Selsey gets ready for Festival

It will be slightly-different management, but all the same fun as ever as Selsey Festival takes over the town (August 1-25).

This year the Festival comes under the banner of the Town Council, explains town clerk Gill Jennings.

But given that Gill has been a co-organiser with Sue Graves right from the start, it’s not a huge shift, Gill says. Instead Gill will now be working with Sam Tate under the council umbrella.

“I have been involved from day one when Sue and I got together,” Gill explains.

“I used to work at Selsey Regeneration Ltd, and we used to get people saying ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we put on something that was all-encompassing?’ At the time, a lot of groups were having trouble getting insurance and having problems with health and safety issues and doing the publicity, and they didn’t really have any idea about doing the fundraising. We thought we should have a public meeting of all the interested groups, and we then came together as this co-ordinated umbrella organisation.”

In other words, Selsey Festival.

And the idea was that the festival helped hugely with organisational elements while the groups putting on the events got to keep/use the money they raised.

The festival itself was funded by sponsorships and by a few specific Selsey Festival fundraising events.

“Sue came along to that meeting, and we were the two that kept it going.

“Now Sue just wanted to step back. It was agreed it was obvious that Selsey Town Council would take it on. But as far as we are concerned, the festival is exactly the same as it ever was.

“It will be the same mix of regular, popular events that people love coming back to, though this year there will be a few events commemorating the centenary of the start of World War I.”

In all, there will be about 70 events during the August festival, a month chosen to make sure the festival would capitalise on seasonal visitors to the town.

“The lovely thing is that people book their holidays around it,” Gill says.

“What makes it successful is there are so many 
different things happening around the town.

“We have things for older people, things for younger people. If someone looks at the brochure and says ‘There’s nothing for me’, it’s clearly because they can’t read!”

Events coming up include:

August 1-3. Summer Arts and Crafts Exhibition, Selsey Town Hall, 55 High Street.

August 3-4. A Dark Day Dawned. A commemorative review focusing on Selsey and World War I, including songs of the time and poetry both of the time and new, plus prose written during the war. 
Selsey Town Hall, 55 High Street, Sunday 7.30pm, 
Monday 3pm and 7.30pm. Tickets: £5.

August 4. Selsey Remembers. A short ceremony to commemorate the outbreak of the first world war will take place at Selsey’s War Memorial. Just before 11am the Rev James Wasson will say prayers, and then the president of Selsey Branch, Royal British Legion, will recite the Exhortation.

This will be followed by the bugler’s sounding Last Post and a two-minute silence, followed by the bugler sounding Reveille.