Winchester Hat Fair
Hat Fair is the UK’s longest running festival of outdoor arts. Founded in 1974 by Jonathan Kay, Hat Fair inspires and is inspired by the people, heritage and public spaces within the city of Winchester.
Our aim is to shine a light on the city, transforming the everyday into the extraordinary.
Initially conceived as a busking festival, Hat Fair takes its name from the tradition of the audience showing their appreciation by putting money in the hat at the end of the show.
Largely thanks to the generosity of our audiences, we still uphold the hatting tradition, alongside programming a significant number of non-hatting shows from across the world.
In 2013 Hat Fair became part of Live Theatre Winchester Trust, which also runs the Theatre Royal Winchester. Bringing together an historic theatre and an outdoor arts programme in creative collaboration has allowed us to develop our artistic ambitions relishing the opportunities this presents for encouraging talent and championing quality arts.
Our vision now encompasses theatre, site specific and outdoor art to create a year-round programme of cultural celebration around the city and beyond.