New ‘Fringe’ will enhance town’s Festival

Eastbourne Festival fashion
Eastbourne Festival fashion

THIS year’s Eastbourne Festival promises to be a fantastic event with more to see and enjoy than ever before.

The festival, from April 23–May 15, includes the launch of the fourth strand of the Eastbourne Festival - Eastbourne Festival Fringe, featuring some excellent cutting edge events. 

These include the Green Fayre in collaboration with Brighton University and Sussex Downs College, a significant outdoor event including ‘green’ focused workshops, stalls and caterers, plus music and a bar.

Up-and-coming students from the Art and Design Foundation Diploma course at Sussex Downs College will be showing their cutting edge, recycled costumes during a catwalk show.

It will also include a fantastic multimedia event with a Tokyo-based manga-graffiti live performance artist, as well as award-winning live comedy performance art, avant garde electronics, free jazz, experimental film and other non-mainstream art forms.

The festival will also feature some ever-popular Burlesque entertainment.

Mainstream Eastbourne Festival events include a Feast of Fiddles at Eastbourne College.

At the Underground Theatre: John Renbourn and Robin Williamson, Songs of Edith Piaf with Eve Loiseau, Fiona Barrow, violin and Eddy Jay, accordion.

Another coup for Eastbourne will be a concert by John Williams, guitar, and Richard Harvey, woodwind - their first in the town.

There is the exciting series of Festival Concerts at Eastbourne Parish Church including Eastbourne’s new early music chamber choir - Lux Aeterna; Iain Gibbs, violin; and Janine Willard, mezzo-soprano with John Wardle, piano and organ.

Others include music by well-known duo soprano Shirlene Billinness with Susan Winge-Bicknell, while contralto. Harpist Fiona Hosford will also be performing. There will be a chance to hear Celtic Music with Anita and Nick Haigh and a programme by Practicall Musicke including early music for voice, recorder, violins, viols, organ and harpsichord.

There will be guided tours of Eastbourne’s historic Parish Church and an exhibition by Eastbourne Photographic Society. Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra and Eastbourne College Choral Society will be giving their annual concert at St Saviour’s Church.

Eastbourne Theatres are participating with an irresistible dose of pathos and humour starring Coronation Street’s Wendi Peters, a fully choreographed spectacular featuring 22 professionally trained Kung Fu Masters and an Agatha Christie drama.

There is Story Telling at the Lamb and once again the ever-popular showgirl and burlesque workshops plus an evening of burlesque and cancan performance featuring The Pretty Little Horse Breakers, with special guest performers from London and Gypsy Swing from Lackadaisy.

For the visual arts, the East Sussex Open Exhibition will be taking place at Towner and local artists and makers will open their houses and studios to showcase a variety of work.

There are also creative workshops for families at Towner, Leaf Hall, St Bede’s School, Kings Church, Catalyst Arts and other venues around the town.

Eastbourne schools will be presenting their annual Youth Arts section of the Festival including Cavendish School’s art installation and family workshops in the Art Department at St Bede’s, with a choice of jewellery-making, pottery and painting.

At Archery Youth Centre there will be an audio and visual exploration into the history of the Archery, including an exhibition of young people’s artwork.

These are just some of the exciting things planned for this year’s Eastbourne Festival and there are plenty more in the pipeline. To find out more visit and associated Fringe website: