“And by 5 o clock everything’s dead” sang Del Amitri, and the lyrics have fitted Chester for years with the demise of the Odeon and the Gateway, and the general ghost like feel of the city streets as the shops and coffee bars close and tourists search for something to do. Whilst many great activities take  place in the evenings such as the great work of Tip Top productions, the countless and varied open mic nights and fringe cultural events, everyone is awaiting the revitalising effect of the forthcoming Storyhouse cultural centre.

‘Chester Fiesta’  is the latest initiative by the CH1 Chester BID, a campaign to boost the evening economy and encourage residents to “head out not home”. The BID and various city centre partners are promising “a packed programme of campaigns and events for summer in the city”

The summer campaign running from June from August will bring together all of the city centre activities under the “Chester Fiesta” banner. While some of the events included are already known such as the long running and successful Theatre in the Park, new events promised include a city centre cocktail competition and a dinosaur inspired family trail.

“Chester Fiesta brings all of the city’s spectacular summer activities together under one banner” said BID marketing manager Julie Charlton. Weather permitting, “it’s going to be a fantastic summer in the city”.

The campaign is aimed at encouraging more city residents, workers and visitors to stay longer, enjoy more and spend more time around Chester’s city centre shops, bars, restaurants and attractions. Parking is also free after 3pm in the city, including the new Delamere street car park which has replaced Gorse Stacks.


Thursday nights will be promoted for late night shopping, with many major retailers agreeing to trade until 8pm including Primark, Next. Boots and several within the Grosvenor shopping centre. The BID are aiming to boost late night trade with a range of music and street entertainment and a range of shopping and dining offers.


Experience Chester 2
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The BID manager Carl Critchlow said he was “delighted with the support  Head Out, Not Home’ has received from many of our city centre retailers, but the campaign isn’t just about late night shopping .We’re planning some fantastic evenings of entertainment including live music, comedy, culture, cinema, theatre and sport in the city.”

“We’re proud to be a city that’s rich in tradition, but we also need to react and respond to shifting demands of modern consumers and to the competitive challenges we face as a destination of choice. So, we hope people – whether living, working or visiting here – head out to Chester, not home, every Thursday in July and August, and enjoy everything our wonderful city has to offer.” Carl added.

Summer nights



Further information can be found at  http://www.ExperienceChester.co.uk.











One Reply to “Chester Fiesta”

  1. Sounds good! But to be honest, I think shops opening late once a week is just not enough. I know retailers won’t like me saying this, but if I need to get something after work, I just go to Cheshire oaks. Most shops there are open until 8pm. (6pm on sun). So why not in the city centre? And it only works if all shops agree, otherwise you can’t rely on it. If you get caught out standing in front of closed doors once, you won’t go again. If for example I quickly need to get a birthday present for one of my daughters’ friend’s birthday party, I don’t just need it on a Thursday. Besides I work late on Thursdays, so for me personally it’s of no use anyway.
    I grew up in Germany. Shop opening hours were quite restricted by law, until the mid 90s when they changed the law and all shops were allowed to open late. And after a few arguments with the shop workers , who obviously had to sacrifice their free evening or get more people in, working early/late shifts, all shops went with opening late. And it made such a difference!!!
    If you work until 9-5, the time between 5-8pm would be ideal for doing some shopping. Maybe even go for something to eat after, or stay on to go to the theatre, a concert, etc.
    Only having this option on a Thursday is nothing to celebrate about yet…
    But certainly like the idea of more exciting cultural offers in the city!! 😀 It’s not just all about shopping, is it?

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