Orchestras, opera stars, emerging artists and composers made an emotional return to the concert platform at Cheltenham Music Festival (2-11 July). This year’s event ended on a high note with the Free Music Weekend in Imperial Gardens bringing the community together in an eruption of feel-good vibes. Spontaneous dancing broke out in the town centre as three roaming bands played sets courtesy of Cheltenham BID.

Crowds enjoying the Free Music Weekend in Imperial Gardens... 

Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra said: “We have played in the Festival many times over the years, but this is a particularly special day... as it is our first symphonic performance away from our home in Poole since the start of lock down.” 

BBC National Orchestra of Wales tweeted: “Super exciting to be back on the road for the first time in 15 months. Always special to be at #CheltMusicFest!” 

Audience members tweeted: 

“Love hearing live music once more in the park and dancing with my daughter, thank you @cheltfestivals” (@Richjohnes)  

“An amazing night of music, happy people and freedom” (@sallylgillespie) 

Cheltenham Music Festival - Free Music Weekend Images by Still Moving Media on behalf of Cheltenham Festivals

Highlights from the Cheltenham Music Festival 2021... 

·        The Carice Singers hit the headlines as they stepped in to perform a world premiere at less than 24 hours’ notice as reported by the BBC

·        Four lunchtime concerts were broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 with the BBC New Generation Artists. 

·        The Festival hosted 21 world premieres including 12 at the Composium day dedicated to new music and the classical music industry. 

·        3,000 views of the digital Concert for Schools presented by YolanDa Brown introducing an estimated 88,000 school children to jazz and classical music.  

Camilla King, Head of Programming at Cheltenham Music Festival, commented: 
“From the first note sounding in Cheltenham Town Hall, the Festival was a hugely emotional experience for performers and audience members alike. We wanted to reconnect our community with three days of free music in Imperial Gardens and bring joy to people after lockdown. It has brought home how important live music and performance is to our lives.” 

There are lots more brilliant events to look forward to this summer folks! Check out our helpful guides for full details -

85+ summer events in Cheltenham 2021

Things to do outdoors in Cheltenham

Places to eat outdoors in Cheltenham

Beer gardens in Cheltenham 


Cheltenham Music Festival
La Serenissima performing at Cheltenham Music Festival in 2021

Cheltenham Music Festival brings nine days of performances and events by leading international artists, new talent and innovators including London Mozart Players, New English Ballet Theatre and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Free Music Weekend - Cheltenham Music Festival
Free Music Weekend - Cheltenham Music Festival

Three roaming bands will give free pop-up performances on Cheltenham’s High Street, Promenade and Imperial Gardens to celebrate the opening weekend of Cheltenham Music Festival on 9 and 10 July. The bands are presented in partnership with Cheltenham BID.



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