Prince Charming’s not the only attraction

James Hunter
James Hunter
Portsmouth Philharmonia players following their concert to raise funds for Hayling Island Community Centre

STUART REED: Players pull out all the stops at charity concert

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The talk may be focused on Saturday night headliner Adam Ant (featured in our cover interview today), but there’s a lot more to West Dean Festival than an appearance by the 1980s icon and self-styled Prince Charming.

The event, which takes place near Chichester over the August Bank Holiday weekend next week, will also see headline performances from Grammy-nominated soul singer James Hunter on Sunday night and 1960s-inspired soul and R’n’B big band The Third Degree on Friday.

There will be salsa, mambo, electro, Balkan, Rockabilly, classical, ska, blues and ukelele music at this eclectic festival. And, on top of all that, festival-goers can uncover up and coming young acts aged 11 to 16 and exciting new acts making a name for themselves in London and on the South Coast, such as alt-pop group Six Day Riot, folk-rock Francis & Boyd and Portsmouth’s hottest new female singer-songwriter, Under the Laurels.

As well as music there will be all manner of other performances, including dance, poetry, street theatre and storytelling. There will also be arts and crafts cooking, film, exercise classes, beauty therapy treatments, food and drinks stalls and shopping.

In the Children’s Area, kids and teens can have a go at crafts, music, writing, mountain boarding and ferret racing.

The festival runs from 8am Friday, August 26, to 3pm Monday, August 29.

Tickets cost £15 (Friday day ticket for those aged five to 15) to £110 (weekend camping ticket for those ages 16 and over) from westdeanfestival.org.uk or in person at the West Dean Gardens shop, Chichester Tourist Information Centre, or on 01243 775888.