This month's curator(s) is (are) the Herefordshire's a Great Place team. It's a project that's boosting arts + heritage across the county through grants, research and public events.
Big Love's a throwback music festival that's more like the feel-good rave days of the 90s than it is branded-up burritos of V-Fest. The lineup's curated by poducers from the Cardiff and Bristol club scenes, and it all takes place in a stately home in Clyro - along with a swimming pool and woodland parties.
The world's biggest and best festival of literature (with bits of politics and science and music and history and art thrown in) is back. The first weekend of the festival features the likes of Bettany Hughes talking about the volunteer stonemasons rebuilding Syria, Maxine Peake performing Shelley and Simon Armitage debuting his latest poetry collection. There's also music (King Charles, Ezra Furman), comedy (Sara Pascoe) and a panel discussion on the women who changed the art world.
Check out our piece on the lineup here.
The twice Mercury-nominated Anna Calvi tops the bill across town for How The Light Gets In, the more music + philosophy-heavy alternative to Hay Festival. Brian Eno called her "the best thing since Patti Smith". She plays the Sunday night slot at the Globe.
Canwood soft-launched its 2019 season a few weeks' ago, but its first major show is painter and mixed-media artist Moff Skellington, opening May 1. It's running throughout May, as are the exhibitions in the gorgeous sculpture park over there.
The world doesn't need any more Bad Artist Statements.
This two-hour workshop, supported by Herefordshire's a Great Place, is designed to help art students and emerging artists from Herefordshire get a handle on writing effective artist's statements. Covering the basics, it's ideal for new artists who would like practical advice, and support from fellow makers. £2 covers the costs of refreshments and lunch.
The team behind Into The Woods are back with a full lineup of of house, disco and world beats taking over the Left Bank's various bars for a Bank holiday boogie. Maybe pack a Lucozade - the party's running from 3pm (outside) to 3am (down in the Speakeasy).
In honour of May The Fourth, Hereford's sofa-cinema are running all three of the classic Star Wars films over the weekend - A New Hope on the Friday, Empire Strikes Back on the Saturday and Return of the Jedi on the Sunday. If you've never been before - you can spread out and order beers to your seat, which will make that Wookie costume feel a lot more comfortable.
"Singing the unsung stories of history’s mother and baby institutes; flinging wide the closed doors, heard and seen at last, Hereford’s hidden women are invited to a gathering that finally brings them home."
This incredible project from Feral Productions shines a light on a hard corner of Herefordshire history, and the women that lived it. There'll be six performances at the Courtyard at the end of the month, as well as events popping up across town. And the Hush Now project was actually funded by a Great Place grant.
After a bit of a hiatus our favourite Hereford band are back. Contrary to popular belief Wyynona Ryyder have nothing to do with the Stranger Things star. But they do rock regardless, in an indie style. Their comeback gig is at the delightful Odyssey taphouse Beer In Hand in Hereford.
MASH are popping up in the back garden of the BarBar Cafe with a projection mashing up the best/worst low-budget sci-fi all pulled from old VHS cassettes and mixed in with tunes from some guest DJs.
Hellensmusic is this incredible festival that for four days brings some of the country's top classical musicians to Ledbury for recitals and masterclasses with up and coming musicians. Kicking things off this year the Kurdish singer-songwriter Hani Mojtahedy as part of the programme that aims to open up classical ears to new sounds from across the world.
"Hani been a voice for women, and for her people for years - she will perform themes from her work, passing from women rights to the misfortunes of history, from love and happiness to tragedy and mourning."
Check out the full Hellensmusic programme here.
VERVE is one of the top touring contemporary dance companies in the country, and Matthew Robinson's bringing his latest physical, forward-thinking show to Hereford. The latest piece sees brings together a lineup of internationally-renowned choreographers including Joan Clevillé from Catalonia) Maxine Doyle and Ben Wright from the UK and Noa Zuk and Ohad Fishof from Israel.
File this one under Don't Miss.
“captivating, superbly energetic” - The State of the Arts.
All hail the jalapeno. The Chilli Fest is back with a load of stalls and cooking demos - from Indian cuisine to the jerk seasoning - Mexican band The Squideros, and the eye-watering chilli-eating contest. You're going need a glass of milk just to watch that one.
Marches Makers' annual festival is craft nirvana with artists taking over Kington for the first weekend in May. More than ten venues will play host to workshops and shows from local makers, with more than 400 pieces on show across the town from pieces formed by ancient techniques to cutting-edge modern art.
There's also a load of outdoor sculpture and events you can get involved in yourself over the three days.