Written: 7 June 2019
With a jam-packed and exciting schedule, there is no better place to be this festival season than the vibrant city of Winchester. From music, art and sports to food, drink and cultural heritage, there really is something for everyone to enjoy this summer.
8 June – World Gin Day
Calling all gin lovers! The Cabinet Rooms invite you to the fourth annual Ginchester Fête this World Gin Day. A celebration of all things gin and the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a flavourful experimentation of a selection of local gins. Within the walls of the Great Hall, this year’s stunning venue, you can sip on G&T’s under King Arthur’s Round table as well as join in on all the fun and games at the event’s very own quirky village fête.
If you are looking for a super-chilled family-friendly music festival this summer, be sure to get yourselves over to Alresford this Saturday for the tenth annual Alresford Music Festival.
With five music stages hosting an eclectic mix of musical styles and raw talent, a dedicated family area bursting with free activities, food and drink stalls as well as the festival village, there is so much to see, do, eat, drink and dance to for all tastes.
This Sunday cycling enthusiast will be taking their pedals to the streets of Winchester for the Winchester Criterium & Cycle Fest. This is a fantastic day out for all of the family to catch a full schedule of riders throughout the day which includes the criterium – a 1km circuit race around the closed roads of Winchester. Cycle Fest invites you to take part in cycling in various forms, with challenges and competitions for all ages to get involved in.
Winchestival is back! And this year it’s bigger than ever before… This one-day festival is full to the brim with fun and entertainment for festival-goers of all ages.
With a fantastic mix of musical and comedy talent including The Magic Numbers, Allister Whitehead and Milton Jones, an abundance of foodie and drink treats as well as entertainment for little ones, this festival is the perfect day out for the whole family.
6 June – 6 July
Immerse yourself in an evening of opera at The Grange Festival. The Grange, one of the most celebrated neo-classical mansions in Britain, will be hosting performances from Falstaff, Le nozze di Figaro, Belshazzer and The John Wilson Orchestra for a dedicated celebration of world-class opera in the heart of Hampshire. There will also be two nights of ballet and contemporary dance performed by Dance@TheGrange.
14 – 16 June
The University of Winchester presents The Writers’ Festival. This three-day event provides novelists, poets, short story writers, script and memoir writers from across the UK a chance to come together to network with other writers. Attend a wide range of support workshops and inspirational talks and take the opportunity to meet with literary agents, commissioning editors and authors.
3 – 5 July
Join in with the UK’s longest running festival of outdoor arts this July. Hat Fair is Winchester’s time to shine a light on all things weird, wonderful and extraordinary about the city. Although this busking style event is free of charge, there is so much to take away from the inspirational art and cultural performances that will be working their way through the historic city over the weekend. Pack a picnic and enjoy a full day of some of the world’s most spectacular street performers at North Walls Recreation Ground on Sunday.
5 – 13 July
Winchester Festival invites you to join a week-long celebration of music, drama and visual arts across a range of venues within the city. This year’s programme includes talks from broadcaster and author Andrew Marr and Monty Python’s Micheal Palin as well a selection of musical performances including The Royal Choral Society and Winchester Cathedral Chamber Choir.
7 – 11 August
August welcomes Chapter 11 of the Boomtown Fair. Made up of 14 fully immersive areas that follow a unique storyline, this five-day theatrically-led experience celebrates both the underground and global music scene as well as art theatre and performance in a variety of forms. This year’s impressive line up includes Salt-N-Pepper, The Streets and Ms.Lauryn Hill.
13 – 22 September
A four-day festival that celebrates Winchester’s history, cultural heritage and architecture. This year the spotlight is on ‘Food & Drink’ and ‘People Power’. With over 100 events taking place, this festival invites you to join guided walks and expert talks to discover some of Winchester’s hidden places. Get involved in workshops and creative activities – all completely free of charge.
19 – 22 September
With a diverse programme of both ticketed and free events to choose from, Winchester Jazz Festival is the perfect way to soak up some fantastic world-class jazz talent. Over the four days, a variety of venues across Winchester, including The Railway, The Theatre Royal and St James Tavern, will be filled with the sweet sound of jazz performed by top-quality artists.
26 September – 6 October
A celebration of all things funny – Winchester Comedy Festival is back! Comedians including Ed Byrne, Clinton Baptiste and Jan Ravens feature in this year’s line up, Winchester is the place to be if you are looking for high-quality entertainment. The comedy showcase will be taking place across the city in a selection of venues including Greens Wine Bar and Theatre Royal Winchester.
Coffee-lovers are in for a treat at the Hampshire Coffee Festival – a celebration of the region’s vibrant independent café culture scene. Drink up the atmosphere at this one-day event designed with the coffee lover in mind and brought to you thanks to a collaboration between Guildhall Winchester, The Cabinet Rooms and Winchester Coffee School.
2019 marks the 200th anniversary of when John Keats spent a short time in Winchester and was inspired to write one of his most famous and best-loved poems To Autumn.
As the city of Winchester celebrates the anniversary, you can get involved in a variety of events and activities being held throughout the city.
Young writers’ can get involved by entering a poetry competition, 2TimeTheatre presents a play that celebrates Keats’ time in Winchester and there is an opportunity to follow the footsteps of the famous poet by taking Keats Walk. More information about upcoming events can be found here.