With the dates of this year's Kenilworth Arts Festival now set as 17-23 September, the organisers have announced major plans to build on the success of 2016's inaugural event, which attracted crowds of over 5000 people to venues across the Warwickshire town. Using the popular crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, the Kenilworth Arts team hopes to raise up to £2000 to turn its ambitious goals into reality for 2017.

Folk singers Rachel Sermanni and Luke Jackson, rising classical stars The Ayoub Sisters, author Rob Cowen and decorated poets David Morley, Sarah Howe and Luke Kennard were among the artists headlining the week-long festival last year, culminating in a free outdoor Fiesta in Abbey Fields.

“Our aim is to offer a programme of events that will inspire and engage and offer opportunities for people of all ages to try new things, hone their skills and indulge their passions,” said Festival Chair Lewis Smith. “The inaugural Kenilworth Arts Festival was a huge success and we are grateful to the many brilliant artists who took part, to the venues that lent us their spaces and to everyone who came along to support the events.

“This year, as well as the headline events, workshops and our outdoor event Fiesta, we want to offer more fringe events, run long-term projects with local organisations, support community-led events and have a bigger presence in the town throughout the week and beyond. We are also committed to doing more to support new work and young artists by hosting showcase events, running competitions and encouraging collaborations. In short, we want to grow Kenilworth Arts Festival into one of the most innovative, distinctive festivals in the region and we believe there is potential to build something truly extraordinary.”

Since the festival is currently run by volunteers, there are high hopes that the Indiegogo campaign will help facilitate these developments. Crowdfunding is already underway, and as an extra incentive to pledge there are range of exclusive awards available for backers to choose from, including early-bird tickets, limited edition prints and festival merchandise. Those interested in showing their support can find out more at indiegogo.com/projects/kenilworth-arts-festival-2017-music-literature.

“A very small team of us got things up and running last year. Now that we’ve laid the foundations and recruited some excellent new volunteers, we just need an extra boost to help us work towards our long term vision,” Smith explained. “More materially, it will help us with lots of practical considerations, such as covering the costs of venue hire for fringe events, paying people fairly for their time and creativity and improving the environmental impact of our events.”

“The Crowdfunding campaign is a great chance to be a part of the festival and to receive some exclusive rewards in the process. There are plenty of other ways to get involved, too - we’d love to hear from businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities, new volunteers and, of course, artists and performers,” he added.

The campaign runs from Thursday 9 February until Sunday 12 March, and the festival will take place from 17-23 September. For information on the festival or to contact the organisers, visit kenilworthartsfestival.co.uk, or to pledge, visit indiegogo.com/projects/kenilworth-arts-festival-2017-music-literature.