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 page).
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 also 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 opened in 1997. This splendid venue is situated near the town centre and has a delightful purpose built 320-seat theatre plus a range of multi-purpose spaces and a coffee shop serving all-day breakfast and lunch as well as lighter options. Chequer Mead enables us to hold the entire Festival under one roof.