Wantage Summer Festival is a regular fixture in the cultural calendar in the Wantage, Grove and the surrounding villages.  It runs for one month, starting from mid June (in 2016 from 11th of June). 5,000 to 7,000 people join our Festival events each year to celebrate their summer with us!

The Wantage Summer Festival celebrates in its 21st birthday in 2016 and has become a popular fixture in the cultural calendar.  The area has a wealth of creative talent and knowledge, and the remit of the Festival is to provide entertainment and education which in turn showcases the many organisations in this area.

Wantage Summer Festival is a non-incorporated, not for profit organisation/charity and is run by volunteers. The Festival Committee acts as a coordinator and ensures that a balance of events is achieved.  The Festival produces the programme and tickets (if required) and organise publicity and promotion.  The Festival Committee provides services free of charge to participants (event organisers and venue providers).  The Festival does not seek to make a surplus from ticketing as all income from ticket sales goes to the relevant participants.  Wantage Summer Festival is only possible thanks to continuous support of the Wantage Town Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council. All new, additional ideas (for example 2016 test programmes) are funded from individuals donations of our Committee.

The Festival is committed to promoting workshops, entertainment, education and family friendly events.  We support recreation, culture and leisure, and town vitality.  The Festival fosters a sense of community, gives a sense of unity, pride and achievement.  It provides opportunities to gain knowledge, learn new skills and to take part in activities which benefits social cohesion and raises awareness of the diverse groups and societies in the area.   The Festival is particularly useful for those people who have just moved to the area.  Some 5000-7000 people attend the Festival in previous years.



In June and July 2016, the Festival aimed to:

  • Continue the legacy of the last 20 years in promotion, featuring and documenting of local heritage, talents and organisations;
  • Promote Wantage and the area outside of our region;
  • Promote the open and inclusive nature of the Festival by engaging with current and new participants;
  • Broaden the core themes of the Festival to reach out to the new audiences;
  • Engage and involve young people, children and families.
  • Offer volunteering opportunities.


“Wantage Summer Festival is a community-based summertime showcase for individuals, groups and organisations in Wantage and the surrounding area to showcase and celebrate their talents, skills and expertise to local residents and visitors”

Linda Baines, Co-Chair

“Wantage Summer Festival is our little gem. We must all preserve it, care for it and make it shine!”

Sylwia Korsak, Co-Chair


In 2016 we have a new Festival Committee but we need to stress that we are very privileged to have Jean and Peter Kent involved on the current Committee – they both worked on the Festival since its early days. Other past Committee members help us with advice and actual support in planning 2016 events. We would like to thank all old and new Committee members for their kindness.

Don’t forget: Wantage Summer Festival is Your Festival.

We welcome all new ideas in this public notepad.


Based on our past 20 years we have identified six core themes:

  • STEM,
  • FOOD,
  • SPORT.



Event examples:

Music, Dance, Theatre, Open Mic, Visual Arts & Crafts, Exhibitions, Workshops, Talks, Local Talents Features, History Walks and Talks, Features by Community Groups, Science Fairs and Talks, Technology and Engineering events, Outdoor Events, Eco and Upcycling Events, Eco Fashion Shows, Bird Watching, Events in Local Parks, Markets, Cooking Events and Workshops, Food Tastings, Beer Tours, Summer Menus, Sport Competitions, Fundraising Runs, Sport Activities, Family Picnics and many more.


We are also developing small projects in 2016: Digital Journalism Programme, Volunteer Programme, Business Sponsorship Programme and Partnerships Programme to ensure Festival’s sustainability and stable future.



2015/2016 ROADMAP

Below you can see the roadmap for 2015 and 2016. As you can see until the end of 2015 we were mainly working on setting up our processes and researching. Our Festival event registrations opened in January 2016. We have finalised the printed programmes in May 2016 but those timings might change in 2016/2017.