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NOT the Barton’s Bus Station

An old bus station isn’t necessarily the place you’d associate with exciting events showcasing a range of musical, comedic, literary and film talents but that’s precisely the kind of image that Barton’s old bus depot is trying to cultivate. If you haven’t made it over to Barton’s yet, then you might want to consider trying it this weekend – there’s comedy, music, craft and literature on offer.

I spoke to Steve Wallace from Off the Shelf, a PR company that help with the event programme at Barton’s.

“Barton’s came to me,” he says. “They have this wonderful building, this huge space and they wanted to use it to ensure that people still came to the area, that the area remained relevant and a place where people could live and work. There are huge sheds of buildings, engine workshops and they were refurbishing and keeping the character of the buildings.

“We got to work creating events – based around what they WEREN’T. NOT the Camden Market, NOT the Glastonbury Festival, NOT the Cannes Film Festival and so on. There are regular music and comedy nights and a regular craft market for local makers.”

The site is slightly hampered this year by the current tram works but the event season will be in full swing for 2014. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on this year! And this gives you the chance to prepare a FABULOUS events pitch to present to Barton’s and Off the Shelf. Yes, they want to hear from you!

“The strength of the venue,” says Steve, “is that there are two of us, myself and Simon Barton, running it and we’re not a committee. We want to encourage creativity and have interesting, positive and adventurous ideas at the venue. We’d be thrilled to receive an event pitch from someone new, something that hadn’t been tried before, something fun. We’ve got some resources here, we can help to make it really good.”

The pop up shop at Barton’s before Christmas was the result of one such idea by Bluebird Tea Company. And this weekend, the regular market, NOT the Camden Market makes its monthly appearance. Arts, crafts and delicious local food married with a new, hopefully annual event, NOT the Hay Festival.

NOT the Hay Festival is a literature festival and on Sunday will feature Stephen Booth, writer of atmospheric Peak District crime novels, as its headline act. There are four other talks on the programme as well as book stalls and the chance to chat with authors. Generally do some literary hobnobbing! While eating pies and crepes, obviously.

It all kicks off from 10am on Sunday and lasts all day. Don’t forget, despite the transport chaos on Chilwell High Road, Barton’s do have a large car park.



Sue is one of our team of bloggers. When not literary hobnobbing and eating pies she can be found blogging her days away and swigging redbush tea (rock ‘n’ roll…) Please do contact her – she can be reached on sue AT and followed on Twitter @basfordian