Celebrating it’s 45th anniversary this year, the Winchester Hat Fair is the UK’s longest-running Festival of Street Art, spread over three days each July, it takes place in countless spots across the city on the Friday and Saturday before heading to the North Walls for a more concentrated festival day on the Sunday.
Originally started as a busking festival back in 1974, the term Hat Fair comes from the hats that buskers and artists would put out for the coins given as tokens of appreciation (although people seem to embrace the name Hat Fair overall as there’s lots of headwear to be seen!).
As we were busy unpacking boxes last year (can you believe we’ve been here for a year already?), we didn’t get a chance to investigate, but we managed to spend the Saturday enjoying so many genres of performances from local choirs to circus acts, promenade theatre, guys with guitars, acrobats, period dramas, strong women and guys on tall unicycles wearing pink tutus. Really.
I hope the following photos give you a bit of a taster of what the Festival feels like. I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. As well as filling our small city with some 70,000 visitors, it filled it with the best atmosphere and I can’t wait for next year (3-5 July 2020)…
See you next year?