round better shopping experience. Work is due to begin in spring 2022 and be completed by the end of the year.
New cultural events programme for Westgate Street
The Cathedral Quarter was awarded a £100,000 grant from Historic England in 2021 to put on a series of cultural events in the Westgate Street area of Gloucester.
Gloucester Culture Trust and Strike A Light is running an artist callout for a Gloucester-based creative to work with the community to uncover the hidden stories of the area throughout the year, with the residency planned to start as early as February 2022.
Hetty’s Kitchen is moving to new premises
Gloucestershire’s favourite brownie baker, Hetty’s Kitchen, is moving its bakery and cake hatch to bigger premises in 2022.
Although it’s not moving far – the new bakery will still be located on Morelands Trading Estate in Gloucester – the new 2,600-square-foot unit will give Hetty’s the chance to expand its menu and potentially provide an indoor seating area at the cake hatch, too.
International Photography Exhibition at the Museum of Gloucester
For the first time ever, the International Photography Exhibition is coming to Gloucester – with plenty of time to catch the show at the Museum of Gloucester from Thursday 27 January all the way through to Sunday 5 June 2022.
The Museum of Gloucester has teamed up with The Royal Photographic Society to bring the exhibition to the city, showcasing the work of 43 internationally renowned photographers and spanning innovation techniques and unique new photographic styles.
AJAM 2022 at Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre
The biggest ski and snowboard competition in the UK is coming to Gloucester, as AJAM 2022 takes place at Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre on Saturday 12 February 2022.
There’ll be freestyle and race competitions for skiers and snowboarders, slope-side bars, as well as an après event with live DJs and soundsystems in AJAM’s own custom-built arena in the woods.
Simpsons Fish and Chips opening in Gloucester
Award-winning Simpsons Fish and Chips is coming to Gloucester in February 2022 – opening a new chippy in Quedgeley.
With sustainable fish, gluten-free options and its famous vegan Tofish on the new menu, fish and chip fans in Gloucester won’t have to travel to Cheltenham or Stroud to get their hands on something from Simpsons for much longer.
Women’s Six Nations at Kingsholm Stadium
Rugby fans can see England’s Red Roses take on Wales as part of the Women’s Six Nations at Kingsholm on Saturday 9 April 2022.
The thrilling match in Gloucester will see the very best female players from England and Wales competing for glory, with the match also set to be televised too.
McFly at Gloucester Park
Popular boy band McFly will finally be taking to the stage at Gloucester Park on Friday 10 June 2022. One year later than planned, the ‘ultimate summer party’ will also see gig-goers treated to a warm-up set from Capital FM DJ, Roman Kemp.
Comedy in the Park
After being postponed in 2021, Comedy in the Park will see John Bishop, Nish Kumar, Russell Kane and a host of other top comedians perform at one of the biggest comedy events Gloucester has ever hosted, on Saturday 11 June 2022 at Gloucester Park.
Gloucester Goes Retro
Gloucester takes a trip back in time on Saturday 27 August 2022 as the hugely popular Gloucester Goes Retro event takes over the city centre.
Vintage cars and vehicles, re-enactors, live music and dancing fill Gloucester’s gate streets and historic docks, with each one representing a different era from the 1900s to the 1980s.
Barn on the Farm
After two long years, Gloucester’s popular music festival Barn on the Farm is set to return from Thursday 30 June to Sunday 3 July 2022, with organisers promising to make this year’s event their best festival yet.
Tickets are on sale already and while the line-up for 2022 is yet to be announced, previous years have seen the likes of George Ezra, Lewis Capaldi, Ed Sheeran and James Bay all perform at Over Farm.
See a Taskmaster star at Gloucester Guildhall
Comedian and Taskmaster star, Mark Watson, brings his unique brand of observational comedy to Gloucester Guildhall on Sunday 17 July 2022.
In his new show This Can’t Be It, Watson ponders the fragility of life as an almost middle-aged man, blending his pathological overthinking with energetic stand-up comedy in his own inimitable style.
Dom Joly at Gloucester Guildhall
Dom Joly is embarking on his first UK tour since 2011 this year, taking to the stage at Gloucester Guildhall on Sunday 27 March 2022.
The writer, broadcaster, Trigger Happy TV creator and Gloucestershire resident will be sharing his travel exploits from dangerous destinations including North Korea, Syria and Chernobyl – as well as talking about attending school with Osama Bin Laden.
Gloucester Folk Trail
Taking place from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 February 2022, hear the likes of Lonesome Pines, The Twiddlers, The Invisible Tom Stanley, Danny Hammond and Jim Rowley fill the city centre with music, storytelling, poetry and more.
After bringing Basement Jaxx, Tinie Tempah, John Newman and Joel Corry to Gloucester in 2021, Witcombe Festival returns over the August Bank Holiday weekend from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 August 2022.
This year’s line-up is yet to be announced, but with Metro describing the festival as ‘best for dance’ in the UK, music-lovers won’t want to miss it – with early bird tickets on sale now.