Shirley Collins announces new date and new song/installation (watch video here)

This concert has been rescheduled twice due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus. Please check your ticket details below, please only attend on the night where tickets have been purchased.

Tickets originally purchased for either Saturday 2 May 2020 or Saturday 18 July 2020 will be valid for Saturday 31 July 2021 only.

Tickets originally purchased for either Sunday 3 May or Sunday 19

July will be valid for Sunday 1 August 2021 only.

We are pleased to announce that the concert will now take place on the outdoor stage at Charleston (subject to weather). Please note that this space is uncovered and in the open air, so please dress accordingly.

More tickets will be released from today here

If you have tickets and are planning not to come along please do let us know, at the earliest opportunity, as we’d love to give others the opportunity to see this unique event.

A bus will leave Lewes station for Charleston at 6pm and return at 10pm. Places are limited so please book in advance by emailing Tickets are £5 return.

Arrive from 6pm to explore the unique sound installation in the garden by sound artist Matthew Shaw features recorded words and poetry from Shirley Collins and Brian Catling, and many more luminaires. The performance starts at 7.30

Journey with us from Firle Church as we walk up over the Downs to the edge of the cliff at Crowlink 1.916. Looking out to sea, listening to the song of the skylarks, the wind whipping through the bent-over trees, the waves crashing against the white cliffs, the pull of the tide across chalk, shingle and stone.

Shirley Collins leads us with her recital of the English folk songs collected over seventy years. With poetry from Brian Catling and Matthew Shaw and fragments of letters, diaries and prose from Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and the Bloomsbury group in Sussex.

These poems and extracted writings voiced in order of appearance by Shirley Collins, Hannah Peel, Jeremy Deller, Lally MacBeth, Benjamin Zephaniah, Heather Leigh, Laura Barton, Zakia Sewell, Peter Owen Jones, Amy Grantham, Matthew Shaw, Mark Fry, Sam Lee & Virginia Woolf.

All music performed by Matthew Shaw with special guests Ossian Brown on hurdy-gurdy and Penny MacBeth on recorders.

The garden sound installation will be on site for a further week following the Shirley Collins events.

Please be aware the gardens can accommodate only a limited capacity. Those wishing to promenade the grounds may experience a wait to allow the previous group to exit the gardens.

The caf  will be open, serving delicious Italian street food from Caccia & Tails, or feel free to bring a picnic to eat in the centenary gardens/by the pond.

The galleries will be open and free to ticket holders, subject to capacity, with exhibitions by Nina Hamnett & Lisa Brice.

Keep an eye on the Facebook book page for further updates:

31st July 1st August

We are looking forward to seeing you at this unique event in the heart of the


And finally…

Shirley will be in conversation with Stewart Lee on Wednesday 7 July at 7pm, giving a first-hand account of an extraordinary life. For more information and to book:

Once the event is sold out/if you need to resell your ticket:

We would strongly recommend that if you are purchasing re-sell tickets that you buy through SEE tickets re-sell option than from a person directly. If you are buying re-sell physical tickets, previously bought at Resident record shop, send through an image to Melting Vinyl on messenger or an email of the tickets for them to confirm they are genuine ( If you are unable to attend and have bought tickets through Charleston please get in touch with the box office directly.


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