48th Annual Festival

14th September - 28th September 2019

Tickets for all 2019 events available now!

Simply click on the ‘Events’ tab above to find out more.

We hope you enjoy browsing through all the amazing events we have on offer this September. In order to buy tickets and gain the relevant discount, Friends and Benefactors must LOGIN (at the top of the events pages) using the username registered to your account. If this is the first time you have bought tickets this year, you will need to ask for a password reset (see our Help page for more information on this).

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

The Box Office is now open to the public – Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 12.30pm and for the same hours on Saturdays during the Festival. If you have any queries or would like to book over the phone please leave a message if necessary and we’ll respond as soon as possible. You can also e-mail the box office for more information/advice.

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




As a result of the dreadful fire at The George in Rye, we are moving ‘Bottoms Up! The story of wine, its rituals and glasses’ on Friday 27th September to Rye Methodist Church, thus allowing The Mermaid to host a wedding reception for a displaced couple.
If you already have tickets stating the Mermaid as the venue, these are, of course, valid for the Methodist Church. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. We are in the process of contacting all ticket holders to inform them of this change.


We are delighted to announce that our Books and Talks event organiser has managed to secure Gavin Esler to bring us a lively discussion on Brexit at 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th September. Tickets cost £10 each – or less if you have a member discount! Click here to buy tickets.

Gavin was the main presenter of the BBC current affairs show Newsnight for 12 years until 2014. Brexit throws up many surprises. Some are deeply unpleasant. Gavin Esler’s Brexit Without the Bullshit is not about the Brexit you were told you were getting. He argues that it’s about the one that is arriving. The talk will be followed by a Question & Answer session and copies of Gavin’s new book will be on sale at his talk.

Listen to Gavin here…


A big thank you to the large number of Benefactors and Friends who came to our launch party on Sunday evening, 7th July.

We hope you enjoyed our resume of all the wonderful acts that are coming to Rye this September and look forward to meeting you again over the two weeks of the Festival.

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets soon – some of the events are sure to be a sell-out!


If you would like to read archived messages from the Chair of our CIO, click here.