Our Story

Hexham Abbey Festival was founded in 1953 by Sir Humphrey Noble and a small band of enthusiastic supporters and has presented an annual festival, generally providing a week of concerts and events in the third week of September.

In its sixty-five year history, the Festival has developed the range of its activities and expanded the size and scope of its audience, which now hails from all sectors of the community, the wider region, and from much further afield.

Many world famous musicians and groups have graced the stage of the Festival over the years; Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears in the 1950s, George Malcolm and The King’s Singers in the 1980s, to name just a few.

Central to the Festival is Hexham’s glorious medieval Abbey, which acts as the main venue and provides a stunning backdrop and world class acoustic for music making.

Development and innovation have been at the heart of Hexham Abbey Festival’s mission. After expansion of the Festival in the 1980s there was further development in the early twenty-first century, extending the Festival to a huge range of classical music of early to contemporary periods, jazz and world music, improvisation, theatre, poetry, puppets and film and close involvement with community groups.

What our visitors have said

David Jonson

Excellent! And such a friendly atmosphere.

David JonsonHull
Bill Howden

Friendly reception at the Abbey, fantastic setting, acoustics, warmth and comfort – what more can I say!

Bill HowdenNewcastle