Love Basingstoke Logo

Basingstoke Festival returns for 2023

Let the countdown begin, save the dates for this year’s Festival!

Basingstoke Festival returns for its 12th year. Join us with your family to celebrate the very best of outdoor arts from Friday 23 June to Sunday 9 July 2023.  Pop the dates in your diary to discover art in unusual places as Basingstoke’s streets comes to life this summer with performances including street theatre, dance, circus and storytelling.

Expect a programme packed with fun, energy and adventure for all the family in Basingstoke town centre and across the borough. Performances across the three weekends are free to watch. You can view the full programme on the Basingstoke Festival website but here’s a flavour of what we have in store:

The festival begins with a bang on Friday 23 June 2023 with a vibrant town centre parade led by local company Fluid Motion Theatre. The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Flourish – being the best you can be’. Join in the celebrations and soak up the party atmosphere from 5.30pm on Cross Street at the Top of the Town, then follow the parade route for the big finale: a family friendly ‘positivity rave’.

The first weekend brings a fusion of hip-hop, contemporary circus and acrobatics in Roll Model by Simple Cypher the company behind last year’s Roll Play in Eastrop Park. Expect a high energy, high impact performance scored with an explosive new Hip Hop soundtrack.

Roll Model, Simple Cypher © DanMartinArtist

Experience magical moments with your family with acts such as The Wagon of Dreams from Jellyfish Theatre, a hilariously interactive show where three best friends go on an exciting ocean adventure. They meet outrageous mermaids and fantastical sea creatures who live in the wonderful "Wagon of Dreams".

Wagon of Dreams, credit: Andreas Lambis

On Sunday 25 June take a trip out to one of the more rural parts of the borough and experience Step Hop House’s, Folk Dance Remixed at Whitchurch Silk Mill.  Join in with a funky hip-hop folk dance around a maypole.

The second weekend sees the spectacle of a 15-foot-tall giant wheel and a choreographed procession on the streets of Basingstoke by Autin Dance Theatre, who previously bought the giant sea creator, Eko to Basingstoke. Co-commissioned by Basingstoke Festival, Parade: The Giant Wheel is a moving performance inspired by the beauty, power and impact of people coming together from different walks of life.

There will be juggling, hand-balancing contortion, clowning and puppetry in The Precious Thing, two colourful characters have two things to do: fish for food and look after and nurture their one treasured possession, trying to keep it alive using water. What could it be?

The closing weekend brings one of the national shows coming to Basingstoke, Look Mum, No Hands! by company Daryl and Co - a tender tale of friendship and growing up. It explores a coming-of-age story about two friends testing their own boundaries. Together they explore freedom, taking risks and independence.

Look Mum, no hands

The Place presents: The album: skool edition by SAY. Celebrate the joy and innocence of making up dances to exciting new music in this interactive outdoor dance show for kids and their families! SAY’s energy is infectious and will inspire you to get creative with movement too! including tracks with UK beatbox champion MC Zani and alternative pop artist Naomi Banks, this is an interactive show created specifically for kids and their families.

Let’s not forget our fantastic home-grown talent, as Basingstoke Festival supports local artists including Proteus Theatre company performing ‘The Tempest, Fluid Motion Theatre premiere their new showThe Greatest Show on Earth, Scratchbuilt Productions ‘The Fairy Finders Trail and Junk Jodie’s new showSEA-TACULAR.

New for 2023 is a Festival Hub in partnership with Festival Place.  Every weekend a different local organisation will take over a shop unit in Festival Place with music, art and film featuring.

Can’t wait? Neither can we! Check the website for the 2023 programme and stay up-to-date information by following our socials.

Our thanks to Basingstoke Festival for this guest blog. June 2023


Basingstoke Festival champions new work created specifically for local audiences and supports the development of new art in the borough. The festival is produced by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Basingstoke Festival is working in partnership with Village Hotel Basingstoke and Festival Place. Basingstoke Festival is a partner in Without Walls, working with festivals and artists to bring fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across the UK.  Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England for Basingstoke Festival 2023.

Share this article: