The Festival movement was established in the 1870s at a time of major educational development and by 1904 no fewer than 60 festivals had been formed. A Federation of Festivals was established in 1920, which has since developed into the British and International Federation of Festivals with over 300 affiliations in the UK alone (see Links
In November 1966 it was decided in that a Competitive Music and Arts Festival should be held in East Grinstead. The inaugural Festival took place in June and July 1968 and incorporated Piano, Choral, Instrumental, Drama and Dancing. For many years different local schools around the town were used to house the festival’s various sections.
A Festival Concert was held each year, latterly at the Bush Davies School’s Adeline Genée Theatre in East Grinstead until its closure in 1989. We were thrilled when Chequer Mead
was opened in 1997. This splendid venue is situated near to the town centre and comprises a delightful purpose built 320-seat theatre, an art and exhibitions gallery, meeting rooms and a restaurant/cafeteria/bar. Chequer Mead
enables us to hold the entire Festival under one roof.