Andrew Loretto

New Director, Andrew Loretto

PRESS RELEASE: 6 March 2017

Hat Fair Announces New Director

Hat Fair has announced that its new Director will be Andrew Loretto. He starts full time on 2nd May 2017. Andrew is currently Director of Right Up Our Street, which creates high quality arts projects and outdoor festivals across the community in Doncaster.

Hat Fair has presented an annual summer festival of outdoor arts in Winchester for over 40 years, attracting over 60,000 visitors. In recent years, Hat Fair has expanded to put on activities all year round such as Woolly Hat Fair in December and last autumn’s Four Score Years And Ten telling the stories of some of Winchester’s 90 year olds.

Andrew said: “Hat Fair is a unique festival in a unique and historic city. I’m very excited by the playful relationship between the festival, its environment and the people of Winchester and Hampshire.”

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of Live Theatre Winchester Trust which incorporates Hat Fair and Theatre Royal Winchester, said: “Andrew is an experienced and inventive Creative Producer and I look forward to him continuing the reputation of Hat Fair as a high quality, quirky festival full of fun and surprises. He will bring a real passion for the way outdoor arts can animate a place and engage a whole community.”

“Having worked in the outdoor theatre sector all over the UK,” said Andrew, “I know it often reaches audiences that might not engage in venue-based live theatre.” He directed a critically-acclaimed new version of The Wakefield Mysteries in 2016 for Theatre Royal Wakefield. Previously Andrew was Creative Producer for Sheffield Theatres where he established Sheffield Peoples Theatre and was Director of Opera North youth company.

“My work has always been rooted in high quality artists, community and location so I’m looking forward to exploring the exciting possibilities that Winchester has to offer,” explained Andrew. “I’ll be continuing the tradition of Hat Fair helping people rediscover historic spaces and celebrate our heritage with a 21st Century twist.”

Andrew is pleased to be implementing the Celebrating Age project for which Hat Fair was awarded a major grant of £75,000 last week by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation. The funding will enable Hat Fair to remount and tour Four Score Years And Ten in the autumn and in 2018 the arts organisation will produce a film created from the reminiscences of older people using archive clips from Hampshire Records Office.

The current Artistic Director of Hat Fair, Michelle Walker, leaves on 10 March to take up the post of Executive Director at Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.