The town and open spaces of Basingstoke and its surrounding villages are hosting nearly a month of activities and entertainment as part of its vibrant arts and cultural programme. Described as ‘world class but with strong local roots and connections’ the Basingstoke Festival is now into its 4th year and warmly welcomes everyone – visitors and local residents alike – to join in its celebration of the very best in arts, entertainment.
Starting with a colourful and spectacular Carnival Parade, the Festival continues with music, outdoor performances and street theatre, a World Party, Family Sunday and finishes with the ever-popular live music event Basingstoke Live! In between there are workshops and taster sessions teaching new skills, festivals-within-a festival and special days and weekends devoted to World arts, craft and the finest street artists and buskers. There are exhibitions and installations, dance, a colourful Art Trail, lots of comedy, circus and much, much more. Many events are free.
Contrary to what you might think, Basingstoke’s year-round quality arts scene is one to be proud of, and it’s growing all the time. During Festival time, the town’s streets, squares and gardens, outlying rural villages, arts venues and community centres host a range of fabulous events and activities. In recognition of how far this up-and-coming Festival’s come in just a few years the council is delighted this year to receive Arts Council funding.
Cllr Cathy Osselton, the Cabinet Member responsible for the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council-run festival said: ‘The Basingstoke Festival demonstrates the council’s commitment to creating an area that is an attractive place to live, work and visit. It also brings people together in celebration and showcases the year-round work of the area’s vast and diverse pool of creative talent. The Festival is an opportunity to experience not only local but national and international arts of all kinds and it highlights the area’s rich history, top-quality facilities, outstanding green spaces and beautiful rural surrounds.’
Kick-starting the Festival is a colourful, new – and free – carnival parade from 5pm on 19 June with music, dancing and colourful costumes created with the expertise of the internationally acclaimed outdoor arts company Emergency Exit Arts. For information on the full programme visit www.basingstokefestival.co.uk or follow the festival on Twitter @BstokeFestival, Facebook Basingstokefestival and on Instagram #Bstokefestival
Tuesday 23rd June 2015