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Festival: Rye Arts Festival


September 15th – 30th, 2018

Rye Arts Festival started in 1971 with a couple of concerts over a single weekend but has grown to become an annual multi-arts Festival in the last two weeks of September with over 60 events.

Classical music has always been at the heart of the Festival with a dozen concerts in the programme including, in the last few years, at least one performance of an opera.

The Festival aims to bring established musicians with international reputations from all around the world to East Sussex as well as introducing young talents at the start of their career. In recent years Rye Arts Festival has given a concert performance as a prize to the winner of the annual Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

Rye is an ancient town and is a member of the Cinque Ports Confederation. Built on a sandstone outcrop the beautiful Citadel has a wealth of historic medieval, Tudor and Georgian buildings and listed cobbled streets for visitors to explore and enjoy. Most of the concerts takes place in St Mary’s Church, which sits at the top of the Citadel and can be seen for miles from across the surrounding marshes. For musicians and the audience, the church offers wonderful acoustics!

With a rich nautical history Rye was once a hotbed of smuggling activity, but while this ‘enterprise’ has dried up it is still home to one of the biggest fishing fleets in the South East of England despite being two miles from the sea! Inland are the rolling Wealden hills with ancient woodland and lots of historic towns, villages and sites to visit.

Rye is a small, ancient town that is outstandingly beautiful offering a host of activities to enjoy on top of the high quality programme presented by the fabulous annual Festival.

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