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For artists

Hat Fair is the UK’s longest continually running international Outdoor Arts festival and attracts audiences of over 95,000 each year.

The festival takes place on the streets, green spaces and heritage sites of Winchester, bringing together international Outdoor Arts with local talent and community engagement projects.

How to get involved

Hatters and buskers

Initially conceived as a busking festival in 1974, Hat Fair takes its name from the tradition of the audience putting money in the performer's hat at the end of the show.

We’re proud to maintain the hatting tradition, offering places to approximately 10 – 12 hatters at the festival each year.

Hat Fair is known and respected internationally as one of the top busking festivals.

If you are interested in performing at Hat Fair contact


Touring work

We are interested in a wide range of performance genres suitable for outdoor audiences.

We thrive in developing long term creative dialogue with touring artists and companies to bring extra value to our audiences and communities in the Winchester context.

Our aim is to shine a light on the city, transforming the everyday into the extraordinary.

Our Hat Fair Director visits a wide range of festivals and showcases during the year and aims to see as much work as possible. Most touring work gets programmed only if our Hat Fair Director has seen the work live.

Programming of touring work is confirmed during October – December for the following year's festival.

Invitations to the Hat Fair Director to see your work (either finished or work in progress) can be sent to


Hat Fair is part of Without Walls - a network of festivals that works with artists to bring fantastic Outdoor Arts to people in towns and cities across the UK.

Each year Without Walls operates an open application process for artists to apply for commissioning funding.

This is the main method via which Hat Fair commissions new work.

For more information about Without Walls applications visit

We are also interested in hearing from other potential commissioning and support partners such as Cultural Institutes or cross-sector collaborations. In such cases we would be looking to partners to bring resources to the table to help make the work.

Proposals for potential co-commissions (separate to Without Walls) can be sent to

Local talent

We encourage local Winchester performers to take part in every Hat Fair festival.

Providing a great opportunity for local artists to share their work with 1,000s of people.

If you're a singer, musician, comic, member of a choir or dance troupe, or have another short performance you want to show the public, we'd love to hear from you.

For more information contact

Local talent applications for Hat Fair 2024 are now open at

Apply now

Other opportunities

For more information about other performance opportunities with the Play to the Crowd family, visit