Could you give us a couple of sentences to sum up the festival?
Sure, we’ve prepared a handy mission statement for situations just like this! It reads:
“Kenilworth Arts Festival is an annual, not-for-profit festival that takes place across a range of venues in the historic town of Kenilworth. Our aim is to bring together some of the finest contemporary music, literature and art from across the country, as well as to offer a platform for bright local talent. We want to offer a programme of events that will inspire and engage, that will ask brave questions of the world around us and encourage bold, new thinking. In this endeavour, we do not confine ourselves to any particular genre or style, rather our line-ups strive to reflect exciting developments across the broadest spectrum of culture, exhibiting the current creative landscape at its best.
For one week in September, the town is transformed into a hive of creative exploration; a celebration of art, imagination, community and the remarkable setting that is Kenilworth. Expect headline events, workshops, art trails, a free, open-air gathering, and much more.
The festival continues to evolve and expand, join us!”
When you say an ‘arts festival’, what do you mean?
Good question. The short answer is that we want to incorporate a wide variety of forms of artistic expression into the festival programme. We’re not just putting ‘arts’ in the title to sound a bit more fancy; we genuinely want to offer creative diversity and treat each cultural form as being just as important as others.
For us, saying we are an ‘arts’ festival means we are open to including: busking, baking, ballet dancing, basket-making; big bands, jazz bands, new bands, craft stands; stand-up comedy, face painting, floristry; fiction, poetry, spoken word, pottery; sculpture, live art, illustration, installations; film screenings, storytelling, songwriters, symphonies; folk music, rock n’ roll, exhibitions, secret shows, and much, more more.
That said, it’s important to point out that ‘arts’ isn’t intended as a code word for ‘hodgepodge’. We have a very clear vision for the festival (did we mention we have a mission statement?), and our insistence on quality, originality, and contemporary creative expression will shape the programme of events.
When and where is the festival held?
The festival is held over the course of a week, from Sunday 17th to Saturday 23rd September. Things kick off with Fiesta, a completely free, open-air extravaganza in the beautiful Abbey Fields. From then onwards, there are headline events taking place each evening in various venues across the town, as well as fringe events, exhibitions and workshops.
For more information about Kenilworth, see our dedicated page.
Because the majority of the festival will be based within established venues, instead of in a muddy field in the middle of nowhere, there should be no worries about access to food and drink, cash machines, loos, et cetera. Even when we do branch out into a (hopefully not very) muddy field for Fiesta, we do our best to provide everything you could possibly wish for onsite.
What about accommodation, parking etc?
If you want to stay the night (or longer), there are plenty of options. Kenilworth has several charming B&Bs and hotels, ranging from small independents to big, well-known chains. You can also find rooms available on sites like Airbnb, if you prefer that kind of thing.
As for parking, most of the venues that will play host to the festival have dedicated parking spaces. There are also several large car parks in the town centre.
If you’d rather not drive, there are several different options for getting to Kenilworth by bus. There is also a greenway, and a dedicated footpath connecting the town to the University of Warwick.
What’s your accessibility policy?
Needless to say, we will do everything we can to ensure that everyone is able to attend and enjoy the festival. Once we have confirmed the full programme of events, we will put together a more detailed information pack with guidance on access and accessible facilities. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email Charlotte at: email@example.com