Celebrate the arts at the first Horsham Festival

Magog Ladies Morris will be dancing in the Carfax on July 16
Magog Ladies Morris will be dancing in the Carfax on July 16
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Horsham residents can expect excitement next week thanks to the first Horsham Festival, which runs from Saturday, July 9, to Sunday, July 17.

This celebration of the arts will feature a diverse range of events and performances by artists from across West Sussex.

There will be a funfair at Sparks in the Park on Sunday, July 10

There will be a funfair at Sparks in the Park on Sunday, July 10

Well-known events, groups and venues make up the core of the festival.

The renowned Shipley Arts Festival, Horsham Artists Open Studios (see page 66), Sparks in the Park and the Horsham Garden Music Festival are all part of the fun.

Horsham Music Circle, Horsham Folk Club and Horsham Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society are also planning events along with many other groups and individuals (see page 63).

In fact, there are more than 30 arts and events groups involved with the festival, a number of which are taking an active part as committee members.

Horsham Festival has been set up as a charitable organisation. One of its main goals is to foster local youth development in the arts, creating a powerful relationship between those that aspire to perform or create and those that already do.

Festival chairman Paul Bellringer said: “Bringing together so many parts of Horsham’s artistic community is a bold step and one that has tremendous potential.”

Organisers hope the event will promote Horsham and the district as a cultural centre for the arts, encouraging participation across all ages, abilities, communities and ethnicities.

To find out more see the full programme follow the festival at www.facebook.com/horshamfestival or visit www.horshamfestival.co.uk.

The programme is on the festival website and there are printed copies available at Swan Walk, Horsham Museum, The Capitol and Crates Local Produce in the Carfax.

Some festival highlights

Okee Dokee, Saturday, July 9, 10am, Carfax Amphitheatre. This band offers an antidote to those musicians who take things a little too seriously. Visit www.horshamfolkclub.co.uk.

Sparks in the Park, Sunday, July 10, 12pm-5pm. Organised by Horsham District Council, this year’s programme includes the community stage, a community safety display, the Have a Go Sports Zone, Benson’s Funfair, a food court and Horsham Rotary’s Charity Village. Kapow, a professional wrestling promotion, boasts some colourful characters, while Ariel Company Theatre offers a free performance.

Sun Oak Clog and Chameleon Belly Dancers, Monday, July 11, 8pm, Market Square, Horsham Town Centre.

Dinosaurs at the Museum, Monday to Saturday, July 11-16. Horsham Museum hosts an exhibition looking at the District’s links to dinosaurs. Heritage and Museum manager Jeremy Knight will give talks on dinosaurs on July 9, 11am-12pm, and July 16, 2.30pm-3.30pm.

Juliet West, Tuesday, July 12, 1.30pm-3pm, Horsham Library. Horsham Writers Circle presents Billingshurst author Juliet West. Before The Fall, Juliet’s debut novel, is inspired by a true story of love and betrayal in the First World War.

George & Dragon Jazz, Tuesday, July 12, 7.30pm. The staff at The George and Dragon in Dragon’s Green are hosting a special evening of great jazz and great food. The festival menu is available for one night only with jazz interludes by musician Lee Gold. Visit www.thegeorgeanddragon.co.

A Concert of Friends, Thursday, July 14, 7.30pm, Durrance Manor, Shipley. Including Filip Fenrych (leader of Verbier Festival Orchestra), pianist Maria Marchant, violinist Andrew Bernardi and tenor Dr Charles Wood. Canapes and wine. Tickets £35/40 on 01403 750220.

Granny’s Attic, Friday, July 15, 8pm, Collyer’s College, Hurst Road. BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award nominees Granny’s Attic perform, as well as Collyer’s students. Tickets £10 (students £5).

Horsham Riverside Walk, Saturday, July 16, 11am. The Horsham Town Community Partnership will host its annual 13-mile Riverside Walk. A photo competition takes place on the day. Find out more at horshamtowncommunitypartnership.btck.co.uk.

Folk in the Carfax, Saturday, July 16, 10am. Acts include Granny’s Attic, Flossie Malavialle, Dr Bluegrass, The Full Shanty and Sunjay. Between acts will be performances by Broadwood Morris and Magog Ladies Morris.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Saturday, July 16, 6pm, Human Nature Garden, Horsham Park. Enter a magical world of fairies, lovers and mischief with Horsham Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society.

Sunjay, Sunday, July 17, 8pm, Normandy Centre, Denne Road. Nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and the British Blues Awards, this superb guitarist is set to perform at Horsham Folk Club. Tickets £8 on 01403 268611.

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