“Made in Basingstoke” – Summer 2017

BASINGSTOKE LAUNCHES SUMMER-LONG FESTIVAL WITH JAM-PACKED EVENTS PROGRAMME CELEBRATING THE TOWN’S FOOD, FASHION, ART AND CULTURE

21st June 2017:  Basingstoke is set to become Hampshire’s cultural capital this summer, when the town’s creative talent is celebrated in its inaugural ‘Made in Basingstoke’ festival, a jam-packed extravaganza of events catering for all tastes and age groups.

Running from 14 July to 13 August 2017 and comprising four themed weeks entitled Create, Taste, Discover and Make, the Festival will showcase the town’s artists, foods, attractions and people through a comprehensive programme of daily activities to be staged at key attractions, shops, museums and shopping centres across the town.

It will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen, who was born and raised in the area, with themed teas during the ‘Taste’ week and a host of activities during the ‘Discover’ week. These will include a walking tour, an amusing musical recital at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre; and a new exhibition called ‘Retail and Romance: Jane goes to the Ball’ at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery. In addition, visitors will be able to view a new bronze statue of the author, which will be unveiled in the town centre on 18 July.

Also, coinciding with the festival, is a new ‘Sitting with Jane’ free public arts trail and associated app featuring 24 ‘Book Benches’, each designed and painted by a different professional artist.

One of the highlights of Create Week (14-20 July) will be ‘The Mystery of the Star Eaters’, an immersive gaming experience for would be detectives and adventurers.  This interactive game will turn Basingstoke’s streets into a life-sized game board in which participants follow clues, question witnesses, solve puzzles and embark on a discovery around the town’s landmarks to investigate a mystery.

Other activities include: ‘The Create Market’, which will take the form of an expansive arts and craft market in The Malls shopping centre during the weekend of 15/16 July, complete with live entertainment.  There will also be art workshops hosted by local crafters and businesses including Paperchase, All Our Own Crafts, Eco-Workshop and the Red Lion Hotel, with topics ranging from decoupage to chalk painting.  Plus, music lovers can participate in a series of events at Dawsons, from open jam session days to digital drum workshops.

Next comes Taste Week (21-27 July), which will feature free cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs Phil Vickery and Jean-Christophe Novelli at The Malls Shopping Centre on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July.  There will also be a Taste Market focused on local produce and businesses as well as a Jane Austen cream tea party at the Red Lion Hotel.

Then, to celebrate Basingstoke’s historic past, is Discover Week (28 July-3 August) including a ‘Summer Raincoat’ craft session tying into the town’s heritage connections with Thomas Burberry, as well as an array of events celebrating Jane Austen (see above) and a Punch and Judy Festival. Visitors will also have the chance to experience a vintage makeover during a ‘Fashion in the 50’s’ masterclass, at the town’s Vintage Treasures shop.

Finally, during Make Week (4-13 August) there will be a range of free events for families, from the Summer of Literacy Reading Challenge, to Charlie’s story time and children’s crafts at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre. There will also be rides, slides and workshops and the opportunity to get artistic and create ‘selfie’ masks, perfect for sharing on social media, at The Malls Shopping Centre.

For more information and a full schedule of events visit www.madeinbasingstoke.co.uk and follow @inbasingstoke and use #LoveBasingstoke on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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