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Hat Fair takes place across the historic and charming city of Winchester during the first weekend of July.

The city centre will be divided up into festival zones, all just a short walk from one to the next.

To help plan your days, visit the What’s On section (available online from May – July only) for show times and locations.

Travel Information

We recommend that you leave your car at home when you come to Hat Fair – the streets are so much nicer when full of artists instead of traffic!

By Train

Winchester has a great train service with direct connections to London, Reading, Oxford, Birmingham and cities to the north and also to Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Weymouth.

By Air

Our nearest airport at Southampton is just 15mins away by direct train with flights to many parts of the UK and Europe.

By Coach

National Express and Greyhound both offer services to the city.

By Car

The majority of the festival takes place in Winchester city centre. Travelling on the M3 from Southampton take Exit 11, travelling from Basingstoke and London take Exit 9 and follow signs to the city centre.

Festival visitors are strongly advised to use the Park & Ride services if travelling by car.

Festival information

Information points

During the festival weekend, there are Information Points across the city manned by Hat Fair staff who can give you all the information you need on venues and acts. There are also festival programmes available (suggested donation £1) which contain full schedules.

Fri & Sat info points: Train Station, High Street, Cathedral Outer Close, and the Tourist Information Centre.

Sun info point: North Walls Recreation Ground.

Wet weather

We hope the sun shines but the festival will go ahead come rain or shine!

Be prepared for all weather (sunscreen and waterproofs!). If it pours we will, where possible, carry on as normal but some of our programme may be subject to change. Please keep an eye on the website and social media which will be updated continually.

Access

We endeavour to make all our sites and marketing materials as accessible as possible and our friendly staff will be on hand at all sites to help.

If you wish to discuss access please contact hatfairinfo@playtothecrowd.co.uk or phone 01962 844 600.

Medical and Welfare

First Aid is located on The Broadway on Friday and Saturday and at North Walls Recreation Ground on Sunday. Hat Fair’s medical team will also be patrolling Hat Fair venues throughout the festival. If you feel unwell and require medical attention please ask someone in a Hat Fair t-shirt or Hat Fair security to contact our medics for you.

Hat Fair has a designated lost persons team who will look after any children or vulnerable people who have become separated from their guardians. If you lose a child or vulnerable person please contact someone in a Hat Fair t-shirt or our security personnel immediately, or go to one of the Hat Fair Information Points for help.

Love Winchester

Every year thousands of people visit Winchester to enjoy Hat Fair. We ask that you look out for each other and look after yourself, bring plenty of sunscreen if the sun is shining (of course it will be!) and waterproofs if it’s raining.

There are extra facilities for rubbish over the festival site. Please ensure all rubbish is put in the bins or take it home with you, helping us keep Winchester clean.

Environmental

Hat Fair aims actively to reduce its environmental impact. Our performance pitches (where possible) are powered by solar generators and we install designated recycling points all over the city.

As part of our commitment to reducing the festival’s environmental impact since 2015, we have:

  • signed up to measure and share the data on our environmental impact via the Julie’s Bicycle website. Julie’s Bicycle is Arts Council England’s Sustainability Partner, whose online tools will help us know what the negative environmental impacts of our activity are, how we compare with other similar organisations, and how we can reduce those impacts further.
  • worked closely with More Bins and the Winchester Litter Pickers to improve the percentage of waste which gets recycled during the festival.
  • used recycled materials in the festival wherever possible and continued to discourage the single use of plastic materials.
  • shared international programming with other local festivals to minimise artists’ travel.

Alcohol (DPPO)

Please note that Winchester City Centre has a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO). This means that a police officer can require a person to cease drinking alcohol (or anything he/she reasonably believes to be alcohol) in a public place and can confiscate and dispose of the alcohol and its container.

The person must be informed that failure to comply with the police officer’s request, without reasonable excuse, is an offence.