9 summer highlights to enjoy in Gloucester

Some incredibly exciting things are happening in Gloucester this summer 2021 – from the return of popular festivals and events to exploring the city like you never have before.

Gloucester will be transformed this summer when a whole host of popular events return to the city, including Gloucester Goes Retro; Gloucester History Festival; outdoor cinemas and more.
Gloucester will be transformed this summer when a whole host of popular events return to the city, including Gloucester Goes Retro; Gloucester History Festival; outdoor cinemas and more.

With popular festivals and events returning, more restrictions being lifted and venues reopening, there is so much to look forward to in Gloucester this summer.

From exploring the past and experiencing a film under the stars to exciting festivals and performances, in this hot list, SoGlos has handpicked 9 Gloucester highlights to look forward to this summer 2021.

1. The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists at the Museum of Gloucester

Discover the Museum of Gloucester’s colourful new exhibition, The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists, showcasing the stories and artworks of the people who illustrated the beloved children’s books for more than 30 years.

The exhibition, which features books, artefacts and original artworks acquired over a 20-year period, will run until Sunday 26 September 2021. There is even the chance for families to get involved with interactive Ladybird-themed activities during the summer holidays.

2. Gloucester Rooftop Festival

Gloucester Rooftop Festival is back, transforming Eastgate car park into party central. The four-day event will take place from Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 July 2021, featuring everything from acrobatics; beatboxing; circus performers; dancing; a fashion show; poetry slam; music and more.

The city’s newest festival-feel bar, The Outdoor Inn, will also be at the event with an on-site bar, so you can grab some refreshments before heading back to the car park dance floor to show off your best moves.

3. Live music and comedy at Gloucester Guildhall

Gloucester Guidlhall is hosting everything from live music and comedy to exhibitions and talks this summer 2021.

With the likes of Frank Turner and Simon Brodkin, along with a whole host of incredible tribute acts and events, including The Improvised Dr Who Parody, set to take to the stage.

4. Gloucester’s Summer Passport

An exciting summer event, Gloucester’s Summer Passport, is coming to the city this year.

Running from mid-July until the beginning of September 2021, the event will see visitors collect stickers when they visit businesses or attractions throughout the city.

There are prizes for anyone who collects eight stickers, as well as a chance to win big in the Grand Prize Draw.

5. Outdoor cinema at Over Farm

Experience a film night to remember under the stars when the Alfresco Film Company returns to Over Farm this July 2021. Over the weekend of Friday 23 to Saturday 24 July 2021, grab your dancing shoes or your fishnet tights and enjoy a double bill of singalong favourites when Dirty Dancing and The Rocky Horror Picture Show come to the big screen.

As well as the outdoor cinema screening, filmgoers will also be able to tuck into tasty hot food including handmade beef or spicy bean burgers and pork hot dogs, as well as ice cream, popcorn and sweets. There’ll be a licensed event bar too, with premium ticket holders able to enjoy the movies from luxury deck chairs with blankets.

6. Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival

Music-lovers will be delighted to hear that the Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival is returning to the city this summer. The free event will officially commence on Wednesday 28 July up until Sunday 1 August 2021, with 30 gigs taking to the stage at various venues including Angie’s, Café René, The Dick Whittington, The Fountain Inn, The New Inn, The Outdoor Inn and The Turk’s Head.

7. Rediscover Gloucester Cathedral

With plenty of space to explore, pay a visit to one of Gloucester’s most magnificent buildings this summer. Download the Gloucester Cathedral app for an augmented reality experience; recreate scenes from the movies as you walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps; and marvel at its incredible medieval architecture.

See how many activities you can tick off on its free Summer Challenge Trail, with gold medals up for grabs for anyone who completes nine or more. And once you’re tired out from all that, grab a delicious ice cream from the Monk’s Hut.

Just remember to check the Gloucester Cathedral website for its latest visiting times before you go.

8. Gloucester Goes Retro

Transport yourself back to the past with the city’s vintage car, fashion and music festival, Gloucester Goes Retro. The streets will be given a taste of history as they’re transformed into various eras – with Westgate Street which representing 1900 to 1949; Northgate Street the 1950s; Eastgate Street the 1960s; and Southgate Street from 1970 to the present day.

More than 500 classic cars and vehicles will line the streets, there’ll be live music on the Gloucester Goes Retro stage, and the chance to have a go at swing dancing too, when the festival gets underway on Saturday 28 August 2021.

9. Gloucester History Festival

With everything from exhibitions; photography; Heritage Open Days; talks from the likes of Dermot Turing — Alan Turing’s nephew — and more, there is plenty to look forward to when Gloucester History Festival returns for 2021.

After a pioneering online-only festival in 2020, Gloucester History Festival will take place from Saturday 4 to Sunday 19 September 2021 with a programme of in-person and digital events along the theme of Frontiers and Pioneers, recognising battles, inventions, advancements and new discoveries with its diverse range of events.

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