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The Bruton Festival of Arts is a month long festival culminating with the Packhorse Fair, which aims to showcase talent from Bruton and the surrounding areas and promote the arts as a benefit to all. It is a non-commercial enterprise and all profits are put back into the festival and other year round arts events for the benefit of the town.


The first Packhorse Fair was held in 1999, borne of an idea to form The Bruton Festival of Arts in 1998 at a meeting in the then Royal Oak public house. It originated as a mediaeval fair with all stallholders and visitors encouraged to dress in costume. 

Over the years it has expanded to focus on all that Bruton has to offer over a month of fun, community activities culminating with the Packhorse Fair. The Festival provides opportunities for charities, voluntary organisations and local businesses, as well as promotes our huge array of local musicians, artists and artisans.

After a fallow year in 2018 the Festival and Packhorse Fair is back! We know how much it has been missed, so we urge you all to come and support it and spread the word to put this event firmly back on Bruton’s calendar.

Bruton 500 Celebrations

This year, 2019, sees many anniversaries in Bruton: it is 500 years since King’s School first opened its doors, 400 years since the death of Hugh Sexey, founder of Sexey’s Almshouse, 60 years since John Steinbeck lived here for several months and 20 years since the first Bruton Festival of Arts and Packhorse Fair.

The festival marked these anniversaries with some exciting events including performances, talks, a battle re-enactment, and even a day-long cycling event for both families and experienced cyclists.

This year saw the launch of our new community fund, an initiative from Bruton Community Partnership, a group of volunteers who lead many projects within Bruton. The fund will be for community projects, enabling community groups to access money for projects both big and small. We started the ball rolling by launching ‘The Great Bruton Raffle’ at the Packhorse Fair. There are some spectacular prizes, so please do support it. Tickets will be available from various locations in Bruton until mid-September.