The Dulwich Festival
by Alpha Hopkins

Are you ready to dust off your dancing shoes, spruce up your sports gear and catch up with all things cultural? Good, because May in Dulwich is Festival time! This year’s fun runs from 11th to 20th May and an action-packed programme promises delights for every taste and age. With plenty of walks, talks and comedy with the irrepressible Richard Herring, this year’s Festival is not to be missed!

Visual artists of all types will fling open the doors to their studios and homes to display the wealth of artistic endeavour taking place throughout Dulwich. Over 200 artists will display their work during the weekends of the Festival. In honour of the London 2012 Olympics year, many sports clubs throughout Dulwich will also be opening up their facilities throughout the Festival to remind us of the fantastic sporting opportunities available on our doorstep.

A wide variety of music is once again to be found in the Festival with offerings from three fantastic local choirs opening proceedings on Friday 11th May at Holst Hall, JAGS. Sell-out Festival success, Sarah Moule brings her new show to this year’s programme for an intimate evening of music at EDT in Lordship Lane on Friday 18th May. Contemporary acoustic music will be on offer, again at EDT, on Saturday 12th May. Blackheath Halls Choir and JAGS Community Orchestra will bring a thrill to the programme with Haydn’s Nelson Mass. This will be an excitement in which we can all participate as it is the Come and Sing event; so do come to St Faith’s Church, Red Post Hill on Saturday 12th May at 1.30pm to join in with choral singing on a grand scale – everyone welcome!

Both Sundays in the Festival are dates to note in your diary with fairs at either end of Dulwich providing plenty of fun for all the family. The Festival Fair will take place on Sunday 13th May at Goose Green and promises a whole host of local craftspeople. The Dulwich Park Fair will take place on Sunday 20th May with plenty of music, displays and family fun. On the same day, the Dulwich Vegetable Garden in the Park, a Dulwich Going Greener initiative, will be hosting a special open day. Watch out for details of this year’s village Pram Race too!

The Dulwich Festival receives no ongoing state funding. Many local businesses kindly support the work of the Festival with sponsorship and the Dulwich Community Council has supported the charity in the past with a small one-off grant. The Festival currently pays four members of the team a very small fee for their work throughout the year, but beyond these team members there are many volunteers who act as Trustees, deliver leaflets, steward events, run the box office, help serve refreshments and organise events. The Festival truly is a community effort. Friendships have been forged and neighbours newly acquainted through the Festival. If you would like to be part of this remarkable endeavour then do contact the team via the web-site – where you will also find tickets going on sale for all these wonderful events in April this year.

Alpha Hopkins, Director, Dulwich Festival,