Hitchin Festival, a celebration of culture and entertainment, returns with over 80 unique talks, walks, concerts, theatre shows, exhibitions and more throughout the month of July.

The festival celebrated its 30th birthday last year and this year looks to be more popular than ever.

Festival chair Glyn Doggett said: “The Hitchin Festival is really just a chance to show off what a unique town Hitchin is.

"The events we advertise are just a flavour of what’s going on throughout the community all year round and our programme is just to highlight and celebrate how great we are!”

The Comet: Violinist Sebastian Müller will be appearing at Benslow Music as part of this year's Hitchin FestivalViolinist Sebastian Müller will be appearing at Benslow Music as part of this year's Hitchin Festival (Image: www.marcoborggreve.com)

Some of the many events this year include a series of concerts from Benslow Music, The Priory Picnic in the grounds of Hitchin Priory with musicians from North Herts Music School, and lunchtime concerts in St Mary’s Church.

There's also a one-man version of Great Expectations performed by the great, great grandson of Charles Dickens at the Market Theatre, tours of Hitchin Lavender Fields, walking talks from Hitchin Historical Society, and four nights of films from the Hitchin Film Club.

The Comet: Gerald Dickens' one man Great ExpectationsGerald Dickens' one man Great Expectations (Image: Philip L Hinton)

Glyn Doggett added: “We are so grateful for all the businesses, groups and individuals who put on or sponsor events every year as they are what make it possible and we hope there is something for everyone in this year’s programme."

Last year, the Hitchin Festival team worked with Hitchin BID and a number of local creatives to bring back the Dell at Woodside as an open-air theatre and many were hoping to repeat that success this year.

Sadly this won’t be happening this July as more investment is needed to improve the space.

Glyn said: “Talks with the council and local contractors are ongoing about how further improvements can be made to things like access and security but we hope to bring the Dell back to life once more in 2023.

"It cost over £20,000 to run last year so we will certainly be looking for support both physically and financially later in the year."

The full programme for the 2022 Hitchin Festival is available to pick up from the Hitchin Town Information Centre as well as other shops in and around Hitchin.

The box office will run as usual from the Hitchin Information Office, in Churchyard, in-person from Tuesday, June 14, open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10.30am to 2pm.

You can see the Hitchin Festival 2022 programme and book tickets via www.hitchinfestival.co.uk.