The Festival of Chichester is promising a clean sweep of Chichester talents as it opens the programme for its four-week summer arts and community extravaganza.
Festival chairman Phil Hewitt said: “We are delighted with the programme which has come together, a fantastic celebration of this beautiful city we are so proud to live and work in.”
“We really have got hundreds of events running from June 13 to July 12, catering for the widest possible range of tastes, and the great thing is that once again our festival is so much about the city of Chichester.
“We have got some big names coming in, but really the biggest name of all as far as we are concerned is Chichester itself. All the leading arts and community groups are involved in what is going to be a brilliant month. This will be our third Festival of Chichester and definitely our best yet.”
Festival co-ordinator Barry Smith said: “We have a fantastic line-up of exciting events on offer. I’m particularly delighted with the star quality of this year’s festival. Just reeling off some of the names gives a picture of the delights in store.
“We’re proud to feature international violinist Jack Liebeck with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, folk singer and ace guitarist Martin Simpson, one of the country’s most distinguished poets Jo Shapcott, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and novelist William Nicholson (Shadowlands, Gladiator), the MOBO award-winning jazz pianist, Chichester’s own Zoe Rahman and flying in from Russia, the brilliant pianist Victor Ryabchikov.
“Alongside the stars we have the cream of local talent. There will be inspirational art exhibitions at the Pallant and Oxmarket galleries and in studios all over the city. We have the Cathedral Choir with the Hanover Band, the Chichester Singers, rock gigs with the music of George Harrison and Joni Mitchell, Pergola Open Air Theatre – far too many events to mention. It’s shaping up to be a great festival with more than 200 events in a month-long celebration of the arts throughout the city and beyond.”
Phil added: “We have got a small but dedicated committee which meets monthly to put the festival together, and it has been a pleasure to work with them. These are people who get things done, and the festival is the perfect expression of all the good will out there.
“We have been incredibly lucky to work very closely with Chichester City Council right from the very start, and once again they have made a very generous contribution to the cost of our publicity. I am delighted that this year we have also received a substantial contribution from Chichester District Council for which we are extremely grateful.
“We also offer huge thanks to the Chichester Observer. Without the Observer, this festival simply could not happen. We cannot thank them enough. It’s a very enlightened newspaper that plays such a positive role in its community.”
BOOK YOUR TICKETS:
Online: www.chichestertickets.co.uk. Box office: 01243 813595. In person: Cloisters Shop, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester, PO19 1PX (open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm).
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