What’s on in Warwickshire this July
When did it get to July?! However we got here, it’s all going on this month. From al fresco theatre and dining, to super sassy circus acts and open air discos, you best get those diaries at the ready.
Terry Hall presents Home Sessions, Coventry, 29 July–1 Aug
This town is nothing like a ghost town these days as The Specials frontman returns to Coventry to host a four day festival at iconic venues across the city. He’ll be joined by the likes of Bedworth-born Pete Doherty and his band The Libertines, Roni Size and Daddy G of Massive Attack fame. If you saw The Specials perform at the Coventry Cathedral ruins, you’ll know this is not one to be missed.
Motofest, Coventry, 17 July-8 Aug
Start your engines for the month-long shenanigans which see petrolheads take over Coventry. This year’s event includes a motorcycle ride featuring hundreds of bikers and a huge influx of classic and vintage cars. For those looking to enjoy the event in a slightly more low-key way (and with fewer traffic jams) there’s an exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum and another at the Coventry Cathedral ruins.
Choir of Man, Coventry, 1 July-31 July
This is the first show to be held in Coventry’s new live performance venue, the Assembly Festival Garden. It’s a pretty special place – a 1,000 seater double decker ‘Spiegeltent’ (think of a circus tent and you’re on the right track) with a 180 capacity tent nextdoor and more space for visitors in the garden. Choir of Man was one of the stand-out shows of the Edinburgh Fringe, described as ‘the most incredible pub gig’, with live music and dancers. CANNOT wait.
Good Times Festival, Leamington, 24 July
This one-day festival has been organised by locals for family and friends to reunite while supporting Warwickshire businesses, and we’re all about that. Local bands, street food stalls and even pop-up bars from the likes of Warwickshire Gin Company promise a good day out where you can kick back and relax in the gorgeous Mill Gardens. Chin chin to that.
Cosmic disco, Digbeth, 24 July
Glow sticks at the ready (just don’t stick them in anyone’s ears like I once did to my sister), Luna Springs is bringing Ibiza to Birmingham and we are so here for it. The open-air disco includes Gogo Queens and a top DJ line-up bringing those summer vibes under a sky of disco balls and neon lights. Fetch my glitter face paint and wait while I squeeze into those hot pants. I might be some time.
Circolombia, Coventry, 2 July-31 July
In the market for a sassy show featuring jaw-dropping circus skills? You’re in luck. The world’s leading contemporary circus company, fresh from Columbia’s capital Bogota, are in town, promising thrills and spills at every turn. You can either use both hands for cheering or covering your eyes. I know which one I’ll be going for.
The Wind in the Willows, Leamington, 14 July-24 July
Ratty, Toad, Mole and Badger will be along for the ride in this family-friendly production directed by Robert Lowe. The Loft theatre is a hidden gem in the town, but sadly it’s had a difficult ride throughout the pandemic. Thankfully it’s still going, so why not show your support by taking your gang along to its first performance since last March. It’s a win win.
The Comedy of Errors, Stratford-Upon-Avon, July 13-Sept 26
Exciting thesp news! The RSC’s new outdoor garden theatre launches this month with Shakespeare’s shortest and arguably most farcical comedy, directed by Phillip Breen. The Comedy of Errors will be performed in the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre, which is located in the Swan Theatre Gardens and flanked by the River Avon. It’s close to Bancroft Gardens, which is often filled with performing thesps, so when you’ve finished watching the show, be sure to go for a gander. Might aswell go the whole cultural hog.
Mixed music shows, Coventry, 17-23 July
The Belgrade Theatre is hoping to get audiences dancing in the aisles with not one, but four, musical shows this month. Lovers of the 80s (pretty sure that’s all of us, then) will enjoy Calling Planet Earth which celebrates the defining music of the era with a symphonic arrangement. Pop-rock fans can rejoice for A Crazy Little Thing Called Queen and The Carpenters Story – Goodbye to Love, and for those with a penchant for smoother vibes from the 60s there’s The Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Battle of the decades or what?
FACTOR US IN, Gaydon, From 22 July
This exhibition at the British Motor Museum is (unsurprisingly) one for the petrolheads, and looks at the local people behind the West Midland’s motor industry history. It delves into the impact of factories on the landscapes, people and businesses in Canley, Lode Lane and Longbridge. There’s a load of archive material, artefacts and history videos so if you’re going to brave taking the kids just placate them with the promise they’ll see some cool cars later on. Or even better, send dad or grandad and then you won’t have to deal with the temper tantrum – result!
The Open Arms, Warwick
Created by the brains behind Digbeth Dining Club, this open-air beer garden is tucked away in the historic grounds of Warwick Castle. Enjoy drinks and some of the region’s best street food as the sun sets over the castle walls – perfect for selfies or pics of the food. If you’ve not tried it yet, now’s your last chance, as it finishes in the middle of August. This place is always full, so book a few weeks in advance.
Covent Garden Quarter Market, Leamington, 25 July
Shopping alert! These awesome markets bring together the best of local indie businesses in one handy place. Meet the incredible makers, designers, producers and bakers behind a whopping selection of homemade one-offs and homegrown treats. And don’t forget a big shopping bag (or two), you’ll be unable to resist.
Butterfly walk, Halford, Until 31 July
Butterflies, whimsical wooden sculptures and an amble through the Stour Valley, sounds blissful right? Blackberry Farm (it even has a cute name) in Halford is opening its gorgeous fields throughout July to raise money for Shipston Home Nursing. The walks, which aren’t too strenuous – always good to know – must be booked in advance by calling 07977 587911 and cost £5 per adult. Kids go free.