Hurst Festival 2016 - highlights

 Hurst Festival 2016

Hurst Festival returns for its twelfth year on 17th September with more than 85 events.

Now firmly established on the Mid Sussex festival calendar Hurst Festival is back for its twelfth year in September 2016. This year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever with over 85 events across multiple venues in the village. Categories this year include popular and classical music, arts and crafts, comedy, literature, film, theatre, kids’ workshops and country pursuits.

Margaret Carey, Festival Chairperson, comments: “This year’s Festival Committee has been chaired by a trio who have shared the tasks and greatly enjoyed the huge number of suggestions from people in the community.”The festival runs for two weeks from Saturday 17th September to Saturday 1st October and we have a whole host of highlights:

Super Saturday.
The Festival opens with a village-wide party called Super Saturday in a nod to this year’s Olympics. Our Super Saturday will start Rio-style with Brighton’s Barulho Samba band leading a parade up the High St to a range of party activities such as Human Table Football and Puppet Shows on the Recreation Ground. Back by popular demand is our Treasured Transport parade with all manner of vintage vehicles on show.

Super Saturday culminates in a 1980s night at the Village Centre with top-notch event DJ Mark Fellowes. As is traditional, many of our Super Saturday events are free to encourage everyone in the community to come along.

Music
One of this year’s musical highlights will be renowned composer and Hurstpierpoint resident Fraser Trainer as part of Between The Notes, a genre defying collaboration with acclaimed cellist Matthew Barley and others. Their concert will feature extraordinary improvisations as well as solo pieces from the band in the Hurstpierpoint Players Theatre.

This year we welcome back the ever-popular Ensemble Reza as an Octet to Holy Trinity Church and the barefoot guitar maestro himself Richard Durrant in the beautiful setting of Sayers Common Church.

Other musical highlights include a proper Irish jig in the magical setting of the Albourne Estate Barn, Ben Socrates and Henry Melbourne piano and clarinet duo at Danny House and Mike Hatchard, jazz raconteur at one of our four intimate soiree concerts.

Concluding the Festival in rousing fashion are two very different musical experiences; Holy Trinity Church welcomes All Souls Orchestra and Choir who will combine the spirit of ‘Songs of Praise’ with the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ to perform a concert where the whole audience can join in with their favourite hymns and worship songs.

At the Village Centre the final night party is being kicked off by local singing sensation Kieran Murray who recently played with Jamiroquai. The Reform Club, fronted by ex Liberal Democrat Minister Norman Baker, take the headline spot for a session of good old British Rock n Roll.

Kids
The children of Hurstpierpoint have plenty to look forward to with a show by one of the UK’s best magicians, Max Somerset. Max is known to many as the star of his own hit Sky One show ‘Max Magic’.

Budding performers can also take part in our ‘Create Space to Dance’ and ‘Record a Track’ workshops, which take place at St Lawrence Primary School.

Battle of the Somme Centenary
2016 sees the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme and several events mark the occasion. Holy Trinity Church will be transformed by ‘Reflections’, a fee art exhibition featuring glass art by Elizabeth Lamont, memorial war poetry by award-winning writer Vanessa Gebbie, sculpture by Helen-Mary Skelton and artwork by residents at The Dene as well as photography from our very own Rev Jane Willis.

Hurst Library will be screening the UNESCO listed fil The Battle of the Somme. Shot and screened in 1916, it was the fist feature length documentary about war and in the year of its release it was seen by around 20 million people, almost half the population of Britain at the time.

Hurstpierpoint Open Studios
A core part of our programme is without doubt Hurstpierpoint Open Studios, which takes place over the fist two weekends of the festival. This year sees 18 artists open their studios to the community showcasing the wonderful artistic talent we have in our village, from jewellery making, sculpture and textile craft to photography, painting and stained glass art.

Hurstpierpoint College partnership
Hurst Festival is made stronger every year with the involvement of Hurst College in a variety of events showcasing the talent of pupils and teachers alike. This year we are holding seven events ranging from a theatre production of Stuart Henson’s The Silver Sword to a Life Drawing master class and Music Scholars’ concert.

And that’s not all…
In addition to the highlights above, the Hurst Festival line up also features a variety of walks, talks and tours featuring local authors, historians and nature lovers. A fist for the festival this year is a sheepdog display in the glorious setting of Danny Park.

Tickets for Hurst Festival are on sale now. A full programme of events is available at the website www.hurstfestival.org where you can also  purchase tickets.