Rye Arts Festival unveils diverse line-up of events

Kanda Bongo Man
Kanda Bongo Man

RYE Arts Festival promises something for everyone as it announces an impressive line-up.

Vaunted in the national press as one of the best small festivals in the UK, the festival is now in its 42nd year and still going strong.

Highlights this year range from literary events in the garden of Lamb House to African Soukous sensation Kanda Bongo Man.

The festival runs from September 14 - 29 in venues around Rye including 900 year old St Mary’s Church, The George and the new Fletcher Centre.

A strong fringe festival programme will see free live music and other performances taking place in pubs around the town and at Rye Harbour.

New festival chairman Ian Graham-Bryce said: “A notable feature of the Festival over the years has been a gradual evolution - maintaining traditional and well loved items while introducing new initiatives, which themselves often then become established in the programme. This year continues that trend.”

Festival events cover, theatre, music, dance, literature, walking tours, exhibitions and even a magical Punch and Judy show.

One novel addition to the Festival this year sees leading flautist Stephen Preston showcasing a brief history or bid song in music.

Explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison will be giving a talk on modern exploration while Benjamin Grosvenor, winner of BBC Young Pianist of the Year at the age of 11, makes his first appearance in Rye.

Contemporary music highlights include American guitarist Kelly Joe Phelps and eight piece folk band The Home Service, led by War Horse song writer John Tams.

As part of the Festival, youngsters from Rye Dance Centre will present a show at Rye College on Sunday September 15.

Friends of Rye Arts Festival can start making postal bookings from this week, while general postal bookings start on August 5.

The Box Office at Phillips & Stubbs opens on 12th August,between 9.30am and 1.00pm Monday to Saturday. The contact number is 01797 224442.