About Us

Our Aim

To build and sustain a strong sense of community by ensuring that all members of our community are involved in and engaged by the festival

Telegraph Hill Festival is run on a voluntary, collaborative basis.   No one involved with the Festival is paid.   This voluntary ethos extends to all the performers and creatives involved in all aspects of the Festival.   Festival events are generated by members of the community.   If you want to see something, make it happen.

We ensure that there is a mix of free and paid for events to ensure that everyone can participate.   Inclusion (on every level) matters to us.   Accessible pricing and free events are part of that commitment.

How we operate

Telegraph Hill Festival is a sub committee of St Catherine’s Parochial Church Council.   The Festival was formally set up in the mid 1990s by members of the local community and a previous Vicar of St Catherine’s Church following many previous years of existence as a weekend of activities in a local park.

St Catherine’s Church and Telegraph Hill Centre are the primary sponsors of Telegraph Hill Festival, giving us space free of charge well ahead of and during the Festival – in the Centre’s case foregoing the rental income it needs to survive – and going the extra mile to accommodate us and ensure that we have everything we need. We really couldn’t do it without their continued generosity.

The festival is run by a voluntary committee, is self-funding and operates on not-for-profit principles.   The voluntary ethos extends to everyone involved with the Festival from event organisers to performers.   Revenues from ticket sales and bar takings as well as donations are ploughed back into the Festival to ensure a contingency, enabling us to produce the next year’s Festival.  We hold an open meeting after each Festival, in 2018, this was in May and took place at Telegraph Hill Centre.

Please note – The Festival simply provides an umbrella for event organisers. Responsibility for event content, promotion and emphasis remains with individual organisers.

Going Green

In recent years we have made greater efforts to be as environmentally responsible as we can. This has involved us stopping use of the corn and potato starch compostable cups we used to use because they still take up to four years to break down. We now encourage people to bring their own cups or glasses to events if they want to buy drinks from the Festival bars.

We use local suppliers for food and drink, and they in turn use local suppliers wherever possible. We also encourage people to take empty bottles from events with them and dispose of them in their own recycling bins, thereby limiting the costs and impact on local venues and the people that live near them.

We encourage people not to print tickets and that’s also why we use online booking. If you’ve made a booking, your name will be on our door list.

And we’re not stopping there, we will continue to ensure that we manage our footprint.

Where we operate

We are a local Festival, by and for local people.   Events are drawn from local people’s ideas and it is their energy which sustains those events.   In recent years we’ve started to see all aspects of the community better represented, and that’s something we’d like to continue.   

Part of that success has been down to engaging and collaborating with as many potential hosting venues and community groups as we can.   The list of participating venues can be found here.   We work constantly to expand this list, meeting with the people who run spaces and encouraging them to become hosts and also by tapping into their local networks.

Who we are

The Festival is organised by the Festival Group which is open to everyone willing to make the time to collaborate voluntarily. For 2019 the core team is led by India Lovett, and includes Sanjit Chudha, Tamsin Bacchus, Sarah Willerton, Gill Holmes, Mark Martynski, Peter Challis, Sharon Shamir, Rima Bray, and Bruce Whitney-Low.   Gill Roth works with us to organise the Open Studio weekend.


We are hugely grateful to all of the local venues who work with us to accommodate so many events and put up with having their own activities disrupted, especially St Catherine’s Church, and the Telegraph Hill Centre who give so much space and time free of charge to us, ahead of, and during, the Festival.   Likewise, thanks are due to Hill Station Cafe and the team there, and the many other venues we hold events within.

We would also like to thank our other in-kind sponsors without whom we would not be able to stage the Festival.   Special thanks are due to Goldsmiths who have worked with us since 2015 on the graphic design for the programme.

Finally, huge thanks to all the volunteers and participants who make the Festival possible: the organisers of individual events and performers, bar staff, box office and stewards, programme distributors, prop-makers, technicians – all volunteers, and all people who help make this community such a special place to be.

The photographs and videos on the website are also taken by volunteers, including John Chase, Jay Alix, Gilson Pereira, Sanjit Chudha and Sophie Stanes and we would like to extend our thanks to them too.

Find us on Facebook or Twitter 

Programme Cover design by Design Communications, Goldsmiths
Map design courtsey of Design Communications, Goldsmiths


The Festival simply provides an umbrella for event organisers. Responsibility for event content, promotion and emphasis remains with individual organisers. The programme is prepared in good faith by the Festival Group. Some events may change or be cancelled due to circumstances outside our control.