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Things to do in Sussex this August

PUBLISHED: 10:07 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:08 31 July 2018

It's tournament time at this year's Loxwood Joust

It's tournament time at this year's Loxwood Joust

Filip Makowski

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Sussex this month

 Discover weekly events and photography in the links above


The Artist’s Garden - 1 August - 30 September

The garden at Borde Hill becomes home to stone, stained glass, ceramic, resin and metalworks celebrating the great outdoors. Featuring work from Christine Baxter, Diana Roles and Ian Marlow.


Sussex Guild Craft Show - 3-5 August

Michelham Priory, East Sussex

The Sussex Guild Contemporary Craft Show celebrates its 50th anniversary. This three-day show showcases talented crafts, from ceramics, textiles and jewellery to stone carving, leatherwork and furniture-making. Open from 10.30am until 5pm.


On the Waterfront - 25 August - 2 September

Linklater Pavilion, Lewes

Now celebrating its 41st anniversary, the 30-strong Sussex Watercolour Society is holding its annual exhibition as part of Lewes Artwave, which takes over the town from 18 August.



Thank Abba for the Music - 3 August

The Hawth, Crawley

Grab your platforms, flares and gold medallions and head back to a time when ABBA dominated the charts. This two-hour theatre spectacular captures all the magic and excitement of the time, showcasing the hits of one of pop history’s most successful bands.


Bakk Lamp Fall - 4 August

Brunswick Pub, 1-3 Holland Road, Hove BN3 1JF

Bakk Lamp Fall are proud to bring their contemporary West African fusion to the renowned Brunswick. Featuring the outstanding vocal power of their Senegalese singer Khadim Sarr accompanied by an ensemble of eminent percussionists and instrumentalists.


Return to the Forbidden Planet - 9 August - 1 September

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

Revival of the Olivier Award-winning rock and roll musical with West End star Matt Devitt as Prospero. From £21.


The Railway Children - 14 August

Weald and Downland Museum, Singleton

Join Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis on a station platform and share this live performance of the classic story by Edith Nesbit. Bring your chairs, blankets and picnics and settle down for an evening of classic, outdoor theatre. Gates open at 6pm and the performance runs for two hours.


Magican Music - 17-19 August

Borde Hill Garden, Haywards Heath

This small, family friendly festival aims to make you feel amazing through live music, DJs, activities and one-of-a-kind experiences. The grounds are away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, allowing visitors to discover new passions.


MADHurst - 18-27 August

Music, arts and drama return to Midhurst for another year, in a bumper, ten-day line up of live performances and events. Started by a vicar, a landlady and two musicians back in 2010, the festival is now a roaring success, celebrating the fantastic creativity and passion of this Sussex community.


Arundel Festival - 18-27 August

Arundel, West Sussex

The 40th anniversary event features some new additions for 2018, including a revamped street theatre programme and a wine and music event featuring broadcaster Oz Clarke and the Armonico Consort. The established favourites return too, including the 30th Arundel Gallery Trail (see page 54), the Theatre Trail, dragonboats and duck race and Shakespeare in Arundel Castle’s Collector’s Garden, which this year is The Merchant of Venice.


Rye Jazz & Blues Summer Festival - 23-27 August

Back for its seventh year, this boutique music festival attracts thousands of music fans and families from across the region, featuring a varied and exciting festival programme staged in the stunning surroundings of St Mary’s Church, Rye. Among the headline acts are Zara McFarlane – recently named vocalist of the year by Jazz FM – and saxophonist and composer Courtney Pine. Joan Armatrading will also perform songs from both her new album and incredible back catalogue.


Byline Festival - 24-27 August

Pippingford Park, Nutley

Offering a very rare opportunity to see Pussy Riot perform, Byline Festival brings a line up of bands and thought-provoking talks from the likes of Michael Sheen, Bonnie Greer and Kate Mosse. The comedy line up features Joanna Scanlan, Andy Hamilton and Hardeep Singh Kohli, as well as more than 100 dynamic workshops and the Bad Press Awards, which will be presented by John Cleese and Hugh Grant.


Jane McDonald - 26 August

Theatre Royal, Brighton

After capturing the hearts of millions of viewers on The Cruise, Jane McDonald has had a successful musical career, with her debut, self-titled album securing a three-week run at number one in the UK charts. Now, 20 years on, she is returning to the stage, with a special anniversary tour.



Brighton and Hove Pride - 3-5 August

Britney Spears, Ella Eyre and Pixie Lott take to the stage in Preston Park, celebrating diversity at the country’s biggest LGBTQ event. Each year, the event attracts hundreds of visitors from across the globe with its bumper line up of celebrations, parties, music and cabaret. This year also features a canine beauty contest, carnival-style parade and a designated family area, allowing the little ones to have fun, too.

And Preston Park hosts a second day of music on Sunday 5. Love BN1 Fest is headlined by Nile Rodgers and Chic.


International Film Festival - 3-5 and 9-26 August

Locations throughout Chichester, West Sussex

Last year, Chichester International Film Festival delighted audiences, showing more than 160 films in five locations across the town. This year, it looks to be even better, with Grease, The Incredibles 2 and The Greatest Showman among the open-air screenings to take place at Priory Park from the 3 to 5 August.


The Loxwood Joust - 4-5 and 11-12 August

Loxwood Meadow

The Loxwood Joust features a programme of medieval revelry offering a fun, educational day out for all the family. Along with fast-paced, all-action jousting tournaments there will be plenty of opportunities to try your hand at medieval craft and to listen to characters from the period, entertaining you with stories and anecdotes about what life was like in the Middle Ages. Adults: £13, children: £7, children under four go free.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea - 6-19 August

Holiday Inn Gatwick Worth


Chilli Fiesta - 10-12 August

West Dean Gardens, Chichester

Celebrating its 23rd year, the UK’s biggest chilli festival will return with more than 30 music and dance performances, an outdoor cinema and vintage funfair. While top chefs demonstrate their culinary expertise, gardening experts will give chilli growing tips. View 150 chillies in the Victorian glasshouses, and try, taste and buy gifts, seeds and produce from more than 140 stalls.


Action Sports Music Live - 11-12 August

South of England Showground, Ardingly

A host of have-a-go activities for youngsters which are designed to get them away from the screen and the sofa.

There will be tuition in electric motocross bikes, skateboarding, scootering, skating, BMX, parkour and rock-climbing, plus high octane performances from Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists The Bolddog Crew and motorcyle trials rider Dougie Lampkin. Advance tickets from £7.96 children, £19.96 adults.


Horse Trials - 11-12 August

Borde Hill Garden, near Haywards Heath

The British Eventing Horse Trials offer a chance to enjoy the beautiful parkland of the Borde Hill estate at the same time as enjoying three phases of spectacular competition unfold, including dressage, cross-country and show-jumping.


Firle Vintage Fair - 11-12 August

Firle Park, near Lewes

A range of cherry-picked vintage stalls offer their wares, as well as live music and dance to get you in the mood. A variety of artisan food and drink suppliers will keep you fed and watered, and an original 1880 Victorian fairground gives a proper whirl around the past.


Airbourne - 16-19 August

Eastbourne seafront

Eastbourne’s annual airshow returns with highlights including a Chinook, Typhoon and brand new Belgian Air Force A109 above the town. There are daily performances by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers and the Tigers Parachute Team. The Red Arrows mark 100 years of the RAF with three displays from Friday to Sunday. Reserved seats start from £10/£6 for children or simply watch on the seafront for free.


Brighton Beer Tour - 18 August

Throughout Brighton

Learn about the history of brewing in the city, from fishermen’s inns to fashionable pump houses. Six stops along the way will allow you to sample six of the county’s favourite beers. From 2pm until 5pm, £30.


Kennels’ Vintage Market - 18 August

This vintage market at Goodwood Racecourse is good preparation for the Goodwood Revival next month, offering inspiration, clothing and accessories to get you in the mood. The market closes at 5pm, but a 1950s-inspired party at 7.30pm will keep you jiving until midnight. Jackson Sloan and The Rhythmtones will take to the stage, offering up lively, 1950s style rhythm and blues, as well as rock ‘n’ roll favourites.


Vintage and Steam - 18-19 August

Weald and Downland Museum, Singleton

Experience the nostalgic sights, sounds and smells of an era dominated by steam, when world-class engineering powered the country. Children can ride the iconic gallopers, part of a small vintage fairground. There will also be vintage music, a themed tea tent and crafts.


London Cartel - 19 August

South of England Showground


Newhaven Secret Edgelands Walk - 19 August

Newhaven Fort

Newhaven Secret Edgelands Walk starts at 3pm at Newhaven Fort, proceeds along the spectacular west cliffs, loops inland to a beautiful Community Garden, takes in some hidden woodland and then descends through the town to the fishing quays before ending up on the west beach.


Antiques, Collectables and Vintage Fair - 26 August

Brighton Racecourse, East Sussex

You never know what you might find at this vintage fair, with 175 indoor stalls dedicated to amazing antiques, vintage wares and collectibles. Singer Steve Conway will provide fabulous swing music throughout the day, and with food and a licensed bar also on offer, why not make a day of it? From 10.30am until 4pm.


One Fine Day - 26 August

Balcombe Cricket Pitch

This is a one-off charity event in aid of Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance (KSSAA), which will run from 11am until 5pm, and then from 7pm in the evening until late. There will be a whole host of things happening throughout the day, including a dog show, a cake competition, (which will be judged by BBC’s The Great British Bake Off contestant Cat Dresser), vintage Sussex ice creams, afternoon teas, a hog roast and ferret racing.


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