VOTE - Are you planning on attending any events at Festival 2013?

A HUGELY-impressive line-up is emerging as Chichester’s new summer festival – led by the Observer – begins to take shape.

Festival of Chichester was initiated by the newspaper after the collapse of the Chichester Festivities this summer.

Already around 70 individuals and groups have registered their intention to put together an event, or multiple events, for next year’s inaugural outing.

Phil Hewitt, group arts editor for Sussex Newspapers, said: “I came up with the idea of the newspaper leading a festival when I was writing about the sad and sorry wrangling which was the final act of the Festivities.

“I hardly dared hope that we would have the superb response we have had. It has been hugely encouraging, but maybe the response isn’t really so surprising when you think about it. Chichester is home to a remarkable range of talents and skills, which is why it is such a pleasure to write the entertainments section. We are delighted we are able to make sure that all these talents have exactly the right platform on which to shine next year.

“Our man with the diary is our festival co-ordinator Barry Smith who is doing a fabulous job – and is keen to hear from you.”

Events already promised include: a children’s craft fair using waste materials, Sussex Writers, a creative writing day course, The Vagina Monologues, a rock choir concert, West Sussex young musicians and the Badke Quartet.

Festival of Chichester will open with the Chichester Singers on June 15 and close with the Chichester Symphony Orchestra on July 13.

Music On Sundays and Chichester Jazz Club are also welcome additions to the festival. Throughout, the focus will be very much a celebration of our home-grown talents, Phil said.

The theme is one of inclusivity, with everyone welcome on an equal billing.

Anyone wishing to register an event must do so by emailing, supplying brief details of what they are planning to do.

Barry will then send them a form to complete with guidance notes on how the organisers see the festival working. The completed form needs to be submitted by January 31.

The New Year will see the launch of an on-line calendar and the festival logo. Phil and Barry are working on releasing ticket details.

What do you think?

Are you planning on attending any events at Festival 2013? Let us know in the voting panel on the right, or leave your comments below.