Petworth Festival – Back Live!

Having made the best of 2020 when presenting a part live, part streamed ‘special edition’ festival last October/November, the momentum behind the ever-ambitious Petworth Festival looks set to continue this coming summer. Read the Petworth-Festival-Brochure-Summer-2021-Lo-Res.

Events will run between Wednesday 14 and Saturday 31 July, the wide-ranging line-up of leading musicians and performers includes:

  • Classical star-of-the-moment, saxophonist Jess Gillam, who appears with her exciting new ensemble as part of their debut tour
  • Multi-million selling author, comedian and former NHS doctor Adam Kay who brings his West End hit show This is Going to Hurt
  • Living legends on the blues circuit, The Blues Band fronted as ever by the great Paul Jones who perform in the atmospheric Stable Yard of Petworth House
  • Five-star theatre-cabaret show Radio Live! – a romp through 50 years of BBC Radio with the all-star cast of Alistair McGowan, The Rev’d Richard Coles, Garry (‘here’s Garry with the Sport’) Richardson, Charlotte Green and special guest Joe Stilgoe
  • The Petworth Festival Summer Weekend, two days of free family theatre, hands on participatory workshops, ‘street’ acts and live music staged in the Pleasure Garden of Petworth House by kind permission of the National Trust.

Read At-A-Glance-2021 which lists all events.

Acknowledging and being sensitive to the realities of emerging from the pandemic, a series of measures will be introduced to ensure the maximum audience comfort and safety:

  • Thorough cleaning of all festival venues will be the rule
  • Indoor venue capacities will be capped initially at 50% rising to 75% as conditions allow
  • Performing fees are not being reduced – the artists have suffered enough!
  • A 10% ticket surcharge will apply for this festival only to help mitigate the above

Other names to conjure with in the line-up include top drawer classical artists Emma Johnson and Adrian Brendel, pianists Imogen Cooper and Isata Kanneh-Mason, leading British singers Mark Padmore and Susan Bullock and an ensemble from the UK’s first majority-Black and ethnically diverse orchestra Chineke!

Jazz comes in the shape of Si Cranstoun and the Dynamo Quartet, both of whom star in the annual Jazz in the Stables extravaganza; powerhouse chanteuse Liane Carroll and her Trio will also feature as will The Dominic Alldis Trio who present their tribute to the great French jazz innovator, Jacques Loussier.

The third Petworth House Stables event sees a two-part celebration of The Music of Paul Simon, the songs of Simon & Garfunkel being performed by the duo Bookends, and the seminal Graceland album performed by Gary Stewart and his exciting seven-piece ensemble.

The festival celebrates a sixth year in association with London’s Royal Academy of Music, with specially selected musicians appearing as part of an extensive lunchtime and morning Coffee Concert series.

‘There’s no doubt that the lack of live performance has been one of the huge downsides of the last 18 months’ says Stewart Collins, the Petworth Festival’s Artistic Director, ‘but I’m proud to say that we’ve held our nerve and come up with a programme that really should both inspire and entertain come July given its quality, variety and novelty. Every effort will be made to ensure that our audiences feel comfortable back in our venues, but otherwise it is not just ‘business as usual’ – more like ‘business unusual!’ Our aim is always to prove just how powerful and life-affirming live performance can be, and with our series of highly contrasting events I really think our audiences will realise immediately what we have all been missing’.

The Petworth Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the many private and corporate sponsors of the festival who helped the organisation survive 2020 and who have come back strongly in 2021.

The Box Office opens on Tuesday 15 June (priority booking period for Sponsors, Patrons and Friends from 18 May). From 15 June Book Online 24/7 at or from 15 June call the Box Office on 01798 344576 Tues – Sat, 10am – 1pm.

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