Celebration night to launch the Festival of Chichester 2017

A double celebration in the city saw the launch of the 2017 Festival of Chichester and the launch of The Novium as a major new box office facility.

Friday, 7th April 2017, 2:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:16 pm
Dame Patricia cuts the festival cake

The two events converged at a packed Novium on an evening which also saw a range of performers from this summer’s festival offering enticing snippets of the pleasures ahead.Guest of honour was Dame Patricia Routledge who pledged her enthusiastic support for the four-week summer arts extravaganza which will run from June 17 to July 16. She will herself provide one of the festival higlights on June 26, at 7.30pm in the Assembly Room when she discusses her career on stage – just one of a truly exciting and varied line-up of more than 200 events for summer 2017, combining a brilliant programme of classical music with the best in jazz, blues, folk, rock, pop and world music. Add thrilling theatre, book events, talks and poetry, exhibitions, walks, tours, cinema, open days and galas and there really will be something for everyone.Festival supporters and participants attended the launch, with the Mayor of Chichester, Councillor Peter Budge officially declaring the box office open for business.Compering the event was the Festival of Chichester’s co-ordinator Barry Smith.Festival of Chichester chairman Phil Hewitt said: “Barry and the team at the Novium masterminded an extraordinarily-happy and successful occasion. The Novium was a brilliant venue for the night, and the festival is thrilled at the thought of working closely with the Novium which really is a great asset to the city. The night also underlined just what a fabulous thing the Festival of Chichester is and why we are so proud of it. It is a brilliant way of bringing Chichester together, a fabulous cross-section of Chichester talents who are all sharing the bill as equal partners.”Dr Hewitt also paid tribute to the invaluable support of the Chichester Observer: “It says a huge amount for the quality and the vision of the Observer under editor Gary Shipton’s leadership that it is prepared to support the Festival of Chichester so generously. The festival is hugely grateful.”

Among those performing at the launch was celebrated guitarist Amanda Cook, one of the devisers of the highly-successful Amici Concerts Series which has become an essential festival within the festival. Music at the launch also came Linda Kelsall-Barnett who for the festival itself will be offering a programme, on Thursday, July 6, 2.30-3.30pm, entitled Romantic Guitars at the Jubilee Hall, New Park Community Centre, New Park Road, Chichester, an hour of Spanish guitar music from the Romantic era.The launch was also treated to a performance from Linda’s daughter Tamzin Barnett (soprano) who joins the summer programme on Saturday, July 8, 7.30pm for La Serenata: An Evening Of Songs And Duets, Christ Church, Old Market Avenue, Southgate, Chichester.Also performing at the launch was Ruby Tiger, another keen festival supporter.Among the speakers was Robin Bextor, mastermind of another festival within the festival, Chichester’s Priory Park Festival which this year will Tony Christie, Georgie Fame, S Club, Dodgy, the Deborah Bonham Band with guest vocalist Chris Farlowe, The Bog Rolling Stones, Jim Cregan and former Strangler Hugh Cornwell among others. Robin is promising an eclectic three-day weekend of music, comedy and food and drink on July 7,8 and 9 in Priory Park.The joint Festival of Chichester/Novium box office launch was generously sponsored by Taylor Wimpey. Festival cake was supplied free by the Exclusive Cake Shop and Vintage Tearoom in North street, who were last year’s Festival Shop Window Competition winners.For the festival programme, see http://festivalofchichester.co.uk/. Tickets are available from the Chichester Box Office, The Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH; tel: 01243 816525 or 775888; www.thenovium.org/boxoffice; email: [email protected]

Brochures are available at Novium box office, Waterstones, Assembly Room, Chichester Library, St John’s Chapel, Cloisters Cathedral Shop, Oxmarket and New Park Centre.

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