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The Charleston Festival

Now in it’s 29th year, the Charleston Festival brings together a remarkable cast of writers, thinkers, artists and performers to interrogate history, politics, science, literature and society.

Many thanks to this year’s speakers who included : Nick Clegg, Richard Ford, David Grossman, Harriet Harman, Barry Humphries, David Olusoga, Ann Patchett, Vanessa Redgrave, Tamara Rojo, Philippe Sands, Elizabeth Strout and Colm Tóibín amongst others.

Professor Stephen Hawking was the recipient of the Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize, which was accepted on his behalf by his daughter Lucy Hawking, and friend, Professor Kip Thorne.

Charleston Festival 2017

Provisional dates for next year’s festival are 18 – 28 May 2018.

The festival programme will be announced in February.

Join as a Friend of Charleston to receive priority booking for 2018 Festival – your best change to secure tickets to see your favourite speakers.

Join our mailing list to get the first news on 2018 dates and line-ups.


Charleston would like to give special thanks to our generous Associate Partners: Hurstpierpoint College and Rathfinny Wine Estate.

And to the festival’s official sponsors: EFG Private Bank; Viva Magazines; Sussex Country Gardener; Lancing College; Mayer Brown; Nira Wright; Mayfield School; The Bloomsbury, A Doyle Collection Hotel; Pelham House Hotel; Merchant Gourmet; Art Fund; Harwoods Land Rover; The Sigrid Rausing Trust; Brighton Gin; The Ondaatje Foundation; Scoop Magazine; Herbert Scott Ltd; University of Sussex; MCR Media Solutions Ltd; City Books; Charleston to Charleston Festival; Arts Council England V&A Museum Purchase Grant Fund; Charlotte Street Hotel; Bede’s School; Harvey’s of Lewes; The Cuthbert Horn Trust; Sotheby’s Harper’s Bazaar; South Downs National Part Authority

Some Picture Highlights from 2017 Festival

Vanessa Redgrave at Charleston Caroline Lucas and Michael Rosen at Charleston Barry Humphries at Charleston Charleston Festival 2017 Charleston Festival 2017 Charleston Festival 2017 Charleston Festival 2016 Anne Sebba at Charleston AKbar EShafak MThien at Charleston

What's on

stained glass workshop 21 Aug
Stained Glass workshop

Handcraft a beautiful, leaded stained glass window panel with tutor David Lilly. Learn the traditional techniques More

Life Drawing workshop 29 Aug
Life Drawing

An intensive day of Life Drawing, for all abilities. The day will begin with a tailored More

Small Wonder 2017 - The Short Story Festival - Banner image - 27 Sept - 1 Oct 2017 27 Sep - 01 Oct
Small Wonder - The Short Story Festival 2017

Small Wonder 2017 – The Short Story Festival – runs from 27 Sept to 1 Oct, Charleston’s annual celebration of short stories in all their different shapes and guises.

Small Wonder - STORIES OF BRITISHNESS, image from event to be held on 29 September 2017 29 Sep
STORIES OF BRITISHNESS with Nikesh Shukla, Salena Godden

What stories do we tell ourselves, our family, officials and monitoring forms, about who we are More

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