Festival of Chichester finale 2023

Completion of a month-long programme of nearly a hundred events

For much of June and early July 2023, the Festival of Chichester has once again brought nearly 100 events to the city, from classical concerts to theatre to a whole range of talks, poetry and guided walks.

During a month of mainly glorious sunshine, even the one evening of semi-constant rain wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of audience or cast at the laugh-out-loud comedy, Habeas Corpus in the open-air ‘Pergola Theatre’ aka the landscaped gardens at West Dean.

This year’s festival events were impressive from the very start, kicking off with a remarkable electronic viola piece echoing Holst’s Planets played by the Bernardi Music Group on the very first night. Evenings with authors including Isabella Tree (at the library) and our Festival President, Kate Mosse (at the Novium), were both sell-outs.

July 1st saw a particular crescendo of festive events in a super Saturday in which there were no fewer than four superb concerts the same evening – and that following a day that had already seen the Chichester Gala and a Cheese and Chilli Festival in the city’s major parks. One of those concerts, ‘Songs for Sanctuary’, included a memorable performance of Fauré’s Requiem that enchanted an audience that had packed out the cathedral in an event raising awareness for Ukrainian refugees.

And of course there was so much more. And it’s not (quite!) finished yet – though the festival officially ends on July 9th there are also a few late-comers this year, including a chance to hear Rob Johnson on acoustic guitar, meet best-selling writer Cara Hunter, join a literary quiz at Fishbourne, hear Tom Bullard singing Schumann in Bognor and a special opportunity to watch a performance of Miss Popplewell’s Garden in a very pretty garden setting of its own out at Halnaker.

Then we’ll be back again next year for another enjoyable month from June 15th to July 14th 2024. Drop us a line if you’d like to help us organise or if you’re keen to perform.

Many thanks to all our 2023 sponsors, which include Kate Mosse, Edward Cooke Family Law, Kenton Budd Estate Agents, Brighton Festival, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Novium, ROSA magazine and the Millstream Hotel.

Image: Star of Straight Street, image credit Charles Allison