Horsham Festival returns for a second inspiring year

Horsham Festival artistic director Andrew Bernardi. Picture by Steve Cobb
Horsham Festival artistic director Andrew Bernardi. Picture by Steve Cobb

It’s just over a week to go until the second Horsham Festival, which promises to be a fantastic week of entertainment that celebrates and showcases all the arts.

From Saturday, July 8, to Sunday, July 16, there will be a programme of more than 60 events, including live music, theatre, dance, literary events and the visual and digital arts.

And the great news is many of the events are free.

This year the festival includes Funday Sunday on July 9. This offers a great day out for the whole family with events held in Horsham town centre and Horsham Park.

Organised by Horsham Festival and Horsham Rotary, attractions include: Benson’s Giant Funfair, a sports zone, an arts zone, a food and drink zone, a green zone and children’s entertainment.

On a live stage in Horsham Park, from 12pm-5pm, there will be a variety of live music, dance, and drama, compered by Radio 4’s Chris Aldridge.

Other highlights include: a concert with one of Britain’s best-loved sopranos, Dame Felicity Lott (The Capitol, July 8, 7.30pm, £29.50); From Horsham to Hollywood an evening with Matt Charman, the acclaimed Sussex scriptwriter of the award-winning film Bridge of Spies (The Capitol, July 11, 7.30pm, £7); a performance of Shakespeare’s Tempest in Horsham Park (July 15, 6.30pm); and a concert of popular classical music with internationally acclaimed violinist and Horsham Festival artistic director Andrew Bernardi and Friends (St Andrews Church, Nuthurst, July 9, 6.30pm).

Horsham Artists Open Studios will also be part of the festival with the HAOS Art Trail taking place over both weekends (July 8-9 and July 15-16).

HAOS is an informal group of artists, working in a wide variety of different disciplines and mediums, all living or working in the Horsham District. Art enthusiasts can download the 2017 Art Trail Map from www.horshamartistsopenstudios.co.uk.

Paul Bellringer, OBE, chairman of the Horsham Festival said: “We are really looking forward to the second year of the festival.

“The first year was a great success but this year promises to be even bigger and better. It is wonderful to see more than 30 groups representing the arts locally taking part.

“There really will be something for everyone, and this year we have the added great day out for all – Funday Sunday.”

More information about all of the events are on the Horsham Festival website – www.horshamfestival.co.uk – and look out for copies of the full festival programme, which will be distributed in the town centre in early July.

The Horsham Festival was established as a charity in 2014. It aims through music, dance, drama, visual arts, literature and the digital medium to provide opportunities for performers and artists to stage exhibitions and displays.

It also provides a chance for young people who are disabled, disadvantaged or on the margins of society to grow in confidence and enhance their skills through opportunities within and outside of the festival.

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