Cheltenham Festivals

Holst conducts the tents at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2013
Holst conducts the tents at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2013. Photo by muffinn, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The festival for which Cheltenham is most famous is the festival of horse racing at Cheltenham racecourse. Four days of sporting greatness is played out featuring a wide cast of people and horses including the annual Irish invasion. Cheltenham is also home to many other festivals across a broad spectrum of interests including music, science, art and literature which embodies everything that is so great about Cheltenham as a place to visit. We are always spoiled for choice when deciding which events to visit, so we have picked out some of the festivals that make Cheltenham so special that you can visit when staying at Cooks Green Cottage.

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Started in 1996, Cheltenham Jazz Festival is now established as the leading and most popular in the UK. It takes place from the end of April until the first week of May. Featuring a broad range of musicians, jazz is performed in many different styles and over the years have featured such illustrious artists as Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison, Frank Sinatra Jr, Curtis Stigers, Courtney Pine, Jamie Callum and many more.

The events take place around the town in different venues including Cheltenham Town Hall, the Playhouse Theatre and also in outdoor marquees. The fringe events are usually free and are devoted to young up and coming musicians who showcase their music in parks, parks and restaurants.
The jazz festival also features master classes and workshops for adults, teenagers and younger children where advice and interactive sessions on performance.

The Cheltenham Music Festival

One of the longest established festivals The Cheltenham Music Festival has taken place in June and July since 1945. The festival is famous for contemporary music premieres. The Festival takes place in several venues across the entire county and the atmosphere of some of these venues add to the magic of the performance. Imagine being seated in a magnificent cathedral abbey or historic building such as the Pittville Pump Room. The festival is not just about music and equally featured are dance, film, visual arts and the spoken word. This event is a true celebration for lovers of the arts.

The Cheltenham Literature Festival

1949 saw the inception of the literature festival and the Cheltenham Literature Festival is considered one of the UK’s most prestigious events and has the accolade of being the world’s longest running literature festival. It takes place during the first two weeks of October and there are plenty of events around the town to enjoy including workshops, readings, debates and other entertainments such as themed meals. There is plenty to do for the children as well and at some stage most of the great names in modern literature have appeared at this wonderful event.

The Cheltenham Science Festival

This fascinating event was launched in 2002 and plays host to a prestigious international science-based competition for talented scientists. NESTA FameLab attracts competitors who have made the finals from 25 different nations. The event takes place in June each year. The festival is located in the gardens of the Town Hall and the building itself. There is also a tented science village built in Imperial Square. The Festival aims to be inclusive with serious science events alongside more light hearted events including comedy, experiments, and debates.

Cheltenham is truly a festival town that celebrates the arts and many other unique interests. You could say there is a festival for everyone from food and drink, musical shindigs, sporting festivals and much more. Whatever time of year you stay with us at Cooks Green Cottage, you will be sure to find a festival to visit to suit you.

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