The city of Winchester bursts into life from May to September with a series of live arts festivals that inspire, intrigue and enchant thousands of visitors every year.
Come to the city during the festival season and you’ll find it at its vibrant best – showcasing an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colourful events. With more events being added to our already diverse and busy calendar there is bound to be something up your street happening on one of ours!
Emerging and experienced creative writers should pencil in the Winchester Writers’ Festival in June.
The Winchester Festival in July brings a programme of music, talks, drama and visual arts to the city.
Don’t miss Hat Fair in July – the UK’s longest running festival of outdoor arts when Winchester’s High Street welcomes performances of all kinds – from jugglers, fire eaters and trapeze artists to stage theatre – a great day out for the whole family.
The Poetry Festival in October draws from the deep well of contemporary writing and performance, featuring poets from across the UK, Ireland, the USA, Syria, Macedonia and the Caribbean.
The Chamber Music Festival in May offers concerts, discovery sessions and masterclasses.
The reputation of the much-loved Alresford Music Festival as a great family day continue s to build with five stages of live music featuring over 20 bands.
Family-friendly Boomtown in August offers a city of wonderment, theatre, escapism and community with breathtaking and intricate stages and streets just waiting to be discovered. Enjoy hundreds of musical acts from across the globe.
Winchester Jazz Festival in September offers an amazing array of acts performing throughout the city.
Enjoy a great comedy line-up at various venues during the Winchester Comedy Festival in October. Featuring some big names from the comedy circuit and stand-up comedians of critical acclaim.
Food is celebrated for a whole month in July as the Hampshire Food Festival serves up a mouthwatering feast of over 75 events including vineyard and brewery tours, farm walks, festival menus, pop-ups restaurants and more.
Winchester’s Cheese & Chilli Festival in August is a fantastic festival for all the family with live music, cooking demos and magic shows.
Celebrate Alresford’s local leaf at the annual Watercress Festival in May and sample delicious watercress chocolate and sausages or visit a watercress farm.
And what happens when Gin and Winchester collide? you get a unique celebration of gin at the Ginchester Christmas Market. Or if wine is more your tipple, head to the Guildhall for the Wine Festival in November.
The Christmas festival season starts in Winchester on 15 November with the switch on of the Christmas lights in Winchester.
The Christmas Market and Ice Rink returns to the Cathedral Close on the 17 November. The Christmas Market will run until 20 December and the Ice Rink will continue until 2 January 2019.
Families looking for a traditional panto should head to Theatre Royal Winchester to see Beauty and the Beast from Saturday 1 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019.
Clink glasses with BBC1 wine experts Susie and Peter at the Winchester Wine Festival in November in the stunning surroundings of Guildhall Winchester.