The Steyning Festival was an idea developed in 2006 to strengthen the feeling of community in the town, engender a sense of pride and common purpose and attract visitors to Steyning, thus boosting local businesses. The vision and drive of a group of enthusiastic local residents, led by Ann Poupard, set out to challenge the supposition that entertainment and cultural events happen elsewhere and developed events that could foster new experiences for all.
The inaugural Steyning Festival was held in 2007. The initial aims were to encourage visitors to the town and celebrate the community. Steyning Festival wanted to explore Steyning’s rich heritage, showcase local talent and create a platform for visiting artists and performers. These aims remain valid today and continue to drive the vision for the Festival.
The Festival remained an annual event until 2010, when the decision was made to alternate with the Country Fair every other year starting in 2012. Since 2016 the Festival has been based at a ‘Big Top’ at Fletchers Croft which provides a focal point for the programme of activities. The Festival is held around the May Bank Holiday to fit in with the vibrant social calendar of community activities in Steyning and to coincide with the Spring half term. The Covid pandemic in 2020 has resulted in a delay to our planning process and meant there was a three-year gap where it was not possible to hold a full event. A shortened weekend Festival was successfully held in 2021 with a return to a biennial Festival in 2022.
We have a new business plan which builds upon the initial plan and the many previous successful festivals held since 2006. Steyning Festival has grown significantly since its inception, expanding our programme of events, broadening our reach, and increasing our volunteer numbers. In 2015 progress to date was reviewed and evaluated to develop and formalise a business plan, which set out our purpose and aspirations for the next few years. This updated plan is anticipated to cover the next 5-year period as the festival continues to grow and evolve. The plan also reflects our aim to continue to ensure our sustainability and longevity, whilst remaining true to the original ethos of inclusivity and community.
To inspire innovation, collaboration and community cohesion and to position the Steyning Festival as a leading cultural event in West Sussex.
The Steyning Festival exists to provide a wide programme of artistic and community events which offer exciting and stimulating experiences for the people of Steyning and the surrounding area. Festival Description: We are a local, volunteer led, Festival, bringing a programme of diverse, multi-generational, highquality events to the community of Steyning.
The Festival is a community Festival; run by the community, with and for the community, over a 10-day period on a biennial basis. We showcase local, national and international talent and at our core is a quality artistic Festival, which invokes discussion, thinking and learning. The genres cover Theatre, Music, Visual Arts, Walks & Tours, Literature and Talks, Community activities and Comedy. The Festival attracts a wide audience from Steyning and the surroundings towns and villages.
- To challenge thoughts and inspire the community;
- To develop community cohesion: involving audience, performers, supporters and local businesses in the organisation and delivery;
- To be sociable and enjoyable for all, whilst also being fun to organise;
- To be successful as measured by audience feedback and popularity of events
-To be successful financially, so that the Festival is self-financing for its long term future
- To build on and sustain the Festival’s reputation for delivering high quality cultural activities in Steyning.
- To continue to expand the audience by offering an inclusive and diverse programme of events.
- To be financially successful so that the future of the Festival is secure and to allow for future ambitions and expansion.
- To reach out to all parts of the community with opportunities for developing new understanding, knowledge, and skills whilst showcasing and celebrating local talent.
- To gain the support and involvement of local projects, community groups, businesses, and organisations.
- The accurate recording of net and gross profit and revenue per event
- Achieve audience numbers – 75% of the audience numbers for all events
- Positive audience feedback (collected formally and informally)
- Positive volunteer team satisfaction (collected formally and informally)
- Increase participation and support from local businesses and other community groups
- Year on year increase website and social media hits
- Further develop data capture systems for measuring and evaluating success
We are a registered charity and company limited by guarantee with a small board of Directors, who act as the Trustees of the charity and bring a wide range of skills and experience. They are responsible for the governance, compliance, financial viability, and strategic direction of the charity. They also lead in the planning and delivery of the biennial event and have specific areas of responsibility.
Each role has a full task description covering all functions. We have a team of event coordinators who plan and deliver the programme, as well as a number of support teams who provide the backing to ensure the smooth running of the operation of the Festival.
The trustees will ensure:
- Sound financial accounting and reporting systems
- a clear organisation structure
- defined roles and responsibilities
- a system, structure and process for clear communications
- support for volunteers to enable them to fulfil their commitments
- management of risk and compliance
- work together as a team and support each other’s work
- recognise each other’s contribution
- listen to and respect each other’s point of view
- communicate fairly and well
- be accountable for what we do or say
We are a local Festival bringing a fortnight of diverse, high quality programmed events to Steyning. We will showcase Local, National and International Talent. The Festival is a Community Festival; run by the community, with and for the community.
We incorporate a Quality Artistic Festival at our core with a complementary and supportive programme of events. The genres cover Theatre, Music, Visual Arts, Walks & Tours, Literature and Talks, and Community Events.
The Festival is largely focused on the people of Steyning, Bramber, Beeding, Ashurst, Washington & Ashington.