49th Annual Festival

12th September - 26th September 2020

Plans for the 2020 festival have started.

The 49th annual Rye Arts Festival will take place from 12th – 26th September 2020.

If you would like to become involved with bringing the arts to Rye, the festival organisers would like to hear from you. Volunteers with a wide range of administrative, creative, marketing or other skills are needed. If you would like to be involved, Rye Arts Festival would be pleased to hear from you – click here to e-mail us.

More than just satisfied Customers!

“I was privileged to attend three superb talks in four days by speakers of international calibration, namely Sir Max Hastings, Lord Owen and Andrew Roberts. No arts festival on earth could improve on that. Well done! Truly, you have set the bar exceedingly high. I can’t wait for next year. ” Roy Isworth

“My daughter Sophie and I had a truly memorable cRYmE Day. it happened to be my birthday and what a treat it was to hear four excellent speakers and enjoy a fabulous lunch. I will not forget it. A heartfelt thanks to the organisers and to Guy Fraser-Sampson for his relaxed approach which made the audience feel very much at home.”  Carol and Sophie Dennard

… and about Laura Snowden:
“A World class artist… how lucky are we? Thanks for hosting such a great concert.” Kate Lewis (Photo by Paul Whiteman)

… and about Trio Opal:
“What a fantastic concert!  I have attended many excellent Rye Festival classical concerts over the years but this one topped all in holding awareness of pleasure in all aspects of listening and watching for every minute of the stunning performance!!  I was lucky enough to be sitting where I could see all three members of the ultra talented trio and was held spellbound via both ears and eyes throughout the entire hour plus.  What  a blissful respite from current political news! I hope the Trio has already been booked for next year’s Festival.  Those fortunate enough to attend last night – others felt as I did – should guarantee it is a sell-out! All good wishes to those who make the Rye Festival such a high point of the year.” Jean Floyd

“… you have given us a wealth of speakers this year … (the Festival) is an absolute beacon of excellence and we count ourselves fortunate to be able to enjoy such wonderful events in Rye every year.” Emma Isworth

You can become a member at any time – just click here or on the Membership tab at the top of this webpage.

Fred Cuming’s exhibition show space was used to host Rye Arts Festival’s Sponsors’ Party on Thursday 12th September. There was a packed crowd that evening, during which a silent auction for the painting ‘Bullfinches’ was conducted. As it exceeded the reserve price, the painting was sold and Rye Arts Festival has received a donation of £1550 to be used for outreach programmes.


Rye Arts Festival is pleased to announce we have an official Radio partner:





Click here to watch and listen to the Follow The Lieder Christmas Special
Short film inspired by Franz Schubert’s song, Der Doppelgänger, sung by Roderick Williams (baritone) with Iain Burnside (piano), who appear courtesy of Chandos Records (Catalogue no. CHAN 20126 – release date 1 May 2020 © Chandos Records Ltd 2020)

A Rye Arts Festival production, featuring William Wallace and Louise Fuller. Written, edited, photographed and directed by Alisdair Kitchen. With thanks to AE3 Ltd, John & Sarah Hodson and the Kowitz Family Foundation.

Link to translation: oxfordlieder.co.uk/song/997

Happy Performers

Not only our customers but also our performers have been smothering us in praise : )

Dear Rye Arts Festival Committee, It’s already been a month, since we performed at the Rye Arts Festival, and on behalf of the Music Team, the Pink Singers Management Committee, and the wider choir, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for inviting us to sing at your event.  It was widely plauded by members of the choir as the ‘best thing we’ve done this year’. I don’t think any of us were prepared for the warm welcome and reception afforded to us by the people of Rye, and how popular the concert would be.  We thoroughly enjoyed performing for you, and we’re incredibly grateful that you chose us as part of your line up for this year’s festival.  The venue was fantastic, and I also know our accompanist John Flinders would want me to pass on his enjoyment of playing such a magnificent piano! We are already hoping that you’ll consider us for further collaboration.  Please do keep in touch and I look forward to continuing to build on our working relationship, and hopefully coming to perform at Rye some time again in the future.
Yours sincerely, Paul Roets-Truesdale – Events Manager, on behalf of the Pink Singers

Two special events 2nd and 3rd November 2019

In addition to the re-scheduled appearance of Raynor Winn, which took place on Sunday 3rd November at 3.00pm, we also offered the chance to spice up the cold, dark days of late autumn with an evening of fun and excellent entertainment at the Milligan Theatre on Saturday 2nd November. Called ‘Songs from the Art Deco Decades’, Kate Garner and her Band treated us to a celebration of music from the 1920s and 1930s. The immensely talented singer/songwriter Kate has also written Mapp & Lucia – The Musical, which is currently being prepared for launch in 2020. We were lucky enough to hear selected numbers from the new Musical. Many people even dressed up in Gatsby style and practised their moves on the dance floor during a very fun evening!


A whole new take on Soap Opera!

Nine songs, nine films, nine weeks: Schubert as you’ve never seen him before! 

The ninth video:

“Night and Dreams” after Schubert’s ‘Nacht und Träume’.

The eighth video is ‘Weight of the World’ – “Der Atlas”.

‘You were here’ – “Dass Sie Hier Gewessen” – the seventh video

‘The Trout’ – is the sixth video. 


‘HARPER III’ – is the fifth video. 

‘Gretchen’ – is the fourth video.

…and why not take a look at the first three ‘episodes’ below:

Film One: ‘The Secret’, (which is silent for the first 35 seconds):


Film Two: ‘The Busker’ 

Film Three: ‘Rapture’