We’ve been cooped up for so long, and now finally we can start planning, getting out and enjoying new things. Of course, that’s going to mean different things for different people as some of us will continue to be wary of too much human contact and otherwise will be keen to get out there and socialise to the full. With all that in mind, we’ve put together a series of posts about all the varied and wonderful Sussex festivals which are taking place throughout Sussex this summer. We’ll be running three posts and featuring a whole heap of different Sussex festivals (many of which are annual so if you missed them this year, look out for them again) so there really is something for everyone to enjoy. So, let’s get started:
Summer Solstice, 18th – 21st June, Pippingford, Nutley
If you’re nervous about crowds but love the zen of a festival experience, this one is for you. Summer Solstice is all about escaping to the wilds, re-energising, reconnecting with nature and taking advantage of the many workshops that are run.
Activities you can expect include: craft and art classes; forest walks; sustainable living and future foods workshops; a wellbeing spa; yoga; sound bathing; journaling; meditation; jewellery making; singing; mosaics; and more. There is also a live stage where you can enjoy an eclectic mixture of upbeat and celebratory acts. It’s right on the edge of Ashdown Forest and they keep their numbers deliberately low which is great if you’d rather avoid crowds. You can also hire luxury bell tents with a range of bronze, silver, and gold star ratings.
You can find the full list of activities and you can book here: https://www.wearenotafestival.co.uk/summer-solstice
Festival of Chichester, 12th June – 11th July, Chichester
This month-long festival is a celebration of the arts and includes over 100 events with everything from classical music, rock, blues, jazz, folk, pop, cinema, spoken word, community concerts and shows, arts & crafts, dance, theatre, church, food & drink, walks and tours, and sport.
Particular events to look out for include: The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company’s Little Lily Harley – a bitter sweet play about Charlie Chaplin’s childhood in Lambeth on 13th June; Frida Kahlo – A life in art on 17th June; award-winning Chichester wine writer Liz Sagues explaining the county’s role in the fascinating story of modern English wine on 19th June; and The Latin Bridge described as a summer’s afternoon with a top Cuban band playing sizzling classic Bossa Nova, jazz standards, Boleros and Cuban Son on 4th July. That said, do take a look at the calendar of events, because there is so much going on and there’s bound to be something you’re interested in.
All the information you need is here: https://festivalofchichester.co.uk/
Sussex Gin Fest, 10th July, Borde Hill, Haywards Heath
Self-described as the UK’s biggest gin festival, unsurprisingly this festival majors on … gin. Local, national, and international. Happy days. Set within the parkland grounds of the Borde Hill Garden, there will be 15 local gin producers and 17 more from further afield covering every kind of gin from vegan and ethically minded to experimental and globally influenced. There will also be wine, locally produced beer, cocktails and locally produced artisan food. To top it all off, there will be live music and entertainment including jazz, blues, pop and soul.
Tickets are selling out fast and you can find out more or book here: https://www.sussexginfest.com/
Wiston Faraway Festival, 16th – 17th July, near Steyning
An all-new and exciting Sussex festival born out of the Covid restrictions and set in the stunning 6,000 acres of the Wiston Estate with its vineyards and impressive 16th century country house right on the edge of the South Downs. The festival is described as a boutique micro-festival!
On the 16th July there is an open-air screening of The Great Gatsby along with a jazz band with Pimm’s, Prosecco, and local food vendors. Fancy dress is encouraged! On the second day, there will be live music and comedy throughout the day and into the night which includes a 10 piece brass band (Spanky’s Love Ensemble), an electric light-up string duo (Halo Strings) transforming Ibiza club anthems, and more. There will also be comedy acts including Dinesh Nathan (“one to watch” – Fringe Review), Sean McLoughlin (best comedian you haven’t heard of – Time Out – Ricky Gervais support act), and Stephen Grant (Komedia headliner).
Camping is available and there are three ticket options available which range from £15 to £35 (not including camping). You can book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wiston-faraway-festival-tickets-154081629301
Boundary Brighton, Stanmer Park, Brighton 25th September 2021
Brighton’s biggest electronic music festival is back and tickets are already selling out fast. The final lineup is yet to be confirmed but we’ve been told that there will be three stages and festival-goers can expect the best of electronic dance music artists with some familiar names and some of the hottest talent to emerge over the last year. The stage areas will be dedicated to a Super Charged Arena and bass heavy, the Big Top House Tent will have House music and the Outdoor D&B Stage will have a huge D&B lineup. There’s also a new VIP area and if you’ve missed your annual dose of full-on live music festival fever, this one is for you!
You can buy your tickets here but you need to hurry: https://boundarybrighton.com/boundary-2021-tickets/
Finally, we were hoping to bring you details of the Hastings Steampunk Flight of the Jabberwocky Festival. Sadly, due to Covid, this year’s event has had to be postponed but they will be back next year! It sounds amazing and we’ll keep you posted about next year’s event.
So, that’s the first five of our Sussex festivals. Diverse and eclectic with lots included to really look forward to, especially if this turns out to be another summer of home, not away. If you haven’t found what you like yet, in our next post in this series, we’ll be sharing a few more!
Although these Sussex festivals may now be over, there are plenty more events in the area, and you may also be interested in: