Outdoor Programme

Thursday 24th June 2021 – 13:00 – 22:00 | Prices Adult £11 Thurs – £12 Fri – £13.50 Sat & Sun. Children £5.

There will be four strands to our Outdoor Programme to provide a unique blend of talks, debates and discussions, evening story-telling, living history, smaller break-out events, live music and much more besides, all of which can be accessed on just a single inexpensive ticket..

It feels only right that this summer we should be spending as much time as possible outside in the fresh air and, at the Chalke Valley History Festival, making the most of the stunning and ancient chalk landscape and the razzmatazz and pageantry that comes from Britain’s largest festival dedicated to history.

So, this June we are introducing a new Outdoor Programme – a blend of talks, debates and discussions, evening story-telling, living history, smaller break-out events, live music and much more besides, all of which can be accessed on just a single inexpensive ticket.

THE STAGES

We will have two outdoor stages this year. There will be picnic tables in front, as well as a large fire pit at the History Hit Stage on flat ground before the slopes rise rather like a natural amphitheatre. People can sit on the hill or on the picnic tables or even bring their own seating. They will be most welcome to enjoy a picnic or drinks while events are going on.

Most of the events at these stages will be familiar in feel to what we have traditionally held in large marquees. There will be an all-weather screen next to the IPGL Stage. Our comedy panel show, Histrionics, will be held outdoors this year and there will be plenty of stellar names talking either as a stand-alone or in discussions and panels. During the weekday evenings, we will be holding late event story-telling, the fire pit in front of the stage crackling as the sun sets behind the downs.

LIVING HISTORY

There will be an even larger living history programme than before – and from the Stone Age through to the Second World War. Our living historians will be camped throughout the length and breadth of the site. Those arriving will be met by Stone Age and Iron Age settlements, then our ‘street of time’ will take people from the Romans through to Medieval, Tudor, Civil War, Napoleonic, Victorian, the First and Second World Wars and Wartime Farming. Events will be listed both by time and time-period and will include live demonstrations from Elizabethan cookery to Roman road building, and ghoulish 19th century body-snatching to First World War medical care and surgery. We will also be displaying the UK’s only mechanically running Red Army T-34 tank. Our living historians will be grilled by historians on hand to ask them questions and also to help direct those of the watching public.

At the weekend, the site will swell with a much larger living history encampment than we have had for a long time. Each group will be carrying out their own activities and everyone is welcome to pause and watch and ask whatever questions they might have.

MUSIC, CHILDREN AND THE HISTORY TELLERS

We are planning to have live music every day of the festival and a terrific line-up we have too – from folk music from the Trials of Cato to 1920s flapper music with a contemporary twist from Trip for Biscuits to chanteuse, Chrystal Bliss, to history festival regulars, The Branflakes.

The History Tellers will be returning with a fresh new programme of thrilling history fables and there will be Sword School and much else beside.

SPEAKER’S CORNER

Speaker’s Corner is where punters can get snapshots of history.  It offers a more informal programme of events, with most no more than half an hour long. It’s a chance for historians to tell some hidden stories from the past, and to celebrate our tenth festival we’re also running a series of ‘X Questions With…’ It’s an opportunity for the public to ask one of ten questions to some of the guests taking part in this year’s festival – from Dan Snow to Dominic Sandbrook, Cat Jarman to Philippe Sands, and Al Murray to Charlie Higson, amongst others.