Rye – a world of arts

Leonid Gorokhov

This year marks the golden anniversary of the Rye Arts Festival, which was founded in 1971.

From September 10 – 26, the town will host dozens of ticketed events to mark this momentous and golden year, with the best of local, national, and international talent.

And in 2021, despite the pandemic and restrictions placed on international travel, the festival is delighted to be hosting some truly world-class talent, with performers flying in to play for the Rye audience.

Caroline Palmer

In the world of classical music there will be a rare appearance in the UK of the violinist Boris Garlitsky who is coming from his German base to join his fellow Russian, the cellist Leonid Gorokhov, who lives in London, and Singapore-born but long-term Britain resident Caroline Palmer on piano.

This piano trio all have a big international reputation and are all noted soloists as well as chamber musicians. This will be a rare treat for Rye, with an evening concert on Sunday, September 19.

The following Friday, Rye will host another performer from abroad.

Ben Bedford

Ben Bedford jets into the UK for a handful of selected gigs. Ben is a singer-songwriter in the American tradition going back to Woodie Guthrie through Bod Dylan to the present day. From the heart of America, Ben sings and plays with passion, about his country and his people, at the Rye Community Centre on the evening of September 24.

Other international performers include Vera van Heeringen, Dutch-born but long-time UK resident, who will play country, Americana, and folk on Saturday, September 18, while the Portuguese pianist Artur Pizzaro will join Stephen Coombs to play an evening of piano duets on Sunday, September 26.

Tickets for these events, and all the 60 events covering classical and contemporary music, films, drama and much more, are available online at www.ryeartsfestival.org.uk or from the Box Office via telephone on 01797 462168, or weekdays from Grammar School Records, in Rye’s high street.

As the safety of audiences, volunteers and artists are essential the festival plans to limit capacity to 75% at all venues, and make sure that it adheres to the latest advice from The Government and SAGE.

Image Credits: supplied by Rye Arts Festival .


  1. I was thrilled to read the wonderful schedule of events listed in this year’s Rye Festival programme. Immediately I started marking off the events I wanted to hear and see, and there was quite a list when I’d finished. But that thrill turned to disappointment when I realised that there was no online option, despite the obvious impact Covid, and in particular the Delta variant will likely have on the numbers that can attend the festival.

    For so many, particularly the vulnerable, it is sad that this year there will be no Gyles Brandreth, Martin Edwards, War Poets or either Nicolson come the 10th September.

    With more and more festivals now offering on line attendance under a variety of pay-to-view options I would have assumed that the Rye Festival do likewise. It’s a no brainer. It makes money for the festival, is easy to run and maintain, and enables the Rye Festival extend its reach to the many others who would dearly enjoy attending, and who simply can’t get there for one reason or another.

  2. There’s a problem, if you try and go onto the Rye Arts Festival website you get a “host unknown” message, me thinks something needs ‘tweaking’ asap.

  3. Good Afternoon Nick – I have managed to replicate your problem – it is possible that your internet search engine is putting in http://ryeartsfestival.org.uk our actual address is a secure one: https://ryeartsfestival.org.uk (i.e. there is an ‘s’ after http)

    If you merely search for Rye Arts Festival via Google or similar, you are automatically taken to the correct website. Unfortunately once you have reached that dead end you describe, no amount of ‘refreshing’ will change what you are seeing. Please put in either the whole website address or search for it using a search engine such as Google and you will definitely find us!

    • I don’t think that is what Nick Forman was referring to. If you type in http://www.ryeartsfestival.org.uk – the address that is promoted on all the posters / banners / printed guides – you get the Vhost unknown message. The festival’s own publicity and marketing literature seems to have got it wrong.

  4. This is mystifying, because every time I type in http://www.ryeartsfestival.org.uk (which is what is promoted everywhere) and forget about the http and colons and slashes stuff at the start – I don’t think anyone types that in, and it is not included in any promotional material whatsoever produced by the Festival – it goes straight to the site with no problems!

    I have asked several other people to do this and there is no problem. It works every time.

    However, if you type in ryefestival.org.uk (leaving out ‘arts’ from the middle) you get a message that the site can’t be reached.

  5. Every time I click on this page’s comments with the highlighted red to try to get to the correct page.
    All fail with the http https
    The only one that goes to the correct page is the highlighted one with NO www. in the address.
    The http or https makes no difference.

    So click on either of the two red lines in Alexandra Smiths comment. Both work as they don’t have www.

  6. How very sad, that even the Festival itself can’t get its website address correctly on its promotional materials. No small wonder then that something like streaming – or recording and then streaming – appearances appears to be out of the realm of possibility.

    FYI – I wrote to the Festival Director about 10 days ago about the lack of an online option, but have not yet had the courtesy of a reply.

  7. The website address is correct on all the Festival’s promotional material. There have been, however, technical issues which are being worked on. ryeartsfestival.org.uk remains the Festival’s correct address.


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