Summer is here and along with the (hopefully) sunny weather comes a whole host of festivals of all sizes and types, celebratory feasts of culture and entertainment. There are folk festivals, jazz festivals, classical music festivals, literary festivals, poetry festivals, art festivals, film festivals, and some that are a glorious melange. Almost any genre of creativity will have a festival connected with it, one just has to look. Here ingénue highlights a selection, some in our area, some from further afield, but all very worthwhile attending.
The Cornwall Folk Festival – Friday 22nd to Monday 25th August 2014
A bank holiday weekend of international and local musicians
Cornwall Folk Festival is the original regional Folk Festival held annually in its home at Wadebridge during the Summer Bank Holidays for the benefit of local residents and visitors alike. Over the years it has acquired an international reputation as being one of the finest folk festivals in the UK and attracts musicians and folk fans from all over the world. Run entirely by volunteers as a community funded event, Hobgoblin Music stepped in to financially support the Festival some 8 years ago and have maintained and continued their full support ever since. Now in its 42nd year, it was originally started in 1972 by a small, dedicated group of local Wadebridge and Padstow musicians and has grown into an international event in the folk calendar! Such is its appeal, the festival has already sold the very first two ‘Early Bird’ Season Tickets to a couple from Arizona in the USA!
All the information about the festival is listed on www.cornwallfolkfestival.com. Check it out!
pictured: above, Flossie Malavialle; below, Jonah; bottom, Mark Holland
Broadstairs Folk Week
Friday 8th to Friday 15th August 2014
Imagine a beautiful seaside resort with seven sandy bays and traditional atmosphere – fill it to bursting with over 500 events – including 80 workshops in music, song and dance; a special children’s festival, music in pubs, Morris men and women dancing through the streets, the craft and music fair, the free Hobby Horse Club at the Bandstand, Clarence the Dragon and the inevitable Hooden Horses (the festival mascots) – and then you have Broadstairs Folk Week in August.
A fifteen minute walk from town, the festival campsite has showers, toilets, on-site catering, the wonderful Panic Circus, children’s events, Shooting Roots workshops, country dancing and late night entertainment for festival ticket holders.
The main concert venue is in the leafy environs of the town park, about 15 minutes’ walk from the campsite; it’s a 600-seater tent, complete with real ale beer tent and on-site café and loos.The Big Parade is at 5.30pm on Saturday 9th August – celebrating the first full day of the festival.
See the website and advert in this section for the headline acts which include Seth Lakeman, Dick Gaughan, Tim Edey, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Bella Hardy & the Midnight Watch and Moulettes.
You can buy a day, weekend or week’s festival ticket – with or without camping – or just one ticket for one event. Visit www.broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk for online booking and full information.
Chichester International Film Festival
The 23rd Chichester International Film Festival will screen over 120 films including strong East meets West previews, premieres and new releases in August.
Previews, premieres and new release films will make their way to the 18 day 23rd Chichester International Film Festival, the largest on the South Coast, from 14th to 31st August at Chichester Cinema at New Park, the city’s only independent cinema. The festival is launched by two open air films at nearby Priory Park; ‘Oh! What a Lovely War!’ on 8th August and ‘Some Like it Hot’ on 9th August starring Marilyn Monroe. ‘East Meets West’, a strong theme this year, will highlight UK premieres and previews of films from Romania, Estonia, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Albania, Croatia and Russia as well as those from France, Belgium, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany and the UK.
The Gala Opening and Closing films, in the premiere or preview category, will be announced in July, a gala dinner at Brasserie Blanc preceding the films. To whet your appetite, some highlights include the droll ‘Doll & Em’, starring Emily Mortimer and produced by local man Andrew Eaton who will introduce the film and ‘Leave to Remain’ with dazzling character actor Toby Jones (Hunger Games) starring in the tale of three teenagers, forced to leave their family, friends and homes behind, learning to live in yet another hostile country. That country is the UK. Agyness Deyn will star in the UK film, ‘Electricity’ in search for her missing brother alongside Lenora Crichlow (Being Human), Tom Georgeson (Notes on a Scandal) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers).
‘Shanghai Gypsy’, an epic on a small scale, tells the story of four generations of a gypsy family living in the far-flung Prekmurje region of Slovenia. The lead actress Asli Bayram will introduce this film, one of the many strong Eastern European entries also including ‘Class Enemy’, ‘Seduce Me’ and ‘Panic, the Priest’s Children’.
World War I is commemorated by many robust films including: ‘A Farewell to Arms’, based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel, with Gary Cooper; ‘Joyeux Noel’ (2005); ‘Regeneration’; ‘Nurse Edith Cavell’; ‘La Grande Illusion’ (1937), Renoir’s masterpiece starring Jean Gabin and widely recognised as one the greatest anti-war statements in cinema, and others. Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem will also feature at the magnificent Chichester Cathedral.
Don’t miss Michael Winterbottom’s Retrospective (‘Jude’, ‘Wonderland’, ‘A Mighty Heart’ and others); contemporary Italian filmmakers (Paolo Sorentino, ‘The Great Beauty’; Nanni Moretti, ‘Aprile’; Gianni Di Gregorio, ‘Mid-August Lunch’); Surprise Film (which received a standing ovation at Cannes), documentaries, visiting filmmakers, Treasures from the Archives, and Dr Caligari’s Cabinet with live organ music at St. John’s Chapel.
Dylan Thomas Centenary Tribute includes; ‘Under Milk Wood’, ‘Dylan on Dylan’ and music tribute by the late Stan Tracey with his ‘Under Milk Wood Suite’ played live by Bobby Wellins quartet and narration by Ben Tracey plus the documentary: ‘Stan Tracey, Godfather of British Jazz’. Tony Palmer will introduce his communist-ruled Czechoslovakia documentary, ‘Dvorak in Love’. Chichester Festival Theatre connections, ‘Guys & Dolls’, and Opera & Theatre including ‘Carmen’ and ‘Magic Flute’.
The full programme, available late July, is viewable online at www.chichestercinema.org on its smart new website. Reserved seating. Café with Fabulous food by Field & Fork. Box office: 01423 786650.
Midhurst becomes MADhurst in August – The Midhurst Music, Arts and Drama Festival
Saturday 16th to Monday 25th August
The festival is a nine-day celebration of local creative talent and was founded in 2010 to empower and unify the Midhurst community by recognizing the huge range of local talent in the area.
This year’s line-up includes a cabaret dinner with the Haslemere Players at the Spread Eagle Hotel; an evening of burlesque, bangers, beer and Dawn Gracie at the Royal Oak; West Sussex Gardeners’ Question Time; a concert of popular classics in the Parish Church; a tea dance at the Spread Eagle Hotel; an old-time jazz concert and picnic in the Cowdray Ruins and the Walled Garden at Cowdray and a swing band concert by Milestone Collective. In addition, there will be a fine art exhibition, musical happenings in the Town Square, workshops, lunch-time cafe concerts, a treasure hunt and children’s Fun Day featuring Whacky Races and a Junk Orchestra. The Grand Finale on August Bank Holiday concludes the event in style.
Visit www.madhurst.co.uk for more info.
Hailsham’s 8th Arts & Culture Festival
The festival runs from 10th to 21st September with Hailsham Festival Radio 87.7FM broadcasting live throughout.
The Art Trail, including an exhibition at Gallery North (festival founders), features more than 50 artists. Children’s events include Fashion Bee; Catwalk and interactive sports show, ‘Be Active’ inspired by the Tour of Britain’s visit to the town on Saturday 13th September. Look out for sewing, singing and art workshops; a Bake Off; art history talk; poetry readings and wine tasting.
Local drama group Hailsham Theatres present Terence Rattigan’s 1942 play, Flare Path.
Music events include the Beggars Opera; an Opening Concert featuring newly formed Herstmonceux Jazz & Rock Community Choir and a barn dance with So Last Century Stringband. Local arts venue and wine bar, Chapter12 hosts a jazz club; Battle of the Pianos event and Meya Rein, winner of last year’s Festival Showcase, presents her pick of musical talent. Folk is not A Rude Word presents a live show of folk and acoustic music in the town.
The beautifully restored 1920’s Hailsham Pavilion hosts the 3 Minute Wonders Film Competition awards on Friday and on Saturday 20th, the spectacular Bhangracise perform traditional, Bhangra and Bollywood dances.
This festival is definitely not one to miss. Programmes will be available at the beginning of August, for further info visit www.hailshamartsfestival.co.uk.
The Southdowns Folk Festival
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th September
‘Folk Festival is a triumph!’ Those were the headlines summing up the 2013 Southdowns Folk Festival which attracted well over 15,000 visitors over three great days of folk music, dance and quality food and drink. Reactions from both performers and visitors alike was overwhelmingly positive. All of Bognor Regis was buzzing with superb dancing, great sessions, ceilidhs and workshops. The evening concerts in the town’s Alexandra Theatre were near sell-outs, but the highlight has to be the sheer energy and quality of the entrants in the Sussex Young Folk Performers Competition, deservedly won by Aimee MacKenzie and her younger sister Freya and brother Ross.
Ticket holders will have FIVE great afternoon and evening concerts to attend, plus a free folk club, sessions, workshops, dancing and all the music; and in Hotham Park, folk music and dance, crafts, real ale, quality food, childrens’ entertainments & much more.
Various venues in the Town Centre will be hosting Festival events, and there is no more than a 10 minute walk between all the different venues. The 2014 Festival performers include Dave Swarbrick and Martin Carthy on Friday, Dervish on Saturday and Jez Lowe & the Bad Pennies and Oysterband on Sunday. Other performers include Flossie Malavialle, The Hut People, My Sweet Patootie from Canada and many others.
Visit www.southdownsfolkfest.co.uk for full details.
Chiddingly Festival – renowned festival is now in its 36th year
Saturday 20th September to Sunday 5th October
Visitors to this year’s festival will have the chance to see a fantastic line-up of acts, plus enjoy the annual Beer Festival and a variety of family events. Award-winning comedian Susan Calman will be performing at the festival as part of her first ever UK tour, there will be drama in the form of ‘Spitfire Solo’ and satire from Attila the Stockbroker, and the festival is delighted to welcome Lisa Knapp and her folk band. Her latest album ‘Hidden Seam’ was released last year to rave reviews. Lisa has established her own distinctive voice, absorbing a whole range of influences and inspirations.
For those who prefer a variety of music styles, jazz makes an appearance at the festival in the form of the Asaf Sirkis Quartet, whilst Curst Sons will be playing folk and blues, and classical music lovers can enjoy the Elysian Singers. Animation Nation, a two-day workshop run by Corin Hardy, will give budding young film-makers the opportunity to learn the art of animation.
Visitors will have the chance to sample some local ales at the annual beer festival with live music and a BBQ, while running alongside the beer festival there will be an art and craft exhibition. There are also children’s craft workshops, Morris dancers and a Mummers play and towards the festival’s end the Festival Fiesta will offer an evening of live music and dancing. In addition there will also be bell-ringing and a children’s event, plus the opportunity to visit local artists’ Open Houses.
Visit www.chiddinglyfestival.co.uk for all the information and dates of events.
The Isle of Wight Literary Festival
A truly sensational line up of literary talent
Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th October
In its third year the Isle of Wight Literary Festival has become firmly established in the event calendar. In previous years the festival has brought to the Island many household names such as Sheila Hancock, Penelope Keith, Sir Max Hastings, Kate Mosse and Louis de Bernières, to name but a few, and this year is no exception.
This year’s festival will be held at Northwood House, St Mary’s Church and the Trinity Theatre in Cowes. These venues allow the audience a unique opportunity to interact with the speakers. A number of exciting fringe events will also be held in and around the town.
I am a huge fan of SF literature, so imagine my delight on hearing that Brian Aldiss, a towering figure in the SF world, having won many awards for his novels and short stories, was attending the festival. Besides his voluminous fiction output he wrote ‘Billion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction’, a monumental work of research, which was updated in 1986. Several of Aldiss’s books have been adapted for the cinema; his story ‘Supertoys Last All Summer Long’ was adapted and released as the film AI in 2001 and he was awarded the OBE for services to literature in 2005.
The line-up for 2014 presents a host of star names including: Simon Callow, Alan Titchmarsh, Sheila Hancock, Neil Oliver, Tristram Hunt, Philip Hook, Ann Widdecombe and novelists Katie Fforde, Daisy Goodwin as well as John Harvey, the well-known crime writer, and many more.
Visit www.isleofwightliteraryfestival.org for further information.
Morris dancers, hooded horses, several giants, a craft fair & a host of splendid folk musicians. It could only be…
The Tenterden Folk Festival
Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th October
Featuring a wide variety of folk song, music, dance and crafts that has made this annual event so popular with locals and visitors alike for the last 22 years, ticketed events will include a barn dance, concerts, workshops and ‘meets’, or you can drop in to sing-a-rounds or music sessions. Tenterden is an ideal venue for the hundreds of Morris dancers, dance display teams, Hooden horses and giants from all over the country. The recreation ground will be the focus of the free outdoor events on Saturday and Sunday and there you will find a large marquee packed with craft stalls, and a free music showcase stage and dance stage. There will be more stalls in the High Street. Dancers and street entertainers will also be found in and around the town centre.
Main musical attractions are such folk luminaries as Ashley Hutchings and Ken Nicol, Jez Lowe and plenty of other performers well known or not so well known. On Sunday there will be a special showcase event featuring both The Yardarm Folk Orchestra and The Sussex Folk Orchestra and the guest list for the free Showcase Stage in the Marquee includes many bands and musicians such as Captain Patch & the Mermaid Mollies, Les Corsaires de la Vesdre (Belgium), the Hastings Shanty Singers and Worry Dolls.
Visit www.tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk for full information.
Torbay Festival of Poetry – a feast of poetry
Thursday 23rd to Monday 27th October
A long weekend of poetry in the heart of beautiful Torbay with the theme of this year’s Festival: ‘Poetry and Drama’. Torre Abbey seems the perfect place for The Golden Summer, which shows six poets searching for an English idyll in the hot summer of 1914. The word golden is scattered through their poetry, and the scene is brought to life by local actors and poets.
With a further twenty-five events, poetry fills this weekend. As well as listening to poetry readings, learn more about writing poetry at workshops, listen to poets talking about poetry, meet the poets and, above all, ask questions of the poets. This long weekend moves from the First World War to Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, celebrating his centenary, to the birth of the National Health Service, to a workshop on Stevie Smith. Four books of poetry are having an outing at this year’s Festival by new and established writers. The Festival encourages lesser-known, and unpublished poets as well as many established writers.
This year the festival welcomes Roger McGough, Maurice Riordan, Christopher Reid and other familiar names like Danielle Hope, Sue Boyle, Katherine Gallagher, William Oxley, Katrina Naomi, June Hall and others, some of whom are making return visits to Torbay.
A feature of the Festival is the Poetry Competition and the popular Open Mic lunchtime sessions which give everyone a chance to strut their stuff! The Festival’s aim of concentrating a packed schedule of events, mainly into one comfortable venue, has established an inspiring literary weekend by the sea with the added advantage of the beautiful English Riviera as a backdrop. Torbay is famous for sunshine… it also has a reputation for poetry.