Curious Arts Festival unveils exceptional 2017 line up

LYMINGTON'S Curious Arts Festival unveils exceptional 2017 line up


We couldn’t be more excited to announce that local legend and festival-favourite John Illsley, founding member and bass guitarist of Dire Straits, will be performing as a guest vocalist at this year’s Curious Arts Festival with the London Whoredogs on Saturday 22nd July. 

Mark Knopfler and John are the only founding members of Dire Straits to remain in the line up from 1977-1995 during which time they sold over 120 million albums. John Illsley has four solo albums and two live albums to his credit for more info go to www.johnillsley.com

If you've not already booked your tickets for Curious Arts then don't delay - day tickets are still available for adults and families and if you do fancy making a weekend of it, there remain a few weekend tickets - and camping is FREE!

Click here to book tickets!


FULL PROGRAMME for the 2017 festival

The Curious Arts Festival programme for the weekend has now been announced. Whether you are planning to camp (or glamp!) over for the weekend or can only make one of the days, take a look at the fantastic line-up, showing the music, literature, comedy, childrens events and other workshops and curiosities happening each day. This year's line up is truly brilliant, we're sure you'll agree!

Take a look at the 2017 Curious Arts Festival programme here!

Plan your days and book your tickets now! Weekend tickets and day tickets are still available - but are selling fast, so don't delay! 

Click here to book tickets!

Chapel Down and Curious Drinks official beer and wine supplier at Curious Arts

Curious cider cocktail at the Curious Arts FestivalEngland’s leading winemaker, Chapel Down and Curious Drinks have become the Official Beer & Wine supplier of the Curious Arts Festival this summer. The Curious range of award-winning beers and cider, along with Chapel Down’s unbeatable range of sparkling and still wines, will be served at the main bars. The English wine producer will also be hosting a series of free wine and beer masterclasses throughout the weekend.

Chapel Down Group CEO, Frazer Thompson, said: “Britain is known as being a global hub of creativity and the Curious Arts Festival is a celebration of this. We are delighted to be supporting this glorious event and will be aiming to surprise and delight festival-goers throughout with the best of British drink from Curious Drinks and Chapel Down.”

Curious Arts Festival Director, Patrick Keogh, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Chapel Down and Curious Drinks to the Curious Arts Festival 2017. Our festival is a celebration of British eccentricity with a food and drink offering that is focused on quality, provenance and a sense of fun - and so Chapel Down and Curious Drinks represent a perfect partner for us.”

Seeking a curious forager!

The Curious Arts Team are seeking a forager (ideally who lives locally) for the festival as there are a number of authors who will be talking about foraging. If you can help, please contact the Curious Arts team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Curious Arts Festival breakfast 2016Satirical soliloquy, rock-n-roll reverie and ditty comes to the New Forest with news that BBC 6 Music and Radio 4 regular Murray Lachlan Young will be performing his stunning new live 'up-close and personal' show – How Freakin’ Zeitgeist Are You? - at this year’s Curious Arts Festival.

A delightful romp into the bizarre facets of fame, fashion, people, politics, a mild erotic folk ballad and the space-time continuum, this is unique stand-up comedy/spoken word performance, from one of the very best in the business. Always topical, his show effortlessly addresses the way we live and our trying to make sense of society.

Murray is a playwright, actor, screen-writer and poet-extraodinaire who made his name in rock clubs and underground cabaret venues in London in the 1990s when he was signed to EMI. Celebrated for his hybrid mix of stand-up comedy with delightful commentaries on contemporary life, expect flamboyant, punchy wit, brooding subtext and empathetic humour.

We thoroughly recommend this local festival which really does have something for everyone; a delightful combination of music, literacy and art, for adults and children alike. 

Curious Arts Festival 21st-23rd July 2017

The glorious gardens of Pylewell Park are the setting of the Curious Arts FestivalNow in its fourth year, the Curious Arts Festival is an eclectic boutique festival now firmly on the culturally-minded festival-goer’s calendar given its creative programming spanning music, literature, comedy and thought-provoking inspirational events. This year, Curious will be taking place between Friday 21st and Sunday 23rd July 2017. The festival is set in the glorious grounds of Pylewell Park near Lymington, home to the Hon David and Melanie Roper-Curzon. Positioned on the south coast in the New Forest with a large agricultural and sporting estate, the house sits majestically surrounded by traditionally laid out parkland with unrivalled panoramic views over the Solent along the South coast. The sea serves as a stunning backdrop to the grounds, which include 27 acres of pleasure gardens and a 15-acre lake.

This year's Curious Arts Festival is setting new standards for illuminating green field arts festivals. 

curious arts lymington snail racingRenowned for attracting the cream of UK and international literary talent this unique festival offers a glittering array of the cultural, creative and curious including comedy, music and a packed children’s programme. From life drawing, midnight bat walks and cocktail masterclasses to snail racing, poetry workshops, pop up fine dining and even an opera and a cricket match no other festival offers anything like this dreamy, fun, eccentric and ultimately inimitable weekend. This year’s packed programme of events, activities and experiences will delight the Curious of all ages.

Curious partnership with Coda Music Trust

And the Curious Arts Festival is now reaching out further than ever before. The Festival announced recently a three year partnership with local music charity Coda Music Trust, which will see the festival supporting the charity until 2019. Coda Music Trust is an award-winning, innovative charity, based on the Dorset/Hampshire border, which uses music as a tool for personal and social change, often tackling issues of social deprivation, isolation, ill-health and disability. Find out more.

Paradise will not be lost at this year's Curious Arts Festival!

curious arts festival pylewell park new forestThe line up for the Curious Arts Festival is looking increasingly exciting with more artists confirmed including headline music acts for Friday and Saturday nights Izzy Bizu and Tom Odell. At the launch event for this year's festival last weekend at Pylewell House it was also announced that following the success of last year's Sonnetathon, the epic poem in blank verse Paradise Lost has been selected this year and all who wish to try their reading aloud skills  in front of an audience are invited to participate.  It's looking likely that the pop up Choir will be back too - an amazing opportunity to create wonderful, uplifting sound together.  Camping beside the Solent shore is magical as is the whole of this unique weekend!

Read on for more details about the Curious Arts Festival attractions and headliners...

Book tickets for the 2017 Curious Arts Festival 


Tom Odell headlining at the 2017 Curious Arts Festival

The UK’s most illuminating and eclectic boutique festival has announced key headliners and attractions to this summer’s showcase. Headline music acts include Tom Odell and Izzy Bizu. Other highlights of the 2017 festival will include: 

  • The legendary writer, film-maker and publisher Dave Eggers
  • The People’s Poet Lemn Sissay
  • The foremost chronicler of our emotional lives, Joanna Trollope
  • Mock The Week’s hilarious Ed Byrne 

Read on for more details about the Curious Arts Festival attractions and headliners...


The Curious Arts MUSIC Line Up

curious arts festival lymington 2017 - Izzy Bizu announced as music headline act

Music headliners include stellar singer songwriter Tom Odell, Brit Critics Choice Award winner Izzy Bizu, and A&R man turned novelist, John Niven, will be taking to the stage with his new band featuring some extraordinary special guests, to be announced shortly.

The Solent-side music stages will also feature electro-soul act Seramic, Ibibio Sound Machine who blend Nigerian pop and British electronica, Icelandic musician Junius Meyvant, Brighton talent Martha Gunn, Time Out Rising Star Alex Francis with his emotive blend of rock and soul, hotly tipped Jordan Mackampa, 21-year old Irish singer songwriter Aine Cahill and dreamlike pop from Benedict Benjamin.


Festival audience at Curious ArtsTHE CURIOUS ARTS LITERARY LINE UP

We are delighted that romantic and historical novelist, Joanna Trollope OBE, will be at this year's festival. The outstanding 2017 literary line up also features multi award-winning American author, commentator, writer and editor Dave Eggers; extraordinary poet Lemm Sissay; Matt Haig (REASONS TO STAY ALIVE, A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS) on new book out in July called HOW TO STOP TIME; Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Eimear McBride (A GIRL IS A HALF FORMED THING) on her new novel THE BOHEMIANS and James Stourton who will be discussing his book KENNETH CLARK, LIFE, ART AND CIVILISATION.

Other highlights will include internationally acclaimed British Indian novelist, Hari Kunzru, will be talking about his latest work WHITE TEARS; psychotherapist Phillippa Perry; Peter Dunne (THE FIFTY THINGS:LESSONS FOR WHEN YOU FEEL LOST); Ross Raisin;  American novelist, journalist and art critic Katie Kitamura (A SEPARATION); Jess Kidd (HIMSELF); Andrew O'Hagan (THE SECRET LIFE); Keggy Carew (DADLAND) and Chelsea Flower Show winning gardeners to the aristocracy and Prince Charles Julian and Isabel Bannerman.



Comedy curated by Curious Comedy host and Radio 4 regular Simon Evans includes TV stars Ed Byrne and Paul Tonkinson; children’s favourite Howard Read; lightening-quick sketch group The Noise Next Door; the insanely talented Nat Luurtsema and accomplished comedian, jazz singer and actor Charlie Baker.

George Egg will be cooking up a three-course meal on hotel equipment in his comedy show Anarchist Cook; Daphna Baram will be exploring the world of alternative facts and expect long words and beautiful linguistic flourishes from Ivo Graham.


Children at Curious Arts Festival LymingtonTHE CURIOUS ARTS LINE UP FOR CHILDREN

Childrens’ events will include Breath of Life Puppetry workshops, a Jabberwocky Hunt, Ella Berthoud will be offering STORY CURES for children and their families and there will be a series of events with The Week Junior.

Join all of the above for illuminating adventures, lively literary chat, breakfast briefings on the day’s news, cartoon clubs, and a fine array of food providers, including a pop-up restaurant. And what other festival begins with a cricket match??


The Curious Arts Festival is a wonderful experience and goes from strength to strength each year. Be sure to book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.


Book your tickets now!

Tickets are now on sale at www.curiousartsfestival.com and booking is fulfilled by new festival partner Sky Tickets. Tickets are priced at £128 weekend adult, £300 weekend family, £23 weekend child (5-13), £55 day adult, £20 day child (5-13).

Check the website for availability of Early Bird Tickets.

Camping is FREE and GLAMPING options are now available.





Your message here