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What’s on in Wiltshire summer 2021

There's so much to look forward to this summer in Wiltshire (and boy do we need it) with comedy, outdoor theatre, glamping and music festivals. On your marks, get booking!

OUTDOORS Bowood Great Balloon Race 2nd-5th July 5.30pm

They’ve got social-distancing down to a t at this event, where you can book your own plot for a glorious night of balloon racing, fireworks (are these two compatible?!) music and food & drink.

COMEDY Flo & Joan Salisbury Playhouse 3rd July

If there was ever a time we needed a good laugh….This irreverent pair should sort us out. Their songs on Keyboard/percussion manage to be smart, topical and funny, with a dark edge that feels right for now, like Victoria Wood’s twisted little sisters.

MORE COMEDY Sophie Hagen at The Pound, Corsham, 3rd July

A lot of the best comedy right now seems to be coming from off-beat young women, and you’re spoilt for choice tonight, with Sophie Hagen’s new show Bumswing on the same night. Sophie is a Dane who came to the UK on holiday and never left. Author of the popular book Happy Fat and a cult podcaster, her comedy is immaculately constructed and she’s not only funny but kind of nice to be around.

GLAMPING Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford-on-avon, from 24th May

If you’ve not been yet, Woolley Grange is just so Muddy. A family-friendly hotel equal parts glamourous and relaxed, this summer they’re adding eight bespoke Glamping Suites to their gorgeous grounds. A tented al-fresco pop-up cafe and bar The Hideout, together with an outdoor pool, should make for hols from heaven.

OUTDOOR THEATRE Macbeth The Hall, Bradford-on-avon, 13th July, 7pm

Pedalling from venue to venue with all of their set, props and costumes on the back of their bikes, the HandleBards are a four-strong all-female troupe of actors who are spending the summer bringing environmentally sustainable Shakespeare to venues across the UK. Forget the tears and tragedy – this looks set to be a frantic, delirious, madcap show.

OUTDOOR CINEMA Moulin Rouge & Grease at Marlborough College, 9th & 10th July, 9.45pm

Lost Cinema presents a couple of ol’ favourites – both of which are going to look great on a big screen against the stars. This year you can BYO picnic & booze, so chuck in a rug and you’re ready to go.

CONCERT Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Salisbury Playhouse, 10th July

This young Brit has been described by The Guardian as a cellist, songwriter and singer everyone needs to be listening to now”. Mixing classical with RnB, she’s a bit Aleisha Keys in the way she mixes musical virtuosity with contemporary songwriting.

FOOD FEST Bradford-on-avon Food & Drink Festival, 17th & 18th July

Set on Victory Fields by the river, this celebration of the deliciousness of the South West is really hitting its stride. Demos from celebrity chefs and local heroes mix with artisan makers, street food, homeware and even a dog show.

MUSIC FEST Womad, Malmesbury, 22nd-25th July

The top place for world music & dance and so much more. This year’s headliners include Jordan Rakei, The Selecter, Nubiyan Twist and A Certain Ratio, among many many others.

NIGHT OUT Classic Ibiza at Bowood, 23rd July

The Ibiza girls’ trip is off (*sob*) but no fear, the stunning Bowood Estate will be transformed into an al fresco nightclub for two nights in July. Re-live your youth with the Urban Soul Orchestra as they interpret dance favourites, and DJ Jose Luis plays old-school house with a Latin flavour. 24th July already sold out, but some tickets left for 23rd July.

WEEKEND OUT Bath Festival Finale Weekend, 8 & 9th August

With a live music line-up worth waiting for, Saturday headliners include Gabrielle, McFly and Scouting For Girls, and Sunday Billy Ocean and Fun Lovin’ Criminals. It’s more than just A-list bands; there is also spoken word, street theatre, Kids zone, local talent and artisan food. So great to have a proper festival on the Rec in the centre of town, so no need for that getting-out-of-the-car-park downer at the end of the night.

OUTDOOR CLASSICAL MUSIC Iford Arts at Belcombe Court, Bradford-on-avon, 21st-22nd & 28th-30th August

This year’s outdoor music festival is kicked off by a picnic prom with Classico Latino on 21st August, Peter and the Wolf on the 22nd and opera 28th-30th. The grounds of 18th Century Belcombe are sublime – think smaller version of Stourhead – if you’ve never been you’re in for a treat.

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