Open Weekend – 28th-31st July 2022

Article contents: What is the Open Weekend? / How will it work? / What kinds of events or activities can be included? / What are the benefits of taking part in Open Weekend? / How can I/my organisation get involved? / Where did this idea come from?

Open Weekend –2022 submissions now open!

It is the second time the Open Weekend is taking place and this year it will happen over four days, from 28th-31st July. Organised by Buckinghamshire Culture with the support of Buckinghamshire Council and the Rothschild Foundation, it is an opportunity to showcase the range and breadth of creative events, activities and initiatives taking place in Buckinghamshire. The applications for the micro-grants are now open. We have a limit number of grants that can go towards the events and activities.

Submissions for events/activities can now be made until the deadline on 1st June via the online form: Open Weekend Registration

Is your activity/event eligible for a micro grant?

  • Activity is taking place in Buckinghamshire
  • Activity will be delivered during 28th– 31st July as part of Open Weekend
  • Not-for-profit organisations who want to pay an artist/creative/freelancer to deliver a creative or cultural activity that meets the ‘trees and green’ theme
  • Artists, creatives or freelancers registered as sole traders or businesses delivering an activity for Open Weekend
  • You can apply for grants of up to £250.

If you are eligible under the criteria above, you can apply via this online form
Open Weekend Micro Grant Application
Applications for micro-grants should be made by 1st June.

In light of the enjoyment and support that Open Weekend received in 2021, we felt we had no choice but to bring it back as annual event – we can’t wait to see what people put on!  We are also really pleased to share that Visit Buckinghamshire will be supporting our What’s On listing this year. “

Bill Morris, Buckinghamshire Culture Co-Chair

We’re excited to be teaming up again with Buckinghamshire Culture to run this year’s Open Weekend, which includes Buckinghamshire Day on 29th July. It’s a fantastic opportunity for local groups and organisations to run their own cultural and creative activities and events

Clive Harriss, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure

Key dates:

  • Open Weekend event and activity submission opens – 25 April 2022
  • Deadline for event and activity submissions – 1 June 2022
  • Deadline for all What’s On information and images – 12 June 2022

All forms and information will be published here in due course.

Open Weekend Info Sessions

We will be running online information events on 25th May 2-3pm and 26th May 4-5pm (possible further dates tbc) to provide contributors with more details on Open Weekend and enable space for ideas development and discussion. These are aimed at everyone who is planning on taking part as well as those who are still unsure or have questions. We would love to see you and talk about your ideas and queries. The sessions will be held on zoom. If you are interested in taking part in one of the sessions, please sign up here: Registration Open Weekend Info Sessions

2022 Theme:

The theme for Open Weekend 2022 is ‘trees and green’ inspired by all the celebratory work and activity taking place for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June. To be part of Open Weekend this year, you will need to come up with a creative or cultural activity that is linked to ‘trees and green’.

You might take inspiration from:

  • A local tree, wood, park or garden – telling stories, delivering creative workshops, outdoor performance, or transforming spaces
  • Stories about trees – encouraging people to think about our landscape heritage, exploring folk tales, sharing stories and memories linked to trees
  • The environment and green agenda – encouraging people to think about re-use, recycling and sustainability
  • The colour green itself – monochrome painting workshops, nature inspired creativity, green objects from collections to base activities around.

What kinds of events or activities can be included?

Face to face « In person « Outdoors « Walks « Trails « Tours « Town Centre or High Street activity « Performances « Music « Online « Live streamed « Recorded « via Social Media « Free « Nominal charge.

The only criteria are that your event must:

  1. Take place in Buckinghamshire (or online but delivered by a group or organisation based in Buckinghamshire)
  2. Include activity that is creative or cultural (including: arts, crafts, heritage, music, performance, dance, cooking, baking, writing, spoken word and poetry)
  3. Align to the theme of trees and green.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information and frequently asked questions, please download the PDF document here:

How will it work?

We will ask interested organisations, groups or individuals to register their event or activity with us, outlining when it will take place and how people take part.  We will compile a programme that contains all of the events and promote/market this through our combined networks and via social media.

We will provide marketing collateral to show each event is part of the Open Weekend.  We will provide a communication toolkit to make it as easy as possible to promote your event and contribute to the cross-promotion of the Open Weekend.

We will ask you to do some light-touch evaluation and feedback numbers of attendees and other data directly to us so that we can collate the overall engagement and impact of the event. 

What is the Open Weekend?

The first ever Open Weekend for Buckinghamshire took place over a long weekend – 22nd-25th July 2021 (in celebration of Buckinghamshire Day). Open Weekend is back for 2022, taking place 28th-31st July.

Open Weekend is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the range and breadth of creativity and culture taking place in Buckinghamshire. 

In 2022, Open Weekend will have theme of ‘green and trees’ – sharing, collecting and celebrating stories of our landscape and green spaces, and inspiring fun creative activity. 

Open Weekend 2021

Headline statistics from 2021:

  • 73 events
  • 51 organisations running events
  • Over 3500 attendances across the 4 days

Overall contributors reported that:

  • They valued being part of a larger initiative
  • Open Weekend allowed them to try something new/different
  • It was good to be part of a county-wide initiative – something bigger than themselves
  • They felt the model was flexible and overall liked the theme of stories
  • Branding, collateral and joint publicity well-received.

What are the benefits of taking part in Open Weekend?

This county-wide initiative will be a celebration of stories and creativity which aims to help you to re-engage with audiences, visitors and customers in the aftermath of lockdown.  As the town centres, high streets, shops, cafes and cultural venues re-open, we want to help you to encourage people back to public spaces and cultural venues. 

We aim to help you to increase footfall and engagement and promote creativity and culture and the benefits it brings for our residents.  By taking part in this co-ordinated event, you will both contribute to, and benefit from, a critical mass of activity and promotion across the county.

Umbrella marketing will include:

Programme of events « Open Weekend web page « Cross-promotion from others taking part « Social media via Buckinghamshire Council and Buckinghamshire Culture channels and supported by participating organisations  « Use of the Open Weekend logo and brand to promote your event and show you are part of the wider initiative « Press releases for Open Weekend to raise awareness « Communications toolkit « Marketing collateral to help promote and identify your event, such as: posters, stickers, balloons…

How can I/my organisation get involved?

Contribute an event or activity to the Open Weekend programme – this could be:

  • An event you are already running that meets the theme.
  • An event you have adapted to meet the theme.
  • An event you have developed and put together specifically for the Open Weekend.

Where did this idea come from?

This idea has come out of discussions about the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy, and how we can make creativity and culture in the county more accessible to more people.  We have lots of inspirational cultural organisations running fantastic activities, but we know that not everyone feels comfortable going into them and we want to change that by encouraging people to drop in and have a go.  We want to celebrate the range of creative activities that happen here – showing off what our residents make, bake, create, grow and produce.  So, if you can team up and put on an event, talk, walk etc you can take part too. 

Please note that Buckinghamshire Culture is not endorsing activities included in the Open Weekend programme and each event organiser is responsible for the smooth running of their event.  Buckinghamshire Culture is taking the lead on co-ordinating and promotion activity in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council.