Official launch of Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 with spectacular entertainments and laser light switch on event

Crowds gathered at the official launch event for Horsham District’s 2019 Year of Culture celebrations in Horsham Park on Saturday 5 January.

The free to attend launch event saw live entertainments throughout the afternoon, with the opportunity to meet the Year of Culture team to find out more about just what the Year of Culture will have on offer throughout 2019.

The Year of Culture was officially declared open with a countdown by Horsham District Council’s Chairman Cllr Peter Burgess, before a unique laser light show projected from Park House over Horsham’s iconic park.

The District is now well and truly set for a unique year of widespread cultural celebration which will see our District showcase world class musicians, multimillion selling authors and high profile actors alongside local brewers holding barnstorming music nights, ukulele jams, children’s parades, classical concerts, innovative sculptural installations and much more.

There will be a number of major ‘firsts’ for the District as part of the Year. The first ever large scale outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (which will take place at Knepp Castle), the first ever Horsham Film Festival, the first ever Sussex Comedian of the Year competition, and the first ever project to include projections and lights in a variety of town and village locations.

Commenting on the launch event, Horsham District Council Chairman, Cllr Peter Burgess, said: “Thanks to the many of you who came along on Saturday to enjoy our launch event and find out more about how they can get involved with the Year of Culture.

“The event provided a great flavour of things to come throughout 2019. What I think is particularly inspiring is that the vast range of events and activities on offer are not just for people to go and watch, but people can also take part in themselves too – for many, they will be trying things out for the first time and finding they may have hidden talents.

“It’s also great that lots of the activities are completely free to attend for all to enjoy.

“I would encourage as many of you as possible to check out all the activities and events on offer.
“Enjoy the year!”

At the outset, organisers set out to get as many local people as possible involved to find new talents in their own communities, and to also invite in visitors from far and wide to discover just what the district has to offer: “This is a chance to really put us on the cultural and heritage map and gain us the recognition we deserve.”

The key to searching out all the amazing activities is the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 website. Check it out at

You can also follow the Year of Culture on Twitter @HDculture2019, Instagram @HDculture2019 and on Facebook,, where you can find up to minute events listings and booking details, regular updates and live commentaries on everything that’s going on and the reactions to it.

Don’t forget the hard copy programme, which gives an excellent taster of what’s planned. The first programme covers off January to June and the second programme will cover July to December.

Programmes are available at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery, The Capitol, leisure and sports centres in the District, Steyning Bookshop, all libraries throughout the District and many other outlets, as well as in a downloadable version on the website.

Now’s your chance to get involved, explore the District, share with your friends and discover what a wonderful place the Horsham District is.

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