Fringe Box



Classical, Jazz, Rock, Comedy – All At Petworth Festival 2019; July 16 to August 3

Published on: 8 May, 2019
Updated on: 8 May, 2019

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Hot on the heels of a spectacular 40th anniversary year which broke all box office records, Petworth Festival’s 41st season is announced. And we have already hit the ground running, having gone live to the festival’s burgeoning Friends group and supporters.

The box office opens to all on Thursday, May 9!

Rock music legend Rick Wakeman will be appearing at the Petworth Festival.

MILOŠ – ‘the hottest guitarist in the world’, rock music legend Rick Wakeman, and top comedian Julian Clary top the bill in a festival that aims to present the very best in music and performance across the board in ‘venues on your doorstep’ in West Sussex.

Enthusing about the ongoing success of the Petworth Festival, artistic director Stewart Collins says of the 2019 event: “We have been genuinely amazed by the way the festival has grown in the last few years.

“But I have no doubt that it is down to a formula which combines the very finest of performers, the genuine intimacy of our venues, and of course the fact that you don’t have to travel to London or to the big cities to see what is genuinely the best across the performance genres.”

Violin virtuosi Viktoria Mullova.

Classical music has always been at the core of the festival offering and the class of 2019 carries this tradition proudly forward.

The festival boasts epic bass-baritone Sir John Tomlinson, top international pianists Imogen Cooper and Barry Douglas, violin virtuosi Viktoria Mullova and Tamsin Waley-Cohen, and leading instrumental ensembles The Brodsky Quartet and vocal group I Fagiolini (who celebrate the 500th centenary of Leonardo da Vinci).

The mould-breaking instrumental ensemble Chineke! also makes its Petworth debut in 2019, the group being the first to feature top professionals from black and ethnic minority communities.

Instrumental ensemble Chineke! making its Petworth debut in 2019.

Stewart Collins, who celebrates his 10th year as artistic director in 2019, is keen to point out the extent to which the festival programme has developed in recent times.

He said: “My passion has always been to reach out to the widest possible audience in the same way that I was myself hooked many years ago.

“I’m not even sure what my first love was all those years ago now, but having worked with amazing comedians, classical, jazz and world musicians, not to mention companies that cater specifically for young and family audiences I am completely convinced that there is quality wherever you look – and my happy mission is to bring it to Petworth.”

Top comedian Julian Clary.

Jazz artists featuring this year include the great John Etheridge, a tribute to the Jazz of Dudley Moore performed by the Chris Ingham Quartet and the hyper energetic Ray Gelato and the Giants. They headline the annual jamboree that is the Jazz in the Stables concert. This is one of three headline events planned for Petworth House’s atmospheric Stable Yard – the other two featuring blues superstar Georgie Fame, and the one and only Julian Clary.

The festival is also proud to announce that it is for the first time the recipient of an Awards for All grant from the National Lottery, an award that reflects the festival’s commitment to its work in the community and for young and family audiences.

Vocal group I Fagiolini who celebrate the 500th centenary of Leonardo da Vinci.

A series of events across the festival targets these audiences, not least a free performance of Kenneth Grahame’s much loved The Wind in the Willows in the Pleasure Ground of Petworth House and Park, thanks to a new partnership with the National Trust.

Visual arts also play a part in the 2019 festival with a double collaboration between Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery and Petworth’s Kevis House Gallery, with an exhibition and a talk celebrating the work of Ivon Hitchens who lived and worked in Petworth for much of his career.

“Putting together a festival programme is anything but a science” says Stewart, “but my hope is that we can continue to stimulate and inspire audiences of all ages with a programme of genuine variety and quality.

“As they say – ‘bring it on!”

You can book tickets for Petworth Festival from May 9 online at or by telephone on 01798 344576 (Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 1pm).

Alternatively, you can download a booking form from the website and post it to the festival office: 151 Whites Green Lodge, Lurgashall, Petworth GU28 9BD.

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