About

Battle Festival is a month long, annual arts and music festival running throughout October in Battle, East Sussex. Re-launched in 2014 after several years in hiatus, it now draws visitors from throughout the UK, Western Europe and the US. With performances and exhibitions by internationally acclaimed, award-winning artists, the festival has received immense public and critical acclaim and world-wide attention.

Our patrons are Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane and RSC and TV actor Anton Lesser.

Battle Festival is a registered charity and is managed by a small group of Trustees supported by a steering group made up of members from the local community.

For information on how to get in touch with us please visit the contact page.

Festival Associates

Battle Festival works with a number of leading organisations to ensure that we deliver top quality and diverse range of events.

In 2017 we continued our partnerships with:

Applause Rural Touring, whose support has enabled us to bring the extraordinary Indigenous People and Just Us Dance Theatre to town. Applause works with companies and artists to help tour and develop their work and to introduce them to rural audiences in a relaxed and shared space.

Following on from our collaboration in 2016, the Rural Touring Dance Initiative  supported the delivery of a dance residency at Claverham Community College, Battle & Langton and Netherfield primary schools with the fabulous Joseph Toonga and Just Us Dance Theatre. The RTDI is 3-year initiative for making and touring dance performances to and for rural areas. 

Glyndebourne's education department continues to support the Festival's singing programme through the provision of workshops. For 2017 the focus is on young people and their families, collaborating together to create new work, alongside composer and musician Fraser Trainer. Glyndebourne’s award winning education programme reaches hundred of young people in Brighton and Sussex every year through Glyndebourne Youth Opera (GYO), which includes outreach workshops, talent development work and world class performance projects. In 2017 they are celebrating the 20th anniversary of GYO.

Mrs Yarringtons Music Club again provided three top notch musical performances featuring world reknowned artists from a range of musical genres. 

New for 2017

2017 saw a new partnership with the blackShed Gallery who delivered a number of exhibitions and events including the Festival's  artist in residence, Martin Brockman. The blackShed Gallery is a contemporary art space in the heart of the East Sussex countryside  Overlooking the hop fields of Robertsbridge, the gallery sits amongst converted farm buildings. The gallery has its moments of intrigue with an openness to new ideas created through the delivery of a diverse programme from a wide range of artists. The gallery always seeks to work with artists, but more recently owner Kenton Lowe has been looking to develop links with local organisations.

It's an immense privilege to work with the Battle Festival this year. Following the success of recent projects that underline the value of the blackShed’s approach as a collaborative partner, its offering to the Festival provides an exciting extension to the blackShed’s ongoing programme of innovative projects and collaborations.  Kenton Lowe, blackShed Gallery

Resident Artists

2017

The  UK’s foremost chamber groups, The Primrose Piano Quartet, were once again our ensemble-in-residence.  The Quartet was formed in 2004 and enjoys a busy performing schedule in the UK and abroad with regular appearances at all major London concert venues. For 2017 they brought three world class-classical concerts to the Festival with special guests, opera singer Louise Winter, clarinettist Michael Collins and a magical family concert featuring the Festival Sinfonia that includes principal players from major London orchestras. The Primrose Piano Quartet are Susanne Stanzeleit (violin), Dorothea Vogel (viola), Andrew Fuller (cello) and John Thwaits (piano).

In partnership with the blackShed Gallery we welcomed the celebrated artist Martin Brockman, as our artist in residence. Throughout October, Brockman showcased a range of works on paper, woodblock prints, ceramics, kilns and three-dimensional works in wood. As well as an exhibition of prints and works, Brockman will used the Almonry in Battle as a working space where for a few days each week new works were created and hung amongst the work of the past, all linked through the objects in the Battle Museum. For full details visit Martin Brockman - Artist in residence.

Celebrated dancer and choreographer, Joseph Toonga and Just Us Dance Theatre  indertook a youth residency at local secondary and primary schools, showcasing their unique expressive style and providing a platform for older students to share what they have learnt as part of the companies performance of ‘Between Us’Just Us Dance Theatre was founded in 2007 by artists Joseph Toonga, Ricardo Da Silva and Rudeen February who shared a passion for Hip-Hop dance, physical theatre, contemporary dance and spoken word. They were fascinated with the rawness, compactness and precision that Hip-Hop provides and how they can fuse it with the shaping and structure more commonly used in contemporary choreography. Just Us aims to work around an ethos to inspire, nurture and support and aims to provide the conditions for artists to create and collaborate.