Festival Britain

Some time, some place, there's a festival for you this summer, be it firework concerts in the grounds of Warwick Castle or acrobatic massage in Kensington. Your guide: Suzanna Drew-Edwards

25 May - 8 June Salisbury

Salsa, flamenco, Scottish folk music, modern jazz, classical orchestra. Michael Nyman's world premiere of The Final Score inspired by Queen's Park Rangers. Street entertainment combines with theatre, comedy and the death-defying Cirque Baroque (above). Box-office: 01722 320333.

23 May - 30 June India's South, London

Colourful celebration of arts and culture of Southern India. Dance, including Theyam (above), an ancient ritual solo dance performed for up to 12 hours at a time before village shrines, plus music, theatre, film, performing arts, traditional craft workshops and South Indian food. Festival hotline: 0171-354 4141.

25 June - 14 July City of London

Opera, orchestral and choral concerts, poetry, jazz, theatre and dance in the Square Mile. Includes Inside Out Theatre Co (above) and acclaimed Polish team Teatr Biuo Podrozy who appear on stilts and torch the set. Festival office: 0171-377 0540.

2 - 25 May Glasgow Mayfest Grand-scale festival of popular arts and entertainment. Includes ballroom and highland dancing, plus the outrageous Appetite by Club Swing. Also a 1950s drive-in movie (screening Mel Gibson's epic Braveheart). Festival ticket hotline: 0141-287 5000.

3 - 12 May Leeds International Music Ten days of jazz, chamber music. Highlights include flamenco guitarist Juan Martn, and Sounds for Silents - a celebration of the centenary of the cinema. Workshops and free events. Details: 0113 243 2491.

6 May Blackawton International Festival of Worm Charming Inexplicable tradition where teams have limited time to lure worms from the ground, then all retire to pub to toast the winner. Details: 01803 834224.

9 - 25 May Bury St Edmunds Opera, music and drama taking place at the Cathedral. The London Community Gospel Choir; guitarist John Williams; Jools Holland; guided tours and walks, films and art exhbitions. Box-office: 01284 769505.

10 - 18 May Birmingham Readers & Writers Literary line-up with Joanna Trollope, AS Byatt, Ivor Cutler. Includes workshops (one in a Balti restaurant) and Kids Day (meet creator of hot favourites Postman Pat and Rose & Jim).

Festival hotline: 0121-235 4244.

11 - 25 May Sheffield: Chamber Music Beethoven and his contemporaries are the crux of 30 concerts featuring, among others, string quartet The Lindsays. Box-office: 0114 276 9922.

1 1 - 26 May Bournemouth International Opera, theatre, comedy, dance, jazz and literary events with theme: "The sublime to the ridiculous." Prunella Scales and Timothy West singing with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and D'Oyly Carte Opera Company performing La Vie Parisienne. Don't let an appearance by David Mellor put you off. Festival box-office: 01202 456456.

15 - 25 May Chelmsford Cathedral Opera, jazz, poetry in the grand cathedral setting. Plus fringe events. Details: 01245 359890.

17 May - 2 June Bath International Music Arts and music to theme of "Migrations". Handel, Haydn, jazz, folk, new music and contemporary visual arts. Walks, talks and tours. Festival booking-office: 01225 463362.

17 May - 25 August Glyndebourne New productions of Handel's Theodora and Berg's Lulu. Revivals of Trevor Nunn's Cosi fan tutte, plus Yevgeny Onyegin and Arabella. Box-office: 01273 813813.

18 - 27 May Mind Body Spirit, London Get to know your aura with popular "alternative lifestyles" festival. Yoga, tai chi, psychic powers, belly dancing, new-age music, Japanese swordmanship and acrobatic massage (it says here). Details: 0171-938 3788.

20 - 26 May Scottish International Children's, Edinburgh Child-centred performing arts jamboree aimed at children aged between 3 and 14. Aboriginal dancing; The Jiving Lindy Hoppers; The Adventures of Pinocchio and Magic Bob. Plus workshops and the Happy Tent. Information: 0131-553 7700.

23 - 27 May Charleston Literary festival in Bloomsbury territory with poet Andrew Motion and Jeremy Isaacs talking to Quentin Bell. Details: 01323 811626.

24 May - 2 June Greenwich & Docklands International, London Multi-arts. Open-air concerts in Greenwich Park; a premiere by composer John Tavener, Let's Begin Again. Also performers from this year's festival partner city, Chicago. Free events for children. Festival hotline: 0181-317 8687.

24 May - 2 June Hay-on-Wye Literature. Squeeze into the Black Mountains Town of Books with other bookworms. Literary lectures, recitals, interviews. Julian Clary and Eddie Izzard provide the laughs. Details: 01497 821217.

27 May - 8 June BOC Covent Garden Opera and musical theatre. Includes Camelot and the Mecklenburgh Opera's Chance Your Arm. Plus, Mozart double-bill, The Impresario and Zaide, and interviews with Sir Georg Solti, Simon Callow and Dennis O'Neill. Circus, acrobatics, jazz and steel bands at the Piazza's Festival Stage (free events). Festival phone line: 0181-544 0808.

27 May - 9 June Malvern Elgar Festival Ten-day celebration of Malvem Hills' best-known resident. Concerts, plus films, talks, exhibitions and host of fringe events. Details: 01684 572725.

30 May - 2 June Rochester Dickens Festival Root out your Victorian costumes for recitals, lectures, street entertainment and fabulous fireworks. Details: 01634 843666.

31 May - 9 June Glasgow: Big Big Country Country music at renovated Old Fruitmarket. The Coal Porters, Nashville's Cathryn Craig and Texan "politically incorrect" singer Kinky Friedman. Also American line dancing. Box-office: 0141-227 5511.

2 - 8 June Chelsea Music, readings, jazz in Sloane Square, hats, stained glass, jewellery and unseen gardens to visit. Festival office: 0171-824 8219.

5 - 26 June Spitalfields Christ Church and its acoustics plays host to Bach, Gibbons and Huguenot composers. Also, education events and historical walks. Details: 0171-377 0287.

6 - 30 June York Mystery Plays Following medieval tradition, the Cycle of Plays are performed once every four years and tell the story of the Bible from the Garden of Eden to the Harrowing of Hell. This year, God is played by a woman and Jesus Christ is a Leeds solicitor. Box-office: 01904 623568.

7 - 23 June Aldeburgh Celebrating the work (and 70th birthday) of composer Hans Werner Henze, this prominent festival has British premiere of his Appassionatemente. Also Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia. Box- office: 01728 453543.

8 June - 4 July Lufthansa Baroque Music, London Early music in Christopher Wren's St James Church in Picadilly. Ten concerts including period instrument ensembles, The Dragon of Wantley by Opera Restor'd and Handel's Semele by the St James's Baroque Players. Box-office: 0171-437 5053.

22 June - 3 July Peterborough Cathedral Concerts in the cathedral, jazz in the cloisters. Details: 01733 343342.

22 June - 7 July Ludlow King Lear enacted in Ludlow's Norman castle. Also rock/pop, opera, dance, jazz, literary events and children's events. Festival office: 01584 872150.

28 June - 13 July Bradford Free multi-ethnic festivities celebrate the theme "Bradford-by-the-Sea". Asian music, dance, performance and food, culminating in a mardi-gras style carnival. Festival office: 01274 309199.

29 June - 13 July Warwick & Leamington Fireworks concerts with the Royal Philharmonic at Warwick Castle. Also, new productions of Richard III and Henry V, plus Don Giovanni. Heritage venues to complement. Festival box-office: 01926 496277/408187.

30 June - 16 July Chichester Festivities Mixed-bag arts celebrations include opera, choral music, plus walks, celebrity talks, film, drama and street theatre. Venues include the Norman Cathedral. Festival office: 01243 785718.

3 -14 July Falmouth Film Screenings, lectures, displays and exhibitions. Main thread is Cornish films, with Alfred Hitchcok's Jamaica Inn. Falmouth Arts Centre: 01326 317090.

4 - 21 July Exeter An Italian slant to music, opera, jazz dance, theatre and entertainment. Candlelit and open-air concerts, jazz in the cathedral and pyrotechnics. James Galway with The London Mozart Players. Box-office: 01392 499123.

5 - 14 July Lichfield International Arts Fifteenth mixed-arts festival. Music, drama, films, exhibitions. Festival office: 01543 257298.

5 - 14 July York Early Music Britain's largest early music festival. Concerts, lectures, walks and talks in medieval churches and historic houses. Details: 01904 658338.

6 July - 24 August Dartington International Summer School Five weeks of music making, concerts and dance in Dartington Hall and gardens. Masterclasses and workshops are open to everyone. Booking-office: 01803 865988.

6 - 21 July Cheltenham International Music Russia forms the core. Music from Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich plus others. of Crossed Desires. Festival office: 01242 521621.

9 - 14 July Llangollen Internation Music Eisteddfod Global song and dance complete with national costumes from 48 nations. James Galway, Marisa Robles, London Mozart Players. Festival office: 01978 860236.

10 - 13 July Henley Music and Arts. Orchestral concerts on a floating stage; marquees on the lawn, jugglers, fireworks, opera and jazz. Wayne Marshall, Lesley Garrett, George Melly. Box-office: 01491 411353.

12 - 21 July Oundle International Rural Northamptonshire hosts mixed music concerts, TS Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral and a firework finale. Festival hotline: 01832 272026.

12 - 27 July Chester Summer Music Open-air concerts with Jools Holland; the Michael Nyman Band and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Festival office: 01244 320722.

12 - 28 July Buxton Operas, orchestral concerts, recitals, cabaret, jazz and Fringe brings crowds to this Peak District spa town. The Beggar's Opera by John Gay and Handel's Amadigi at the elegant opera house. Festival office: 01298 70395.

14 - 28 July Cambridge Film Festival Premieres of new films from Cannes and Berlin plus retrospective of cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Arts Cinema box-office: 01223 504444.

19 - 21 July Womad, Reading A family-friendly weekend of global sounds, dance performances, workshops, food and happy campers. Abdel Ali Slimani (vocalist for Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart), Barenaked Ladies, Jackie Leven. Also salsa, drum music from Kyoto, grass skirts and folk. Box-office: 01734 591591.

19 July - 14 September BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, London International orchestras, choirs and soloists. BBC Proms '96 Guide is published in May. Details: 0191-222 0381.

20 July - 3 August Kings Lynn Old East Anglian port hosts orchestras, theatre, dance, film, comedy. Free fireworks. Box-office: 01553 773578.

25 July - 8 August Harrogate International A fortnight of music, celebrity recitals, dance, comedy, literature and street festivities in Victorian spa town. Festival office: 01423 565757.

26 - 28 July Cambridge Folk Festival The premiere folk event in the UK hosts Ray Davies, The Saw Doctors, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, plus lots more. Information: 01223 463346.

20 - 27 July Fishguard Choral, orchestral and recital music take place on the Pembrokeshire coast. Venues include the ancient cathedral of St David nearby. Festival office: 01348 873612.

3 - 13 August Lake District Summer Music Morning recitals, evening jazz concerts. Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Northern Sinfonia, Chilingirian String Quartet. Details: 01539 733411.

6 - 10 August Great British Beer Festival, London Quench your summer thirst with real ales, traditional ciders, foreign beers, then stagger to the live music. Details: 01727 867201.

11 - 31 August Edinburgh International Happy 50th! Celebrations include Miranda Richardson in Orlando; world premiere of James MacMillan's opera Ines de Castro; the Martha Graham Dance Company and San Francisco Ballet; productions from Robert Wilson, Robert Lepage and Peter Stein; plus the usual buzzing mix of dance, theatre, alternative and cabaret. Festival office: 0131-226 4001.

17 - 24 August Three Choirs, Worcester Choral festival, this year celebrating music by Elgar. Also Bach and contemporary music. Festival office: 01905 616211.

23 - 26 August Glastonbury Children's Glasto's only fest this year. Puppeteers, jugglers, clowns, theatre, magicians, daily talent shows and workshops, plus a velcro wall. Details: 01458 832925.

23 August - 1 September Arundel Hamlet at the open-air theatre at Arundel Castle. A Texan theme runs through the event. Also, fireworks, music, high-wire, and folk dancing. Festival office: 01903 883690.

25 - 26 August Notting Hill Carnival Costumes, steel bands, live music and world food, celebrating ethnic culture. Details: 0181-964 0544.

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