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ArtsBox Festival

Sorry, Edinburgh, who? Moooove aside oh famous Fringe - a new Arts Festival is coming to town. Our Kent town of Tunbridge Wells to be precise.

Sorry, Edinburgh, who? Moooove aside oh famous Fringe – a new Arts Festival is coming to town. Our Kent town of Tunbridge Wells to be precise – and launching on 10 August this summer. And while it’s on a much smaller ’boutique’ scale its got all the hallmarks of an exciting new cultural and community event – which are the things we like most here on Muddy.

Launching for the first time this summer, in August, ArtsBox Festival 2019, will celebrate local talent and put emerging artists firmly in the spotlight. Founded by Jocelyn Cheek, in collaboration with Trinity Theatre, it will be Tunbridge Well’s first fringe festival featuring art, comedy, music, and theatre. With events and workshops on everything from travel talks by Award-winning adventurers to Mindfulness Life Drawing.

Festival founder, Jocelyn (pictured below) says: ‘I have spent many summers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, caught up in the infectious energy of a city transformed by arts events happening on every corner. Tunbridge Wells has such a wealth of local talent and ArtsBox is a great opportunity to give these artists a stage. There will be something for everyone, and many free events running across the week, from bug hunts to improv comedy.’

With both free or, exceptionally good value, ticketed events there is a chance for everyone to be involved, be creative, and be entertained. Highlights include:


Thurs 15 Aug

For something a bit different, check out A Pair of Four the popular COMEDY IMPROV group for one night only. With a little bit of help from the audience they create sketches on the spot and the results are apparently hilarious!

Fri 16 Aug

Enjoy Trinity’s signature COMEDY CAFE (takes place every month). It plays host to some of the brightest talent on the comedy scene, with national acts keen to get on our stage in Tunbridge Wells in advance of the Edinburgh Fringe. Audiences will sit down to a two-course meal in Trinity’s foyer Kitchen & Bar, the perfect setting for an up-close and personal experience. Watch out for updates on the line-up.

Sat 17 Aug

Join local band Sean Fennessey & Friends for a live music celebration. Sean Fennessey has been on the unsigned circuit for many years and is a well known figure around Tunbridge Wells and in his hometown of Hastings. Sean has collaborated with many other artists on stage at various venues all around the South East & London.

‘An Evening with Sean Fennessey’ will start with a performance from one of the town’s best and most well-known bands, Cyrano, with their unique style of melodic indie rock. Sean’s friend and fellow musician, Kayleigh Wilson, will also be performing on stage with Sean, so expect an evening of upbeat tracks and some chilled out, soulful songs.


Sat 10 Aug

Don’t miss the Launch Picnic Party – including face painting, giant games, a BBQ, ice cream and performances from The Dance Consortium (a local dance school) and a local choir, further acts to be announced! FREE TO ATTEND FOR EVERYONE.

Tues 13 Aug

The Churchyard Safari – explore Trinity churchyard with Dr Ian Beavis. Discover the smaller wildlife that often goes unnoticed. This family friendly event offers an opportunity for young nature lovers to explore and learn about the wildflowers and smaller wildlife that live, often overlooked, hiding all around them. A FREE EVENT FOR CHILDREN BUT NEED TO BOOK A SPACE.

Also on Tuesday is this fun Design a Mask Workshop – get your crafty and creative muscles ready to design some fantastic masks. Create your own design and make it fit perfectly for yourself, (10am – 3pm, recommended for for ages 7-13).

Thurs 15 Aug

Or be part of the Space Junk Orchestra and create a modern version of The Planet Suite. Bring your own instrument or if you don’t have one bring something we can recycle – anything that will make a noise – a broken saucepan, spoons, a hose… No musical experience required. The day will culminate with a performance to friends and families at Trinity Theatre (10am – 4pm, recommended for ages 7 – 13).

Alongside these events, Fresh Paint, a visual arts competition for 5-18 year olds, sponsored by Giggling Squid, aims to celebrate the creativity of local young people. The theme for the exhibition is “adventure”, and artwork can be submitted in any media. All entries will be judged by local artists. Trinity is accepting entries in four age categories, with prizes for each category – donated by local businesses Creams Cafe, M. Saltmarsh Artists’ Materials, and Whirligig Toys. The deadline for entries is Wednesday 24 July, and the exhibition will run in Trinity’s gallery from Monday 5 – Saturday 17 August.


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