Wiston House, Steyning Road, Steyning
Monday-Wednesday May 28-30
Wildfires is a festival that brings communities together from around the country and the globe to experience God’s presence. During the three days, participants spend time together partying, praying, worshipping, growing in community and welcoming the Spirit into their midst. Spaces are devoted to delving deeper into the heart of who we are and who God is, with children and youth work prioritised. There’s a Wildfires camping village with communal areas and marquees, and participants have access to the Big Church Day Out South on May 26 and 27.
West Dean Arts and Craft Festival
West Dean College, West Dean
June 1-3, 10am-5pm
West Dean College, which has inspired artists, makers, designers and writers through the legacy of founder, artist and Surrealist patron Edward James, hosts a festival of contemporary arts and craft. Visitors can buy high quality crafts and prints, watch demonstrations, get hands-on in workshops and drop-in sessions and view installations from emerging artists. It’s also a rare opportunity to explore West Dean House and view material from the Collection. There is also a drop-in hands-on Craft Hut Trail round the gardens.
Phone 01243 811301 or visit westdean.org.uk.
Brighton Vegan Summer Festival
The Level, Union Road, Brighton
Saturday-Sunday June 2-3
Tickets £5 per day/£8 full weekend
At this huge outdoor vegan celebration will be more than 100 stalls, 10 world food caterers, talks, cookery demonstrations, live entertainment and live music. There will also be workshops offering free nutritional advice and highlighting the best aspects of living without animal products.
Living History Festival
Weald and Downland Living Museum, Town Lane, Singleton, Chichester
Saturday and Sunday June 2 and 3, 10.30am-5pm
During this weekend, visitors can experience 1,000 years of history from Saxon times to the 20th century, discovering what happened at a medieval tournament, how Saxon craftspeople made beautiful items, what were the sights and smells of a Tudor market and how did you survive in the Victorian era with little money? This year, the festival includes the centenary of the British Percheron Horse Society, with members of the society’s horses taking part in arena re-enactments connected with British history. The society will also display modern uses of the Percheron, including showing, competition driving, riding, plus farm and forestry work. Picture: Russell Cobb Photography.
Phone 01243 811363 or visit wealddown.co.uk.
The Floral Fringe Fair
Knepp Castle, West Grinstead
Saturday-Sunday June 2-3, 10.30am-5pm
Entry £7.50/u14 £2/u4 free
This eclectic, quirky, foodie, arty plantaholics wildlife event with a vintage twist takes place in front of the John Nash-designed Knepp Castle, built in 1806, on the 1,416 hectare Knepp Estate. New for 2018 is a steampunk twist. Visitors are invited to dress in vintage style and there’s a chance to buy food from local producers and enjoy a picnic by the lakes.
Phone 07939 272443 or visit floralfringefair.co.uk.
The Henfield Festival of Gardens & Arts
Various venues, Henfield
Saturday-Sunday June 9-10
Celebrating the community and future of the village of Henfield, the festival invites artists to display and sell their work, musicians to perform, community venues to become the location for art to be displayed and music to be performed, and residents to open their gardens to the public.
Brighton Bear Weekend
Various venues, Brighton and Hove
Thursday-Sunday June 14-17
Billed as the south coast’s biggest annual bear event, Brighton Bear Weekend has a committee that organises events to raise money for the Rainbow Fund, which gives grants to LGBT organisations in Brighton and Hove. Its 2018 logo has been designed by illustrator Bobo-Bear and among the events over the weekend are a Bear-B-Que, Bear-a-Oke, Ca-bear-et and a Bear Bust.
Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival
Various venues in Peasmarsh and Rye
Thursday-Sunday June 21-24
Tickets: bookings open in March
The Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival aims to bring world-class musicians to this part of East Sussex, staging nine concerts featuring internationally renowned artists over four days. Venues include the Grade 1 listed The Church of St Peter and St Paul in Church Lane, Peasmarsh, and the 12th-century St Mary’s Church in Church Square, Rye. The festival programme is announced in the spring. Pictured: festival co-director Anthony Marwood, who will also be performing/picture: Pia Johnson.
Various venues in Petworth
Thursday June 28-Sunday July 8
Now in its third year, Petfringe is a performing arts extravaganza. This year it is hosting its Comedian of the Year contest, bringing together talent from across the country for a chance to win the largest cash prize in any UK comedy competition.
Love Supreme Jazz Festival
Glynde Place, Glynde
Friday June 29-Sunday July 1
Tickets from £54
Pop superstars Earth Wind & Fire, Elvis Costello and Steve Winwood top the bill at this year’s Love Supreme Jazz Festival.
Read our feature about the festival and the line-up.