As Spring starts to spring to life and the grey skies start to light up again, there are few better places to spend a lovely summer’s day out in than Chester and the Roman city has more than enough events to make your time away a great occasion.
Here are just a few of the premier events lined up over the coming months:
Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival – 17th to 21st of April
Situated in the market town of Nantwich which is typically always buzzing with something to do even if there isn’t a big event on, this much loved music festival will be a welcome form of entertainment to those who like jazz and blues: two of the oldest and most revered genres of music around.
Across the area, you can expect to see many musicians performing at pubs and clubs over what is bound to be a great few days.
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre – 27th of June to 24th of August
Although it’s only been going for four short seasons, the attractions available at this theatre during its open period over summer have made it one of the premier destinations for live entertainment events in Chester and Cheshire already.
This year, expect to see adaptations of the likes of The Secret Garden, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors after a great reception for last year’s performances. As the only open air theatre outside of London, you’re sure to be in great company.
Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle Festival 2014 – 19th of April to 21st of April
If you’re thinking of visiting Chester for the first time this April, you’re bound to come away with a very positive outlook on this historic city as this micro-festival is a great time for all.
As soon as you walk through Chester Raceourse, you’ll be greeted by a whole menagerie of different sights, sounds and smells as there will be only the finest in food and drink available to you on your visit. Staggered across themed villages, there’s bound to be something to sate the palate of everyone at this event.
The much awaited billing for the massive Chester Rocks has finally been announced with the names on the list being more eclectic than they’ve ever been before.
Mercury Prize winning rapper Dizzee Rascal is the headlining act and he’s sure to bring his raucous energy to proceedings during the event which takes place from the 6th of June to the 8th of June. You may know Dizzee from the hit single ‘Bonkers’ as well as some of his earlier work including ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’.
Also announced, the indie kings Razorlight will be attending Chester Racecourse and will no doubt relish belting out some of the anthems. The controversial Johnny Borrell fronts the band and will delight in bringing classics such as ‘America’ and ‘Somewhere Else’ to the buoyant crowd – if you haven’t heard of the latter then you’re missing out on one of the essential songs of the noughties!
Another supporting act are the pop rockers The Hoosiers who might be best known for their hits ‘Worried About Ray’ and ‘Goodbye Mr. A’ during the indie invasion last decade. The Feeling offer a much more mellow sound and they’ll also be playing at Chester Rocks this June: check ‘Fill My Little Word’ if you need to refresh your memory on this London based band.
Pop fans of the 90’s and 00’s will go wild for the line-up on Sunday the 8th of June as 5ive, 911, Eternal and A1 have been billed to take part in a summer party. Look no further for your fix of cheesy nostalgia than this perfect way to wrap up 2014’s occasion.
Organisers are aiming to beat last year’s attendance of 20000 when the likes of Jessie J and The Wanted performed. Event organiser Lynsey Jones said: “The line-up this year has a broader appeal than ever before and we’re also delighted to be showcasing local talent. We hope to see another record breaking attendance over the three days.”
Tickets for Chester Rocks 2014 will be available from Friday at 9pm and can be bought from www.chester-rocks.com from £28.50.
“Dizzee ’13″ by www.flickr.com/photos/mayeesherr
If you’re yet to visit Chester Zoo (really?), you can count yourself amongst the 1.5 million who visited one of the North’s best attractions when you finally make the trip as the long-running landmark has had a stellar year.
An amazing one a half million people stepped through the gates of Chester Zoo in 2013, making it the most visited attraction outside of London. In fact, it even had more people visit than at the Houses of Parliament! It must be something to do with the red pandas…
This continues the distinction for the Upton-based attraction and conservation centre of being massively popular as it has been ousting the capital’s most famous haunts for three years straight now. In fact, Chester Zoo has even been visited 100,000 times more than its supposedly larger cousin, London Zoo!
Perhaps its great popularity boils down to a recent baby boom, as managing director Jamie Christon explains: “We are delighted to take the top spot yet again and I think that’s proof that we’re doing things right.
“Last year we had a host of breeding successes including tiger and cheetah cubs and rhino calves, all of which have been important for conservation but also a big draw for visitors.
“This year we have already seen the birth of a rare Grevy’s zebra foal and the arrival of two new Komodo dragons.”
And the purple patch for the zoo looks like continuing as plans to build the Islands project, on a larger scale than anything seen before in the country, continue to develop: “We’re constantly evolving and offering people new and exciting things to come and experience,” Mr Christon continued.
“In previous years this has included world first attractions such as our display of animatronic bugs and with the opening of Islands fast approaching, we can guarantee that there are very exciting times ahead.”