Kooks guitarist Hugh Harris to headline new Made in Sussex festival

Kooks guitarist Hugh Harris is to perform at the new Made in Sussex event at Glynde Place.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 7:00 am
Hugh Harris

The Made in Sussex drive-in weekender from October 2-4 has confirmed Hugh for the opening night.

Hugh, co-founder of East Sussex indie sensations The Kooks, might be more accustomed to sharing stadium stages with the likes of The Rolling Stones, but on October 2, he will sing a few songs from his debut solo album Curious Illusions, which was released on September 11.

Hugh was raised in Lewes and is a proud ex-student of the youth programme of Glyndebourne Opera, who are supporting local company Big Sky Drive-in and the Made in Sussex event.

Hugh said: “I’m absolutely honoured to be asked to perform on my home turf for Made in Sussex. Returning to the place where I grew up to perform some of my solo material for the very first time will be like a dream come true, and I hope to see lots of familiar faces there.”

Hugh co-founded The Kooks in Brighton in 2004 who were signed to Virgin within three months. Their first album Inside In, Inside Out released in 2006, went quadruple platinum and won the band MTV Europe’s Best UK and Ireland Act the same year. Their second album Konk (2008) entered the British album charts at number one, two years later.

Other star turns at the event include film director William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), who will introduce his newest film Hope Gap on October 4.

Made in Sussex, in association with Glyndebourne Opera, is the first event from Big Sky Drive-In, recently founded by two Lewes mums Victoria Holden and Lara Leslie in lockdown. It is a weekend of drive-in opera, film, animation and food from October 2-4.

Victoria said: “Made in Sussex will unfold in the grounds of beautiful Glynde Place and all the events will have a local dimension.

“Three Glyndebourne operas, La Traviata (Verdi), The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte (both Mozart) will play on a huge, 60 sqm state-of-the-art mobile LED screen. As a thank you to the NHS, the organisers are giving away 50 free tickets for Cosi Fan Tutte to NHS staff, an offer made possible by sponsorship from local businesses.

“The programme will also include screenings of the 2020 film Emma, based on Jane Austen’s novel and filmed at nearby Firle Place; new release Hope Gap, filmed in Seaford by Lewes director William Nicholson; Summerland, shot in Cuckmere Haven; and Strike, a heart-warming animation by local company Gigglefish Animation Studios. Food and drink will be provided by Sussex caterers Seven Sisters Spices, Caccia & Tails, and Crepes de la Creme. Drinks are locally sourced from Sussex vineyards and breweries.

“Made in Sussex has three aims: to bring more people to the arts; to provide an affordable, fun day out in a beautiful setting for all ages; and to celebrate the magic of the county of East Sussex.”

Big Sky Drive-In’s co-founders Lara Leslie and Victoria Holden have both spent their lives working in TV, film-making and animation, with major broadcasters and household names, and in local schools.

Victoria added: “The idea behind this venture is to celebrate the very best Sussex has to offer in a way that is original but also accessible to everyone. Glyndebourne, with its world-class reputation, is a Sussex jewel, and we have a fantastic food and drink scene here too. Made in Sussex combines all these elements from the comfort and safety of your car.”

Managing director of Glyndebourne Sarah Hopwood said: “Made in Sussex is a great innovation. We are delighted to be able to support a new business in our local community.”

• Talk is increasing of further lockdowns in the UK. What do you think of the situation? Join the Big Conversation and have your say on everything from healthcare to how the pandemic has affected you personally and how we make our communities stronger: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/bc-worthing