Hat Fair is the UK’s longest running festival of outdoor arts. Founded in 1974 by Jonathan Kay, Hat Fair inspires and is inspired by the people, heritage and public spaces within the city of Winchester.
Their aim is to shine a light on the city, transforming the everyday into the extraordinary.
The festival takes place every year during the first weekend of July across the historic city of Winchester. There’s something for everyone to enjoy at each year’s festival, and best of all, it’s absolutely free to attend!
Initially conceived as a busking festival, Hat Fair takes its name from the tradition of the audience showing their appreciation by putting money in the hat at the end of the show.
In 2013 Hat Fair became part of Live Theatre Winchester Trust, which also runs the Theatre Royal Winchester. Bringing together a historic theatre and an outdoor arts programme in creative collaboration has allowed us to develop our artistic ambitions, relishing the opportunities this presents for encouraging talent and championing quality arts.