Events and things to do in Sussex - July 2016

Tom Jones at Sussex County Cricket Ground

Tom Jones at Sussex County Cricket Ground - Credit: Archant

Our guide to the best events in and around Sussex.


Love Supreme Jazz Festival - 1-3 July

Glynde Place, Glynde

An innovative programme that boasts a range of artists from the worlds of jazz, soul, hip-hop and R&B, the festival has confirmed that four-time Grammy-winning US bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, British trip-hop outfit Morcheeba and multi million-selling French trumpeter Erik Truffaz’s quartet will be lining-up alongside the likes of Grace Jones, Burt Bacharach, Gilles Peterson, Lianne La Havas, Melody Gardot, Caro Emerald, Stanley Clarke, Kelis, Scofield/Mehldau/Guiliana and Kamasi Washington.

Other recent additions to the bill include The Milk, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Bernhoft, soulful vocalist Avery*Sunshine, Brooklyn-based instrumental three-piece Moon Hooch and the hotly-tipped pianist and singer Kandace Springs.

Most Read

Norah Sande Piano Awards - 9-10 July

Birley Centre, Eastbourne College, Eastbourne

Piano recitals by leading international young adult pianists. For more than a decade the Norah Sande Award has been attracting exceptional entrants including several BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists. 9 July: 15 semi-finalists perform 20-minute recitals 9.30am-6pm, free entry. 10 July: final 2.30pm. Tickets £10, free entry to children learning a musical instrument.

Petworth Festival - 14-30 July

The Petworth Festival will feature an incredible line-up of artists from across the world of classical, choral and world music, jazz, comedy and theatre.

Highlights include world class bass-baritone singer Sir Willard White; exceptional jazz pianist James Pearson; guest pianist Judy ‘Stride’ Carmichael; three great classical pianists – Argentine Cristina Ortiz, Chinese Ji Liu and a genuine British great, Joanna MacGregor; and the festival’s inaugural Comedy in the Stables night with Paul Merton and his Impro Chums.

Alfriston Summer Music - 26-31 July

St Andrew’s Church, Alfriston

Alfriston Summer Music is a well-established and popular classical music festival. Highlights include In Pursuit of Love, Timothy West and Prunella Scales read poetry of the great romantics alongside music performed by Benyounes Quartet; Callum Smart, violin and Jeremy Young, piano; Trio Apaches; and the Alfriston Ensemble.

Traditional Palm Court Tea - 30 July

St Mary’s House, Bramber, near Steyning

Shelley van Loen and her Palm Court Strings return to St Mary’s for the popular Traditional Palm Court Tea. This much-loved virtuoso ensemble performs a programme of ear-tingling popular classics in the delightful setting of the elegant Victorian Music Room.

Sir Tom Jones - 17 July

The County Ground, Hove

Legendary artist Sir Tom Jones is set to perform at the home of Sussex County Cricket Club, as part of his 2016 UK tour.

Sir Tom’s distinctive voice and iconic records have earned him a place as one of the best-loved artists to emerge from the 1960s. The 2016 tour will see Sir Tom and his band entertain crowds with a repertoire that spans all five decades of his popular music including recent albums Spirit in the Room and Praise & Blame, and his latest, Long Lost Suitcase. Gates open 4pm.

Ticket prices from £39.50-£69.00. For tickets visit or

Cyrano at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

This outdoor promenade production, based around John Wells’s adaptation of Rostand’s classic, has been created for the award-winning Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, in Singleton near Chichester, in association with the Chichester Festival Theatre and the Pallant House Gallery.

All performances 7pm (except 2 July 2pm). Doors open 45 mins before the performance for picnics. Tickets: £10 full price, £7 concessions, £30 family ticket.

Tickets: or

What’s on at the theatre

• 4-9 July: After Miss Julie | Theatre Royal Brighton: 0844 871 7677

• 8 July: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | The Hawth, Crawley: 01293 553636

• 8 July-8 August: Fracked! Or: Please Don’t Use The F-Word | Minerva Theatre, Chichester: 01243 781312

• 13 July: Rhythm of the Dance | The Capitol, Horsham: 01403 750220

• 19-30 July: Don’t Dress for Dinner | Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne: 01323 412000

• 22 July: The Bratislava Hot Serenaders | Congress Theatre, Eastbourne: 01323 412000

• 28-31 July: Flown | Pavilion Theatre Worthing: 01903 206206


Summer Mixed Exhibition - Until 30 July

Zimmer Stewart Art Gallery, Arundel

This year’s summer mixed exhibition will feature prints by Vicky Oldfield, paintings by Giles Penny, ceramics by Lilia Umana Clarke and sculptures by Christopher Marvell.

Reflection - 25 June-3 September

Green Tree Gallery, Borde Hill Garden, Haywards Heath

Reflection is an exhibition showcasing the work of the gallery’s talented glassmakers, together with contemplative work from a host of artists using all manner of media. No garden entry fee required.

Graffham Arts Festival - 15-24 July

The festival will include an Open Studios Art Trail featuring Richard Davidson and Jo Morris – both contestants on BBC reality TV shows Show Me The Monet and The Great British Pottery Throw Down, as well as performing arts, puppets, painting and pottery workshops for the whole family.

Brunswick Town Art Fair Africa, India, Brighton - A Sense of Place - 17 July

Brunswick Square Gardens and The Regency Town House, Hove

This year’s event features stunning hot, exotic and colourful artwork from Seana Mallen. Sounds, smells and colours inspire Seana and she uses them to capture the heat and the cacophony or the coolness and the quiet.


Wild Food Festival - 2-3 July

Wakehurst Place, Ardingly

10am-5pm. Challenge your taste buds and sample an amazing variety of wild foods gathered from around the world at this celebration of foraged fare.

Eat at the giant straw bale picnic table and visit Wakehurst’s new Coronation Meadow, which opens on 2 July to mark National Meadows Day. No additional entry charge.

Brighton Kite Festival - 9-10 July

Stanmer Park, Brighton

Brighton Kite Festival is a free public event not to be missed and brings some interesting shapes, sizes and colour to Stanmer Park. Free to enter but donations welcome for parking to help keep the festival going.

Wild Woodies Summer Holiday Clubs

Sussex Wildlife Trust

Bring your children along to enjoy fun-packed outdoor activity days across the county throughout the summer holidays with Sussex Wildlife Trust.

There is something for everyone; bug-hunting, bushcraft skills, games, rock-pooling, or arts and crafts using natural materials to make your own musical instruments.

Wild Woodies clubs are running at Woods Mill Nature Reserve near Henfield; Stanmer Park, Brighton; Seven Sisters Country Park near Seaford; Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Tilgate Park, Crawley. Children do not need to be accompanied by an adult as the clubs are fully supervised. Online booking is essential.

For further information on age suitability, activities, times, dates and prices please call 01273 497561 or visit

Horsham Sparks in the Park - 10 July

Horsham Park, Horsham

12-5pm. This year’s fun-filled Horsham

Sparks in the Park community showcase afternoon, organised by Horsham District Council and partners, marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The packed programme will include the return of regular favourites.

NGS Open Gardens

There is something for everyone across the county this month in the 20-plus gardens opening for the National Gardens Scheme. Including the stunning gardens at Town Place in Freshfield; Sheffield Park; a brand new garden trail from the Ouse to the coast; the outstanding Follers Manor in Cuckmere Valley near Alfriston and unique coastal garden Driftwood in Seaford. Each serves delicious home-made teas and many sell plants propagated by the owners. Many gardens also open by arrangement.

Creepy Crawlies Weekend - 16-17 July

Drusillas Park, Alfriston

11am-4pm. Creep down to Drusillas Park and meet some amazing mini monsters. The Discovery Centre will be swarming with weird insects, slimy molluscs and scary spiders. Experts from the British Tarantula Society will be available to answer questions.

Rare & Traditional Breeds Show - 17 July

Weald & Downland Museum, Singleton, near Chichester

10am-4.30pm. Four legs, furry legs, feathered legs… come and see cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry in this delightful agricultural show for rare and traditional breeds. With prizes at stake and classes for young handlers, it is one of the biggest shows of its kind in the South East.

Capability Brown Celebration

Petworth House and Park

Petworth Park is running a year-long celebration of its creator – Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – in this 300th anniversary year of his birth.

The majestic 700-acre Petworth Park in West Sussex is one of the finest surviving and unspoilt examples of an English landscape designed by Brown, who transformed it from formal gardens to a pastoral delight. Featuring exhibitions of beautiful textiles, artworks, animations and films, to themed walks and talks by historians and archaeologists.

Qatar Goodwood Festival - 26-30 July

Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester

The Qatar Goodwood Festival – popularly known as Glorious Goodwood – is one of the highlights of the summer season, combining top-class international horseracing with a relaxed atmosphere.

Guests can enjoy 13 group races across the five-day event with prize money totalling over £4.5m, including the £1m Qatar Sussex Stakes in which the world’s best horses compete for top honours.

Tickets start from £13.60 and accompanied children (under 18) receive complimentary admission.

For tickets telephone 01243 216610 or visit

The Longines Royal International Horse Show - 26-31 July

The All England Jumping Course, Hickstead

The Longines Royal International Horse Show is one of the oldest and most prestigious horse shows in the world. And it’s also one of the largest – with showjumping, showing, driving and arena eventing held at the All England Jumping Course concurrently with international dressage at sister venue Dressage at Hickstead, making it one of only three CHIO shows in the world.

Ladies’ day is held on the Saturday in aid of charity. Dress to impress, with a host of prizes on offer to the most elegantly attired ladies.

Best of the rest

• 13-17 July 10am-4pm: Lordington Lavender Open Days, Lordington Lavender, Lordington Farm, Lordington, Chichester;

• 16 July 11am-4pm: Bodiam Castle Food Festival, Bodiam, Robertsbridge

• 17 July 2-4pm: Vintage Teas in the Mansion, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly

• 24 July Classic Car Summer Show, Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, Houghton Bridge, near Arundel

• 24 July 6-8pm: Jazz in the Garden at Nymans, Handcross, near Haywards Heath

• 26-31 July Jousting and Medieval Tournament Week, Arundel Castle, Arundel