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Things to do in Sussex this August

PUBLISHED: 10:29 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:41 31 July 2019

Department S at Byline Festival

Department S at Byline Festival


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


Oxfest - 2-4 August

The Sussex Ox, Polegate

Escape the buzz of the city for a weekend and immerse yourself in a weekend of music, dancing and play - surrounded by 360-degree views of the idyllic Sussex countryside. This three-day, family-friendly, independently run festival honours all things local, from the acts you will be watching to the beer you will be sipping. The programme is jam-packed with music with everything from indie, folk and alternative rock to '80s disco and Afrobeat.


Brighton & Hove Pride - 2-4 August

Preston Park, Brighton

The country's most popular LGBT event, Brighton Pride is a vibrant celebration of all that is wonderful about Brighton and Hove's diverse community, with visitors from across the globe enjoying its spectacular celebrations. This year's Preston Park line-up is extraordinary, with LGBTQ icon Kylie, Grammy Award-winner Clean Bandit and the stellar Fleur East performing.


The Loxwood Joust - 3-11 August

The Loxwood Meadow, West Sussex

Step back in time and experience the verve and vigour of a world where lives were harsh and hearts were passionate at this unique, fun and educational day out for all the family. The event boasts a wide range of experiences and workshops taking place at the festival, including blacksmith workshops, copper bowl-making, knight school and jousting competitions. Tickets are £13.


Arundel Festival - 16-26 August

Arundel, West Sussex

This charming festival is located in the heart of Arundel, a picturesque town in the South Downs National Park surrounded by countryside and wildlife. The festival was established 41 years ago and is more vibrant and popular than ever. With street entertainment, music in the Jubilee Gardens, the long-established Arundel Gallery Trail and many other events, there is something for everyone.


Lewes Artwave - 17 August-1 September

Lewes, East Sussex

This unique event will showcase some of the very best creative talents from across the local area, taking place over three weekends. The festival will

give art-lovers the chance to discover new artists, meet the makers, and buy direct from them. The diverse range of work on show includes jewellery, paintings, sculpture, printmaking, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, photography and performance art.


Ladies' Evening at Fontwell Park - 22 August

Fontwell Park Racecourse, near Arundel

If you are looking for an amazing summer's evening of glitz, glamour and plenty of fizz then head to this ultra-stylish event. Get your friends together and come dressed to impress to be in with a chance of winning the best dressed competition. Not only will there be seven exciting races, there'll also be entertainment throughout the evening including a vintage photo booth. Spirit FM will host a party to round up the festivities with their Back to the '80s DJ set, with a surprise guest to party the evening away from 8.30pm.


Byline Fest - 23-26 August

Pippingford Park, East Sussex

Dance, laugh and change the world at this social conscience festival. If you are looking for a festival that has a sense of purpose and headline music-makers in a glorious setting, then Byline Festival has the power to change you. Its aura is infectious and the line-up is to die for, seeing the like of Suggs (Madness), Lowkey, Matt Bianco, Jerry Dammers (founder of The Specials and Two Tone). Alongside all the music, there will be comic sets, poetry, discussions and panels featuring local politicians. Tickets start at £40.


Curious Arts Festival - 23-26 August

Pippingford Park, East Sussex

On one hand you can expect fabulous novelists, exceptional historians, poet laureates, dogs on leads, gin and tonics, and sitting on a deckchair with a view of the Downs. On the other, you might find yourself betting your life-savings on the snail-racing, happening upon a secret choral performance or listening to some of the UK's most exciting musicians. Taking place on the same weekend as the Byline Festival, Curious Arts ticket- holders will have access to both events at no extra cost.


Rye Jazz Festival - 24-26 August

Rye, East Sussex

In its eighth year, this stellar celebration of jazz is back with a bang. This year the line-up features the UK's queen of soul, Beverley Knight, with her eight-piece band. The 2019 festival programme includes six world-class international artists performing headline concerts, three days of fantastic free outdoor music performances, music workshops, marching bands and music taking place at many fringe venues across the town… imagine New Orleans in Rye: what's not to love?


Lapwing Music Festival - 30 August-1 September

Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex

Back in full swing for its fourth year, this unique event will feature six outstanding artists in the magical setting of the Coastguard Cottages. Situated in a cosy marquee with views of the cottages, these performances will take your breath away. Lapwing has an established tradition of hosting renowned solo artists to present deeply personal recitals. Only 60 tickets are available for each of these incredibly intimate recitals. Profits will be donated to the Cuckmere Haven SOS campaign, which seeks to save the cottages from coastal erosion. Tickets start at £30.



Nell Gwynn - 3 August

The Hawth, Crawley

Enjoy this fabulous night of theatre in The Hawth's beautiful woodland amphitheatre. Bring along a blanket and picnic for the perfect evening.

Jessica Swale's Nell Gwynn premiered at Shakespeare's Globe in 2015 and was nominated for five awards, winning a 2016 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Nell Gwynn charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain's most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King. But at a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the court? Tickets are £22.50


Annie - 13-17 August

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

This smash-hit musical comes to town for one week only direct from London's West End. Following the trials and tribulations of little Annie's life, this show is a must-see. With unforgettable songs including It's The Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don't Need Anything But You and Tomorrow - you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll love it. Tickets start at £21.50.


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - 21-24 August

Theatre Royal Brighton, Brighton

One of the world's favourite musicals is coming to Brighton. Brighton Theatre Group is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a showcase of this British classic. This fun-filled favourite guarantees laughs, magic galore and songs including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hushabye Mountain, Toot Sweets, Me Ol' Bamboo, Truly Scrumptious - and the flying Chitty herself! Tickets start at £13.


Anything For Love - 22 August

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

Fancy a great night out? Then head to the theatre for the sensational sounds of Meat Loaf in the international touring show Anything for Love - The Meat Loaf Story. The show features special guest Lorraine Crosby, the original female vocalist on I Would Do Anything for Love. The jukebox musical stars renowned singer and show producer, Steve Steinman. Tickets are £29.50.



Colour Wave - 1-7 August

The Crypt Gallery

Following on from its success in 2018, this summer sees the return of Colour Wave to the Crypt Gallery. Organised by Lynn Beck and Linda Wells, the collaboration of friends from Seaford brings an exciting exhibition of new work to this great venue. With a diverse range of art, craft and greetings cards from the participating artists, the exhibition will boast the works of Lynn Beck, whose acrylic paintings of local scenes are noted for their vibrant colours and quirky nature, and Linda Wells, who creates hand-felted textured landscapes using embroidery techniques.


West Dean Chilli Fiesta - 9-11 August

Chichester, West Sussex

For fans of spicy food, music, laughter and dancing. This family-friendly festival has something for everyone, and with on-site camping with great facilities, it is a perfect weekend break! Whether you want to dance to live Latin music with professionals from BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, to watch cookery with contestants from The Great British Bake Off, take in gardening demonstrations including a herb-inspired cocktail making masterclass, or escape to the outdoor cinema, there are lots of opportunities to get involved.


Firle Vintage Fair - 9-11 August


Firle Vintage Fair is a celebration of the beauty and antiquities of the past. Featuring a host of cherry-picked antique and vintage stalls including; French Brocante, Haberdashery & latest crafting trends plus original 1880 Victorian fair-rides and croquet games to have a whirl on.


Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow - 15-18 August

Eastbourne, East Sussex

The world's largest civilian jet display team, the Breitling Jets, will debut at this famous air show by streaming across Eastbourne's skies. The world-renowned French team will be bringing their magnificent headline act to Airbourne, with daily performances throughout the four-day event. The free seafront airshow will also feature a range of fast jets, historic favourites, freefall parachutists, wing walkers and pyro-aerobatic displays.


Summer Selfie: Exhibition - 17 August

Chalk Gallery, Lewes

The gallery's 21 artists are showcasing their own interpretation of the theme 'Be Your Selfie' in a light-hearted exhibition of self-portraits that embraces the selfie phenomenon. You can enjoy a glass of Prosecco and strawberries dipped in chocolate as you marvel at the show. Artworks range from humorous to topical and inventive to thought-provoking, created to stimulate the imagination and debate. See if you can spot the artists from their self-portraits and take your own selfie within a photo frame to post on social media.


Newhaven Secret Edgelands Walk - 18 August

Newhaven, East Sussex

Join storyteller Jamie Crawford to tread a path of constant surprises between town and country on this wide-ranging walk around Newhaven. The walk will be punctuated with breaks to hear stories of Newhaven, the Ouse Valley and beyond, and will end on Newhaven West Quay.

Email stories@jamiecrawford.co.uk

A Celebration of Land and Sea - 23-26 August

Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club, Eastbourne

This free event is back for its third year with a bang. If you are looking for plans for the August bank holiday, then this four-day event is a must. Kick start the celebration by putting on your red shoes and dance away the blues with the UK's leading David Bowie tribute act. This event boasts a brand new, all-weather entertainments marquee, barbecue area and bar. With a wide-ranging live music schedule with great local bands, musicians and DJs playing under-cover every day, it's the perfect place to grab a drink and chill out with some live and local talent!


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