The 2020 Petworth Festival Autumn Special


Defying the odds – The 2020 Petworth Festival Autumn Special

Friday 16th October to Sunday 1st November
Filmed in Petworth and streamed via

Against all the odds, the Petworth Festival has come up with a stellar line up of performers and authors for the 2020 Petworth Festival Autumn Special.

Clare Teal

As with practically all similar events the annual summer festival was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Petworth team has worked incredibly hard to be able to deliver a fortnight of events that showcases the best of what was due to be a stunning summer festival, together with a strikingly high profile sequence of literary events as the Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary literary week.

Voreios Trio

With a series of performance headliners including classical music’s new superstars, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason (pictured at top of page), internationally feted guitarist MILOŠ, and one of the world’s finest classical pianists, Mitsuko Uchida, the literary line up is similarly heavy weight. Headliners including top novelists William Boyd, Joanna Trollope and Anthony Horowitz, as well as acclaimed children’s author Michael Morpurgo and – squaring the circle – the mother of the illustrious Kanneh-Mason family, Kadiatu, who tells the story of her seven astonishing children.

Mitsuko Uchida, photo Richard Avedon

Anthony Horowitz

The festival runs over a fortnight with daily performance events streamed online during the first week, and two daily literary events streamed live in the second, to which audiences will be able to contribute live questions. All events bar those with Joanna Trollope and James Naughtie will be filmed in Petworth with access to all of the events via the festival website. Events will be available to view on demand until midnight Saturday 7th November.

Jonathon Porritt, Hope in Hell cover

Ariana Neumann, When Time Stopped cover

Ariana Neumann, photo ©Serena Bolton

Speaking of both his pleasure and relief at being able to announce the programme, Artistic Director Stewart Collins says, “this has been a momentous year in so many ways, and most of them not good, but thanks to extraordinary support from a significant group of loyal festival sponsors, together with great enthusiasm and encouragement from both the music and publishing industries, we are hugely proud of what we have put together for this coming October. We hope that both our regular and new audiences will assume a ‘festival mode’ of joining us repeatedly throughout the fortnight, as this really is a bold attempt to keep the flag flying not only for Petworth Festival, but also for the musicians and authors whose lives have been greatly affected by the past few months – particularly those of the musicians whose livelihoods have quite simply fallen off the cliff edge since March.”

Charles Owen & Katya Apekisheva, photo Sim Canetty-Clarke

Small invited audiences of sponsors will attend all events to help create a genuine live ‘event’ ambience, and performances will last a maximum of one hour. ‘Tickets’ to individual shows are priced very modestly at £4.99 with generous festival passes available for multiple attendance. For full details please visit 

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