About MADhurst

10 years of celebrating creativity and developing community!

MADhurst may have started as just 9 days of performances and activities but, over the last 10 years, it’s grown beyond it’s founders wildest dreams. The acts and events have got bigger, the festival’s reputation has spread and its 10th anniversary marks its expansion to a full month-long celebration of art, music, drama and creativity across the area.

2019 and beyond

The festival may have grown but its aims remain the same; to spark local creativity and bring the Midhurst community together in new ways. 2019’s line up demonstrates that clearly. There’s live music, children’s theatre workshops, come and sing events and much, much more. In a clear demonstration of how the wider community has embraced the festival there are fringe events as well – linked to MADhurst but organised by a variety of different local venues. See the full range here….

Big ideas – even in the beginning

In its first year the festival was blessed with sunshine, and people came out in droves. There was music in the town square, a samba band, a “poetry pie and a pint” evening of bawdy comedy at The Wheatsheaf, and many concerts and art events. Street events played an important role as well; three pianos for people to play and open canvases at three different locations on which people could paint. Paula Groves’ ‘Midnight Pearl’ was the headline act in the final concert, and it was all concluded with a town-wide carnival procession and a huge firework display!

The Committee, with their many partners, had done it! They had founded a festival! They had developed a ‘brand’.  And, amazingly, they had balanced the books! The first MADhurst Festival had been a great success.  However the lasting legacy, and in fact the point behind it all, has been the growing relationships and inter-connections among the various organisations in the town, and the imaginative engagement of so many wonderful local people in co-creating a cross-community event.

And thank you….

None of this would have been possible without the vision of those founder members. So thank you to: Marco Frankland, Fr Marcus Ronchetti, Sean Kearney, John Barrett, Paula Groves, David and Trina Duncan, Ruth Benton, Susan Coulter, Steve Morley, Mike Fry, Alan and Maggie Gibson, Alistair Gibson, Heather Ongley (of Cowdray Heritage Trust), Jeanette Sutton, the art students at Midhurst Grammar School (who developed the MADhurst logo), Doon Muir and Wayne Osborne.