Summer 2021 is going to be a bit of a strange one, isn’t it? On the one hand, we’re all very cautious of COVID, and want to ensure that we’re safe and socially distanced – but on the other, we’ve been so bored cooped up inside during months of lockdowns that we’re desperate to get out there and have a good time while the sun’s out.

Well, enter the Arboretum Sunsets. Our favourite city park has just kicked off a major programme of summer events every weekend from 26 June to 5 September 2021. We might not be able to enjoy the big festivals we used to frequent during summers pre-2020, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still get our kicks every Friday, Saturday and Sunday come sundown. Sit back and relax with some beer, a burger, some smashing tunes and bask the evening away in one of Nottingham’s best green spots. It feels good to be back at live events! 

Organised by DHP Family, Arboretum Sunsets kicked off its first weekend with folk punk headlined by Nottingham’s own Ferocious Dog and New Model Army’s Justin Sullivan. With more than 19,000 tickets up for grabs, the pop-up series will be giving us everything from yoga, comedy, food and beer festivals, bingo, quizzes, gigs and more – more variety than you could shake a stick at! Almost 50 artists have been announced from music heroes Tony Hadley and Richard Thompson to an all-day folk event hosted by singer-songwriter Beans On Toast and Homegrown, the all-dayer featuring the best of the local music scene in Notts. The pop-ups promise great entertainment, great food & drink and of course as we’ve come to expect by now, social distancing and hygiene rules to ensure you and other gig goers stay safe.

If you venture the short distance from the city centre, the first thing you’ll spot are the gorgeous surroundings of the historic Arboretum Park which lead you on a merry path up to the Victorian bandstand and its amphitheatre. Grab a local ale or cocktail from Camden Town Brewery’s pop up bar and park yourself on some of the socially distanced hay bales – now there’s a sentence you’d never think you’d hear. Last week’s Friday evening gig played host to a one-off acoustic show by Turin Brakes, supported by local artists Tori Sheard and Georgie. A regular act at Rock City back in normal times, this is the first show the band have played in over a year and it was obvious the crowd had missed them. No doubt all the artists lined up in coming weeks will be just as excited to get back on stage as you are to get out and see them!

This weekend’s got some more music planned as well as something for the family; The Untold Orchestra will be playing some Disney renditions on Friday, plus Eddi Reader on Saturday, and the inaugural Arboretum Beer Festival taking place Sunday from 1pm – 9pm. Check out Sunset’s ticketing website for a full list of breweries joining in on the all day extravaganza, and of course expect great street food, live music, a big beer quiz and some brewer Q&As too! Beer just tastes better outdoors, doesn’t it?

If you’ve missed any of the events so far have no fear, you’ve got the rest of summer to catch a show! For a full list of dates and act line ups you can check our website here and visit to grab your tickets.

This blog was written by Lydia Jones at Visit Nottinghamshire. Images: Jake Haseldine.


Arboretum Sunsets
Summer Events
Arboretum event from 2020

Join us in this Green Flag award winning park to enjoy the fresh air, live entertainment, and some great local food

Homegrown at Arboretum Sunsets
Summer Events
Homegrown at Arboretum Sunsets

New music event Homegrown returns this August Bank Holiday Monday at Nottingham Arboretum



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