Some “hosts” are missing.


The Rye Arts Festival programme has just been circulated and the busiest venue is St Mary’s church, hosting 16 events, followed by Rye Community Centre (RCC) with 11.

A year ago the Methodist church behind St Mary’s was first with a dozen events, but the building is now out of use, and the Methodists now meet in St Mary’s Centre. So the festival organisers have doubled the number of venues being used this year as well as making more use of St Mary’s and the community centre.

A year ago Rye Creative Centre in New Road was the second most popular venue hosting 11 events, but it is some way out of town and possibly not suitable for some of the concerts to be staged in St Mary’s.

This year it does not host any and Bridgepoint, in Rock Channel, which many expected to become a cultural hot spot after a few events were staged there, does not feature at all this year, and did not feature last year either – but the centre did limit itself to 12 events a year anyway in its planning application.

The Kino cinema was fifth last year with six events, and this year it is fourth with four events – the fifth place this year being shared by the Heritage Centre on the Quayside, the Discovery Centre at Rye Harbour, the Baptist church and the re-opened George Hotel.

This year however newcomer the Brewery Yard Club hosts five events in third place, and overall there are around 13 new venues in use.

St Mary’s has, however, very much filled the gaps as last year it hosted four events and was sixth in the list, while this year it tops the list by hosting 16 events – but Covid concerns may still have been an issue last year when the programme was put together.

What will happen to Bridgepoint is not known, though a creative centre is developing in Ashford, and it might be used for rehearsals or production support (such as rehearsal space). How the Rye Creative Centre (RCC) will be used in future is not known. The Bridgepoint website is down, and the RCC website contains little current information.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .

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  1. The BridgePoint area is, and will be for some considerable time, now subject to development enabling works as Martello gear up for the next tranche of desirable river-frontage town houses to be built. Residents in the 1st townhouses – and those of us who live beyond the works, at The Boathouse and in Rock Channel Quay – are resigned to months of construction work before we see the advantages of renewed road surfaces and pleasant green spaces!
    Everything comes at a price these days!


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