AstleyFest 2018

"We are very excited about AstleyFest and I'm sure local people will have a wonderful time trying their hand at circus skills and seeing some fantastic circus acts."

Kat Evans, Philip Astley Project Manager at Staffordshire University

The Philip Astley Project, managed by Staffordshire University, celebrates his life and legacy, engaging, entertaining and educational activities are taking place in Newcastle-under-Lyme during 2017 and 2018 – the 250th anniversary of modern circus.

Inspired by the astonishing acts, activities and acrobats that made Astley's original circus so famous across the globe, AstleyFest brings the circus home to Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the man who first made it happen over 250 years ago. Astley Fest celebrates the life and times of the father of modern day circus, Philip Astley, who was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1742.

Kat Evans, Philip Astley Project Manager at Staffordshire University, said: “We are very excited about AstleyFest and I'm sure local people will have a wonderful time trying their hand at circus skills and seeing some fantastic circus acts. This National Lottery supported project has been a great opportunity for us to tell the story of Astley and we hope to build on this year on year.”

AstleyFest is part of the Philip Astley Project supported by Heritage Lottery Fund that celebrates the life and legacy of Astley. The Philip Astley Project Steering Group features local heritage, arts, education and statutory organisations that are committed and passionate about Astley’s life and sharing his story to the rest of the world.

As part of the Circus 250 programme, which celebrates 250 years since Astley first set up circus as we know it today, people across the globe from Finland to Brazil have been shouting about Astley’s life and the impact he has made on the international stage.

There will be a tasty range of food stalls and stacks of fun ways to find out more about the man and myth of Philip Astley.

Children and adults alike will love clowning around, trying their hand at circus skills and seeing awe-inspiring circus acts.

AstleyFest is proud to be showing the premiere of New Vic Theatre's performance of Roll Up, Roll Up, a brand-new show about Philip Astley developed with local writers, performers and choir members.

AstelyFest promises to offer a knockout punch of quality entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

Find out more here.