Packed line-up for Hailsham’s annual Arts Festival

A FANTASTIC festival of art, literature, music, dance, drama and street entertainment takes place next month.

The Hailsham Arts Festival and Art Trail, a highlight of the town’s events calendar, attracts a cross-section of top artists and performers from the south east and further afield, and offers a wide variety of exhibits and performances to suit all tastes.

The 11-day series of events take place at various locations in and around Hailsham from Friday, September 9, to Monday, September 19, and is being organised for the fifth consecutive year by Art Gallery North based in Hailsham High Street.

Confirmed performers for this year’s festival include popular rhythmic folk and world music group Contraband, close harmony vocal band Titus, local three-piece fifties rockabilly band The Memphis Flyers, and traditional Greek dancing group the Lyra Dancers.

The open studio art trail programme will showcase the work of artists such as Andrew Forrest, Chris Liddiard, Jean-Paul Tibbles and dynamic equestrian paintings by local artist Dennis Narin.

Emerging artistic talent will be encouraged with a host of competitions and opportunities to get involved.

Mayor of Hailsham, councillor Jeff Bentley-Astor, will attend the official opening at St Mary’s Parish Church at midday on Saturday, September 10, alongside other guests of honour including the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Kathy Gore.

Looking forward to this year’s events, Councillor Bentley-Astor said, “I am thrilled to be unveiling such a diverse programme of events and activities. The festival is an excellent celebration for all concerned but also gives residents, particularly those who haven’t been involved in arts before, a chance to go along a workshop, have a taste of what’s on offer and, hopefully, find a new hobby or interest in the process!”

“I thank the voluntary groups and individuals for their generous support which has been instrumental in providing skills and securing venues.”

Further details from Gallery North on 846938. A listing of events can also be found on their website (www.artgallerynorth.co.uk) or at the town council’s community events calendar online at www.hailsham-tc.gov.uk.