CultureFest 2022: A guide to a summer celebration of arts, heritage, and creativity

From 28th July to 8th August 2022, Birmingham and the West Midlands will play host to the Commonwealth Games.  Two of the key sporting events will take place in Warwick District. – the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls will be played at Victoria Park, Leamington Spa, and the Cycling Road Race will start and finish in Warwick.

In honour of this exciting opportunity, a month-long CultureFest will be hosted across Warwick District alongside the games.  CultureFest 2022– hosted by Warwick District Council and partners – will showcase and celebrate the incredible arts and heritage venues, artists, and creatives in the area with events and activities taking place across Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash from Saturday 16 July to Sunday 21 August 2022.

Culturefest 2022 will feature a series of artistic, colourful, thought-provoking and fun events and activities that can be enjoyed by everyone – whether local to the area, or visiting!

See below a full list of events from the CultureFest programme and how you can experience them!

Alternative Leamington – Leamington Spa

An exhibition to celebrate the diversity within the town of Royal Leamington Spa.
16th July – 21st August 2022
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Andy Kershaw Introduces MG Boulter – Leamington Spa

As part of CultureFest (to coincide with the arrival of the Commonwealth Games), bowls and cycling enthusiasts will be delighted to welcome the fabulous MG Bouter to Temperance’s intimate venue.

Tuesday 26th July, 19:00 – 23:00
Temperance Bar, Leamington Spa
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Andy Kershaw’s African, Caribbean and Latin Dance Night – Leamington Spa

Temperance is thrilled to be able to welcome back legendary DJ, Andy Kershaw for a night of world music and dancing. As part of our CultureFest, he will be playing songs from around the Commonwealth and beyond.

Wednesday 27th July, 19:00 – 23:30
Temperance Bar, Leamington Spa
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Art in the Park Festival – Leamington Spa

A free, curated, arts festival, which showcases, sells, and provides live demonstrations from artists and craftspeople from the local area.

13th and 14th August, 10am-6pm
Jephson Gardens, Royal Leamington Spa
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Battle of the Big Top – Leamington Spa

Set within the vibrant world of a Big Top, we follow two siblings’ journey as they experience an adventurous visit to the circus.

Wednesday 3rd August – Sunday 7th August
Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa
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Caitriona Dunnett at Hill Close Gardens – Warwick

Artist Caitriona Dunnett will be exhibiting at Hill Close Gardens this summer as part of CultureFest 2022.

Hill Close Gardens, Warwick
From Saturday 16th July
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‘Come Bowl with Me’ by Talking Birds – Leamington Spa

Come Bowl With Me is a funny and interactive outdoor performance by acclaimed Coventry theatre company Talking Birds, celebrating the popular and accessible sport of Lawn Bowls, which is being hosted in Leamington Spa for the Commonwealth Games.

Saturday 23, Sunday 24, Monday 25 July 2022
Jephson Gardens by the Clocktower and Pump Room Gardens
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Islamic Cultural Exhibition – Leamington Spa

Learn the history of Islam, its links with the Commonwealth, the uniqueness of the Holy Qur’an, Islam’s place with respect to other major faiths of the world.

Baitul Ehsan Ahmadiyyah Mosque (AMA UK), Leamington Spa

Saturday, 20 August 2022, 10am – 4pm
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Leamington History Group’s Commonwealth Town Trail – Leamington Spa

Book your place for a free guided tour around Central Leamington to learn more about the town’s past connections, including the Royal Pump Rooms, the Town Hall, Imperial House and the Commonwealth Club.

Visitor Information Centre, Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa
Tuesday 26th July and Tuesday 2nd, 9th & 16th August
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Leamington Literary Society’s Promenade with Mr Dickens – Leamington Spa

Experience a magic lantern show at the Temperance Café, Bath Street, on Charles Dickens’s visits to the Royal Spa, followed by a leisurely stroll to the places he knew, by way of some intriguingly Dickensian alleyways!

Saturday 23 Jul at 11am-12pm
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Modern Pre-Raphaelite Visionaries: British Art 1880 – 1930 – Leamington Spa

‘Modern Pre-Raphaelite Visionaries’ offers you the chance to rediscover a host of ‘forgotten’ British artists working at the turn of the twentieth century.

Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum
The exhibition runs until 18 September 2022, open daily from 10am-4pm.
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Music Improvisation Workshop by Interplay Jazz – Warwick

Join members of Interplay jazz group in this entry-level music improvisation workshop to have fun and try out some simple techniques for making new music with other people.

The Nelson Club, 21 Charles Street Warwick
13th August, 2.30pm-4.30pm
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On Yer Bike! Exhibition at Market Hall Museum – Warwick

Cartoon happy man cycling

This exhibition tells the story of the history of cycling, with Warwickshire at its heart, and showcases a number of star cycles, including a boneshaker, a Chopper, a Royal Mail postal bike and a bicycle frame made of bamboo!

Saturday 2nd July – Saturday 29th October
Market Hall Museum, Warwick
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PechaKucha Night – Leamington Spa

PechaKucha (Japanese for “chit chat”) is the world’s fastest-growing storytelling platform, used by millions around the globe.

St Patrick’s Irish Club, Leamington Spa
Friday 22nd July, 7.30pm
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Play, Me Leamington… Rotary Street Pianos – Leamington Spa

This project, inspired by artist Luke Jerram’s ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ Street Piano artworks will see three pianos, painted by local young artists, installed in Leamington Spa. They will be free for the public to play and enjoy, and help showcase the Rotary Club’s dedication to delivering inspiring experiences for Leamington’s residents.

Leamington Spa train station, outside the Royal Pump Rooms and inside the Royal Priors shopping centre
From 14 July until 30 August 2022
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Red Sky at Night, by Mikron Theatre Company – Leamington Spa

Mikron Theatre Company return to Leamington’s beautiful Foundry Wood for a theatre performance about the wild and wonderful world of weather.

Outdoor Classroom, Foundry Wood
Sunday 21st August
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Right Up Craig and Johnathan’s Street

Download and listen to six FREE podcasts that explore the streets of Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash via two restored Raleigh Magnums.

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Taking the Waters – Leamington Spa

In it’s centenary year, David Fletcher’s new play celebrates the Loft’s presence in Leamington Spa by bringing to life some significant events in the town’s history through drama, music and movement. It is also a deeply human story, told through the eyes of two generations of remarkable women.

Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa
13th – 23rd July
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The Leamington Society’s Welcome Walking Tours – Leamington Spa

Visiting Royal Leamington Spa for the first time? Welcome!

The Leamington Society invites you to join them for a walking tour, to be introduced to the town’s history as a spa and to the modern town with its many attractions.

Visitor Information Centre in the foyer of the Pump Rooms
Friday 29 July – Saturday 6th August, 11am and 3pm
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The Legend of The Dragon Slayer at Warwick Castle – Warwick

Experience an unmissable evening of captivating storytelling, fearless fighting, majestic horses & thrilling battles all set around the local legend of Guy of Warwick and his quest to prove his valour to Princess Felice.

Warwick Castle
Showing: 12th – 13th, 15th – 21st August 2022
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Wars of the Roses LIVE at Warwick Castle – Warwick

Witness the iconic history of the Wars of the Roses come to life before your eyes in a live action jousting experience.

Warwick Castle
23rd July – 4th September 2022
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Warwick Folk Festival – Warwick

Warwick Folk Festival returns for it’s 42nd year from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 July 2022!

Castle Fields, Warwick
Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 July 2022!
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Warwick’s Unbelievable History – Warwick

An alternative, self-led, tour of Warwick, which weaves fact and fiction to create unbelievable stories about the town’s incredible past.

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Warwickshire Pride Festival – Leamington Spa

Warwickshire Pride logo

Warwickshire Pride is an annual festival – a celebration of LGBT+ life and culture. You can expect a wide range of stalls, live performances and entertainment, food stalls and a bar, fairground rides, a trans chillout zone, bi zone, women’s tent, talks, workshops and much more.

Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa
20th August, 11am-6pm
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Windows Into the Past – Warwick

History meets technology in Warwick’s interactive “Windows into the Past” shop front exhibition.

Market Street, Warwick
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Live Festival Sites – Warwick and Leamington Spa

Experience the Commonwealth Games in Warwick and Leamington Spa at two Live festival sites – in Pump Room Gardens, Royal Leamington Spa operated by Warwick District Council and another in Market Square, Warwick operated by Warwickshire County Council; both will have big screens, open from 10am – 10pm and are free to attend, to celebrate the region’s hosting of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Thursday 28 July – Monday 8 August, 10am-10pm
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More information on CultureFest can be found on their Facebook Page.

Visit our guide for more information on experiencing the Commonwealth Games in Shakespeare’s England.

Don’t forget to share your summer adventures in Warwickshire with Shakespeare’s England with the tag #MyShakespearesEngland on social media!