Gloriously sunny start to 2023 Festival of Chichester

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A glorious summer’s afternoon ensured the 2023 Festival of Chichester got off to the perfect start on Saturday.

The Festival’s traditional launch day event comprised two and a half hours of free entertainment on the Cathedral Green – the ideal curtain-raiser for the four weeks of events which now follow, spanning theatre to music, talks and walks to art and exhibitions.

The Mayor of Chichester, Craig Gershater, officially declared the Festival open; Festival president and best-selling novelist Kate Mosse then spoke of the important role the festival – and the arts – play in our community.

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The Bernardi Music Group then took to the outdoor stage ahead of their concert in Chichester Cathedral that evening. The Sleepy Lagoon Orchestra, just as they did last year, then wowed the crowds with two sets of sublime swing and dance music, expertly played and just right for the occasion.

Chichester Festival Youth Theatre added massively to the fun and colourChichester Festival Youth Theatre added massively to the fun and colour
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre added massively to the fun and colour

Members of the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre then reminded us just why last Christmas’ production of The Wind In The Willows was such a special production, and then youngsters from The Rosemary Bell Academy of Dance showed huge skill and grace, enchanting the crowds on the Cathedral Green with two sets of dance, offering gorgeous colour, poise and elegance – despite sweltering heat.

The afternoon was rounded off in style with an excerpt from CYCLONE LIVE! from Audible Visions Drama which will play in the Old Dojo, New Park Centre, Chichester on Saturday, July 8 at 6.30pm.

It all set the scene for more than 90 brilliant events lined up across all the arts. The festival officially runs until July 9 but even after that there are a few extra bonuses.

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To get the full picture, browse the festival website and discover the fantastic choice on offer. The majority of event tickets are available online through www.thenovium.org/boxoffice and in person from The Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH, just a stone’s throw north of the Cathedral. Email: [email protected]; phone: 01243 816525. For phone and in-person bookings the box office is open Tuesday to Friday 10am-4.30pm & Saturday 10am-5pm. Also on Sundays 10am-4pm from June 18 onwards.