Cumbria Crack

Winter Droving steps up a gear with top european street theatre and festival bands

Friday 25th October, Ullswater Droving & Saturday 26th October, Winter Droving


Catalonian act Kamchatka – described as ‘near perfect’ street theatre – will be performing at both Ullswater and Winter Droving events this year with their contemporary show, which has toured to over 27 countries throughout the world (but makes only it’s second visit to the UK).  The evening finales will feature the hit from this year’s Shambala Festival – K.O.G and the Zongo Brigade – and a return of the popular Baghdaddies.

“We are delighted that Penrith will be hosting these world class artists as part of our traditional solstice celebration; we asked our colleagues in international street arts who they thought are the best and they told us Kamchatka. Eden’s Droving events have a big reputation, we think the lineup this year is really exciting.” said Adrian Lochhead, Director of organisers Eden Arts.

The two day festival of masks and magic will kick off on Friday with a fire torch procession as dusk falls on the shores of Ullswater. Throughout Saturday crowds will visit the biggest street market in Cumbria dotted with six music and performances stages, the Crafty Vintage street market, vintage fairground rides and more entertainment before the evening parade and finale.

The Winter Droving will be headlined by K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade, who have been lighting up the festival circuit throughout Europe. Their unique blend of infectious, high-energy West African grooves will have Great Dockray bouncing as they lead the procession through to their finale set, bringing to a close the weekend of events.

The Ullswater Droving this year will be led by favourites, The Baghdaddies, who will depart the Ullswater Steamer at Pooley Bridge jetty at 6pm, and greet the waiting torch bearers to parade through the village. Their exuberant and rampant brand of world music is an exhilarating cocktail of Balkan melodies, ska and latin grooves is guaranteed to light up the village.

Internationally renowned acts such as Gandini Juggling will also be taking to the stage on Saturday. They continue to be at the vanguard of contemporary circus, blending their shows of physical theatre, contemporary dance, and incredible technical circus and juggling skill.

The Winter Droving welcomes over 100 street traders selling their wares including a wide range of world foods, vegan and vegetarian cuisine, giftware, local artists’ works, and a special Crafty Vintage area with specially selected traders selling items of classic vintage, collectables, retro wares, quirky handmade, fine foods and delectable cuisine.

The event has been extended this year to include Burrowgate, with a new market area that tips its hat to the ethos of Borough Market in London, and a new performance area showcasing street performance shows, roaming acts, and street bands.

The ever popular fire and lantern procession will once again work it’s way through Penrith Town Centre, this year with a new lantern supported by the Mela Partnership. Last year over 8,000 masked people lined the town streets to welcome the Drovers parade through town.

Visitors are encouraged to join in by wearing a mask (there will be mask police on the roam, complete with fines and punishments) and a lucky few can sign up to be Drovers and carry fire torches for a unique experience of being in amongst the action.

Local Christine Romano who has walked in the procession every year said “It’s amazing being in the parade, a real buzz, the whole town comes alive and the amount of people who turn out to watch is mind blowing. It is a privilege to take part as we are all immensely proud of Penrith and anything that promotes it has to be a good thing. The wonderful thing about the Winter Droving is how it just gets better each year well done to Eden Arts.”

Registration to take part in the procession is now open, please visit for information.

Full whats on information and timings will be released closer to the event date. You can sign up to the Winter Droving mailing list for up to date information right to your inbox.

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