History of Stevenage Festival

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:
1994 Festival
1994 Fringe
2009 Festival
2009 Fringe
2011 Festival
2011 Fringe
2013 Festival
2013 Fringe
2015 Festival
2015 Fringe
2016 Mini-Festival (this page holds both Main and Fringe event details)
2017 Festival
2017 Fringe
2019 Festival
2019 Fringe
2021 Festival
2021 Fringe
2022 Mini-Festival (this page holds both Main and Fringe event details)
2023 Festival
2023 Fringe

Please note that you can also locate these pages from the History button (via a drop down menu) at the top of this page.

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:

Festival GM 2021
Festival GM 2019
Festival GM 2017
Festival GM 2015
Festival GM 2013
Festival GM 2011 - TBA
Festival AGM 2009
Festival AGM 2006

Stevenage Festival

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Page Last updated: 27 June 2023

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