New arts festival extended ahead of October launch

A MUCH-anticipated new arts festival has been extended.

The inaugural Battle Arts & Music Festival is coming to town in October.

But with so many events planned, the festival has outgrown its three-day slot and has been extended into a fortnight full of diverse ticketed and fringe events.

The Battle Arts & Music Festival will now run between October 13-31.

It is the latest good news to come from the festival, which has managed to secure some big-name backers in recent weeks.

The festival has secured major patronage in the form of Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane, an Ivor Novello award winning song-writer; and Sir Andrew Davis, one of the world’s leading classical conductors.

Additionally the festival brings acclaimed British and Hollywood actor to town in Anton Lesser.

Lesser is an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company and film and TV credits include Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones.

The festival will include three major classical concerts, featuring world-class performers in stimulating, themed programmes.

Performances by the Battle Festival Sinfonia, an ensemble specially formed for the Festival, feature musicians who regularly play with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and at Glyndebourne.

The programme also includes reflections on Sussex’s past and how great English composers found inspiration from the folklore embedded in its traditions, subsequently reflecting this in their works.

A concert on October 24 presents works which not only celebrate Sussex’s legacy as a creative source of English folk music and song, but also compositions wrought from the dark and painful years which encompassed the Great War.

Matthew Sharp is soloist in Elgar’s deeply evocative cello concerto in a programme which features works by other English composers including Butterworth, Vaughan Williams and Bridge.

Two further classical concerts that same weekend feature Baroque concertos, Handel arias and Mozart’s masterful Clarinet Concerto.

Meanwhile the diverse and informal Battle Fringe will bring the town’s restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and tearooms to life with events including jazz, rock, blues and poetry reading.

Additionally, visual arts exhibitions featuring international, regional and local artists will take place in the town’s galleries, shops and restaurants.

A major schools’ concert, with a script specially commissioned by the festival, is also planned to take place at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.

Battle Arts & Music Festival runs from October 13-314, with particular emphasis on the weekend of Friday 24- Sunday 26.

For more information and tickets, visit or call the festival box office on 01797 229 049.