The North Devon Festival returns even bigger and better in this the 10th anniversary year. This annual event celebrates the rich cultural life of North Devon with dance, fairs, art, lifestyle, sport, theatre, comedy and nature events happening throughout

The North Devon Festival returns even bigger and better in this the 10th anniversary year. This annual event celebrates the rich cultural life of North Devon with dance, fairs, art, lifestyle, sport, theatre, comedy and nature events happening throughout the region over the month of June. There will be more than 200 events in many locations throughout the region and with more than 125,000 participants from Devon and beyond, it continues to be a major player in the festival circuit.The magic of the West End comes to town when Blood Brothers plays at the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple June 2-7. Produced by theatre legend Bill Kenwright and written by Willy Russell, this smash hit show has been hailed by critics as one of the best musicals of all time. Set in Liverpool, the story centres around twin brothers separated at birth only to be re-united by a dramatic twist of fate. Three of the country's most popular funny-men will also be appearing at the Queen's. Paul Merton arrives on June 13 and 14 with his Impro Chums; host of BBC2's Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Simon Amstell will perform his dry, sharp and honest stand-up show on June 21; and Lee Evans presents his unique brand of physical comedy on June 26.A labyrinth of colour and light descends on Castle Green in Barnstaple from May 31 until June 8. Barnstaple Colourscape Festival is a series of highly coloured interconnected chambers with musicians and mime artists within them. This is an extraordinary experience and all ages are invited to join in by donning a cape and entering the world of colour. The 11th Appledore Visual Arts Festival from May 29 until June 1 returns with this year's theme 'Earth'. Stroll around and soak up the atmosphere as the picturesque village of Appledore plays host to exhibitions of international and local artists, events, residencies, educational projects, open studios and much more. There are more exciting art exhibitions to be found in the beautiful setting of the Broomhill Art Hotel with a monumental installation, Artists of the Silk Road, from world renowned artist Laury Dizengremel.Europe's coolest festival, GoldCoast Oceanfest is back, June 20-22, with more beach sports, surfing, music, food, kids activities and market stalls. ...This year sees the return of the North Devon Fringe Theatre Festival after the huge success of last year's event. It's back June 26-29 with more drama, dance and comedy from small theatre companies from as far as Greece performing in various venues. There will be a range of great music to enjoy, spanning many genres from young, local artists to old favourites and well known faces. Here are a few highlights:The feast of music that is the Barnstaple Fringe, now in its fifth year, brings fantastic artists out to various pubs and venues throughout the town. Appearing in The Gallery Sessions for the Fringe will be two jazz legends, Guy Barker and Ian Shaw (May 31), Spanish guitarist Eduardo Niebla (June 24), and jazz/rock band Led Bib on June 25. Then performing at North Devon's newest venue The Factory will be bhangra band Achanak on June 6, inspirational saxophonist Courtney Pine on June 12, reggae legend Toots and the Maytals on June 24, and jazz/funk band the James Taylor Quartet on June 29.Then the Lynton and Lynmouth Music Festival, which runs from June 13 to 15 is gaining national acclaim for its indie sound and diversity, and the cutting edge mini festival Wild West Country on June 28 celebrates country, bluegrass, folk and blues. With so much going on, there is sure to be something for everyone and the perfect excuse to get out and about.For more information visit the website at www.northdevonfestival.org.uk