In the 1950's the Stevenage Arts Guild was founded to encourage, to sustain and to co-ordinate the amateur artistic endeavours of the people of Stevenage. Many local amateur groups belong to the Arts Guild and in the early 1990's the Guild came up with the idea of a festival of arts events, every two years, to celebrate all the good things that were going on in the arts in Stevenage.
So the Stevenage Festival was born, and took place for the first time in 1994. The first Festival was one week of events at the Gordon Craig Theatre. The second Festival expanded into two weeks at the Gordon Craig, with some outside events as well and continued on this basis every other year until 2006. At this point it was evident that the Festival was competing with some major sporting events that took place in the 'even' years so a decision was made to switch to the 'odd' years with a mini-Festival in 2007, and the full version again in 2009 and every 2 years thereafter. The Festival has also expanded beyond its allotted two weeks with events now occurring throughout almost all of June. In 2016 we set up another 4 day mini-festival to help with the Stevenage@70 celebrations.
The Festival fringe has grown from strength to strength. Over
the years Stevenage has been treated to everything from art workshops
to rock music.
For a flavour of previous Festivals see below:
The Festival is a registered charity no 1084482. General meetings are held every 2 years to review the past Festival and start planning the next one. The minutes of the most recent general meetings can be found below: