About the Steyning Festival Charity

Culture and Community, the South Downs Way!

About The Charity

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.

Steyning Festival Business Plan 2023-2028

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.

Our Mission

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..

More ABout Us

The Steyning Festival, as a registered charity, aims to inspire and unite the community through high-quality cultural activities. It focuses on building community cohesion, offering enjoyable and inclusive events, and achieving financial success for sustainability. With a structure of skilled trustees overseeing various aspects of the biennial event, the festival prioritizes audience engagement, volunteer satisfaction, and local business participation. Its values emphasize teamwork, respect, and accountability, striving to celebrate local, national, and international talent through a diverse program covering theater, music, arts, and community events, primarily catering to the Steyning area.