Fabulous festival has something for everyone

8th June 2017

Get ready to celebrate those ‘Born in the borough’ and much more as the fantastic Basingstoke Festival returns this month for the sixth year running.

There will be plenty of opportunities to get acquainted with one of the borough’s best-loved inhabitants, novelist Jane Austen.

The ‘home-grown’ festival, which runs from Friday 16 June to Sunday 9 July, will pay a special tribute to the 19th century author who was born in Steventon and drafted some of her well-known works while living there.

July marks the 200th anniversary of her death and 25 special events will be held throughout the festival to celebrate her life. These include an exclusive Sitting With Jane art trail across the borough, a Pride and Picnic open air cinema evening, a Mansfield Park and Ride show and many other theatrical and historical tributes.

Organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, this year’s festival has a great line-up of big name acts including Jimmy Carr and Elkie Brooks, alongside international artists and ‘Festival in the Community’ events aimed at bringing local arts and performances to underused places around the borough.

An impressive packed programme of 212 events over the 24-day festival includes the Basingstoke World Party, celebrating the cultural heritage of people living in the borough through musical performances and food, on Saturday 17 June.

The following Saturday, 24 June, A Day in the Park will host three events providing something for everybody to enjoy. War Memorial Park will host a Cheese and Chilli food festival, the All in the Mind festival and Picnic in the Park family festival.

Head to Basingstoke’s cultural heart at the Top of the Town when The Thornycroft Girls perform outside the Willis Museum on Sunday 2 July. Learn more about the town’s past as the girls relive tales from the old Thornycroft factory.

The Another Basingstoke event invites people to 8 Church Street, on 25 and 26 June and 8 and 9 July, to find out more about being Born in the Borough and what it means to live in Basingstoke. The council-commissioned installation of ideas is a work in progress with tea and biscuits served on the house.

The festival is set to finish on a high note with the Basingstoke Live – a free two day music extravaganza in War Memorial Park on 8 and 9 July.

The borough council’s Deputy Leader, who is responsible for art and culture, Cllr Terri Reid said: “This year’s Basingstoke Festival is a real celebration of local talent, including borough-born Jane Austen.

“We have an inspiring programme that will showcase the wealth of talent we have, from local bands in Basingstoke Live to our young people being given the chance to perform on the Haymarket stage.

“Basingstoke Festival shines a spotlight on the arts, culture and live performances, and attracts a diverse range of world-renowned acts to our borough alongside the brilliant Festival in the Community events.

“Bring your family and friends, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Find out more online at www.basingstokefestival.co.uk

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