About Us

Mike-RobinsonWaterside Arts was formed in 1994 after a visit to Hythe’s ‘twin town’ where there was an annual village Festival. A group of people got together and decided it would be a great idea to have one in Hythe as well and the idea was born.

A weekend Festival took place in Hythe that July and has done every year since. Back in the 90s and early 2000s the Festival was much bigger, growing to a two week event with orchestras, theatre and even open air rock concerts. Due to changes in licensing regulations the Festival has, once again, become a smaller, but much enjoyed event.

The Festival committee in 2018 was Mike Robinson, Chris & Brenda Smith, Alan & Eleanor Burtenshaw and Ted Vaughan.

The Festival is self funding and run by individuals, not as many people think by the local Council.  All events are free to give access for all, yet still give a ‘platform’ for local groups – be they music, dance or theatre – to perform. Finance to cover the costs comes from grants and sponsorship. Take a look at our sponsors to see who has generously supported us.

2018 was the 25th annual Festival with events in and around Hythe, in the New Forest between 4th and 8th of July. Visit the Festival 2018 page to see what took place during that long weekend

In 2017 the Festival took place between Friday 14th and Sunday 16th July again in Hythe.  Visit the Festival 2017 page to get a flavour of that Festival. Why not take a look at the Previous Festivals pages to a see what happened over the past few years.

Following the Annual General Meeting in the Autumn of 2018 it was decided that the Summer Festival in 2018 would be the last one. The following statement was issued: “Following discussion at our AGM in which all views were heard, those present unanimously agreed that the Festival in its present format has run its course and has been succeeded by other community events which have evolved over the last few years. Sponsorship, which has been decreasing year on year has become more difficult to find. Waterside Arts is willing to assist anyone with similar aims offering their knowledge, experience and contacts. This situation will be re-examined in 12 months time.”

Please use the contact page if you would like to get in touch with Waterside Arts.