The aim of Wantage Summer Festival is to raise awareness of the a wealth of enthusiastic organisations, groups and individuals in the area, to celebrate their talents and to provide opportunities for the community to enjoy a varied programme of events, ranging from music and drama, to crafts, photography, historical talks, heritage walk plus much more.  As well as the core participants who provide the backbone of the programme, the Festival is keen to showcase the not so well-known smaller specialist groups, often combining workshops which give the opportunity to learn a new skill.


Community, Respect, Inclusiveness

By and About Wantage,

Respect for Wantage Heritage,

Celebration of All Local,

Inclusiveness of Established and New Talents,

Openness to New Ideas.


“By Wantage and About Wantage” – Grassroots Festival

In your words Wantage Summer Festival is (as recorded at open meetings held on 8 and 15 July 2015)

  • A celebration of local arts.
  • An opportunity to showcase the diversity of local arts.
  • An opportunity to promote local arts.
  • An opportunity to network, share resources and develop local arts.
  • An opportunity for local arts groups to recruit and engage participation by others, especially young people.
  • A month long celebration of the history of Wantage, its offerings to the community and wider area.
  • What draws people to Wantage (tourism/business/leisure).
  • What can it highlight in terms of facilities and activities for children/young people and support and can it provide for its older (sometimes alone) older community when the NHS and Social Services cannot step in….
  • Brining the communities together.
  • Encouraging businesses to be involved.
  • Celebrating talents, arts, creativity.
  • Identifying what truly makes Wantage a great place to work, live and enjoy ‘me’ time and family time.
  • Open for all groups/organisations to showcase themselves. Include all aspects of ‘ART’ – music, drama, craft etc. All age groups.
  • Marketing/advertising etc. – The Festival programme of events is published and available at the Library, the Museum and perhaps other outlets, but the individual events would benefit from e.g. banners/display boards at the premises during the lead-up to the day itself. All such notices to include the Festival logo. Also, announcements at the event to include the link to the Festival. (Sometimes in the past, the audience would have been more aware of this.). If the Festival organisers are unable to provide a representative at the event, perhaps some advance guidance could be offered for the MC – also notes from the Festival for e.g. concert programmes.
  • A space to celebrate summer.
  • Brings out/shows the best of Wantage and Grove.
  • Brings out/shows community spirit.
  • A party.
  • Pimms No. 1/champagne/Prosecco.
  • Variety of activities and things to do.
  • WSF is great as it is a lot of different events and activities under a familiar heading.
  • It appeals to all ages ranging from storytelling in the Library to the Letcombe Singers, Camera Club, exhibitions, picture framing, and so much more.
  • “I like the fact that it involves the whole community and is for the whole community”.
  • I like it the way it has been.
  • I also like the programme, just changing the colour each year is brilliant as people learn to identify it and look for it coming through the door.
  • Provides an opportunity for local singers, musicians and artisans to perform and display their wares.
  • It can inform the local community of what is available in the local area, while at the same time providing entertainment and a chance to engage everyone in arts and crafts.
  • An event/occasion that brings people in this community together for enjoyment. It might also: promote Wantage businesses – gift shops, coffee shops, restaurants etc. as well as history, beauty; and support local charities through fundraising.
  • Entertainment – This may not be the uppermost in the minds of all, but if people do not enjoy it, it will not get off the ground.
  • An opportunity to demonstrate the considerable artistic talent in our midst.
  • Publicity – It is desirable that people with a particular artistic bent meet others with similar interests.
  • Publicity for Wantage – It is a good place to live and people should know this.
  • Community based event(s).
  • Participation for all.
  • Celebrate/showcase local sets – groups/businesses/areas/landmarks.
  • Encourage use of wide range of Wantage based facilities and areas indoors and outdoors.
  • One or two signature /large participatory events amongst smaller fringe items spread over period of weeks.
  • Should involve as many age groups as possible.
  • Opportunities to showcase different skills and talents to encourage more participation.
  • Good publicity for the town.
  • Mix participating events with performances.
  • Grassroots festival celebrating and promoting community and individual talent.
  • Could include businesses (not too commercial).
  • All ages from young to elderly doing and being involved – performance events, workshops, exhibitions.
  • Reaching out to all drama/music/crafts/clubs to bring what they do to a wider public.
  • A celebration of local talent in the community that brings together families, businesses and all in the community of Wantage, Grove and the surrounding area.
  • A ‘showcase’!
  • Gives the people of Wantage a chance to make their mark on the world without losing their own originality.
  • It also allows people to make friends who have similar interests.
  • A celebration of the community of Wantage. In particular, it celebrates and presents the skills, knowledge and abilities of the people, groups, and clubs in Wantage.
  • A flexible (to cope with the weather) community celebration of life in our area.
  • Is there a potential conflict with “Not just the Betjeman Festival”, or this not happening in 2016? This will affect the operation of the events that are chosen.
  • Do we have money to attract a “celebrity” to give publicity to the event?
  • What was successful in earlier years? Do some of them bear repeating?
  • A forum and framework to display the range of cultural activities available in the town.
  • To encourage the greatest range of widely defined “cultural activities” and to involve public and individual demonstrations.
  • To encourage practical involvement and stimulates exhibitions/demonstrations and public practices.
  • To include opportunities for new ventures and to widen the inclusiveness – no holds barred.
  • To establish more venues for public evidence of public activities.
  • A celebration of summer and arts through diverse activities and performances (hopefully many outdoors workshops/performances).
  • A community event.
  • The best of early summer.
  • Events to go to locally in early summer.
  • New things to do and experience.
  • For Wantage and the surrounding villages.
  • For business – supporting local organisations and groups.
  • For young people – opportunities to perform.
  • For voluntary and community groups to hold events and gain publicity, and possibly new members.
  • Promotion for the community and celebration of Wantage and the surrounding areas.
  • A celebration of local “treasures” and community.
  • A series of seemingly unrelated events run around and converging nicely. What is the theme? Nature? Art?
  • A time for the Town to take pride in itself (and get out of its shell).
  • Music, visual arts, crafts, good food and drinks. More music!
  • A celebration of Wantage community.
  • Open, inclusive and designed to bring people together.
  • An event that I have been aware of during the six years I have lived in Wantage.
  • Would like it to include more activities for families and children.
  • Historically, I have had an impression that a lot of the activities have been at times and on subjects for older people. So I’m not saying don’t do that. I just mean times and subjects that would appeal to families, particularly those in junior school age.
  • I would also like to see activities around health and fitness, music, workshops to teach people crafts or learn a new subject. Also some indoor events in case the weather is not good.
  • A programme of events using a variety of venue, offering entertainment and participation of people of all ages, encompassing the talent of the many groups which exist within and around the town.