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Top five things to do this weekend in Gloucestershire

Come rain or shine, we've picked out our favourite events taking place in and around Gloucestershire this weekend.

1# Pop down to the circus 

Nell Gifford and Cal McCrystal have reimagined Giffords Circus as a psychedelic pleasure dome for their new 250-date UK tour which opens tonight (Friday, May 3).

Xanadu takes its name from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous romantic poem Kubla Khan where Xanadu is a mythical garden of bliss where anything can happen.

Nell and Cal have set their vision of Xanadu in the psychedelic seventies, creating a garden full of joy, freedom and flowers where the flower power movement is at its height.

Hippies, hipsters, rock stars, musicians, wild women and global nomads with Shamanic horses gather to play, sing, dance, protest and perform.

Xanadu is a welcome and clever antidote to a political backdrop of unease in the UK and provides audiences an opportunity to forget their everyday troubles, which is the true ethos of circus.

A place for the common man to escape daily life, and be swept up in the colour, drama and death-defying acts of the fantasy world of circus.

Xanadu runs until September 29 across 13 UK venues. Gloucestershire venues are:

• Fennells Farm, Stroud (May 3-13 and September 19-29)

• Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe (May 16-28)

• Daylesford Organic Farm, nr Stow-on-the-Wold (May 30-June 3)

• Minchinhampton Common, Stroud (August 15-27)

• Stratton Meadows, Cirencester (September 12-16)

Tickets start from £10 for children and £15 adults. For more information and to book, visit or call 01242 691181.

2# Fair offers 'a truly inspirational shopping experience' 

If you love the beautiful, the unique and the unusual then The Malthouse Collective Decorative and Textiles Fair is not to be missed.

Housed in over 20,000 sq ft in the iconic reclaimed Malthouse on the banks of the Painswick stream in the Cotswolds, the fair offers visitors the opportunity to feast their eyes on an impressive mix of decorative furniture, collectable treasures and gardenalia from the 18th century to the present day.

The event will comprise of over 20 external dealers, in addition to the offering of the 80 resident dealers, designers and makers of the Malthouse Collective.

Visitors can also enjoy tasty treats at The Malthouse Bar and Kitchen, as well as delicious homemade cakes from The Lavender Bakehouse.

And with free entrance and free parking, the Malthouse Collective Decorative and Textiles Fair is definitely a date for your diary.

For more details, visit or call 01453 755800.

3# Watch tractors old and new take to the roads 

Tractors old and new take to the roads in the North Cotswolds for the annual Bluebell Run in aid of Cancer Research UK, on Sunday, May 12.

Organised by Moreton Show in conjunction with the North Cotswold Tractor Club, the convoy of 70 tractors will cover a 28-mile route that avoids the major roads.

Anyone who wants to take part should register in advance by contacting Moreton Show on 01608 651908 or via the show website. Taking part costs just £15 a tractor.

The day begins at Charlton Abbots, between Winchcombe and Andoversford, where tractors will assemble from 8am. Start time is 10am and the convoy will move off towards Brockhampton, Sevenhampton and Syreford on its way to a lunch stop at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power.

The afternoon run takes in Guiting Wood, Hailes Abbey and the town of Winchcombe before heading back to Charlton Abbots.

Many of the tractors taking part in the Bluebell Run will also be part of the Vintage Tractor Parade at Moreton Show, which this year takes place on Saturday, September 7.

4# Dance and sing to some of the UK's best fake bands 

Back for a third year this Saturday (May 11), Gloucester Fake Festival just keeps getting better.

All six of the 'fake bands' on the line-up put on a superb performance and can't wait to perform their awesomeness and sing their massive anthems with you.

The tribute bands look, sound and move like the real rock stars - you have to see them to believe it.

The bands on the line-up this year are Blondie (Blondied), Bowie (Aladdinsane), Duran Duran (Duran), Foo Fighters (Fu Fighters), The Rolling Stones (The Stones) and Coldplay (Coldplace).

Organisers work hard to ensure their festivals are safe, secure, accessible and friendly - with an environment that caters for all ages.

The giant marquee ensures a warm, lively, inside atmosphere, so you can really enjoy the music.

5# Enjoy a concert with a difference from a London-based gospel choir 

A London-based gospel choir are performing in Cheltenham on Sunday evening (May 12) as the finale to a local Christian Arts Festival.

Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir will give a concert at Princess Hall, Cheltenham Ladies' College, from 7pm.

The choir was born in 2005 on the premise that this is the most exciting and spirit-filled music around - irresistible to everyone!

They have sung at festivals all over the country, as well as on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4. They are on a mission to share the beauty and transforming quality of gospel music in places where it isn't usually heard - in Anglican and Catholic churches as well as secular settings such as London's Jazz Café.

They sing monthly at St James' Church in Piccadilly and the whole choir are coming to Cheltenham for this festival and to work with local schools.

The choir will share the joy, power and soulful groove of contemporary gospel music.

Doors open at 6.15pm and there's a cash bar in the hall so you can come and relax with a drink first.

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