Performers from around the world will converge on West Sussex for this summer’s Chichester Festivities.
First details announced yesterday include visitors from Poland, the United States, Venezuela, France and Australia – as well as a range of home-grown talent covering music, talks, comedy and more.
The festivities run from June 24 to July 10, beginning as usual with a fireworks concert at Goodwood racecourse where this year’s theme is Motown and Abba.
From Poland comes the Warsaw Village Band, fusing traditional songs with cutting vocals and an impressive array of instruments from violin to dulcimer and barbaran drums (June 26).
From the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina comes ‘Smoky Mountain Gypsy’ Jerry Harmon on acoustic guitar (June 27).
Venezuelan Christian Vasquez, a product of that country’s famous music ‘sistema’, conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in a weighty programme including Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique symphony (June 29).
French group Zic Zazou use drainpipes, power drills, frying pans, chair-legs and bottles of red wine to create a unique brand of musical theatre (July 8).
And Australian ‘chainsaw-folk vigilantes’ the Crooked Fiddle Band promise a no-holds-barred celebration of dark, ecstatic energy.
Other visiting musicians include The Sixteen with Harry Christophers (June 28), the Kate Rusby Band (July 1), the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain (July 5) and Elaine Paige (July 9).
The Humphrey Lyttelton Band will revive memories of Humph’s music, and comedian Andy Hamilton will recall the humour that helped make radio series I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue a big hit.
And in Two Halves Of Guinness (June 29), in which Trevor Littledale portrays Sir Alec Guinness, who lived at Steep near Petersfield.
The performance reflects on his acting, faith, family and shattering insecurity, played to a background of the golden days of British film and theatre.
Among notable speakers at the festivities will be Melvyn Bragg on the radical impact of the King James Bible (June 27) and Peter Snow on Wellington and the Battle of Waterloo (June 28).
· The full festivities programme will be revealed in early May.
· Tickets for events already announced are available now for Friends of the Chichester Festivities. To join, visit chifest.org.uk or call (01243) 528356.
· Public online booking opens on March 29.