The opening day of the Hurst Festival is known as Community Day and features just about everything being available at no cost. Just part of the fun is the Treasured Transport Parade through the village and ending on the Recreation Ground on South Avenue. Everybody can be part of this, enjoying the spectacle! Alongside this, many art exhibitions will open their doors including Hurst Open Studios (see more on page 10), Herbie Flowers Photography and The Dene Art in Holy Trinity Church. Plus, also on this day, there is the free Gig Inn the Garden at The New Inn from 4pm.
The Festival is a registered charity and is run by a committee of 12 hard-working volunteers and seven trustees. “We also have an army of residents who willingly work as stewards for the Festival,” Margaret goes on to say. “These folk do a great job in signing up for when they are available and will do various tasks including running the bar, the box office and managing the many venues.”
Full article available on pages 16/17.
September is a month when the village becomes a hub of all things artistic and creative! Yes, the Hurst Festival kicks off on 12th September and there is loads to see and do.
Hurst Festival was started 11 years ago when a small group of locals, including Michel Olszewski, Kevin & Margeret Carey, Bob Sampson, Shaughan Parish and Steve Whitehead, got together to trial a one-day event in the Village Centre. Five hundred people attended that first test and they launched straight into an annual two week festival the very next year.
“We always wanted the Festival to become something which was renowned locally and had its own slot in the village calendar. So we started as we wanted to go on, with a full two week programme of events and with the starting weekend being the second week in September,” Margaret Carey explained.
At its heart the Festival is all about making the arts, of all kinds, accessible to the whole village community. The committee is always seeking to keep costs as low as possible for all events during the 16 days and is very grateful to its sponsors for their financial commitment to enable this. For instance, the Hurstpierpoint Community Charity has given £5,000 every year and the Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common Parish Council has also significantly contributed annually as part of its encouragement for the Festival, along with many other businesses and individuals.