Festival Oldham - simply the best!

Date published: 15 May 2018

The greatest show in town is on the horizon as Festival Oldham returns for 2018.

The borough’s annual free celebration of art, entertainment and street theatre takes place on Saturday, May 26, between 11am and 4pm, in Parliament Square and the Parish Church in Oldham town centre, and Gallery Oldham.

This year the festival takes on a circus theme and is part of Circus250, a national celebration marking 250 years of circus.

Oldham has a rich history of circus performances and the Coliseum Theatre actually began life in 1885 as the Grand American Circus and Hippodrome.

To mark this rich heritage we will be welcoming over 100 of the very best circus, variety and music performers to Oldham this late May bank holiday weekend. 

Be amazed by the unusual, bizarre and unbelievable feats of Doctor Diablo’s Sideshow – including amazing fire-eating, escapology and contortionism.

Circus Sensible and their beautiful blue and yellow big tops will transform the Parish Church yard into the ‘The Circus Gardens’.

This is your chance to watch spectacular performers from around the world and have a go at juggling, stilt walking, plate spinning and much more.

Resident circus elephants Hessi and Kalli will be exploring Parliament Square - these loveable cheeky elephant sisters love meeting new people and getting up to mischief.

A beautiful giant lion will be prowling the streets of Oldham accompanied by her faithful assistant who will beckon forth all who wish to meet the spirit of the pride.

Meanwhile, the festival will reach new heights when we welcome a larger than life circus ringmaster and the amazing aerial acrobatics of Circus Vee at Gallery Oldham.

Also look out for Tiddles the Circus Tiger - the brand new Oldham Theatre Workshop street theatre show.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood and Co-operatives, said: “Festival Oldham is always a real crowd pleaser and one of the highlight of our events calendar. 

“It attracts a huge crowd every year and this year’s circus theme promises to be something really special. We look forward to welcoming people to this spectacular, free event.”  

For more information visit or call 0161 770 3070.

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