Hat Fair 2018

Winchester Hat Fair 2018

Hat Fair is the UK’s longest continually 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. Now a major event, during the three day festival it attracts just under 60,000 people to the city to enjoy a variety of performances.

Hat Fair aims to shine a light on the city, transforming the everyday into the extraordinary.

Hat fairThe festival plays a vital role in Winchester’s broader economy and the city’s sense of community.The festival is one of the most prominent annual events in Winchester’s cultural calendar. It has traditionally has run throughout the city centre on the Friday and Saturday with a family day at Oram’s Arbour on the Sunday. However this year the Sunday’s festivities will move to the North Walls Recreation Ground.

Andrew Loretto, Director of Hat Fair comments “This move is important to the continuing development of the Hat Fair Festival. By relocating to North Walls it means we can expand the type of acts that we can present on the Sunday as the recreation ground is a flatter terrain than Oram’s Arbour. This will also assist disabled artists and audience members with restricted mobility by offering level access. North Walls is a considerably larger space which will help with the festival’s financial sustainability through increased income from market stalls. The greater area also means that a larger audience will be able enjoy all the Sunday family day has to offer.”

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of Live Theatre Winchester which organises Hat Fair continues “We would like to thank the residents in the vicinity of Oram’s Arbour for all their support over the years. It has been a difficult decision to make but we hope that they can understand our reasoning. We need to develop Hat Fair to ensure that the festival is here for many years to come.”

Hat Fair is the UK’s longest running Outdoor Arts Festival and attracts over 60,000 visitors to Winchester every year. This festival is supported by Arts Council England, Winchester City Council, Winchester’s Business Improvement District and University of Winchester, as well as local business sponsors and supporters. Hat Fair is part of the Without Walls consortium of commissioning festivals together with a number of the country’s leading festivals. This group work together to commission a number of artists to produce new Outdoor Arts productions each year. These co-commissioned acts will perform alongside traditional Hatters (international street performers), established shows and student productions over the weekend.

You can find out more by visiting the website.