Arts chairman steps down

Mike Eve, chairman of the the Rye Arts Festival Trustees.

Rye Arts Festival, which has been running for nearly 50 years, is holding its second AGM (Annual General Meeting) in its new form as a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) ; and the chairman of the Trustees, Mike Eve, is stepping down and not seeking
re-election after the re-organisation.

The eight trustees of the CIO are separate from the festival’s management committee for each year’s event and will be elected at the AGM on Sunday February 24 in Rye Community Centre on Conduit Hill from 4pm.

Four trustees are seeking re-election, one is retiring (but can be re-elected) and one new nomination is proposed. Any member of Rye Arts Festival wishing to nominate a new trustee must do so by February 27 to the Secretary.

The AGM will also discuss the festival’s strategy and three year plan. The festival became a  CIO in April 2017 and 2018 was the 47th festival. Fifty four ticketed events were staged with 3,750 tickets sold, or around 70 per event – a 7% decrease on the year before.

A profit of £7,759 in 2017 became a loss of £21,623 last year due to, the AGM will be told, “lower ticket sales and higher operating and event costs” including further investment in internet booking facilities.

The trustees will be proposing changes to the marketing strategy and “seeking to broaden the audience base”. The next festival is from Saturday September 14 with priority booking from July 23 and general booking from August 6.

By way of comparison Rye’s Jazz and Blues Festival, which aims to attract more visitors, was announcing headline acts last month, January, appearing in May and August concerts.

And the St Ives Festival in Cornwall, which runs from September 14 (like Rye’s) , already has tickets for six concerts which are bookable now, and more will be posted on their website as events are confirmed.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .


  1. An early eagle-eyed reader spotted that I transposed the figures from the RAF accounts which should have said “a profit of £7,759 in 2017 became a loss of £21,623 last year” and hopefully that has now been corrected. However it does mean that the loss last year was much larger than first reported.

  2. Since when has a a Rye Arts Festival been responsible for the RAF ? The acronym has been bandied about by people , who should know better, in recent years and it never fails to raise the hackles! Perhaps the Festival should be renamed the Rye Festival of Arts to avoid confusion !
    After 100 years of amazing service to Great Britain, it is insulting to a great body of service people.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here