Magna Carta

Welcome to the 44th Annual Festival!

11th - 27th September 2015

Rye Arts Festival takes place every September in and around the picturesque, historic town of Rye in East Sussex.

The Festival attracts a stimulating array of authors, performers and artists both high profile and emerging, national and international.

Outside the Festival period the work goes on – our Committee meets year-round to ensure that the best performers are booked, venues old and new are scrutinised and, a very important part of our work, outreach with the young people of Rye.  At a Committee Meeting last February we welcomed two students of the Rye Studio School who have been working with us and attending our Committee Meetings this academic year.  Look at our events page to see what we helped bring about at the School…

Keep up to date with comments on our plans for this year on the Rye Festival Blog.

Following the huge success of last year’s opera, Euphonia are returning with not one but two dates during the Festival.  The opera to be performed is Mozart’s Don Giovanni and will take place on two Saturdays, 12th and 26th September at The Milligan Theatre.  Our Classical Music Events Co-ordinator also thought it would be good to see double again – two grand pianos will be played, at times together, by some outstanding pianists over the course of the Festival. Guitars, clarinets, flutes, brass, strings and a capella voices will also feature in a very strong line up for 2015.

We are delighted to announce a collaboration with The Oldie magazine for the first time at our 2015 Festival.  There will be an ‘Oldie Literary Lunch’ at The George Hotel in Rye on Thursday 24th September.  Tickets will be £52 to include a 3-course lunch with wine, tea/coffee. Guest speakers are Oliver Kamm, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst and Harry Mount.  The George Hotel is offering special rates for those who wish to stay overnight.  Book early to avoid disappointment!

Staying with the Literary theme, Guy Fraser-Sampson will be talking on E F Benson, Lamb House and Rye;  Sir Robert Worcester on Magna Carta, which was signed by King John at Runnymede 800 years ago this summer; Professor Dave Goulson on ‘A Buzz in the Meadow’ and Sofka Zinovieff on ‘The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me’ about the scandalous and eccentric lives of the cultured elite and the enchanted house they lived in.

Amongst an eclectic mix of events for 2015, our Contemporary Music team has managed to book The Rails, The Mountain Firework Company, Altan and Sir Henry at Rawlinson End.  We are sure many seats will be sold as soon as they go on sale so don’t forget to take advantage of the two-week priority booking period if you are a Friend of the Festival.

The Theatrical Event organisers have come up trumps again… highlights include a one-man play about Wellington (well, 2015 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo after all), The Frog and The Bullrush, a puppet adventure for children and The Gospel of Us – the Passion play translated into the contemporary setting of Port Talbot.

Needless to say, a Rye Arts Festival wouldn’t be complete without the return of some favourites: historical walks around Rye, Winchelsea cellar tours, Romney Marsh Churches Tour and masses of FREE fringe events in the local hostelries.

Hopefully this information has whetted your appetite.  An amazing Festival with plenty to suit all tastes is being lined up.  Block out your calendar from 11th – 27th September and enjoy everything the Rye Arts Festival has to offer…

We would like to give special thanks to all the sponsors of the 2015 Festival, our advertisers and to those who assist us in so many ways.  For a full listing of our 2015 sponsors and supporters please click here.  For our 2015 advertisers please click here.

For reviews of events that took place during the 2014 Festival please click on the relevant genre: