The go-to guide for early music



Fairest Isle Festival

Journey through 16th-18th century music on a magical Island with world-class musicians, sea shanty and barqoue workshops, talks and more.


🌱Spring festival



Embark on a musical journey through time at the Fairest Isle Festival on the captivating Isle of Wight. Delight in the harmonious early music tunes of the 16th-18th century, brought to life by a stellar lineup of world-class artists on an island steeped in rich history, that sets the stage for an unforgettable celebration of music and culture.

Experience a festival sensation as we present Europe's hottest early music act, the wild Scandinavian Alehouse Boys (Barokksolistene), and dive into the sublime and wonderfully funky world of Henry Purcell in a raucous 17th-century tavern setting – dances, unsuitable songs, contests, and perhaps even a friendly scuffle! They join us for the lively ‘Come & Sing’ Vivaldi Gloria and form the instrumental core of Purcell's 'Dido & Aeneas,' led by Artistic Director, Robert Hollingworth with UK’s early music stars, sopranos Mary Bevan, Rowan Pierce, Mezzo-Soprano Ciara Hendrick and bass-baritone Frederick Long. The festival begins with a delightful programme of music from the multi-virtuosic recorder consort Palisander, “Early Music’s very own Spice Girls”.

Join us and unleash your inner troubadour with engaging workshops like 'Learn to Sing a Sea Shanty’, and 'Come and Sing' baroque choral works – a melody-filled experience for both visitors and islanders alike. Immerse yourself in the Island's story through captivating festival talks and tours, exploring local heritage and cultural landmarks, and in collaboration with the Isle of Wight Music Hub, the Festival presents educational workshops and masterclasses in schools around the Island, nurturing the creative spark in young talents.

Mark your calendars and be part of a musical odyssey that transcends time and echoes through the very heart of this Fairest Isle – where culture, history and melody converge in perfect harmony!

Past events


Isle of Wight - Newport, Ryde and Ventnor


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