Festivities thrills

The curtain fell on the 2011 Chichester Festivities last Sunday after a joyous and exciting 17 days and a record number of sell-out performances.

During this time the cathedral has played host to choirs, a symphony orchestra, celebrities, contemporary bands – and zany Frenchmen playing music on everything from drainpipes to wine glasses!

All this plus spell-binding talks, jazz, world music, breathtaking fireworks at Goodwood Racecourse, comedy, exhibitions, coffee and lunchtime concerts, walks, theatre, news, the thrilling lantern-lit procession in the city centre, Chifest Fringe Festival and the wonderful array of activities organised by local groups, clubs, individuals and societies.

To all our performers and organisers, we owe a big thank you.

Thanks are due also to many businesses and individuals for their contribution in ensuring the continuity of the Festivities: our principal media sponsor, the Chichester Observer, our sponsors, members, patrons, donors, premier friends and friends, all of whom supported so generously; also our guarantors, a number of charitable foundations, the city and district Councils and Arts Council England.

Special thanks are due to the Dean of Chichester, Nicholas Frayling, and the Chapter for their wonderful co-operation in permitting our beautiful cathedral to be the setting for major performances; we thank also the Bishop of Chichester, John Hind, and his wife Janet for access to many invaluable facilities.

The presentation of the Festivities could not take place without the dedication of a small number of volunteers – front-of-house staff, stewards, event hosts – all with a shared interest in the success of the Festivities, and who give so generously of their time.

We thank them and also the production, box office and administration staff of over 20, who join our small permanent team in the preparation of the Festivities and who work diligently to ensure an excellent and professional high standard is achieved throughout.

To all of the above we owe a huge debt of gratitude but, perhaps most importantly, a very special thank you is due to our loyal and steadfast audiences, and also newcomers, who have responded with such enthusiasm and appreciation to this year’s programme.

After all, without them, there would be no purpose.

We hope audiences will have enjoyable and lasting memories from this year’s Festivities and we look forward to welcoming them back for more virtuosic and exhilarating performances in 2012.

Amanda Sharp

Director, Chichester Festivities,

South Street, Chichester