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Sussex Summer Festivals: Part 3

These Sussex summer festivals may be over but we will be updating this post for 2023 so don’t forget back to check back in. 

With the first of the festivals we’ve featured kicking off this weekend, it’s time for the third and final in our series of festivals. Once more, we’ve got a diverse selection of festivals for you to choose from all corners of the county and if you don’t find what you’re looking for here check out our posts Festival Fever and Festival Fever Strikes Again.

Cuckfield Music Festival, 19-20 June, Cuckfield 

This festival is already underway but if you’re looking for something this weekend, you’ve still just about got time to nip along and enjoy some fantastic music. On Saturday, Dominic Ferris (the well known Steinway Artist, singer and producer) and Georgi Mottram will be giving two performances, with everything from classical to popular, and his trademark Me and My Piano performances. Since 2015 Dominic has performed and orchestrated eight top ten albums, recorded at the Abbey Road studios. Recent collaborations include Michael Ball and Alfie Boe and the symphonic albums of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, selling over three million copies worldwide. He also toured Elvis Presley: Live on Screen, including the 40th anniversary performance at Gracelands with Priscilla Presley. Last year he worked with Shirley Bassey on her new album I owe it all to You.

On Sunday afternoon you can enjoy Heroines to Harlots (And Everything In-between!) with Jane Haughton, Amanda Buckland, Rebecca Milford with Howard Beach (piano) which explores the different female characters in opera and musical theatre, from Mozart to Puccini to Sondheim! Jane Haughton had a busy career as a soloist and music teacher, and as a full time member of the Royal Opera House Chorus. After retraining as a vocal animateur, Jane has run workshops for many of the UK’s major opera companies, including the ROH, Glyndebourne, Opera North and Welsh National Opera.

You can book tickets here: 

Cuckfield Music Festival

Newhaven Festival, 10 July-26 September, Newhaven 

This 4th Newhaven Festival is a celebration of coming out from a year of change. It starts with Tom’s Midnight Garden on Saturday 10th July and Bar at the Bandstand on 31st July. Later in the summer they are also running alongside Artwave from 11-26 September. Tom’s Midnight Garden is a family-friendly ballet at the Bandstand on Denton Island. Outdoor performing ballet by the wonderful Frankly Speaking Productions. Bar at the Bandstand hosts some of our finest Sussex producers including gin, wine, sparkling and beer alongside cocktails, soft drinks, and lots of music! There’s also a food and an artisan marketplace curated by The Makers Directory. Later in the year, Artwave is the annual festival of artists and makers from Lewes, Seaford, Newhaven and the surrounding villages. 

You can find out more: Newhaven Festival

Newhaven Festival

Eastbourne Vintage Festival, 27-30 August, Eastbourne

As the name suggests, this free event at Gildredge Park is a celebration of all things vintage. There are all sorts of things going on with live music and dance from the 1920s to the 1970s, including Swing, Jazz, Motown, Soul, Disco, Rock and Roll and Boogie Woogie, as well as classic vehicles, antiques, a vintage marketplace and artisan food. There’s also a Victorian funfair and Kid’s Corner with Punch & Judy Shows, Victorian carousels, and a good old fashioned Helter Skelter and a free open-air cinema. Although it’s free, you do need to book tickets due to Covid constraints and you can find out more here:

Eastbourne Vintage Festival

Rye Festival of the Sea, 5 September, Rye 

Described as “born from the loved and long-lost Rye Maritime Festival and the Rye Raft Race”, this festival is all about raft racing, tug of war, and maritime fun! There’s also a market, a fish market, music and even a fun dog show, all with stunning Rye as a backdrop. Just bring some dry clothes.

You can find out more at: Rye Festival of the Sea

Rye Festival of the Sea


Rye Arts Festival, 10-26 September, Rye 

Rye is the place to be in September and this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Rye Arts Festival. The event has a diverse and interesting programme covering author talks, classical concerts, folk, blues, jazz events, great drama and a stimulating film programme. The full lineup will be released on the 1st August but the festival will include classical music events at the Rye Creative Centre as well as a musical pilgrimage – a concert by The Victoria Consort in St Mary’s Church in Rye followed by a 5km pilgrimage to St Thomas’ Church in Winchelsea for the second part of the concert. On that same day, Peter Stanford will be speaking about his acclaimed new book Pilgrimage: Journeys of Meaning.

You can find out more here: Rye Arts Festival – East Sussex’s finest multi-arts Festival

Rye Arts Festival

If you are missing the festival season already and enjoyed reading about our Sussex summer festivals, you may also enjoy:

Petworth Festival: A Celebration of Arts & Creativity

Steyning Food & Drink Festival

Discover Eastbourne Walking Festival (East Sussex)

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