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Lichfield Festival Ltd

Lichfield Festival Limited (Charity no. 512201) is one of the leading cultural organisations in the West Midlands.  Formed as a registered charity in 1981 the organisation promotes:

  • Lichfield Festival, an annual multi arts festival lasting for 10 days in July.
  • Lichfield Literature, an annual literary event in October
  • Aspire, our Learning & Participation programme of education and community activities leading up to and culminating at each Festival.

Lichfield Festival

Lichfield Festival brings the best national and international artists and performers to the West Midlands each year for a summer celebration of classical music, dance, drama, film, jazz, literature, poetry, visual arts and world music.  Lichfield Festival holds a unique role not only in the city but within Staffordshire and the surrounding area, and has in only a short time become an integral part of the region’s cultural fabric – a focal point for exciting and challenging artistic presentations of an international calibre, and a showcase for Lichfield’s own wealth of heritage, culture and creativity.

The programme is wide and varied with an outdoor cinema adding to the range of concerts, gigs and talks plus a large number of free events including the Festival Fringe, Arts Market, Sundown Jazz and visual arts exhibitions. Past performers and artists have included Nigel Kennedy, The Halle, Soweto Gospel Choir, The Brodsky Quartet, Oscar Peterson, Simon Rattle, Georgie Fame, The Dhol Foundation, Maggie Hambling, Bellowhead, Carol Ann Duffy, Christopher LeBrun, Djivan Gasparyan, Jon Lord, Clement Freud, The Hairy Bikers and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Lichfield Festival showcases the best of Lichfield’s historic and contemporary architecture and beautiful outdoor spaces by holding events in Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield Garrick Theatre and a range of smaller venues including Swinfen Hall Hotel, St Michael’s and St Chad’s Churches, the George Hotel and Lichfield Guildhall, alongside Beacon Park, Market Square and the Cathedral Close.

Lichfield Festival receives over 50,000 visitors annually who come from a c.30 mile radius of Lichfield. The Festival is also fortunate to have the support of approximately 120 dedicated volunteers each year, 25% of whom are under the age of 26.

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Lichfield Literature

Since 2006 The Lichfield Festival has presented an Autumn Literature Festival to complement the summer programme. The Festival, like its summer sibling, brings the best literary talent to Lichfield for a series of one-hour talks hosted in partnership with the George Hotel, which, in the intimate ornate surroundings of the 18th century Garrick Room, provides the main venue. In 2012, the Festival acquired a second, larger venue in the shape of the Festival Marquee, holding up to 350 people and allowing the Festival to grow yet further.

Originally taking place over a single weekend, Lichfield Literature has now expanded into a 9-day Festival comprising over 65 events. Many of Britain’s leading literary figures, including Sir John Mortimer, Rabbi Lionel Blue, Dame Margaret Drabble, Terry Waite, Julia Neuberger, Kate Adie, Tony Benn, John Carey, Barry Unsworth, Alison Weir, Prof Ian Stewart, David Aaronovitch, Jo Brand, Roy Hattersley and Martin Bell, have delighted our audiences over the years.

Since it began, the Festival has also incorporated the Lichfield Literary Dinner. A highlight of the city’s cultural year featuring a high-profile after-dinner speaker. In 2012 we were delighted to welcome Barry Cryer, Britain’s very own gagmeister general and raconteur in chief.

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Artistic Director, Sonia Stevenson – sonia.stevenson@lichfieldfestival.org 

Festival Manager, Jennifer Mears – Jennifer.mears@lichfieldfestival.org

Sponsorship & Marketing Manager, Michelle Jennings – michelle.jennings@lichfieldfestival.org

Events & Logistics Manager, Julie Barry – Julie.barry@lichfieldfestival.org


Board of Directors, Lichfield Festival Ltd

Tony Bateman, Chairman Tony Bateman is Managing Director of Pegasus Planning Group Limited, a large national multi disciplinary planning and environmental consultancy, with its regional office based at Canwell. The company has actively supported the Lichfield Festival over a number of years prior to Tony joining the board.  He is a chartered surveyor, a chartered town planner and a member of the Institute of Directors.  He lives close to the centre of Lichfield with his wife, Marian.

Colin Ablitt, Company Secretary Past Member of Lichfield District Council for some ten years including time as Cabinet member for culture during which time responsible for commissioning Lichfield Garrick Theatre, the Burntwood Leisure Centre and chairing and reshaping the Lichfield Arts Partnership. Past Council member of the Arts Council (West Midlands) for some eight years. Currently Vice President of Staffordshire Scouting and Vice President of Lichfield District Scouts. Currently Chairman of the Conduit Lands Trust. . Currently member of the Guild of Smiths and Freeman of Lichfield. Colin and his wife Helen are Millennium Members of the LFA.

Ms Tracey Coles: Tracey has spent her working life to date in education, including 11 years of Headship in a Lichfield primary school and currently is Headteacher at Blackwood Primary School in Streetly.  In between headships she spent 2 years working as an Education Improvement Adviser and School Improvement Partner for schools in Coventry.  She has been a school governor in Staffordshire for 27 years to date, in special, primary and high schools and is currently Vice Chairman of Governors at King Edward VI High School in Lichfield. Tracey is passionate about education and the arts and has been delighted to involve her schools in the Lichfield International Arts Festival for the enriching experiences that has given her pupils. She has 2 sons of whom she is immensely proud and has lived in or near Lichfield for 27 years.  Tracey holds a Master’s Degree in Education Management.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber Adrian Dorber has been Dean of Lichfield since September 2005; ordained as a priest in 1980 he began his ministry in the Oxford Diocese. He followed this as Chaplain and Lecturer at Portsmouth University and then as Director of Ministries and Training in the Durham Diocese. He is a member of the Oversight Group for the Churches’ Regional Training Partnership, he chairs the Lichfield Diocesan Local Ministry Scheme, is joint patron of Fair Trade Lichfield, Chair of Governors of the Cathedral School and a Governor of King Edward VI School, Lichfield. His academic interests are in Systematic Theology and Social Ethics.

Prof Michael Gunn Michael Gunn has been Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Staffordshire University since January 2011. He has had a long career as an academic lawyer, with a specialism in mental health law and law and learning disability at six universities. He brings a deep commitment to the power of education to transform lives and communities.

David Kershaw David Kershaw has lived in Lichfield for 25 years. Prior to retirement in 2005 he was a senior manager in Commercial/Corporate banking with HSBC. More recently he has been a member of the investment committee of a small venture capitalist and run his own management consultancy. He is a director and trustee of Erasmus Darwin Foundation and a member of Lichfield Rotary Club.

Mr Nick Sedgwick  Nick Sedgwick has been a board member since 1987, Company Secretary from 1988 to 2001 and Chairman from 2001 to October 2013. His professional career has been in house building and he is currently semi-retired. In addition to being involved with the Lichfield Festival he has been a past Sheriff of Lichfield and past Chairman of Lichfield District Council where he served for 18 years. He is also Chairman of Michael Lowe Charity and a Trustee of Municipal Charities. He was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Smiths in 2009. He lives in Lichfield.

John Harvey  John is a practising barrister and a member of No5 Chambers, the largest set of Barristers’ Chambers in the Country. He has sat as a part time Judge in the Crown and County Courts for more than 20 years. He was Chairman of Lichfield Festival Association and a member of the Board of the Festival between 1993 and 2000, and has been delighted to resume both those roles in 2013. He has been associated with Lichfield Cathedral since 1963, and has lived in The Close since 2000. He has lectured frequently on Robert Schumann, Samuel Wesley and other musical topics, and is a keen, if somewhat inaccurate, pianist and organist. He was Director of Music of a London church in the 1970s and is currently the diocesan representative for the charity, Friends of Cathedral Music.

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Millennium Members

The Lichfield Festival acknowledges the following people who supported the Festival’s Millennium Membership campaign in 2000:

Mrs Sheila M Abel, Mr & Mrs Colin P Ablitt, Miss M E Allen, Mr & Mrs John R Alsop, Mr & Mrs David G Arthur, Mr Philip E Baldwin, Mrs Sylvia Barnes, Mr & Mrs John M Baron, Mr W Alan Bateman, Mrs Nest Bateman, Dr & Mrs J B J Berrow, Mrs Jean M Blank, Dr R A & A R Bond, Dr Mollie A Brown, Mr Peter Brown, Mrs Ann Burdett, Miss J Rhona Clarke, Lady Hilda Clarke, Mr & Mrs David T Cliffe, Mrs Susan J Clough, Mr & Mrs David N Cooke, Mr & Mrs Aubrey J Craig, Mr & Mrs Philip W M Davies, Mrs Margaret W Davies, Mrs Polly De Hamel, Mr & Mrs Derrick Duval, Mr & Mrs Philip W Elliott, Dr James I Ellis, Mr & Mrs Don Evans, Mr & Mrs Mark H L Farrant, Dr & Mrs Bryan J Fehilly, Mr Nick Fisher, Mr & Mrs William D Friel, The Hon H M T Gibson, Mrs M Roana B Giffard, Mr & Mrs M G Gilbert, Mr & Mrs P R K Glover, Mr & Mrs Edward Green, Mr & Mrs Robert D M Grew, Mr & Mrs Douglas Grew, Mrs & Ms Anne & Louise Hall, Mr & Mrs Rod W Hannam, Mrs Constance G Harford, Mr & Mrs J Martin Harrison, Dr & Mrs W F Hassell, Mr & Mrs James A Hawley, Mr Kenneth L Hayward, Revd & Mrs Peter L Holliday, Miss Celia J Holmes, Mrs M M Horler, Mr & Mrs C E Hubbold, Mr & Mrs G S Hudson, Mrs Grizel Inge-Innes-Lillingston, Mr & Mrs Ken & Catherine Jackson, Mr & Mrs Simon R James, Miss V Kay Johnson, Mr & Mrs Allen J Juxon, Mrs Morfudd Lamb, Mr John E Lane & Miss Ishbel M Curr, Dr & Mrs John H Lang, Lady M Ann Lightbown, Mr & Mrs A C Lindop, Dr & Mrs Chris M Lockwood, Mr & Mrs H W Lukeman, Mr & Mrs G Neil Mainwaring, Mr & Mrs R P Marchant, Mr & Mrs Paddy N Martin, Mr David R Mayes O.B.E., Mrs P F M McGauley, Mr David McQueen, Mrs Diana R McQueen, Mr & Mrs H I Mitchell, Mr & Mrs C H Mitchell, Mr R C Newby, Miss J Lavinia Newell, Miss Jean M Paddock, Mr & Mrs M M Palmer, Mr & Mrs P E M Parsons, Mr & Mrs I W Paterson, Mr J A Paulson, Mrs Ann Penrose, Mr & Mrs Bryan S Ramsell, Mrs Jill Robinson, Mrs Pauline E Round, Mrs Joan E Round, Mr & Mrs John D Rushton, Mr & Mrs Denis B Rust, Miss C M Salt, Mrs Barbara Samson, Mr & Mrs Alan H Seddon, Mr & Mrs N G Sedgwick, Miss P M Shelley, Dr & Mrs Peter J Sheridan, Mr & Mrs R M Simons, Mr & Mrs Jonathan M W Smith, Mr & Mrs Martin F P Smith, Miss Margaret A Spooner, Mr & Mrs Gordon Statham, Mr & Mrs D Nigel Steeley, Mr & Mrs David H & Lyn Stephenson, Dr & Mrs I H Stevenson, Mrs Betty Stewart, Mr & Mrs Peter M B Stone, Mr & Mrs Mike A Swallow, Mr & Mrs Peter W & Laura Tanter, Mr A T N Teague, Mr & Mrs Christopher Teed, Mr Stuart C Tetley, Mr & Mrs Richard J Tetley, Mrs Connie F Thomas, Mr & Mrs Andrew W Tipper, Mr & Mrs Alan Toplis, Mrs K Brenda Towlson, Mrs Arleen Trickett, Mr & Mrs Rob Tyler, Mrs Annette Veitch, Dr Ishbel Villiers, Mr & Mrs Mervyn A Walker, Mr & Mrs David E Wallington, Mr Arnold G Ward, Mrs E A Weatherhogg, Mr & Mrs Michael Webb, Dr & Mrs Stephen Whitmore, Dr & Mrs F L Whittaker, Mr & Mrs David Wood.

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Founder Members

The Lichfield Festival acknowledges the following people whose support founded the Lichfield Festival in 1982:

Mrs Joan V Allen, Mr & Mrs A E Aldridge
Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford, Major M K Beedle, Dr R A & A R Bond, Mr Godfrey Bostock, Mr & Mrs C Brown, Mr Peter Brown, Sir Adrian & Lady Cadbury, Lady Hilda Clarke, Mrs Winifred Clayton-Smith, Mr & Mrs David T Cliffe, Mr & Mrs J N Coley Shaw, Mrs B Cutler, Mrs Polly De Hamel, Dr & Mrs Jeremy R Duncan Brown, Mr & Mrs Derrick Duval, Mr & Mrs Richard B K Dyott, Mr & Mrs Michael Elsom, Mr & Mrs Mark H L Farrant, Mr & Mrs Robert K Fleeman, Mr & Mrs Ian Foster, Mr & Mrs Rodney T Gausden, The Hon H M T and Mrs Gibson, Mrs M Roana B Giffard, Mr & Mrs M H Gilbert, Mrs & Ms Anne & Louise Hall, Mrs Margaret E Hassall, Mr & Mrs James A Hawley, Dr & Mrs J R Heron, Mrs Grizel Inge-Innes-Lillingston, Mr & Mrs Ken & Catherine Jackson, Mr J O Keir, Dr & Mrs John H Lang, Mrs Myra Leavesley, Lady M Ann Lightbown, Dr & Mrs Chris M Lockwood, Mr & Mrs H W Lukeman, Mrs Jeanine Maclaine, Mrs E J Morrison, The Venerable Richard B Ninis, Mr & Mrs John E Rackham, Mrs Pauline E Round, Mr & Mrs J M S Salloway, Mrs M E Sargeant, Mr & Mrs R M Simons, Mr & Mrs Hugh W Skemp, Mr Paul Spicer, Dr & Mrs I H Stevenson, Miss Gwen W Taylor, Mr A T N Teague, Mr & Mrs Richard J Tetley, Mr & Mrs Andrew W Tipper, Mr & Mrs Simon Tonking, Mr Arnold G Ward, Mr & Mrs D J Watkins, Mrs Sheila White, Mrs Jeane Whitney, Mr & Mrs N J Wilford.

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