Hanley’s Better World Festival – full line up, zones, parking and top tips

Stoke-on-Trent’s Better World Festival is back for its third year, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. The free, family-friendly event will take place in Hanley city centre at the end of July, bringing together mindfulness, community engagement and a range of local, national and international musicians to celebrate and create a brighter future for our world.

Organised by Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Business Improvement District (BID), the festival promises a diverse lineup of world music artists, from Royal Bollywood Music Strings to Julia Mosley,  as well as world folk rap band Mobius Loop, who wowed the crowd last year.

The festival will not only entertain but also enlighten with its Speaker’s Square and Acoustic Music Stage in Tontine Square, complete with a Kidzone, health and mindfulness retreat and a number of local and UK-wide organisations that set out to engage the public about their crucial work in supporting less-advantaged societies and helping them thrive.

Since several Staffordshire and Cheshire musicians are gearing up to perform, here at The Leopheard we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of what’s going on, just like we’ve done for Lymelight Festival, Your City, Newcastle Jazz and Blues and Alsager Music Festival previously.

When, where and how much? 

The Better World Festival returns to Stoke-on-Trent city centre on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30. The event will take over the city centre streets including Piccadilly, Tontine Square, Parliament Square, Fountain Square and more. The Better World Festival is free to attend, making it fantastic value for money with plenty going on across the weekend. 

Live Music

There will be a number of stages at the Better World Festival hosting a number of local and non-local musicians and speakers. The World Music Stage, located on Piccadilly, will be the heart of the festival, showcasing a diverse lineup of world music acts. 

Acclaimed artists performing include the likes of Royal Bollywood Music Strings, Kotu Drummers, and Los Gitanos Kings. Headlining the stage are award-winning DJ Kavita and World folk rap band Mobius Loop, as well as local favourites Greg Murray and the Seven Wonders, Megan Dixon HoodDJ Kavita, and Julia Mosley. The stage times are as follows.

World Music Stage

Saturday, July 29

  • 11.00-11.40 – Julia Mosley
  • 12.00-12.40 – Jonne Walklate
  • 13.00-13.30 – Kotu Drummers
  • 14.00-15.00 – Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer
  • 15.30-16.40 – July Julay
  • 17.00-18.00 – Los Gitanos Kings
  • 18.30-19.30 – Royal Bollywood Fusion Strings
  • 20.00-21.00 – Megan Dixon Hood
  • 21.30-23.00 – DJ Kavita ft legendary bongo man

Sunday, July 30

  • 11.30-12.15 – Michell, Pfeiffer and Kulesh
  • 13.00-14.00 – Greg Murray and the Seven Wonders
  • 14.30-15.30 – The Sugar Tree
  • 16.00-17.30 – Mobius Loop

Meanwhile the Speakers’ Square and Acoustic Music Stage will allow visitors to take time to listen and reflect during talks about global issues, and enjoy music from a number of local performers. Here is the acoustic stage line up:

Acousitic Stage/Speaker’s Square

Saturday, July 29:

  • 11.00-11.30 – Adam D’Arcy 
  • 11.40-12.00 – Dan Canavan (Staffordshire University) – Discovering My Spark
  • 12.00-12.30 – Chris Walters 
  • 12.40-13.00 – Marie Plant (Stoke-on-Trent City Council) – Foster Care in Stoke-on-Trent
  • 13.00-13.30 – Rosie Edwards 
  • 13.40-14.00 – Paul Rogerson (ReStoke) – A Story of Community Activism
  • 14.00-14.30 – Charlotte Bettson 
  • 14.40-15.00 – Caroline Wolfe – An Update on Stoke-on-Trent Food Banks
  • 15.00-15.30 – Attack of the Vapours
  • 15.40-16.00 – Cultural Zebra – Strive to Empower

Sunday, July 30:

  • 11.00-11.30 – Sera
  • 11.40-12.00 – Kay Steele (Natural England)
  • 12.00-12.30 – Clive Martin
  • 12.40-13.00 – John Cummings (Created Academy School) – Creative Education
  • 13.00-13.30 – Daniel Toft
  • 13.40-14.00 – Sarah Chevolleau (SABLE) – United Strength is Stronger
  • 14.00-14.30 – Emily Kate
  • 14.40-15.00 – Laim Baulch (Stafordshire Wildlife Trust) – Kickstarting Nature’s Recovery
  • 15.00-15.30 – Craig James Key
  • 15.40-16.00 – YMCA

Other zones at Better World Festival include:

KIDZONE – Parliament Square

Kidzone is the perfect stop for little ones of pre-school and primary school age, with lots of activities and workshops throughout the weekend to inspire sustainability. Father and daughter duo Eve and Baldini from Circus in a Box will be teaching tightrope, juggling, spinning plates and more, with Hojo Hattery, aka Holly Johnson, leading a festival hat making workshop using all recyclable materials.

Here’s the full list of what’s on:

  • 11.00-16.00 – Circus in a Box
  • 12.00-15.00 – HoJo Hattery Workshop
  • 11.00-15.00 – Bubbles Display
  • 11.00-15.00 – Puppets
  • 11.00-16.00 – DJ
  • 11.00-16.00 – African Doll Workshop (Saturday only)

Health and Mindfulness retreat – Fountain Square

Fountain Square will host the Health and Mindfulness Retreat, acting as a central hub of mindful exercise workshops, inspiring talks, delicious food offerings, and chillout DJ sets. Here’s the full programme:

Saturday, July 29:

  • 11.00-11.30 – Amanda Bramfield – Hoola Hooping for Beginners
  • 11.30-11.50 – Felicity Hutchinson – Family Wellbeing
  • 12.00-12.30 – Cat Holden – Deep Core Pilates
  • 12.30-12.50 – Clover Douglas – Rest and Resist with Breath
  • 13.00-13.30 – Harji Kaur – Indian Fusion Dance
  • 13.30-13.50 – Melodie Forrester – Empowered Voice
  • 14.00-14.30 – Kotu Drummers – African Drumming Workshop
  • 14.30-14.50 – Sophie Green – Gentle Yoga
  • 15.00-15.30 – Jonne Walklate – Mysticism of Sound
  • 15.30-16.00 – Gabriella Buxton – Ecstatic Dance Party

Sundau, July 30:

  • 11.00-11.30 – Leslie Simpson – Chill with Qi Gong
  • 11.30-11.50 – Jenney Kinsey and Samantha Brain – Gut Connection
  • 12.00-12.30 – Jessica Alice – Power Pilates
  • 12.30-12.50 – Amy Davies – Storytelling Through Intuitive Mark Making
  • 13.00-13.30 – Amy Davies – Storytelling Through Intuitive Mark Making
  • 13.30-13.50 – Susy Walsh – Restoritive Yoga
  • 14.00-14.30 – Eli Morgan – Flow Yoga
  • 14.30-14.50 – Kate Beardmore – Wellbeing Tips for Daily Living
  • 15.00-15.30 – Emily Spenceley – Buying Preloved
  • 15.30-16.00 – Teri Elder – Walking and Wellbeing

Charity Street – across the city centre

As lead sponsors, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce will bring their charity community to exhibit at the festival, giving insight into the invaluable work these charities do and how they can contribute and support these vital causes. Some of the charities visitors will be able to chat to includ MIND, Nor Scarf, Savana, SABLE, Stoke-on-Trent Food Bank and more.

Potteries Artisan Market

Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID, working in partnership with the team at Potteries Artisan Market will bring a striking selection of stalls selling all things sustainable, vintage, handmade and ethically sourced.


There are a number of options when it comes to Better World Festival 2023, and where you park will mostly come down to accessibility and the length of time you plan to be there.

For those popping in for less than three hours, Tesco is probably the best and easiest option – however, if you’d like to spend the whole day exploring the best of what the event has to offer, then here are a few other options:

The Potteries Centre

The multi-storey car park for The Potteries Centre has around 900 parking spaces including disabled, electric car charging and parent and child spaces. The car park is open from 8am to 12am every day, and costs £1.40 for one hour from Monday to Saturday, £2.70 for two hours, £3.90 for three, £5.20 for four and so on. There is a flat rate of £1.50 after 4pm on Saturday.

On Sunday, up to five hours costs £1.70, while over five will set you back £3.50. Visitors can pay via the Potteries Centre app, via contactless payment on exit, or at the pay stations with cash or card.

Brakes Car Park

Based on Broad Street on the site of the former ABC Cinema, Brakes Car Park has 130 parking spaces and is in the ideal location for The Underground and The Backyard especially. The car park is cash only and costs £1 an hour, £3.50 all day, or £4 to midnight Alternatively, it’s £3 from 4pm to 7am the following morning, £2.50 from 5pm, £2 from 6pm or £1.50 from 7pm.

Clementsons Car Park

Alongside the former Rockermans furniture store on Clough Street is a 267-space car park and it’s a surprisingly affordable £3 all day. You can use cash or card, with the car park using ANPR technology to recognise number plates – so you don’t actually have to display your ticket after purchasing it.


The newest NCP car park in Hanley is one of the most expensive, though it is fitted with over 100 CCTV cameras, has a roller shutter entry and exit system, and has a number plate validated entry system.

It offers 730 spaces, with electric charging points and disabled spaces, costing £1.90 for an hour, £3.20 for two, £5 for three, £6.30 for four or £12 for 24 hours.All machines accept payment by card, while two machines also accept coins and notes.

Julia Moseley – Lymelight Festival 2019

Top tips for visiting Better World Festival

Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID have shared some of their top tips for visiting the Better World Festival:

  • Get there early: Arrive at the festival early to get the most out of your visit. On both days, the programme kicks off at 11am, so arriving early will give you plenty of time to find a parking space/plan public transport.
  • Dress comfortably: Wear comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for outdoor activities and let’s face it, every weather eventuality! The stages/areas are dotted across the City Centre area, so comfort is key.
  • Stay hydrated and pack snacks: Bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day. Participating Refill Stoke cafes and restaurants have a corresponding sticker in their front window where you can pop in for a top up.
  • Plan your itinerary: Take a look at the festival schedule and plan which activities or performances you don’t want to miss. Highlight the must-see attractions and allow some flexibility for exploring unexpected finds.
  • Engage with the exhibits: The Better World Festival aims to promote sustainability, the environment and positive change. Take the opportunity to engage with the exhibits, ask questions, and learn about the initiatives being showcased. There will be interactive displays, workshops, and talks that you can participate in.
  • Capture memories: Bring a camera or use your smartphone to capture memorable moments throughout the festival. Share your experiences on social media using #BetterWorldFestival and inspire others to support positive change.

The Better World Festival 2023 promises to be a celebration of diversity and a chance to work towards a better world for all. Keep an eye on the Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID’s social media channels (@stokeontrentbid) for updates and further details on the festival’s lineup and activities from Saturday, July 29 to Sunday, July 30.

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