The popular Wye Valley River Festival returns this May celebrating it’s 10th birthday.

People across the Wye Valley will be able to enjoy vibrant street parades, live shows, workshops, installations and film screenings during the largely free arts and environment festival, which is in its 10th anniversary year.

Held every two years since 2014, the 2024 Wye Valley River Festival runs from Friday, May 3 until Sunday, May 12 in locations from Hereford to Chepstow.

Artistic director Phillippa Haynes said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the 10th birthday of the Wye Valley River Festival in style with a programme which aims to delight audiences both local and from afar, all inspired by the region’s glorious landscape and our relationship with the earth. The 2024 programme has quiet reflections upon past festivals, with a strong eye to the future.

“We look forward to seeing people connect with one another and most importantly enjoy their interactions as we celebrate the local landscape and raise consciousness about the environmental emergency going on around us.”

With the 2024 festival inspired by “the earth beneath our feet”, this year’s programme kicks off with ‘Birthday on the Bridge’ on the evening of May 3 at Monnow Bridge in Monmouth. 

The following day, the Merry Monmouth Day will kick off with pre-parade activities in Agincourt Square, followed by a procession in Monnow Street, leading to an afternoon of performances and activities in Drybridge Park.

On Sunday May 5, the public can join a Dawn Chorus gathering from 5am in Nagshead and Highnam Woods, with Redbrook Roust taking place later the same day at Redbrook Millennium Park and Hub.

On the Bank Holiday Monday, Llandogo Village Hall will host a second 10th Birthday Bash, with performances, music from Nia Wyn, dancing and a community feast.

On Wednesday, May 8, Regen Ben’s Farm at Brampton Abbots, Ross-on-Wye, will host an evening regenerative farming meal and walk called Farm Walk and Fodder, with another feast taking place the following day at Together Works, Caldicot.

On Friday May 10 is Three Acres and a Cow, a theatre show at Larrapurz Centre, Ross-on-Wye, retelling the history of land rights and protest in folk song and story from the Norman Conquest and Peasants’ Revolt to climate breakdown.

Running each day from Friday, May 10 to Sunday May 12, We Weave the Woods at The Glade, Beechenhurst, will take place. 

The festival concludes in Hereford with Hereford Happening, including a workshop by the Wye Valley Street Band.

The two day Wonders of the Wye photo competition will take place in Chepstow on the final weekend of the festival to allow photographers to show off their talents.

Full details are available on the Wye Valley River Festival website

As part of the festival, more than 500 pupils at seven local schools have created an installation inspired by “the earth beneath our feet”. The pupils are producing creative works based around fungi and trees.

Through Queering The Wye, the Festival has provided regular LGBTQ+ youth sessions from the Forest of Dean to Abergavenny with a creative, environmental and craft activist focus, with 12 hand dyed banners to go on display at the festival. A Queering the Wye Craftspace workshop will be held in Hereford on Sunday May 12.

The Festival was created and developed in partnership by the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It is funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund, Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, the Sustainable Development Fund, the Welsh Government, Cadw and Ashley Foundation.