Festival of Chichester gets ready for its ninth outing

Katie Bennett will be masterminding social media for the Festival of Chichester as it returns this summer for its ninth outing.

Katie Bennett - Photographer Andrew Matthews
Katie Bennett - Photographer Andrew Matthews

She is looking forward to the events lined up for the four weeks from June 12 to July 11.

An actress (Dorothy in Bognor’s panto a couple of years ago) and videographer, Katie has brought key skills to the festival committee since joining last autumn.

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“I can’t believe I’ve now been on the Festival of Chichester committee since October 2020. Time really has flown by!

“It was certainly an interesting point to join the team, to say the least. The arts world has taken a hit. Being a performer myself I am constantly seeing the devastating effects, but I am lucky to be part of a committee which now gives me a responsibility to help build performers back up and give audiences the confidence to delve back into the magic of live events. In a safe way, of course!

“Looking towards this year’s festival, I can honestly say I’ve experienced endless positivity from festival supporters and the committee themselves. There’s a great balance of opinions and I feel very lucky for my voice, as the youngest member of the committee, to be heard!

“I’ve learnt a lot so far and thoroughly enjoy being behind the scenes. I’ve been thrown into so many different tasks and discussions, mostly in the technical areas.”

Katie acted as videographer (editing and some filming) for The Festival’s Festive Jazz Café, usually performed in St John’s Chapel in Chichester. Last year it moved online due to the pandemic.

“By doing this, we were able to collaborate with regular festival favourites, local actors, musicians and poets to create a festive concert online for all to see.

“It’s been great to bring elements of my normal performance and videography work into the festival, as moving online has certainly been key. Having a strong virtual presence is something I think is here to stay, and we must embrace it to keep evolving and moving forward.

“So this year’s festival will be a mixture of live and online events. Those who don’t feel confident just yet can still enjoy performances from the comfort of their own sofa!

“This is certainly one of the challenges the festival faces too, as so many audiences only want to experience live events and it’s important to shout from the rooftops that virtual events can be wonderful, and the live events will be executed in the safest way.

“We are working to support the event organisers themselves offering advice and encouragement in any way we can.

“The festival’s goal is to be a support network for performers to showcase their talent and in a time of so much change and uncertainty, The Festival of Chichester is needed more than ever.”

Tickets for this year’s Festival of Chichester are available from the festival’s new-look website, partially funded by a generous grant from Chichester District Council.