What’s On in August in Sussex
Here’s your starter for 10 for What’s On in August in Sussex. Looking for more family-specific suggestions? See the big School Summer Hols What’s On.
Much Ado About Nothing, Bignor Park near Pulborough, Thurs 1 Aug
A madcap all-male Much Ado About Nothing unfolds outdoors on Thurs 1 Aug courtesy of cycling Shakespeare troop The HandleBards. That’s at Bignor Park near Pulborough and tickets are £23 (£5 for under 18s).
Luna Beach Cinema, beside the Palace Pier, Brighton, 31 July to 18 Aug
Luna Beach Cinema will be back from 31 July to 18 Aug to the east of Brighton’s Palace Pier, this time straddling the school holidays with plenty of family-friendly films. Included in the line up are recent releases Disney’s Dumbo and Aladdin plus Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born and The Greatest Showman, Grease and Pretty Woman. You’ll also get an opportunity to binge on the original Star Wars trilogy. Tickets from 12.50.
’80s Mania, The Hawth, Crawley/ The Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne, Thurs 1 Aug/Sat 3 Aug
Go back to the 80s with this multi tribute act affair featuring a take on 28 chart-toppers. A full live band, dancers, a light show and video production all help create the atmosphere. Pull on your ra-ra skirt and leg warmers and get along. It’s at The Hawth in Crawley on 1 Aug (26.50)and the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne (tickets £24- £26) on 3 Aug.
Brighton Pride, various venues, Fri 2 – Sun 4 Aug (parade on Sat 3 Aug)
It’s time for Brighton Pride – the biggest in the UK! The parade starts at 11am on Sat 3 Aug from Hove Lawns and works its way to Preston Park. There are just a few tickets for Kylie at Party in the Park last time of looking (up the £44.95+ end), a few too for the family-friendly LoveBN1Fest on the Sunday. You’ll need a wristband for the official Pride Village Party in Kemptown but there are also excuses to party all over the city. On the Friday there a Kylie-themed silent disco with drag queens up the BAi360 for adults and for kids on the viewing platform. The Marlborough has a loads of LBGT+ acts on and a Saturday Voguing party. Komedia has Gal Pals: Pride dance party on Saturday while Patterns has a warm-up party on Friday in aid of Switchboard and Luna beach cinema is showing films that celebrate diversity, including Priscilla .
The Ivy in the Lanes, Brighton, Pride Brunch, Sun 4 Aug
Pride festivities at The Ivy in the Lanes this year include multi-coloured flowers, two special edition cocktails (available till Sun 11 Aug) and, on Sun 4 Aug, a Pride-inspired brunch with stilt walkers, flamboyant surprise acts and a live DJ. The brunch runs from midday to 4pm, so a perfect time to surface if you’ve partied hard the night before!
Petworth Festival, various venues, until Sat 3 Aug
Catch the last of nearly 50 festival events as this musical, comedy and theatre festival enters its final days.
Loxwood Joust, Loxwood, West Sussex, Sat 4 & Sun 5 and Sat 11 & Sun 12 Aug
It’s your chance again to tuck into a hog roast and ale and watch jousting and sword-on-sword action from armoured knights. Despite the simulated violence there’s plenty of educational content at this big event with recreated Mediaeval villages and learning zones, a marketplace and workshops like chainmail making, plus Learning Posts where you can ask questions. Kids over 7 can join the knight school. Advanced tickets are £13 for adults, £7 for children (4 – 14) per weekend.
Gentlemen’s Day featuring The Cheaky Blinders, Lingfield Park Resort, Surrey, Sat 3 Aug
Gentlemen’s Day at Lingfield is back, and it’s celebrating the roaring Twenties, with thrilling all-weather racing and music from the Cheaky Blinders. A jazz band will welcome you, there will also be traditional arcade games onsite as well as a classic car and fortune teller. There’s also a Best Dressed Competition so get your glad rags on. An Arab horse race will take before the rest.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream/ Gangsta Granny outdoor theatre, Weald & Downland Living Museum, Singleton, Chichester, Tues 6 Aug /Thurs 8 Aug – Sun 11 Aug
Outdoor theatre favourite A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes up at Weald & Downland on Tues 6 Aug then David Walliam’s hit children’s book Gangsta Granny is on stage on Thurs 8 Aug – Sun 11 Aug. Tickets for either are £14 adults, £10 children, £40 families. Bring a rug and a picnic, or buy food from the Waterside Cafe.
TOM’s Film Club, Mirai, The Old Market, Hove, 7 Aug
Nominated for Best Animated Feature at this year’s Oscar’s, this animated film from Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda follows four year old Kun, struggling to cope with the arrival of a little sister. The backyard to his home becomes a mysterious gateway allowing him to travel back in time to meet his mother as a little girl and his great-grandfather as a young man and help him gain a new perspective.
Festival of Racing, Brighton Racecourse, Wed 7 – Fri 9 Aug
Marathonbet’s three-day festival hits Brighton racecourse again this August 7 – 9. Ladies’ Day takes place on 8 Aug with racegoers looking to dress and impress plus there will be extra entertainment, food trucks, vintage pop-up bars and more Tickets start at £18 and under 18’s go free.
Perfume Parlour workshop, Ethel Loves Me, Rye, Thurs 8 Aug
Join a guided smelling session – yes really, at Rye’s cute indie gift and homewares shop under the guidance of an artisan perfumer, along with nibbles, a glass of fizz and a fab smelling goody bag. It runs for 1.5 hours from 19.00 and costs £5. There’s also a bookbinding workshop coming up on Thurs 15 Aug.
Chilli Fiesta, West Dean Gardens, Chichester, Fri 9 – Sun 11 Aug
Fill your face with fiery fare at this popular annual family-friendly food festival. Besides plenty of opportunities to eat and shop for the hot stuff there’ll be Latin music and dance – including Strictly’s Graziano Di Prima and cookery demos from top chefs including Miranda Gore Browne, Chetna Makan and Steven Carter Bailey from Bake Off. Meanwhile circus workshops, outdoor film screenings, a vintage funfair and more will keep kids amused. Day tickets are £18.00 for adults, £2.50 for children, under 4s free, with this year 20% off two day tickets bought together making a double ticket for the same day £32. Three-day tickets are also available and you can camp in the grounds and make a weekend of it.
PIUPID (Pick It Up, Put It Down), Cross in Hand, near Heathfield, Sat 10 Aug
This day of games and workouts followed by a night of partying is in aid of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and was founded by a Muddy Award-winning fitness instructor. From midday, athletes will compete in mixed pairs, taking on the signature PIUPID workout lifting barbells and the like while you cheer them on and enjoy other activities on site. From 6.00pm, tickets are needed for the after party with live music and DJs. Want to take part in the lifting? You’ll need to buy competitor tickets in advance.
Jess Glynne, Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey, Sat 10 Aug
With 2 UK number 1 albums including the 2018 hit Always In Between, Jess Glynne will perform to thousands of race goers live after racing on Saturday 10 August. This lady is hot hot hot right now – so tickets will sell fast though. I’d get in quickly! Racing is from 5.10pm-8.15pm – music starts after the last race.
Sunset Screenings, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Sat 10, 17 and 24 Aug
The De La Warr is putting on Sunset Screenings on an outside sea-facing wall this August, with retro family-friendly options across the school holidays. Sat 10 Aug is Bumblebee, Sat 17 Aug is Labyrinth starring David Bowie and Sat 24 Aug is The Greatest Showman, with extra entertainment from Mad Fish Performing Arts Choir. The films start at 20.30 and all are rated PG. Best of all, they’re all free! Pop in to see the How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s free exhibition on the ground floor while you’re there.
Bonfire Societies Firework Championships, Wiston park, Steyning, Sat 10 Aug
A fireworks night in summer? Yes, three of Sussex’s Bonfire Societies are competing to decide the year’s pyrotechnical winner, with an additional display by organisers Pheonix Fireworks besides. There’ll be a fun fair and family entertainment, a bar and food stalls and picnics are allowed. It takes places 16.00 to 10.30, entry £10 (children £5, families £28).
Food Pairing Tour and Tasting/ Yoga, Vines and Wine, Bluebell Wine Estate, Furners Green, Sat 10th August /Fri 23rd Aug
On Saturday 10 Aug, head to lovely Bluebell Vineyard for an estate tour followed by a tasting of five award-winning wines, each expertly paired with seasonal canapés made with locally sourced ingredients. On Fri 23 Aug reward yourself with a blissful morning of yoga in a marquee overlooking the vines and ponds and follow it with a decadent elevenses, a vineyard and winery tour and a tasting of the estate’s Hindleap Sparkling Wine. Each experience costs £35 and reflexology will be available at £15 for 30 mins after the yoga. The food pairing tour will also be coming up again on 14 Sept.
Firle Vintage Fair, Firle Park, near Lewes, Fri 9 Sat 10 & Sun 11 Aug
Get ready to wallow in all things retro at one of the most popular vintage events of the year. Snap up decorative antique and vintage homewares, clothes and more. There’s retro entertainment too with live music, Charleston dancing and the like. Kids can go on the traditional fun fair or meet writer Jacqueline Wilson and you can relax with booze on the lawn and admire the sparkling vintage cars or the fashions on the catwalk. Early bird tickets are £10 (£7 children) £15 on the door (under 5s free).
Dog Fun Day, Woolbeding Countryside, West Sussex, Sun 11 Aug
Got a pooch? Bring them along to take part in a dog show at Woolbeding Countryside where you can also see working dog demos, have a go at dog agility, learn top tips on dog obedience and training and enjoy local stalls and refreshments. It’s all part of the Dog Fun Day running 10.30 – 15.00 on Sun 11 Aug and it’s free.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Capitol, Horsham, Tues 13 and Wed 14 Aug
The tea-guzzling tiger is back on the road in this musical play adapted and directed by David Wood, based on the well-loved book by Judith Kerr, who recently died at the age of 95. It’s packed with sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos. He drinks all the water in the taps you know… Tickets are £14 and it’s aimed at ages 3+ See a trailer on the link.
Noble and Stace chocolate workshop, Edgecumbes, Arundel, Wed 14 Aug
The next Noble and Stace workshops are coming up at Edgecumbes near Arundel on Wed 31 July and Wed 14 Aug. They’re a fun experience with plenty of your own handcrafted chocs, truffles and bars to take home. Check out the Muddy review here. Feeling really organised? You can even book ahead for Christmas!
Airbourne, Eastbourne seafront, Thurs 15 – Sun 18 Aug
Eastbourne’s International Airshow boasts a two mile flying display line along the seafront with military and civilian aviation teams including jets, a parachute display team, bi-plane wing-walkers, Chinook helicopters, a Battle of Britain memorial flight and more, and all for free! The flying happens in a packed schedule from lunchtime until around 5.00pm and there’s bouncy castles and the like on the ground It’s a great day out but do plan your transport arrangements in advance as car parks will be rammed.
The Red Lion, The Capitol Horsham and other nearby venues, 16 – 17 Aug and other Aug & Sept dates
Written by the man behind Closer and with the same director as The Play That Goes Wrong, this character-based piece of theatre, set behind the scenes of ‘The Beautiful Game’. It starts its run at The Capitol on 16 and 17 Aug then you can catch it on multiple dates coming up in and near Horsham.
Various adults and family shows, Brighton Open Air Theatre, Hove, various dates until 24 Sept
B.O.A.T in Dyke Road Park is a great place to relax on a summer’s afternoon. It’s a wood and astro turf ampitheatre, there’s a small bar alongside and picnicking while you watch is positively encouraged. Summer productions still to come include Nell Gwynn; Frankenstein; Wind in the Willows; The Secret Garden; Treasure Island; Private Lives; As You Like It; Sense and Sensibility and more, plus bank holiday wrestling and the End of Summer Party.
Arundel Festival, various Arundel locations, Fri 16 – Mon 26 Aug
Arundel Festival is back from Mid Aug through to the bank holiday, so get set for dragon boat and duck racing, a circus, a gallery trail, music from classical to an ABBA tribute, outdoor theatre, guided walks and more.
South Downs cycle ride with Langham Brewery Tour, from and to Amberley, Sat 17 Aug (also 7 Sept)
Here’s a great way to work hard then get a boozy reward, with someone else doing the driving. New Chalk Pit Trails will meet you at Amberley railway station with regular or electric mountain bikes, give you a route along the South Downs Way and beyond that takes you to Langham Brewery where you’ll have a two hour tour and tasting, then pick you up there and take you back to the station, all for £40 (£60 with e-bike). Look out for the Muddy review coming soon!
Hairspray! Screen On the Green, Littlehampton, Sat 17 Aug
Back again on East Green this pop-up cinema has the bonus of being free and non-ticketed. Just bring a rug to sit on. This year’s film is heartwarming comedy musical Hairspray! There will also be live entertainment with acoustic singer Morgan M James (17:15pm to 18.00) and close-up and digital magician Matt Parro walking around the crowd from 18.45. Pizzas, noodles, vegan food and sweet treats will be available from 18.00. The film starts 20.45.
Juliet and Romeo, The Hay Barn, Jevington Place Farm, Jevington near Polegate, 17 Aug & 18 Aug
Romeo and Juliet but with a happier ending? No tragic misunderstandings? Apparently so in this take on the Bard’s great romance coming to Jevington. There’s a BBQ and bar provided by the Sussex Ox. Tickets are £17, with the performance at 20.00 on the 17th, 15.00 on the 18th.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Theatre Royal, Brighton, Wed 21 Aug – Sat 24 Aug
Think you can brave the Child Catcher again? Well-loved musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flies into Brighton on its tour Tickets are from £13.00. Better get some toot sweet – geddit?
Ladies’ Evening at Fontwell Park Racecourse, Thurs 22 Aug
Get your friends together and get down to Fontwell Park for a Summer’s evening of glitz, glamour and plenty of fizz at one of the most picturesque racecourses in Sussex. There will be a Best Dressed competition, seven races and entertainment throughout the evening including a vintage photo booth and Spirit FM’s Back to the 80s DJ set with a surprise guest.
The Night Watch, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Thurs 22 – Sat 31 Aug
This new production of a Sarah Waters story is starting its tour in Sussex. The Night Watch is a clever novel (my personal favourite from the best-selling author) that charts several illicit gay and straight relationships in reverse, so aspects are revealed as it progresses back through three periods post WWII and during the Blitz in London. This is a new Original Theatre Company and York Theatre Royal version of the Hattie Naylor adaptation. Tickets are from £19.
Rye International Jazz Festival, Thurs 22 Aug – Mon 26 Aug
Latino Swing, New Orleans R&B and Acid Jazz from the James Taylor Quartet are among choices to tempt you at at this year’s celebration of jazz in all its forms with UK and overseas artists descending on Rye. Certain gigs and percussion workshops are free.
Byline Festival, Pippingford Park near Uckfield, Fri 23 – Mon 26 Aug
I’ve been twice to this journalism-themed festival. It mixes debate and workshops with music, comedy and more, in a low-key event, with free camping. The line-up so far includes debates on Extinction Rebellion, Brexit from the EU perspective, Boris, artificial intelligence, modern slavery and more, a talk from McMafia writer Misha Glenny and music from Pussy Riot (who were hilarious and thought-prvoking in equal measure last year), Matt Bianco and (DJ-ing) Kevin Rowland from Dexy’s. There are kids’ activities too and camping is free. Tickets for local adults are currently £75 for the whole thing, couples are £190 and there are various family deals. Look out also for early-bird bargains for next year after it closes.
Wind in The Willows, North Heath Hall garden, Horsham Sat 24 Aug
There’s another Wind in The Willows on Sat 24 Aug when Manor Theatre Group brings Ratty Mole, Toad … plus a few new invented characters like err Harry Otter and Ron Weasel, to the garden of North Heath Hall. £12 for adults, £10 for children, £32 for a family of four. The following night you can catch it inside the hall.
England’s Medieval Festival, Herstmonceux Castle, Fri 24 – Mon 26 Aug
Immerse yourself in the thrills and spills of the Middle Ages this summer when England’s Medieval Festival comes to lovely Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. Over 1,000 costumed performers travel from across Europe to help recreate the spectacle with jousting knights, court jesters, siege recreations and crafts like blacksmithing and arrow making, with a chance to have a go at many. Children can even join warrior and princess schools. Advance day tickets are £17 for adults £7 for children over 5 (£46 for families) and you can also upgrade to camp over the weekend.
O’Brother Where Art Thou? Redoubt Fortress, Eastbourne, Sat 24 Aug
There’s at least a film a month at the Fortress into the autumn. For August it’s O’Brother Where Art Thou? (Sat 24 Aug), then Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind is September’s film (Sat 28 Sept). You can wrap up and see movies right into October with spooktastic The Nightmare Before Christmas (26 Oct) and The Amityville Horror for (31 Oct) for Halloween.
Surrealists’ Picnic, Farleys House Farm, Chiddingly, Sun 25 Aug
Here’s something weird and wonderful. The third annual Surrealist Picnic is being held at the former home of Vogue fashion and war photographer, model, cook and surrealist Lee Miller. There will be jazz bands and surreal performance and dressing up is encouraged. You’ll also have the chance to create suitably surreal food. Light up cockroaches in blue jelly was a past dish, so get creative! The event runs 4 – 8pm and tickets are £15.
Coppa Club Brighton official launch 27 Aug (with soft launch promos before)
Coppa Club in Brighton, long in the planning, is finally opening its doors in The Lanes, with cosy lounges, alfresco dining and a fountain courtyard. Already in London, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, each Club is different in look, but has the same emphasis on relaxed luxe. It officially launches with popping corks on 27 Aug but if you sing up to their newsletter you’ll be the first to know about generous promotions during the ‘soft launch’ period beforehand.
Various films, Movies by Moonlight, South Lodge Hotel, Horsham, Aug & Sept dates
South Lodge Hotel at Lower Beeding, near Horsham has an open air cinema throughout the summer. Bring a picnic, or splash out on a special three-course dinner (£58 including film) beforehand. With the dinner package you can plump for Cocktail, Top Gun (limited availability), Darkest Hour, Lion or Notting Hill in Aug or A Star Is Born (limited availability) in Sept. With your own picnic (£16 for the film) you can chose from Dirty Dancing, Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman or A Star Is Born in Aug and Bohemian Rhapsody and Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again in Sept. Some other films have sold out already so bagsy the one you fancy quick.
Oklahoma! Chichester Festival Theatre, 15 July – 7 Sept
Chichester Festival Theatre’s big summer musical Oklahoma! is here, starring Josie Lawrence, Les Misérables alumni Hyoie O’Grady and Amara Okereke. Yee-ha! Tickets are from £10. Read the Muddy review.
Summer of Circus, Worthing Theatres, various dates until Mon 26 Aug
Catch free outdoor events and ticketed theatre as Worthing hosts this year’s Summer of Circus. See the full line up on the link.
Polo at Cowdray, until Sun 22 Sept
The public are welcome to watch polo at Cowdray throughout the season, with matches held every Sat, Sun and Bank Holiday Mon and on most weekdays. Bring your own picnic, or order one from the Cowdray Farm Shop & Cafe. There’s also a snack bar in the grounds. Except during the Gold Cup, weekends and bank hols tickets are £5 each (under 12’s free) and weekdays are free for all. Call 01730 813257 or see the tournament section of the website for the day’s play.
Ed Gamble: Blizzard, The Capitol, Horsham, Sun 6 Oct
Ed Gamble is a TV comedian whose shows always sell out. A tour extension has been added at Horsham, so grab tickets (£16) for early Oct now if you’re a fan – it’s three-quarters gone already!