The Biggest Festivals & Events in and Around Kettering

If you are moving into rental accommodation in Kettering as a single person, couple or family, and enjoy soaking up the atmosphere at a festival, the region has a year round programme of events. From carnivals to Christmas fairs and concerts, Kettering has some fantastic festivals for all ages. Here, Ashan Property letting agents, Kettering, spotlights some of the biggest annual celebrations that you can enjoy once you have settled into your new home.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for houses or apartments to rent in Kettering, our experienced team will work closely with you to find your ideal home. Just click on the link below to see our latest properties to rent in Kettering, Desborough, Market Harborough, Corby, Northampton and Weldon.

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Eight Major Annual Festivals in the Kettering Area

Pot Belly Folk, Blues and Rock Festival

If you enjoy live music, this twice yearly family-friendly event – at Easter time and in the autumn – is hosted by Kettering Arts Centre in St Andrews Church. You can expect a full line-up of performers, with various bands playing, plus there are generally arts activities on hand for the youngest members of the family. Tickets, which can be bought direct from the venue, allow flexibility as you can pop in and out of the festival as you please during the afternoon and evening.


This arts, culture and music festival, which is held at the start of July, is now in its second year (2016). The event runs over three to four days and takes place at a series of venues around the town. Past activities have included writing seminars, a film festival, comedy shows, competitions, live music, African drumming, and various classes such as burlesque workshops and a hula hoop class.

East Northants Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Race, organised by the Rotary Clubs of Northampton, always draws a huge crowd. This year’s festival (2016) will be held at Billing Aquadrome Holiday Park, Northampton, on July 17th. Each year up to 60 teams compete for the trophy and in doing so raise thousands of pounds for several charities in the local area.

Balloon Festival

Set to brighten up the skies in mid-August is the annual Northampton Balloon Festival. In addition to morning and evening hot air balloon lifts, the event features trade stalls and live music from well-known bands, such as the Sugarbabes who sang at the 2004 festival. A major attraction is the ‘Balloon Glow’, where balloons tied to the ground are lit up against a background of music.

Kettering Carnival Parade

Why not soak up the atmosphere at the Kettering Carnival Parade in August? The festivities add a splash of colour to the town and raises funds for the blind in the local area. The carnival was founded nearly 70 years ago and is still going strong, with various prizes awarded for floats. The parade starts about 1pm and finishes at the Rockingham Road Pleasure Park, where a fete, with stalls and children’s amusements, runs until about 5.30pm.

Greenbelt Festival

The Greenbelt Festival attracts around 20,000 people a year and takes place at various venues throughout the country, although for the last few years it was hosted by Boughton House, near Geddington. For years it has been billed as a Christian Festival, although now it is much more inclusive with live music not only from Christian musicians, but also from mainstream singers and bands. Well known names such as Jamelia, Goldie, and Daniel Beddingfield have all made appearances in the past. Greenbelt takes place over the August Bank Holiday Weekend, and is back at Boughton House in 2016.

Shambala Festival

The Shambala Festival is a family-friendly festival that takes place towards the end of August. You can expect live music, workshops, comedy, arts, crafts and a speakers’ corner. It is extremely child-friendly, with various kids’ activities including trampolining, dancing, games and shows. The unusual thing about the festival (to stop gate-crashers) is that the venue’s location is only released to ticket holders, and the programme of events are kept secret until the day.

Christmas Markets

Northampton town centre takes on a continental feel at Christmas time as the pedestrianised Abington Street comes alive with wooden huts selling gifts, decorations and traditional German food and drink. Enjoy a glass of Gluhwein or a mug of German beer as you browse the dozen or so stalls for Christmas gift ideas, while being entertained with live festive music. Closer to home, there are a variety of Christmas fairs, including the Traditional Christmas Fair in Kettering, with handmade gifts and food stalls, and another in the heart of Rothwell, which offers free children’s entertainment.

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