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Summer festival fun continues in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 17:10 30 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:38 20 February 2013

Imagine Watford

Imagine Watford

This summer Hertfordshire is awash with festivals offering fun for all ages. Following on from last month's feature we check out some more festivals not to be missed

This summer Hertfordshire is awash with festivals offering fun for all ages. Following on from last months feature we check out some more festivals not to be missed

Hitchin festival fever

Residents and visitors to Hitchin this summer will once again be spoilt for choice from July 1 to 29 with a full and varied festival programme featuring art, music, performance along with farmers markets, talks and walks. For a list of events visit:

Imagine Watford

For two remarkable weeks until Sunday, 3 July, Watford town centre will be transformed by world class performances on the streets. Created by the Watford Cultural Leaders Group, Imagine Watford is an opportunity for the people of Watford and the surrounding areas to experience high quality international art in unusual and surprising locations.

The festival is due to take place on The Parade between Clarendon Road and the Town Hall, with free performances of dance, live music and theatre staged in outdoor locations throughout the day and evening. Visit for performance details.

Wigginton Festival

Now in its third year, this charity event is set to be the best ever with something for all the family to enjoy. Entertainment will include live music on a covered stage, a Spitfire flypast, farmers market, childrens rides, real ale festival and classic car show amongst a host of country events high up in the Chilterns. Profits will go to the Iain Rennie Hospice At Home and the Friends of St Bartholomews. Saturday, 9 July from noon to 10pm.

Rhythms of the World

This International Music Festival is back and celebrating its 20th year with a fine blend of over 120 world music acts to suit all tastes with plenty to sample for those wanting to hear something fresh and new. The Ragha Dixit Project brings todays India to Hitchin with a unique sound. Oi Va Voi, whose original vocalist was KT Tunstall, aims to widen interest in Klezmer, Jewish based music, and the immensely popular Ska Cubano will be performing their mix of Cuban and Jamaican sounds. Other acts include Subways, Kanda Bongo Man and folk artist Jim Moray. The weekend runs July 9 to 10 and will also feature art, dance and cuisine from around the world and the local community.

Hertford Music Festival

Hertfords annual music festival takes place in July for the first time this year and the change is being celebrated with a Musical Mystery Tour launch event. This years festival has tripled in size with 29 venues and 150 individual musicians for the July 3 extravaganza. A Musical Mystery Tour map of Hertford shows all the line-ups and timings at all the venues, which for the first time include five busking stages. Artists include Hertford Allstars, Divided Opinions, 2 Bad Mice, Nuala, Woodcut, The Royston Ukulele Orchestra, The Ukulele Big Band, Chloe Turner, Los Ladrones de Amor, Wasted, a classical quartet in Hertford Museums Knot Garden and loads more.

Pendley Shakespeare Festival

This is the 61st year of this highly popular Shakespeare festival set al fresco in the stunning grounds of Dorian Williams ancestral home of Pendley Manor. This year audiences can choose from the powerful and intense The Winters Tale, August 2-6 and the joyful bawdiness of The Merry Wives of Windsor, August 9-13. For performance times and bookings visit

Red hot chilli festival

For everyone who likes it hot, Benington Lordship Gardens hosts its Chilli Festival from August 28-29. The weekend is a celebration of everything chilli including stalls selling plants and products made from all varieties of these little taste bud teasers. There will be a chance to sample foods from around the world and plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy. A wide range of refreshments is provided to help you cool down, including cold beers and ice creams.

Festival first for Orwell

George Orwell leased a cottage in Wallington, near Baldock, and as well as writing many of his most important works here it is thought that the barns of nearby farms Manor and Bury were the inspiration for arguably his most famous book Animal Farm. Now Letchworth has decided to honour this literary icon with a festival of writing, theatre, cinema, comedy and arts. Events include a performance of Animal Farm, an evening with Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell and a debate that asks What would George Orwell be writing about today? There will also be an Amnesty International Secret Policemans Ball, and rambles across the region.

The festival runs from September 9-18.

Celebrating the Chilterns

This September the family can enjoy a perfect day in the country for this festival that simply celebrates the wonderful Chilterns Countryside.

On September 18 from 11am 4pm, Ashridge Estate will display an impressive display of crafts, industries and wildlife associated with the local area. There will also be tempting local produce displays, forestry demonstrations and activities for the children in the meadow behind the visitor centre. For more information call 01442 851227.

Plus don't miss...

Bushey Festival 2nd-17th July

Cazfest music Festival, July 2nd Bishops Stortford

Childwickbury Arts Festival, 1st-3rd July

East Barnet Festival July 1st-3rd

Flamstead Scarecrow Festival, 19th-21st August

Folk by the Oak July 24

Hertfordshire Jazz Festival 19-21 August, Campus West, Welwyn Garden City

Hertfordshire Open Studios 21st anniversary 10th September to 2nd October

St Albans International Music Festival 7th-16th July


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