34 events and things to do in Sussex - May/June 2015

Glyndebourne - photo by Simon Annand

Glyndebourne - photo by Simon Annand - Credit: Archant

A great selection of events and things to do right across Sussex this month

1 May - Ladies’ Evening

Fontwell Park Racecourse

Enjoy an evening of fashion, glitz and glamour with the thrill of jump racing followed by a DJ set from Radio 2’s very own Jo Whiley. Dress to impress for your chance to win £1,000 cash plus a luxury hamper from House of Fraser for Best Dressed Lady.

For tickets and more information visit www.fontwellpark.co.uk


2-24 May - Brighton Festival

This year, award-winning Scottish author Ali Smith is the festival’s Guest Director.

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Over the three-week festival, many of Ali Smith’s ideas, interests and passions will be explored in a programme which spans music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate from a wide range of national and international companies and artists. This includes a rare UK visit by 86-year-old legendary film maker and artist Agnès Varda, as well as rising stars Kate Tempest, George the Poet and Hollie McNish.

With three central themes at its heart – Art and Nature, the Crossing Places between art forms, and Taking Liberty – this year’s Brighton Festival challenges visitors to look again, featuring an eye-opening array of artists and performers with the power to deliver the world we think we know to us re-seen, renewed, with a visionary twist in the tale.

The world-renowned annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events will take place in venues across the city and beyond.

Box Office: 01273 709709; www.brightonfestival.org


2-24 May - Brighton and Hove’s Artists Open

Alongside Brighton Festival, don’t miss Brighton and Hove’s Artist Open Houses weekends. Visit local artists in their homes and studios over four weekends in May.



1-31 May - Brighton Fringe

Brighton Fringe kicks off this month with a whirlwind of creative arts across the city. Experience something new, from cabaret to workshops and everything in between. Start your Fringe experience with a trip to Fringe City on New Road, where venues will be open every Saturday during May.



2 May-6 September - Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

The world-renowned exhibition features 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breathtaking world landscapes.


1 May - The Demon Barbers XL

The ‘Disco at the Tavern’ Tour

7.30pm. Folk powerhouse The Demon Barbers return with a new repertoire, extra band members and a modern twist to their multi-award winning roadshow. Featuring some of the UK’s most exciting young clog, sword, hip hop and breakdancers.

Tickets: £15. The Hawth, Crawley: 01293 553636


2 May - Goodwood Food Festival

Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester

The world-famous venue will be holding its inaugural food festival, designed to showcase local producers and fabulous food and drink from across Sussex.

Alongside the gourmet action there’s a quality seven-race card, including the Listed Betfred Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes.

To book tickets or for more information phone: 01243 755055


3-4 May - Spring Garden & Leisure Show

South of England Showground, Ardingly

9am daily. An inspiring new plant and nursery area will be created this year with thousands of plants to choose from. Jean Griffin of BBC Surrey, Sussex and Kent will return as the resident gardening expert for the weekend and lead another exciting programme of Q&A sessions with a panel of experts in the Gardening Theatre, which will include a live broadcast with the BBC gardening radio programme, Dig It.

Bank holiday family fun is spread across the entire weekend with leisure activities for all ages including Paws in the Park dog agility; fur, feather and rabbit shows; Best Looking Chicken Competition; the ever popular Mini Sheep Show; fluffy duck trail and a fantastic fairground.

Admission: Under 16s go free when accompanied by a paying adult £10, senior citizens and students over 16 £8.

Save up to 20 per cent with early bird advance ticket discounts at www.seas.org.uk


An Evening with Nightingales

7 and 19 May: Woods Mill Nature Reserve, Henfield

11 May: Arlington Village Hall, near Polegate

7.30-10pm. Sussex Wildlife Trust is running three evenings with nightingales this month; a wonderful opportunity to find out all about the life of these elusive summer songsters. One of our most treasured breeding birds, the nightingale has inspired artists and musicians alike with its 24/7 singing marathon. Mike Russell’s illustrated talk will be followed by a walk on the nature reserve to hopefully hear the real thing in full voice.

Cost for SWT members £15, non-members £18. Booking essential. For further information and online booking visit www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk or call 01273 497561


8 May - A Concert for VE Day

Royal Pavilion, Brighton

BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014 pianist Martin James Bartlett plays Mozart Concerto No 20 with Kantanti Ensemble in this special concert commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

The concert will also include Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony, Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (with young Glyndebourne soprano Louise Moseley) and Frank Bridge’s Lament.

For tickets telephone: 01273 917272 or go to www.brightonfringe.org


10 May-27 June - Wardsbrook Concerts 2015

The first recital in May will be given by Toby Spence and Julian Milford. The two recitals in June will be given by mezzo-soprano Alice Coote and baritone Christopher Maltman.

Featuring some of the leading singers and pianists on the world stage, many of whom are currently performing at Glyndebourne.

For more information and tickets visit www.wardsbrookconcerts.org


13 May - Wanted! Ninety 90-year-olds for a birthday tea

To help celebrate its 90th birthday, Drusillas Park in Alfriston, East Sussex is inviting 90 90-year-olds on Wednesday 13 May to enjoy a free zoo trip and a cream tea in Explorers Café.

Managing Director, Christine Smith commented: “It will not only be a chance for us to celebrate with those who have grown up with Drusillas, it will also be an opportunity to hear all their lovely stories and memories of the zoo over the last nine decades!”

If you are in your 90s, live in East Sussex and are interested in attending, or you know someone who would be, please email info@drusillas.co.uk or telephone Drusillas Park on 01323 874100.


13-16 May - Museums at Night

Museums at Night will feature hundreds of exciting after-hours events taking place at museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites across the UK.

For more information about events in Sussex, visit www.museumsatnight.org.uk


14 May - Spring Butterfly Walk at Combe Valley Country Park

Sussex Wildlife Trust

10.45am-12.30pm. Join Michael Blencowe of Sussex Wildlife Trust on a spring butterfly walk at Combe Valley Country Park near Hastings. Look out for orange tip, brimstone and peacock butterflies, and hear tips on how to identify them. Free to SWT members, suggested donation for non-members £3.

For further information visit www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk or call Michael on 07585 901360.


14-16 May - The Great Escape

Europe’s leading festival for new music returns with a cutting edge line-up of up-and-coming artists from all over the world.



15-25 May - Charleston Festival

Charleston presents a dazzling array of speakers and up-to-the minute books and topics for discussion.

Celebrate the anniversaries of Magna Carta, Waterloo and Alice in Wonderland; discuss freedom of expression and phone hacking; enjoy public art, modern drama, fashion and music; award the inaugural Keynes Prize.

Speakers include: Tom Stoppard, Helena Kennedy, Maggi Hambling, Peter Carey, David Lodge, Colm Tóibín, Michael Frayn, Monty Don, David Nicholls and Neel Mukherjee.



17 May - Brownbread Horse Rescue Open Day

Brownbread Street, Ashburnham, Battle

10.30am-4pm. The day includes stalls and booters (£8), stage performers including singers and dancers, arena performances, archery, pony rides, classic cars, bouncy castle, dog show, raffle, tombola, BBQ by Bexhill Lions, Heathfield Silver Band and many horses, ponies and donkeys.

For more information visit www.brownbread-horse-rescue.co.uk


20 May-1 June - Spring Harvest - Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival

Key free-to-enter events include the huge seafront Sussex and The World Weekend on 30-31 May, which this year includes the Live Food Show, Brighton Beer and Cider Festival, Rockinghorse Children’s Food Festival, Brighton Wine Festival, a host of English Wine Week activities and masterclasses, and a craft furniture installation created using food packaging waste.

For further details of all free and ticketed events, visit www.brightonfoodfestival.com


21 May-30 August - The Glyndebourne Festival 2015

Glyndebourne, Lewes

Donizetti Poliuto, Director Mariame Clement

Bizet Carmen, Director David McVicar

Mozart Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Director David McVicar

Britten The Rape of Lucretia, Director Fiona Shaw

Handel Saul, director, Director Barrie Kosky

Ravel L’Heure Espagnole, L’Enfant et les Sortileges, Director Laurent Pelly

For more information and tickets, Box Office: 01273 813813; www.glyndebourne.com


21-23 May - May Festival

Goodwood Racecourse, Goodwood, Chichester

With more than £450,000 in prize money and four listed races across three days, the May Festival at Goodwood racecourse is one of the most eagerly anticipated meetings of the spring.

This is a fantastic chance to spot future stars, with several of the races acting as key trials for the Qatar Goodwood Festival (fondly known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’) later in the season. See if you can uncover the form horses first.

Tickets start at £10. Children aged 17 and under go free in all enclosures when accompanied by an adult. To book tickets, telephone 01243 755055 or email



23 May - Glynde Place Concert Series: Tenor, Viola and Piano Trio

Glynde Place, Lewes

7pm. The first concert of the series brings together Anna Tilbrook (piano), Benjamin Hulett (tenor) and Philip Dukes (viola), who have created this special programme to launch the 2015 concert series. The concert will include Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata and Lieder including Auf dem Strom. Other music will be songs by Ivor Gurney and Vaughan Williams’ Four Hymns for tenor, viola and piano.

For more information and tickets visit www.glyndeplace.co.uk


26-30 May - The Pirates of Penzance

7.45pm. Sasha Regan’s award-winning all-male The Pirates of Penzance by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Thursday and Saturday Matinees 2.30pm.

Tickets: £10-£35. Theatre Royal, Brighton: 0844 871 7677


30 May - Discovery Run

Entry is now open for the Discovery Run – a new off-road trail running event taking place at the stunning Petworth Park on Saturday 30 May.

Offering 5km, 10km and Half-Marathon distances and a Fun Run, the Discovery Run will take in the beautiful 700-acre grounds of Petworth Park amongst the rolling hills of West Sussex.

To enter, go to www.thediscoveryrun.com


13 June - Martlets Midnight Walk

Now in its ninth year, the Midnight Walk has raised over a million pounds, which has paid for more than 2,500 days of care on the In-Patient unit.

Although many women do the walk because they have a personal connection to the hospice, others get involved to enjoy a night out with friends, or for a personal challenge.

This year there are three different routes to choose from, including a new 20-mile route, so there is something for everyone.

To enter, pick up a form at any Martlets hospice shop in and around Brighton and Hove, call the Fundraising Department on 01273 747455 or visit www.themartlets.org.uk


Artichoke Gallery: Between Land and Sea - until 27 June

Featuring the diverse styles of Paul Wadsworth, Paul Evans and Leila Godden, Scottish Jewellers selected from Goldsmiths Fair, Sculptures by Teresa Martin and a range of Ceramics to complement.

Open 9.30-4.30 Tuesday to Saturday, Ticehurst, East Sussex TN5 7AE www.artichokegallery.co.uk 01580 200905



1-4 May: Jack in the Green Festival, Hastings

2-3 May: Magnificent Motors, Western Lawns, Eastbourne

5-10 May: Hastings Folk Fest, venues in Hastings

10 May: The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair, Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton

14 May: St Catherine’s Hospice Garden & Local Produce Fair, South Lodge Hotel, near Horsham

16 May: Paws in the Park Spring Dog Show, Ardingly Showground

23 May: Mapp & Lucia Tours, Rye, begin weekly on Saturdays until September

24-25 May: Battle Medieval Fair, Battle

30-31 May: Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle, West Grinstead