MORE than 80 acts will be performing at the 30th edition of the Romsey Beggars Fair.

The packed programme of events will return to the streets of the town on Saturday, July 13 from 10am to 6pm. 

The 30th annual free community festival is run entirely by a team of volunteers, adhering to the original goals of the first organisers in 1993 “to create a new tradition for Romsey, involving musicians, dancers, entertainers and above all audience”. 

Starting out with just a handful of performers, the Cornmarket crowd sat on straw bales in front of a Happy Shopper lorry used as the main stage, a contrast to this year which brings outdoor stages, 24 venues and more than 80 bands. 

Nigel Barlow, the longest-serving Beggars Fair committee member, said: “Local historians say that back in the mists of time, there was a day in Romsey on which all the beggars were given a licence to beg legally in the town without fear of arrest and this day has been celebrated ever since. It may be just mischievous nonsense spread about by people who should know better, but the Beggars Fair has been an annual music event in Romsey since its first outing in 1993.”

Beggars Fair in Romsey last year (Image: Beggars Fair)

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David Vane, Beggars Fair chairman, said: “In order to put this incredible free event on, we are indebted to our supportive local Romsey business sponsors; Hayes Music who supply and repair musical instruments and accessories, Parker Bullen Solicitors, Solent Plastics, The Mortgage Stop, Croudace Homes and grants from Test Valley Borough Council and Romsey Town Council.

Beggars Fair last year (Image: Beggars Fair)

“We also are very grateful to our official venues who also support us financially and Romsey businesses who advertise in our brochure. Without the generosity and community support we would not have a festival. We are asking everyone who comes to help support this tradition for future years to come by purchasing a brochure either online, on sale at one of our official venues or on the day. The brochure has the listings and bio, of all the acts and performers so you can plan your day as you take a tour of the town.”

Richard Boler, managing director of this year’s main sponsor is local firm Hayes Music, said: “We are thrilled to be the main sponsor of the Beggars Fair especially as we celebrate our 20th anniversary trading this year too! The event reflects our values of making music available to all and is a great example of a free community event which promotes and encourages a variety of bands and entertainers from all age groups and genres.”

For more details, visit or follow on social media. Town centre road closures will be in place all day, for details visit