Chichester Observer

Festival of Chichester set to bring back summer fun

2021 Festival will be ‘safe, fun and respectful’, organisers pledge

- Phil Hewitt

The Festival of Chichester roars back to life this summer with a glorious line-up of talents to mark our emergence from the pandemic.

Dame Penelope Keith, Kate Mosse and Loyd Grossman, the Castalian Quartet, pianist Young-choon Park, guitarists Linda Kelsall-barnett and Rob Johnson, the Charlotte Glasson Jazz Trio, the Rude Mechanical Theatre Company, a virtual Summer Feel Good Show from CAOS, poet Vicki Feaver and Chichester Art Society will all be taking part.

The 2021 festival will run from Saturday, June 12 to Sunday, July 11.

Festival chairman Phil Hewitt said: “Our festival committee and our wonderful participan­ts have worked tirelessly to put together a programme which will be huge fun but safe – and also respectful of the horrible time we have all been through. We hope you will enjoy a great festival and make the most of a brilliant summer line-up, live and online.”

Tickets go on sale on Friday.

A fantastic range of events will go sale on Friday as the Festival of Chichester opens its box office for business.

Dame Penelope Keith, Kate Mosse and Loyd Grossman, the Castalian Quartet, pianist Young-choon Park, guitarists Linda Kelsall-barnett and

Rob Johnson, the Charlotte Glasson Jazz Trio, the

Rude Mechanical Theatre Company, a virtual Summer Feel Good Show from CAOS, poet Vicki Feaver and Chichester Art Society will all be taking part.

The 2021 festival will run from Saturday, June 12 to Sunday, July 11.

Festival chairman Phil Hewitt said: “We are delighted to be able to bring you such an outstandin­g programme after such a difficult year.

“We all want to have some fun as we try to emerge from these horrible times, but equally we are making sure that our festival for 2021 is respectful, sensible, safe and wholly appropriat­e to the times we have been through.

“Inevitably as we are going to span that crucial June 21 date when it is possible that all restrictio­ns might be lifted, our festival this year will be a mix of live and online.

“We want to make our festival-goers as comfortabl­e as we possibly can with the events that we will have on offer. We appreciate some people will be keen to get out while others, completely understand­ably, might be a little more wary. Our point is that with our mix of live and online we are going to be making everyone welcome somehow!”

In April the Festival of Chichester received a perfectly timed boost in the shape of a £2,500 discretion­ary grant from Chichester City Council to help with event publicity. Earlier this year, Chichester District Council awarded the Festival a grant of £1,600 towards the cost of a new website and a new vastly-improved event registrati­on system.

“We are hugely grateful to our local authoritie­s for embracing exactly what we are trying to do with this festival and all that we want it to be this year.

“But as chairman, I would like also to say a massive thank you to our wonderful Festival committee. We have carried on meeting by Zoom throughout the pandemic – and they have been brilliant in their enthusiasm and in their determinat­ion.

“Barry Smith and Anne Scicluna and I are the last three of the Festival’s founders. Barry is absolutely indefatiga­ble in his role as Festival co-ordinator, and Anne brings fantastic common sense and huge knowledge of Chichester.

“Simon O’hea has mastermind­ed our digital and web revolution. His work for the Festival has been superb. Just take a look at our website to see.

“Nick Sutherland as our treasurer has navigated us through all the financial challenges of the past year. We know we are in good hands with Nick. Katie Bennett brings huge energy and commitment to our social media presence. Dan Inman, Canon Chancellor at Chichester Cathedral, ensures our warm friendship with the Cathedral flourishes; and our newest recruit

Carol Webb has slipped wonderfull­y well into our mix.

“I should also stress the Chichester Observer remains a fantastic ally for the Festival. I have said it repeatedly, but I am convinced that there is not another paper in the country that so generously embraces its community festival.”

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