What’s on in August
It's a biggie this month! 35+ mind-blowing things to do in Devon, from air shows and regattas, to outdoor theatre and comedy, and a women's wellbeing day with wine. We likey!
FESTIVAL: Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth, Sat 31 Jul – Fri 6 Aug
Based in the heart of town in Blackmore Gardens, here’s a week of all-day entertainment and evening concerts with local favourites, including Show of Hands and Seth Lakeman. This is somewhat of a national treasure – a major cultural institution held every year in the first week of August since 1955 attracting tens of thousands of visitors. Loads of cool interactive stuff too – not just concerts but lively parties, small Intimate sessions, ceilidhs, folk dancing, storytelling, fun family stuff with gorgeous local food and drink to boot.
FESTIVAL: Lupton Music Festival, Lupton House, Churston Ferrers Sat 31 July – Sun 1 Aug
Outdoor jollity in the – let’s hope – sunshine. Lots of bands including two excellent tribute acts, Take a Chance on Me (guess who?) and The Darker side of Pink Floyd. Bays Brewery will provide lubrication.
DRINK: Ladies Day at Honky Tonk Wine Library, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, Sun 1 Aug
On with your favourite frock, grab your bestie and feel fabulous for a day whilst being inspired by the sisterhood. This promises to be a day of learning and loving with empowering like-minded women who champion body confidence, wellbeing and self love. And it doesn’t hurt the event sponsors are Dalwood Vineyard and Verve Clicquot, daarling.
EXHIBITION: Density and Lightness, Exeter Cathedral, until Mon 30 Aug
An exhibition from South West Sculptors, in collaboration with Exeter Cathedral, featuring 75 sculptures from 24 artists, inside and outside Exeter Cathedral. The associated events look rather fab too – you can get a guided tour of the exhibition, plus drawing workshops with the artists, contemporary dance performances and a soundscape commissioned as part of one of the installations. Surprising what you can find in a cathedral these days.
OUTDOOR CINEMA: Bringing up Baby, The Box, Tavistock Place, Plymouth Sun 1 Aug
Plymouth’s arts cinema have a number of films showing over the summer but this classic is my choice for August – Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and a leopard – divine. Also, Tinside Lido gets coastal in its selection of the all-time classic Jaws, rubber sharks and all, on the 20th of August followed by The Life Aquatic on the 21st and Bait on the 22nd.
OUTDOOR THEATRE: Much Ado About Nothing, Cockington Court, Torquay, Tues 3 Aug
Who loves who? Who’s playing tricks? Who’s jealous? Shakespeare’s comedy at its best and what a delightful place to ride the comedy roller coaster in the leafy surrounds of Cockington’s gardens.
OUTDOOR THEATRE: All’s Well That Ends Well, Great Fulford Manor, Dunsford. Tues 3 Aug
Blimey, it’s a bit like London buses! Suddenly loads of outdoor Shakespeare comes along at once so if Cockington Court isn’t your bag how’s about enjoying the Bard at the splendid surroundings of the Great Fulford Manor of The F***ing Fulfords fame?
EAT: Seaton Eats Boutique, Seaton, Fri 6 Aug
A ‘secret’ Friday night street food pop-up in a large clifftop garden where you can grab a cocktail and scoff the most amazing local-produced food (Edmond from World Food that’s you!) Why not make a day of it – the beach at Seaton, according to Eats Boutique organiser Eleanor is is the nicest accessible swimming beach for miles.
AGRICULTURAL SHOW: Honiton Show, Honiton Thurs 5 – Fri 6 Aug
The show is annually held on the first Thursday in August and has grown to be one of the largest one day agricultural shows in the country. It blends traditional and new and showcases the best of local farming, produce, crafts and rural skills.
FESTIVAL: Love Summer Festival, Newnham Park Estate, Plympton, Fri 6 – 8 Aug
Love your techno-techno? Take the campervan, the kids, the dog and even your own booze (totally legit byo is the order of the day as there is no bar) for this family-friendly music fest. Cheers!
FESTIVAL: Woofstock, Old Stone Farm, Dartmouth, Fri 6 – Sun 8 Aug
Whether it’s a lockdown puppy or your faithful old Lab, take your four-legged friend for a canine treat. Camp for the weekend or just call in for the day for dog shows, agility, police dogs, obedience etc land oads of doggy treats. Oh and of course there is live music all weekend, including Riviera Dogs. Lol.
FESTIVAL: Hatherleigh Unlocked, Hatherleigh, Fri 6 – Sat 7 Aug
A post-lockdown music festival for the people of Hatherleigh and surrounding areas. Expect music, a bar, food, but no camping this year – it’s day tickets only.
CONCERT: Woman Like Me, The Little Mix Show, Palace Theatre Paignton, Fri 6 Aug
A highly energetic show following in the footsteps of the award-winning girl band, Little Mix. The show has been successfully strutting its stuff for the last four years, a nice way to introduce the tweens safely to the full pop concert experience. Plus, ots of added extras including Dance Competitions, Free Giveaways and a Meet & Greet with the girls after the show.
WALK: Witches on Dartmoor – Real or Imagined?, Dartmoor, Sat 7 Aug
There are few better places in Devon to explore Nature, mystery and folklore than the moors, and ‘Dartmoor’s Daughter’ will escort you on this beautiful circular walk to explore the location and origins of a famous Dartmoor Witch legend. Spooktastic.
FESTIVAL: The Little Big Festival, Ashburton, Sat 7 Aug
From Tankus the Henge to the poetry of Murray Lachlan Young amongst many, many more acts you really need to look this one up – it’s a day of entertainment and jollity, food and drink everything you could fancy and all in a day ticket so you can head home to the comfort of your own bed – perfect.
EAT: Guildfest, Guildhall, Exeter, Sat 7 – Sun 8 Aug
Some of the county’s biggest names in food and drink, including Sharpham Cheese, Powderkeg Brewery, Thunderflower Gin and Devon Cove Vodka, will be bringing an indie flavour to this unique two-day rooftop market festival in Exeter this summer. The Guildhall Shopping and Dining Centre’s rooftop car park will be transformed with all day entertainment, fun family activities or while enjoying the stunning views across Exeter to Haldon and beyond.
FESTIVAL: Clovelly Maritime Festival, Clovelly, Sun 8 Aug
The rescheduled festival is set to finally go ahead providing fun for all ages in the cute-as-buttons Clovelly, starting with the yacht rally at lunchtime. Roll up for music, street entertainment, activities and games to keep the whole family happy. Kids under 16 – come dressed in maritime garb and you get in for FREE.
GIG THEATRE: Hero and Leander, Old Rectory Garden, Awliscombe, Mon 9 Aug
This one is a little off the wall, originally a concept album based on the Greek myth of Hero and Leander. In this performance six multi-instrumentalists tell an epic seaside tale through song, encompassing folk, indie, sea shanties and choral music. A story (written by Jack Dean) of bad rulers, worse weather, and how we keep going when everything is flipping terrible. A tale for our times.
THEATRE: The Play That Goes Wrong, Exeter Northcott, Mon 9 – Sat 14 Aug
Mischief’s multi-award-winning, international smash-hit comedy returns to the city, with matinee and evening performances available. The premise is The Cornley Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does go wrong, with accident-prone thesps battling on against all the odds to reach their final curtain call. Hilario!
FAMILY CAMPING: Roar and Snore, Dartmoor Zoo, Sat 14 Aug
An amazing opportunity to camp inside the delightful Dartmoor Zoo itself, food included with a twilight tour to meet all the diurnal and nocturnal animals. If you thought your other half was a snorer can you imagine the sound effects in between the sleeping lions and tigers? Adult £60pp, child £35 (min age 4 years-old).
GARDENS: Stone Lane Sculpture Garden, Chagford, open daily 11-5pm
Always a scrumptious place for a picnic amongst the National Collection of birch and alder trees, and the Mythic Sculpture Garden but with the new addition of a delightful little tea room filled with local goodies just in case a picnic feels like too much faff.
FLOWER SHOW: Rosemoor Flower Show, RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Sat 13 – Sun 15 Aug
Devon’s RHS garden’s annual opportunity to shine a light on the best of all things horticultural here in the southwest. Highlights include the floral displays created by Devonshire flower clubs, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s legendary story – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Add live music by the lake to this glorious event opened by Devon’s perennial favourite gardener, Toby Buckland (aka Mr Muddy Devon), and you’re on to a winner.
OUTDOOR THEATRE: The Hatchling: World Premiere, Plymouth Hoe, Sun 15 Aug
Soooo excited for this one – on Sunday 15 August, you can bring your picnic blanket and head down to Plymouth Hoe, and witness a truly special moment as The Hatchling – a giant puppet dragon the size of a double decker bus unfurls her wings and attempts to fly off the cliffs at sunset. With a wingspan of over 20 metres, the hatchling is the world’s largest human-operated puppet to attempt flight.Something of a once in a life time experience – don’t miss!
PS Next summer, The Hatchling and her baby will lead a procession of over 5,000 performers through the streets of London, in The Platinum Jubilee Pageant, an impressive West Country contribution.
CARNIVAL: Dawlish Celebrates Carnival, Dawlish, Sat 14 – 20 Aug
Admittedly, because of the blooming obvious the fabulous annual parade is not on, however, even Covid will not keep a feisty little town like Dawlish down and carnival fun activities will still be happening throughout the week for visitors and locals alike.
FIREWORKS: British Fireworks Championships, Plymouth, Weds 18 – 19 Aug
The fireworks championship returns to Plymouth in 2021 with, you’ve guessed it, a bang! (sorry, not sorry). The displays are fired from the Mountbatten Breakwater and are designed to be seen from Citadel and The Hoe, which makes these areas the prime viewing areas. Traffic could also be somewhat explosive as well though so take care.
WELLBEING: Women’s Wellbeing Day, Swanaford Vineyard, near Exeter, Fri 20 Aug
This looks like a fab day to gather any of the women in your life, mum, daughter, auntie, cousin or friend and head to this celebration of womanhood, with yoga from ‘Your body matters’, breath work with Sara of Teignmouth’s Breathways and wild swimming with Nat Clark – before imbibing a vegan lunch and tasting some award-winning Devon wine. Scrummy.
FESTIVAL: Beautiful Days,Escot, Fri 20 – Sun 22 Aug
The line-up for this year includes Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, James and Levellers plus Gary Numan, Imelda May, Hawkwind, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Lakeman Family Gathering, New Model Army and The Big Moon. And this year’s theme? Your favourite superhuman character and real-life hero. Joyous.
PANTO: Alice in Wonderland, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Sat 21 Aug
Panto in summer? Has the world gone mad? Probably but at least it’s entertainingly mad and what could be more bonkers than following Hot Rock Productions down the rabbit hole for their summer production of Alice in Wonderland?
KIDS: Summer Theatre Week, PaddleBoat Theatre, Exeter Phoenix, Candy St, Exeter, Tues 24 – 27 Aug
The inventive and decidedly playful Exeter-based theatre group will guide youngsters age 7 to 11 through a week of storytelling, puppetry, music, design, acting and directing. This time the focus is on the magical art of cloud cutting – intriguing – at the end of the week they will have full licence to thoroughly show off to friends and family as they perform their original piece. £150 per child
MUSIC: Loft Live Sessions, The Corn Barn, Cullompton, Weds 25 Aug
The Loft Live Sessions began in a little barber shop in Exeter in 2015, and huzzah – now they’re launching the first of their monthly shows – aka outstanding gigs in rustic digs – at The Corn Barn, featuring some exceptional live music, including Adam Isaac, Pattern Pusher, Alex Hart (above) and Club Brothers. Plus, locally sourced food and drink provided by the lovely people at West Town Farm.
COMEDY: Ashburton Comedy Soiree, Ashburton Arts Centre, Thurs 26 Aug
According to The Guardian this is ” One of the best small live music venues in the UK”. Quite the accolade. This joyous return to live comedy looks like it might be worth an evening out, not your standard comedy night fare, as guests are encouraged to ‘dress to impress’ with prizes rewarding creative extravagance, plus an unusual welcome is promised by the soiree hosts. Comedian Suzy Bennett (above), Richard James, David Arnold and Christian Russell-Pollock provide the laughs.
REGATTA: Dartmouth Royal Regatta, Dartmouth, Thurs 26 – 29 Aug
Three days of sailing, sports, live music, street food, fireworks , grab the champers and the posh hat and launch yourself off to Dartmouth.
FESTIVAL: 1 Big Summer, Plymouth Hoe, Thurs 26 – 28 Aug
According to The Independent “The Libertines (above) had something of the kitchen sink about them, something of Blake, something of the Clash, something of the Smiths, something of Dickens, something of the fin de siècle dandy… it is an intoxicating combination.”
What an ad! And they’re coming to the Ocean City for what promises to be a wild weekend Bank Holiday weekend in Plymouth. Headliners include KSI, who has a stupendous online following of over 40 million, Deadmau5 the Ibiza Orchestra, Chase and Status and more still to be announced.
Sunday is family day with ‘The Great British Sausage and Cider Festival bringing an array of craft cider, sausage flavours, street food and entertainment.
FAMILY FESTIVAL: Nature Valley Gone Wild Festival with Bear Grylls, Powderham Castle, Kenton nr Exeter, Thurs 26 – 29 Aug
Good grief something truly extraordinary for Devon (worth going just to see if Bear Grylls lives permanently in his own brand clothing). Take the kids and really embrace the freedom, learn new skills on how to survive in the wild, or try one of the many adventure activities; quad biking, climbing, paddle boarding, circus skills, orienteering, hiking and jiu jitsu to the more serene morning run, wild yoga and penny farthing riding. *phew* By night, see artists including Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs, Ministry of Sound Classical, Melanie C, Scouting for Girls, Morcheeba, Dick and Dom (above) and Andy and the Odd Socks, plus 14 brilliant local artists just announced, including Wildwood Kin and Sound of the Sirens.
MUSIC: Calling Planet Earth, Exmouth Pavilions, Exmouth, Thurs 26 Aug
Somewhat bombastically billed as the show that ‘defines a decade’ this does however look like a fab fun way to spend the evening as the New Romantic era stars are celebrated by a live band with excellent vocals covering loads of top eighties bands including Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet the Ultravox.
AIRSHOW: Sidmouth Air Show, Sidmouth Fri, 27 Aug
Kicking off the BH weekend, the curvaceous glory of Lyme Bay is perfectly suited as a natural amphitheatre for acrobatic aerial displays from the Red Arrows and more. Don’t miss there chance to grab some tasty nosh from Sidmouth Eats Boutique (outside Kennaway House) to eat while you’re gazing skywards.
Words by Ashley Tremlett.