Happy 40th Birthday

Happy 40th Birthday

Hat Fair is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style by commissioning its own song to be performed by local schoolchildren and bringing an ambitious programme of spectacular events to the streets of Winchester from 4-6 July 2014.

From its beginnings as a buskers’ festival, Hat Fair has grown to become an event of global renown, featuring acclaimed international artists and the best performances from the UK.

The festival also presents a range of new and innovative work created in partnership with consortia such as Without Walls, Small Wonders and the European network ZEPA2.

Hat Fair 2013 brought around 69,000 visitors to the city of Winchester throughout the three day festival, which includes a schools parade, art installations, a special mini festival for the under 5s, a day of dance, circus, music and the best hatters from around the world.

In 2014, the Without Walls consortium of outdoor festivals has commissioned seven works which will unfold at festivals in the UK from May onwards, including Marc Brew Company’s (i)land, a dance performance on top of a six ton pile of sand, exploring what it would be like to be shipwrecked and cut off from society.

Acrojou also presents Frantic, an acrobatics and dance theatre performance, combining inspirational circus performance and physical storytelling.

Other commissioned companies include Ramshaklicious, Winchester’s own Wet Picnic, and two companies who are new to the outdoor world, Nuno Silva and award-winning Tiata Fahodzi.

Hat Fair director Kate Hazel enthused, “The imagination, ingenuity, ambition and sheer bravado of outdoor arts continues to astound and inspire audiences of all ages. In line with the spirit of the original Hat Fair in 1974, set up by Jonathan Kay, performance is brought out onto the streets for everyone to enjoy and therefore its reach is phenomenal. We are still here 40 years later due to the huge support from our audiences and this year we want to make sure there are as many opportunities for the general public to be an integral part of the festival. From The People’s Stage and The People’s Pitch to singing the Hat Fair song and joining in a giant anniversary photograph at Oram’s Arbour, we invite everyone to make our 40th anniversary a spectacular year.”