Everything you need to know about The Darley Park Weekender

Wed 27 Jul 2022

The Darley Park Weekender is back and bigger than ever, returning this August bank holiday with a mix of music and family events.

Kickstarting the festivities is Classic Ibiza which will take place on Fri 26 Aug from 4pm. This four-hour spectacular will begin with a Chill-out DJ set from 6pm and will later play host to a highly anticipated San Miguel Sun-Downer Set featuring fan favourites such as Killer (Adamski) and Sun Is Shining (Funkstar De Luxe vs. Bob Marley). As the evening progresses, the Dance Set will get the crowd on their feet with classics such as Ride On Time (Black Box) and Titanium (David Guetta) as well as an impressive laser show. Join us for an orchestral set of over 30 house classics, including 15 tracks new for this year’s Classic Ibiza event. Tickets bought before 25 Aug are £35 per adult, £20 for ages 5-16 and under 5s free. Tickets bought on the day cost £40 per adult, £25 for ages 5-16 and free for under 5s.

Taking us into the weekend is brand-new event 80s Mix Tape, which heads to the Darley Park open-air stage on Sat 27 Aug. This night of nostalgia features over 6 hours of music to enjoy and will start with music from local 4-piece band Cassette Roulette and The 80s Reunion. The 80s Reunion features stars hand-picked members from Europe’s premier 80’s tribute show, 80s Mania, who will recreate chart topping hits from artists such as Duran Duran, The Human League, Madonna, Eurythmics and more. Joining our 80s party is T’Pau’s lead singer Carol Decker who scored international success with the band in the late 80s with the hit China in Your Hand. Singer, songwriter, musician and record producer Nik Kershaw, known for top 40 hits including Wouldn’t it Be Good, I won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and the Riddle will continue the festivities. Last and certainly not least, 80’s DJ Pat Sharp will take to the stage to wow audiences by mixing up a storm of high energy hits guaranteed to keep you dancing. Pat was a staple of the decade with many radio shows to his name and along with our other headliners will treat audiences to authentic 80s performances. Tickets bought before 25 Aug are £22.50 per adult, £15 for ages 5-16 and under 5s free. Tickets bought on the day, cost £25 per adult, £20 for ages 5-16 and free for under 5s.

Ending the weekend with a bang is The Darley Park Concert, which has become a staple to families across the region for over 3 decades. Sinfonia Viva, supported by Rolls-Royce ­will tantalise audiences with a showcase of music, elegantly sweeping across the genres. This year will feature music from composers such as Walton, Vaughan Williams, Lloyd Webber, Elgar and Mercury. The full programme is as follows:


Darley Park Concert programme

2pm Gates Open

6pm Welcome and speeches

6.20pm Derby Jazz

Music from local jazz musicians; Matt Ratcliffe: keyboards, Jeff Brown: trumpet, Gary Reader: saxophone and Tymek Jozwiak: drums. BLUE FUNK, commissioned by Derby Jazz to play in parks in and around Derby.

7pm  Sinfonia Viva act 1

  • Crown Imperial, composed by Walton - Instantly recognisable, this is an orchestral march by William Walton, that was commissioned in 1937 for the coronation of King George VI in Westminster Abbey. Subsequently the work has been played at many state occasions in the Abbey including the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and the 2011 wedding of Prince William.
  • English Folk Song Suite: Seventeen Come Sunday, composed by Vaughan Williams - One of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams' most famous works, this suite was first published to be performed by a military band as ‘Folk Song Suite’ and was premiered in 1923 at Kneller Hall. Upbeat and stirring, this piece is another celebratory moment, that perfectly encapsulates the joy of the Jubilee year.
  • Drifting Tides, composed by Narayanan – commission celebrating Viva’s 40th Birthday.
  • A Man of No Importance: The Streets of Dublin, composed by Ahrens/Flaherty - Taken from the musical ‘A Man of No Importance’ with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Terrence McNally – it is all based on the 1994 Albert Finney film. Telling the story of a Dublin based amateur theatre group and their fearless leader, who despite objections from the church authorities, is determined to stage a version of Salome at his church.
  • Characteristic Waltz No.2 - Valse Rustique, composed by Coleridge-Taylor - Although born in 1875, Coleridge-Taylor’s work has been making waves, with his determination to fight racial prejudice in both Britain and America only matched by the emotionally beautiful and moving quality of his work. His Four Characteristic Waltzes (of which this is the second), are thought to have been written early in 1898 and published in 1899. 
  • I Could Have Danced All Night, composed by Lerner & Loewe - Time to get up and have a bop! This is a classic sing-along song from the musical My Fair Lady, with music written by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner that was published in 1956. Sung by the musical's heroine, Eliza Doolittle is singing her heart out with exhilaration and excitement after an unexpected dance in the small hours of the morning with her tutor Henry Higgins.
  • Kings & Queens suite: Elizabeth II, composed by Debbie Wiseman - Debbie Wiseman OBE pays a special tribute to The Queen on her 95th birthday with this wonderful piece and album 'The Music of Kings & Queens', the soundtrack album for the Royal birthday celebrations. This beautiful piece celebrates Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Phantom: All I ask of You, composed by Lloyd Webber - Who’s that hiding in the rafters? From Andrew Lloyd Webbers 1986 show Phantom of the Opera, in which soprano Christine Daaé becomes the obsession of a mysterious musical genius wearing a mask and living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Paris Opéra House.
  • Pomp and Circumstance March No.4, composed by Elgar - The Pomp and Circumstance Marches are a series of marches for orchestra composed by Elgar. This one is the most well-known of the marches.

7.55pm  Sing Viva Carers Choir 

A programme of Well-known songs performed by carers from Derby and Chesterfield directed by Pete Lack and accompanied by Sinfonia Viva musicians Charlie Penn, Tim Gunnell and Dave Ayre.

8.25pm  Sinfonia Viva act 2

  • London Suite: Knightsbridge March, composed by Coates - The London Suite, also known as London Every Day, is a suite of orchestral music by the English composer Eric Coates. ‘The Knightsbridge March’ was also the theme tune for BBC’s ‘In Town Tonight’ radio show broadcast between 1933 – 1960.
  • Nimrod, composed by Elgar - Taken from Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36, which is also known as the Enigma Variations. Nimrod is one of the fourteen variations on an original theme that make up the work, with Nimrod arguably being the most popular and well-known.
  • Music from the Royal Fireworks: La Rejouissance, composed by Handel - So it’s not quite time for the fireworks yet, but here’s a bit of musical spectacle that will certainly go off with a bang! Composed by Handel in 1749 after King George II asked him to write the piece to set alongside fireworks to celebrate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. A joyous piece of music that makes the hairs stand up!
  • Summertime, composed by Gershwin - It’s time to sizzle with this seasonal classic. ‘Summertime’ is an instant feel-good classic, composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, who is the author of the novel ‘Porgy’ which was the basis for the opera. So sit back, enjoy the vibe and relax. This is still arguably one the most recognised and beloved songs ever created.
  • Chariots of Fire, composed by Vangelis - A moving and stirring piece that conjures images of the film ‘Chariots of Fire.’ Released in 1981 this piece is taken from the score by electronic composer Vangelis for the British film, which went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Original Music Score.
  • ET: Flying Theme, composed by Williams - Legendary film Composer John Williams is 90 is 2022! So we’re celebrating by performing a selection of his best known works. ET’s Flying Theme is unmistakable, moving and captures the magic of the 1982 film perfectly.
  • It’s De-Lovely, composed by Porter - It’s time for some Cole Porter. ‘It's De-Lovely’ originally appearing in his 1936 musical ‘Red Hot and Blue’ and was later used in the musical ‘Anything Goes,’ first appearing in the film version from 1956, when it was performed by Mitzi Gaynor and Donald O'Connor.
  • City of Angels: The Tennis Song, composed by Coleman/Zippel - ‘City of Angels’ is a musical comedy film with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel, and a book by Larry Gelbart. Telling two stories simultaneously, the musical weaves together two plots. These are a story of a writer trying to adapt his novel into a screenplay and the world of the film he is writing. The musical is a beautiful homage to the stylised film noir motion pictures of the 1940’s.
  • Don’t Stop Me Now, composed by Mercury - It’s party time with this classic piece of Queen released in 1978 on the album Jazz. Let it all hang out and get to your feet and get your pool cues ready, with this guaranteed party starter of a track!
  • Star Wars: Imperial March, composed by Williams - More from John Williams here with a marching piece that’s out of this world. Imperial March first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and still fills us with dread!
  • Star Wars: Throne Room and End credits, composed by Williams - John Williams ensured the classic status of ‘Star Wars - A New Hope’ with his stirring score and the final scene and credits were the perfect send off to the film, helping solidify it in film and popular culture history.

Conducting this year’s concert is concert-regular James Holmes, who enjoys a varied career that straddles the worlds of opera and musical theatre. As a former ENO staff conductor and Head of Music at Opera North (1996-2008) he has become well-known in recent years for classic Broadway musicals, in particular the work of Sondheim and Kurt Weill. He is delighted to renew once again a long-standing association with Viva and the annual Darley Park concert.

Our soloists this year will be Helen Power, soprano solo performer. Helen has a background in musical theatre and has also performed in concerts all over the world including Of Thee I Sing (Royal Festival Hall); guest soloist with Ben Forster (Villa Marina, Isle of Man) and The Sopranos Live (UK and European Tours). Another soloist taking to the Darley Park stage this year is Dan Gill, a baritone singer who trained at Mountview Academy. Dan has recently appeared in Mountview’s production of Legally Blonde and Les Misérables as well as performing at the BBC Music Awards in 2014.

Derby Jazz will be performing before Sinfonia Viva, from around 6:20pm and for our interval performances, Sing Viva Carers Choir will treat audiences to an unmissable performance. The group are a group of carers and non-carers alike who come together to sing, drink tea and socialise. They have previously sung at The Darley Park Concert, along with Manchester and Derby Cathedrals.

Tickets for The Darley Park Concert bought before Sun 31 Jul are £4 for a standard ticket and under 16s are £1. Tickets bought from Mon 1 Aug until Sat 27 Aug are £6 for a standard ticket and £3.50 for under 16s. Tickets bought on the day cost £8.50 for a standard ticket and £3.50 for an under 16s ticket.

Helping to make the weekend possible are our sponsors Meridian Business SupportRDSHuub and Project D. Festival sponsors and local artisan doughnut makers Project D will be bringing their iconic black ice cream van ‘Project Whippy’ and festival stand, complete with illuminated displays stands and pink bean bags for customers to relax on, and will be selling a wide range of their products including favourites such as Bad Boy, Homer and Caramel Romance…and you may even see some Darley Park Weekender specials making an appearance! 

Project D director Max Poynton said:

We’ve just had our busiest festival season ever and we’re delighted to be able to sponsor such a big music event in our home city.

Hosting this year’s Darley Park Weekender are our friends at BBC Radio Derby. Sally Pepper, host of the afternoon show on BBC Radio Derby featuring people from Derbyshire and East Staffordshire, will be on stage at Darley Park for the first time for The Darley Park Concert. For our second Darley Park Concert host, keep hold of your sandwiches, as Andy Twigge (Twiggy), has been known to steal them from the audience! Andy is known for presenting BBC Radio Derby on air from 6am every weekday. Finally, Donna Alos, the presenter of the weekend breakfast shows on BBC Radio Derby on Sat and Sun morning will be hosting the 80s Mix Tape.

As usual we’re happy to allow you to bring your own food and drink (including alcohol) to the weekend’s events. There will also be a range of food and drink available to buy on site. However please be aware that this year alcoholic drinks will not be on sale on site.

If you don’t want to bring a full picnic with you, why not treat yourself to one of the delicious snacks on offer from our street food stalls. Vegan Caribbean food from Michael's Caribbean Storehouse will be available along with savoury and sweet crepes from The United Bakes of America, Churros from Churromania and sweet treats from Grandads old English fudge and toffee. 

Our panto’s award-winning Best Dame, Morgan Brind aka Widow Twankey will be making an appearance at The Darley Park Concert to entertain the crowds and children’s inflatables and face painting will also be available for the duration of the weekend.

Car parking for the event is available at Chapel Street and the Assembly Rooms car park sites. 24-hour parking is available for £4 which is payable on exit with cash or card. Similarly, parking at St Benedicts Catholic Voluntary Academy will be available on a first come first serve basis for £5 cash only. There is also limited parking available at Darley Village near the Cricket Club for Blue Badge Holders. The full details about parking can be found on the FAQs page on our website.

Tickets for The Darley Park Weekender are on sale now. Make savings of up to 20% when you buy tickets for two or more events with our fantastic LIVEsaver offer – you can even combine with our Pantomime Aladdin. All events across the weekend will be BSL sign interpreted. Tickets can be purchased on the event pageat the Sales and Information Centre Riverside Chambers, Full Street, Derby, DE1 3AF, or by calling 01332 255 800.

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