D-I-Y events the way forward for Arundel festival’s new leadership

The new Arundel Festival committee (from the left): Sue White, Kelly Mikulla, Bill Brennan, Graham Lane, Gill Farquharson, Linda Clark, James Peters and Michael Tu. Missing from the picture is committee member Debbie Kennedy        Photo: Nigel Cull
The new Arundel Festival committee (from the left): Sue White, Kelly Mikulla, Bill Brennan, Graham Lane, Gill Farquharson, Linda Clark, James Peters and Michael Tu. Missing from the picture is committee member Debbie Kennedy Photo: Nigel Cull
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THIS year’s Arundel Festival has a new team at the helm, and a new approach to running the ever-popular celebration of the arts, now in its 38th year.

A new nine-strong committee has taken the reins, after the previous line-up stood down, having worked tirelessly for the past few years to not only keep the festival going, but also develop its appeal.

There was a danger that the festival could have dwindled to a much smaller affair, or even ceased as a broader event, although regulars such as the Gallery Trail may well have continued.

However, the threat proved to be a turning point, convincing people of the festival’s importance in Arundel’s calendar.

“It would have been a great shame if there had been no festival this year,” said chairman Bill Brennan, new to this role but a veteran of many Arundel Festivals through his theatre company Drip Action.

Having stepped forward to ensure the festival’s survival in 2015, the new leadership is now appealing to the wider Arundel community to play its part, too.

“It’s a new way of running the festival,” explained Bill. “Our focus will be on promoting and coordinating the events, but we are looking to other people to actually organise them.

“That already happens with the Gallery Trail, Arundel Players, Arundel Castle’s programme, the Theatre Trail, Rotary fair and Lions’ duck race, but there are other events, such as the street theatre, where we hope people will become involved.

“We will be renewing the insurance for everyone’s needs and keeping a weather eye open to see if events are legal and safe, and organising road closures in Tarrant Street at the weekends.”

The committee is encouraging people to come forward with their ideas for staging an event and an application form can be downloaded from www.arundelfestival.co.uk and returned by email to events@arundelfestival.co.uk by March 9. Forms are also available from the Town Hall and can be returned there.

Details from the form will be included in the festival brochure and website, on social media and in news releases.

Bill added: “Most of the usual events will go ahead, I’m sure. We are talking to someone about the bath tub race and I know that the organisers of the music stage in Jubilee Gardens are keen for that to happen, although it may be more limited than in previous years.”

To find out more about this year’s festival, email info@arundelfestival.co.uk or contact one of the committee.