Hurst Festival 2017
by Charlotte Snook
Hurst Festival was first thought of over 14 years ago by a group of happy friends over supper. Thank goodness for that dinner party!
When the Festival launched in Hurstpierpoint 14 years ago, one of its key aims was to encourage the community to try something new in the field of art, culture and entertainment, and for 2017 this aim is being revisited. The Festival organisers not only want to reach out to a new audience in an ever-expanding village, but are also asking the existing audience to step out of their comfort zone and book tickets for something they’d never normally try.
Colin Matthews, Festival Chairperson explains, “Hurst Festival this year has over 80 events over two weeks and really does have something for everyone. However we notice that the same people tend to turn up to the same events year on year. This year we’re urging people to see for themselves the incredible diversity and quality we have on offer. Book tickets to something you’ve never heard of and I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised!”
The festival runs for two weeks from Saturday 16th September to Sunday 1st October including a whole host of free highlights for people to choose from.
This year sees the biggest ever launch for the Hurst Festival with the opening party on Sunday 17th September. The High Street will be closed for a village wide street party with lots of free things to do for the whole family.
Super Sunday starts at 12.30pm with a treasured transport parade of quirky and vintage vehicles up the High Street. The Village Green will host a music marquee, face painters and other entertainers. South Avenue Recreation Ground will host a reptile tent as well as some interesting sports such as fly-fishing and combat archery.
In between there will be all manner of weird and wonderful street entertainers, not to mention lots to buy, eat and drink as the High Street traders join in with the party.
2017 also sees Hurst Festival celebrate what for many is the view of home – Wolstonbury Hill. Several events will mark our celebration of Wolstonbury; an art exhibition with displays from local artists in Holy Trinity Church will run for the duration of the Festival. There will be an evening of poetry celebrating the Hill and its place in the South Downs. Two dance shows will be performed on the hill as well as the dance troupe hosting two dance workshops for adults and kids alike to explore movement in response to nature.
Local Composer Fraser Trainer will be working on a Festival first this year. Called Raise Your Voice, the project will create a concert from scratch with the children of St Lawrence C of E Primary School. The children will write the lyrics and music then perform their pieces to parents and festival-goers alike.
He is also looking to create Hurstpierpoint’s first ever-scratch band. If you’ve ever wanted to be part of a band, now is your chance. Fraser is looking for people old and young, musical or not to come together as a village band and perform.
Tickets for Hurst Festival go on sale on 24th July. A full programme of events is available at www.hurstfestival.org where you can also purchase tickets.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @hurstfestival for the latest updates.