Summer Arts Festival and Autumn Literary Week staged at venues in and around the beautiful market town of Petworth.
Founded in 1979, the now three week festival annually programmes artists and performers from the very top drawer right across the performing genres. Having started as a celebration of classical music, the festival continues to present some of the leading names seen on the biggest stages around the world, with: MILOŠ, Steven Isserlis, Mitsuko Uchida and Sheku Kanneh-Mason all being recent visitors. In the last few years the range of the festival has spread significantly and the impressive roll of performers now includes top names from the world of comedy – Paul Merton, Julian Clary and Gyles Brandreth; jazz and blues – Claire Martin, Clare Teal, Joe Stilgoe and Georgie Fame; and world music with artists from around the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and beyond.
The free festival and community outreach programmes have also become a major focus as has the promotion of young up-and-coming performers, with 2021 seeing the festival celebrate its 6th year in partnership with London’s Royal Academy of Music.
The Petworth Festival Literary Week was established in 2011 as a sister event in the Petworth calendar. Now expanded to a full week each autumn, the literary festival has seen major authors and public figures such as William Boyd, David Suchet, Julian Fellowes, Joanna Trollope, Max Hastings, Michael Palin, Prue Leith and Victoria Hislop lighting up the Autumn nights.
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