Think you’ve done enough walking? Shake up your calendar with our list of the best free summer events in Derbyshire. 

We all want to make the most out of sunny days (god knows that we don’t get many of them). For many of us Derbyshire-ites, that means getting the walking boots on and heading out for a stroll. 

But, as much as we love a good walk, variety is the spice of life.

We all want to make the most out of the summer, and keep ourselves busy and entertained. But, that doesn’t mean we’re willing to spend a small fortune on constant theme parks, city breaks or concerts.

Thankfully, on those days where you fancy getting out and doing something different, Derbyshire’s events crew have got you covered. 

This summer, the events calendar is chocka, with a line-up including everything from live performances to top tier street food. 

So, if you’re ready to kickstart your summer, keep reading to find our round-up of the best free summer events in Derbyshire.

The Best Free Summer Events in Derbyshire

The best free fairs in Derbyshire

Matlock Food & Drink Festival

If there’s one thing that Matlock does well, it’s food and drink. 

So, this festival is a foodie’s haven. For two days, the Matlock Food & Drink Festival will be in full swing, with live music playing as stall vendors serve up the region’s finest food. 

From the 27th – 28th August, you can pop in to the festival (it’s free entry!) and visit artisan food stalls, order fresh street food, or purchase a tipple from the festival’s gin bar. 

It’ll be open throughout the two days, from 10:30 – 16:30.

The Best Free Summer Events in Derbyshire

Looking for places to eat and drink when the festival isn’t on? I have you covered with…

ALL the food options!

Bubbleicious – The World’s Biggest Bubble Festival

Say what, a bubble festival? And the world’s biggest no less!

This is a festival all about bubbles and having lots of fun! Taking place at Elveston Castle on the 9th and 10th July it promises to be a weekend filled with food, fun and frolics for all the family.

There’s a dinosaur display, live wrestling, music and lots more. There’s a cider tent too so its definitely not one just for the kids and families!

There’s obviously lots of bubbles too!

Bubbleicious is definitely one I am adding to my list!

Keen to schedule in some summer pub trips? Check out our list of the best fine dining pubs in the Peak District.

Atlow Village Fete, Duck Race and Classic Car Show

What more could you want from village life? Classic cars, tasty homemade treats… and a duck race!

There’s a bar and food and all the classic pieces of a true village fete… Tombolas, children’s entertainment and book stalls.

There is free parking at the village hall too.

The Atlow Village Fete takes place in, you guessed it, Atlow, near Ashbourne on Sunday July 10th.

The best free music events in Derbyshire

Summer Sessions at Barringtons

Beyond being a fantastic spot for a pint, Barringtons also has a jam-packed summer events calendar. 

This year, the Barringtons team have invested in a new beer garden and decked performance area. So, to make the most of the upgrade, they’ve introduced a new line-up of events. 

Starting from the 11th of June, Summer Saturday acoustic sessions will be hosted on alternate Saturdays, for six weeks. From 16:00 – 18:00, the beer garden will be buzzing with live music. 

What better way to enjoy a tipple, and a lazy summer afternoon?

The Best Free Summer Events in Derbyshire

Chesterfield Record Fair

If you’re big on your music, don’t miss this one!

At Chesterfield Record Fair, you can snap up a great deal on a second-hand record. 

The Market Square will be filled with more than 40 specialist UK record sellers. Between them, there’s a wealth of knowledge that spans all genres and time periods.

It’s free entry, and the event runs from 9:00 – 15:00, on the 12th June, 10th July, 14th August and 11th September.

The best free family events in Derbyshire

The Buxton Festival Fringe

Edinburgh ain’t got nothing on Buxton!

This year’s Buxton Festival Fringe promises a packed line-up, showcasing the wealth of local talent in our area. 

Running from the 6th – 24th July, there’s plenty of events, including both free and ticketed options. The festival’s free events include (but aren’t limited to) a launch party, a carnival, children’s storytime activities and a fringe awards ceremony.

Also, even if you don’t get a spot at the events, Buxton’s streets promise to be full of life. So, even if you’re just stopping for an impromptu visit to the town, this is a great way to soak up the festival atmosphere.

The Plastic Free Festival 2022

This alternative festival is back for its second year, after a great launch in ‘21. 

Located in Chesterfield’s New Square, The Plastic Free Festival takes place on 12th June, from 10:00 – 16:00. The event is run by Plastic Free Chesterfield, a community campaign that’s working to minimise our region’s environmental impact. 

The festival’s goal is to give shoppers everything they need to cut down their plastic usage. To do this, they’ve got stalls selling plastic-free lifestyle essentials, upcycling craft workshops, live music and delicious, sustainable grub. 

There will even be some special guest appearances, including the winners of the Pride of Britain Awards and TED talk speakers Amy and Ella Meek, from Kids Against Plastic. 

The Best Free Summer Events in Derbyshire
The Best Free Summer Events in Derbyshire

Summer Well Dressing Events

If you’re not local to Derbyshire, this might seem like a pretty obscure title. 

What actually is a well dressing? 

Well, in short, it’s a historic custom (which you don’t ever really see outside of Derbyshire) that involves local people decorating and displaying wells. For the decoration, they exclusively use natural materials, like flowers, leaves and seeds. 

If you’re keen, you can visit villages on their well dressing days, and see the displays dotted throughout. 

There’s loads of Derbyshire villages getting involved throughout the summer, including Tideswell (from 18th June – 26th June), Rowsley (from 25th June – 2nd July), Youlgrave (from 25th June – 30th June) and Matlock (from 2nd July – 8th July). 


We hope you enjoyed our selection of the best free summer events in Derbyshire – your calendar will look a lot fuller after this!

And, if you’ve got any other free events that you think we missed, let us know! Share your recommendations on the She Gets Around Instagram page.

PSST – Not free but make sure you check out Chatsworth Country Fair if you’re looking for a fun day out in the Peak District. A true country event.

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The Best Free summer events in Derbyshire

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