Petworth Festival box office opens - how to get your tickets

The box office opens on May 13 for this year’s Petworth Festival with tickets available on www.petworthfestival.org.uk and on 01798 344576.

Stewart Collins Artistic Director

Running from Wednesday, July 13-Saturday, July 30, it will offer 45 events over 18 days with top names across the performance genres:

• Classical stars including cellist and former BBC Young Musician of the Year, Natalie Clein and international stars including trombonist Christian Lindberg and violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky

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• Top comedians Milton Jones and Henry Normal

• Rock and pop legends Beverley Craven and Judy Tzuke

• Boogie woogie maestro Ben Waters and a host of top classical names that includes Steven Osborne, Piers Lane and Iain Burnside.

It comes as we all emerge from the pandemic.

Festival director Stewart Collins said: ““I think what the pandemic has shown us is that we had a tremendous degree of momentum going into it over the previous few years and we have also had an incredible amount of support from our sponsors and our friends and our supporters just in general.

“And I think that’s what has given us the confidence to get back straight into the saddle.

“And we’re not doing that as if nothing has happened because something very big has happened but it is about trying to pick up on that momentum and trying to get back to where we were.”

Stewart believes there are two reasons why the festival has survived these horrible times.

“The first, and I can say this because it is not my responsibility, is that we have had good prudent management by our board which has ensured that when a rainy day came we were able to survive.

“I think that has been so important, that financial side mixed with the confidence that we have 80 to 90 core supporters, people who all put their money where their mouth is and have continued to donate and support us even when we have not been able to do what we normally do.

“Financially the absolute truth is that we have lost money over the last two years but we are still here. We need to recoup that money and that’s what my bosses have charged me to do over the next couple of years but I do think that ‘rainy day’ phrase is so relevant and because they were prudent we have survived that rainy day.

“I think anyone in my position would be stupid to think that the world has returned to the world that it was before all this. What were virtual certainties until 2019 about what we could do and what we couldn’t do have changed, I think

“And I don’t think we can expect that everything will revert back to a normal exactly as it was.

“There is still a lot of evidence that people are hesitant about going out and also Netflix has become a massive competitor to the live market. We’ve got used to sitting at home and being entertained and the responsibility on anyone who promotes live entertainment is to remind people just how exciting it is to get back out there and enjoy that live entertainment.”