10 years in the making, Reigate Summer Festival is a natural collaboration among various local arts groups who have been doing their own thing for years. It’s time to all come together as one.

In 2014, the first New Music Fest took place on the playing fields of Reigate Rugby Club, with a handful of performers and a few hundred enthusiastic punters. Born out of the monthly New Music Nights, which launched in 2013 to provide a platform for original live music, and a charity fundraiser for YMCA East Surrey, New Music Fest grew over the years to attract over 1,000 people to see dozens of live acts over the mid-summer weekend.

After 2023, the festival found itself without a home and thoughts turned to a long-held notion of holding the event in the middle of Reigate. New Music Nights joined forces with Reigate College, with support from Reigate Business Guild, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and a number of other community interest groups, and hatched a plan to launch a comprehensive arts festival that would take over the town centre for one glorious weekend in mid-summer.

Support for the idea was overwhelming. Local choirs, dance and drama groups, writers, poets, comedians and even historians jumped on the idea like they’d been waiting for it all their lives and we knew we had a festival on our hands. At the same time, Reigate venues expressed their desire to be involved, by putting on their own music, book readings, comedy and more.

And so we approach the arrival of the inaugural Reigate Summer Festival, a celebration of the town’s creativity, taking the sum of many magnificent parts and presenting them as one irresistible whole.

We hope you enjoy the festival as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together.

Our vision

Reigate is known for many things. House prices for one! But there is so much more to the town. The statue of Margot Fonteyn heralds your arrival in a town with an outstanding artistic pedigree. Now we want to put Reigate on the map as a destination for great art, be it music, drama, dance, literature, film, art, comedy and historic craft.

Since it launched in 2013, New Music Nights has made its home in five different venues – an indication of how hard it is to find suitable performance spaces for all ages and genres. So we want to build one. As well as putting Reigate firmly on the cultural map, we want to give it its own dedicated performance venue, available to all the local groups working hard to promote their own art. We want to build a state-of-the-art facility where you can display great art in a reverential hush, or make a bit of noise without annoying the neighbours; welcome audiences of all ages and tastes in safety and style; promote local creativity or attract nationally acclaimed acts.

We’re planning this place for Reigate and the ball is already rolling. If you want to add your weight to the movement, we’d love to hear from you.