Ambitious creatives and volunteers in Alton are preparing to bring a new event to the town. 

The Alton Arts Festival will take place from July 5 to 14, 2024, and will see a diverse range of events, from live music to author talks, workshops, theatre and more, in venues stretching from Holybourne to Chawton.

“Alton Arts Festival (AAF) is a not-for-profit celebration of the arts, community, and creativity,” said festival chair Annie Lancaster. 

“Across 10 days in July next year, we will put on a high-quality programme of events spanning literature, music, art, theatre, and more.

“The programme will include both local and visiting artists and will provide a platform for homegrown talent, opportunities for businesses and a chance for everyone to tap into their creative side, both as participants and audiences.”

Partnering with Goldfinch Books, HSDC Alton, the Allen Gallery, Jane Austen’s House and Alton Town Council, AAF is keen to put the community at the heart of the festival and to make the most of all the town has to offer.

Annie continued: “What began as a conversation between the Guild of Optimists and Goldfinch Books months ago has evolved into a new Community Interest Company run by a team of passionate volunteers, some of whom are professional artists and arts managers, who are excited to bring an eclectic creative programme to the town. 

“We’re delighted by the positive reaction we’ve had from venues, community groups and businesses alike.

“It’s proven what we’ve always believed: there’s a real appetite for the arts in Alton.”

Organisers are keeping the exciting line-up under wraps for now, but will be making the first programme announcements in this Herald column next month.

“Everyone who wants to stay updated with our plans should follow @AltonArtsFestival on Instagram and/or Facebook and sign up to our newsletter at for all the latest news,” said Annie.