1983 - 2017

We're Celebrating 35 Years 


The Festival became a "glass free" zone.  The Busking Festival grew, attracting buskers from as far away as Weston Super Mare and Swansea.  The Fringe expanded and became more diverse.


The new stage with 2 large LED screens either side of the stage had a huge impact on both artists and attendees.
The first Busking Festival was held.


In its 30th year the Festival was held 2 weeks later than usual due to the London Olympics


The Festival moved to it’s currently location in the Cattle Market Car Park at the bottom of town


Dr &The Medics brought the town to a standstill


This was the first year that Agincourt Square to completely closed to through traffic. Prior to that, a single lane regime controlled by traffic lights, was operated.

In the early years half the acts comprised local talent and the Festival gave birth to The Cliveden Set and The Mighty Pledge, who still regularly play at the Festival. Monmouth School of Dance and the Monmouth Band were regular favourites, as was the Music Hall group Moss Empire.


The Festival gradually grew until in its 10th year it lasted for 15 nights!


Inspired by the Festival of Castles – the Wales-wide event – the first ever Monmouth Festival took place in the summer of 1983 chaired by John Hamilton.  Entertainment included plays, by the Centre Players which later became the Off Centre Theatre, as well as music.  The Festival was held in Agincourt Square and initially, the 15” high stage had to be constructed from scratch every evening and ran for 8 nights – Saturday to Saturday