It’s Festival Season!
It’s festival season once again, and from now until well into the autumn you can take your pick of the exciting, entertaining, spectacularly different festivals across Kent and Sussex.
Looping The Loop // Kent // 23 Apr – 5 May
This spring, don’t miss the wonderful Looping the Loop Festival which takes place across the three seaside towns of the Isle of Thanet. The festival brings world-class productions and locally produced shows to delight both theatre lovers and new audiences, providing some surprising and eye opening experiences for all ages! Starting on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Looping the Loop sets out to demonstrate that theatre is far from dead in 2016!
Nucleus ArtsFest // Kent // various dates May-Oct
Nucleus ArtsFest was designed as a celebration of the arts and creativity in Chatham. ArtsFests can take many forms, and have done over the years. They are often free one-day festivals, but they also form an umbrella for many other events such as workshops, the Medway Fun Palace, Open Studios and more. The festivals include live music, theatre, dance, contemporary street theatre, poetry, film and the visual arts, showcasing professional and amateur artists with particular focus on artists who are connected with the Medway Towns.
Sevenoaks Food Festival // Kent // 6-8 May
The Sevenoaks Food and Drink Festival was launched in 2015 and was an immediate hit with the visiting public. Great setting, fantastic selection of foods, mouth-watering street dining and a craft beer festival to wash it all down – so they’re doing it all again this year!
Brighton Fringe // Sussex // 6 May – 5 June
Brighton Fringe takes place every May and is a great place to spend the May bank holiday and the summer half-term break. This vast celebration of all things creative has grown out of, and is inspired by, home-grown talent. More than 50% of participants are based in Brighton & Hove, and the festival is committed to helping the arts flourish by being completely open-access, which means anyone can put on a Brighton Fringe event. This enables both new and established performers to try out new work and take risks. They also help artists develop professionally through a range of workshops, mentoring and bursary programmes. A wide array of critically acclaimed shows and performers also appear at Brighton Fringe each year.
Brighton Festival // Sussex // 7-29 May
Brighton Festival is an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events taking place in venues both familiar and unusual across Brighton and Hove for three weeks every May. In 2016, Brighton Festival celebrates 50 years of commissioning and producing innovative arts and culture with guest director Laurie Anderson at the helm.
Established in 1967, Brighton Festival has become one of the city’s most enduring symbols of inventiveness and celebration over the past half century. Brighton Festival is known for its ambitious and daring programme that aims to make the most of the city’s distinctive cultural atmosphere, drawing some of the most innovative artists and companies (and adventurous audiences) from the UK and around the world.
The Great Escape // Sussex // 19-21 May
The Great Escape is the festival for new music, showcasing 450 emerging artists from all over the world in 30+ walkable venues across Brighton. It’s the first place to discover your new favourite artist and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages. There is also a convention featuring insightful panels, topical debates, keynote speeches and networking opportunities in abundance. The Alternative Escape, Spotlight Shows, secret gigs, club nights and spontaneous collaborations all add to the festivities.
Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival Spring Harvest // Sussex // 19-30 May
The main events at this year’s Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival are the Cool Climate Wine Dinner at Jeremy’s Restaurant on Thursday 26th May, the main ‘Sussex & The World Weekend’ on the bank holiday of 28th-30th May, and the Taste of Guernsey lunch on bank holiday Monday 30th May at MARKET. But it’s all spectacular – market stalls, cookery demonstrations, live events and plenty of food and drink make this a festival to be reckoned with.
Artigras Festival // Kent // 20-21 May
The festival is brought together to deliver two days of cultural activities in the heart of Ashford Town Centre. Artigras will take place in Park Mall Shopping Centre in the heart of Ashford, and will be taken over by arts and crafts stalls, workshops, dancers, live musicians and performers. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Magical, mythical creatures’ and all Ashford schools are invited to participate and create pieces for the festival. Artigras would also like to hear from all arts and creative groups who would like to be involved in the festival and showcase their work. Come join the celebration of all things Ashford.
Faerie Festival // Sussex // 20-22 May
Come and play with the fae this May… The main event at this festival is the music, which is performed in the woodland-themed music tent. Acts for 2016 include Roving Crows, PerKelt, Touch the Earth, Matthew Callow and Willows Drum plus many more (and the list is still growing).
There are lots of other events and activities to enjoy as well, and they are all included in the ticket price – you can learn circus skills with CircusSeen, ride the Shamans horse into healing with Lynn Gosney and The Healing Drum, learn about the primal goddesses in a talk with Michelle Axe, enjoy morning yoga with Debbie Kent, play Viking instruments with Corwen and learn about herbs and foraging with Ali English.
Glyndebourne Festival // Sussex // 21 May – 28 Aug
The Glyndebourne Festival is one of the oldest opera festivals in the world, and is highly anticipated by opera lovers and performers alike. It is all played out in a magnificent purpose built theatre in the grounds of Glyndebourne House. The Glyndebourne Festival 2016 sees the return of four Glyndebourne classics and two new productions. Glyndebourne is also celebrating Shakespeare400 with operas based on two of the Bard’s best-loved comedies. Come and experience world-class opera surrounded by the rolling hills of the South Downs, all just an hour from London.
Elderflower Fields // Sussex // 27-30 May
Elderflower Fields was born in 2012 out of a desire to create a new festival in Sussex which started with families and kids first, and then built the rest of the weekend around them. In the first year they really didn’t know what to expect. Intending to produce a party for a few hundred friends and family, the plans snowballed and before they knew it, they had sold over a thousand tickets. What is more surprising is that everyone loved it! The sun shone, kids played and everyone danced in the beautiful surroundings of the Bentley estate.
It was so popular that they did it again in 2013 and this time twice as many people came – largely encouraged through word of mouth from the previous year’s customers. There were more kids’ activities, more music and more delicious local food and drink. And the sun even came back too!
For 2016 there is a spectacular line-up of music acts such as Gypsy Hill, Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, Schlomo and Island Cassettes.
Funk The Format // Sussex // 29 May
Funk The Format is a one-day festival taking place in Hove Park. Hot off the heels of their sell-out Club Tropicana events, 2016 sees the organisers transform Hove Park into a magical, musical shindig. The line-up is a great one and includes well-known names as well as newcomers. Just some of the acts are Soul II Soul, Nubiyan Twist, Jamie Rodigan, Robert Luis, Mr Bongo Soundsystem and Norman Jay MBE. For a full-on day out with wall-to-wall music, try Funk The Format.
Wild Life Festival // Sussex // 11-12 June
SJM Concerts, the promoters behind V-Festival and Manchester’s Parklife, return to Shoreham Airport near Brighton in West Sussex with a festival for a second year, hoping for more success in 2016 (in 2015, the Wild Life Festival won the award for Best New Festival). The line-up includes fantastic acts such as Ice Cube, Wax Worx, Andy C, Flume, Ray Boy, Julio Bashmore, Skream and Barely Legal. Come rain or shine this is a festival to welcome in the summer.
Blues On The Farm // Kent // 16-19 June
Voted Best British Blues Festival 2010 in the British Blues Awards, Blues on the Farm has a big reputation for presenting high-quality music from world-class musicians in a family-friendly, safe and relaxed area. Acts include Ruby & The Revelators, Sam Kelly’s Station House, Red Butler, The Hitman Blues Band
featuring the New York Horns, Brilleaux and Gary Brooker and Friends. And as well as all the music, there is plenty of exceptional food and drink too!
Camp Wildfire // Kent // 17-19 June
Half adventure camp, half music festival, this adult experience is only for the curious! By day, Camp Wildfire is a bustling adventure camp full of expeditions, bushcraft, artistry, engineering and adventure sports. Over 80 amazing activities are included in your ticket such as life drawing, totem pole carving, sword play, secret code cracking, astronomy, dark room workshop, drumming, raft building and trap setting. By night, the forest transforms into a wild music festival, with music from a secret line-up of varied, exciting bands and artists. Discover new music, and be thrilled at old surprises. Wildfire Adventure Camp takes place in a stunning forest location in the Kent countryside. The location is secret, and will only be revealed to ticket holders!
The Wealden Literary Festival // Kent // 18-19 June
The first Wealden Literary Festival – a two-day event celebrating landscape, nature and place – is being held in the renowned gardens and woodland at Boldshaves, Woodchurch, near Tenterden.
Authors taking part include TV Time Team’s expert Francis Pryor and Patrick Barkham whose book, Coastlines: The Story of our Shore, includes Kent. Other attractions include the works of Kate Beaugie, artist in residence, author, broadcaster, naturalist and environmentalist Mark Cocker.
Eastbourne Feastival // Sussex // 18-19 June
This weekend-long show brings together people from all over the globe mixing culture, food and music in a great setting near Eastbourne’s beautiful seafront at Princes Park. There are ethnic dance groups, street artists, international and local music, and much more, all on the main stage. And as for food… International and local vendors will be selling a variety of food and drink from all over the world including Spanish, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, French, American, Mexican, Italian, English, Eastern European, Greek, African, Portuguese and Turkish.
Sevenoaks Festival // Kent // 18 June – 3 July
Dating back to 1970, the Sevenoaks Festival has become an integral and anticipated part of the town’s summer season. Festival Fair once again opens the programme, including entertainment, performances and activities for all. There will also be treasure hunts, the Youth Music Stage, stilt-walkers, jugglers, musicians, walkabout entertainers, and the grand prize draw. This all takes place in Bligh’s, but elsewhere in Sevenoaks there is the kids’ art tent, Wishworks’ Interactive Puppet Shows at the Stag Plaza, and a nursery rhyme singalong in The Shambles. And that’s just the first day!
Events will take place across the Sevenoaks district in venues such as Sevenoaks School’s recital room, Sevenoaks library, Sevenoaks railway station, the Ship Theatre at Walthamstow Hall School, The Woodman Pub in Goathurst Common and The White Rock Inn in Underriver to name just some. Acts range from children’s events to folk music to poetry readings and everything in between.
Festival of Chichester // Sussex // 18 June – 17 July
The Festival of Chichester is delighted to announce a truly exciting and varied line-up of over 200 events for summer 2016, combining a brilliant programme of classical music with the best in jazz, blues, folk, rock, pop and world music. Add thrilling theatre, book events, talks and poetry, exhibitions, walks, tours, cinema, open days and galas and there really is something for everyone. Grounded in the Chichester community, the festival aspires to the stars.
Goodwood Festival of Speed // Sussex // 23-26 June
An intoxicating mix of cars, stars and motorsport royalty come together over four superb days for the Festival of Speed. The largest event of its kind in the world, the festival gathers together the planet’s rarest and most glamorous cars.
In the summer of 1936, Freddie March – the 9th Duke of Richmond – hosted a private hill climb for the Lancia Car Club in the grounds of Goodwood House. In 1993, his grandson, the present Earl of March, hosted his own hill climb and created the Festival of Speed. The weekend sees heritage cars taking on the 1.16-mile hill climb, which challenges the world’s greatest drivers and riders, including today’s Formula 1 and Moto GP stars.
Love Supreme Jazz Fest // Sussex // 1-3 July
The Love Supreme Jazz Festival is a three-day greenfield jazz festival held in the first weekend of July at Glynde Place in East Sussex. The current line-up is a fantastic one including luminaries such as Grace Jones, Burt Bacharach, Kelis, The Milk and Average White Band. It is the first full weekend camping jazz festival in the UK but also welcomes day trippers and non-camping weekend visitors.
Deal Festival // Kent // 1-15 July
Deal Festival runs from the 1st July, bringing two weeks of amazing music, drama, visual art and dance to an area of great beauty and historical relevance. Artists and works include: European Union Chamber Orchestra with soloist Guy Johnston; international pianist Freddy Kempf performing Beethoven, Chopin and Tchaikovsky; Academy of Ancient Music with students from Guildhall School of Music and Drama presenting A Bach Portrait; Messiaen’s seminal ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ with real time visual art; OperaUpClose performing La Traviata; Changeling Theatre Company presenting All’s Well that End’s Well; National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain bringing the festival to a dynamic conclusion.
Two weeks packed with delights including children’s concerts, walks and lunchtime recitals. Performances will be in Deal, Dover and Sandwich. Turner Contemporary Margate will be host for a day of contemporary dance and music with percussionist Joby Burgess.
Tentertainment // Kent // 3-5 July
Tentertainment started as a one-day event, but has blossomed into the spectacular, confetti-gunned success it is today. It works beautifully in very simple terms as a summer weekend of entertainment for the whole town and surrounding areas. But it also serves a unique role in promoting Tenterden as a great place to live, work, visit and invest time, energy and money into. Last year’s acts included Coco and the Butterfields, The Soundcasters and The Floodgates.
JAM On The Marsh // Kent // 7-17 July
JAM is a creative, dynamic, forward-thinking music organisation, regularly collaborating with some of the most important composers, performers and other like-minded organisations. Since 2000 they have commissioned, enabled and performed over eighty new pieces of music. In 2016, JAM will be involved with 27 events around the UK, with 24 being part of JAM on the Marsh in July.
JAM on the Marsh is an annual, multi-arts festival built around Kent’s magnificent Romney Marsh and its famous medieval churches. The Marsh churches are true beacons of culture and history and are the heart of the festival, which features music, arts and photography and poetry and theatre.
Lewes Live // Sussex // 8-9 July
Lewes Live is an exceptionally fun festival in Lewes, nestled in the South Downs, featuring original live bands over two days. The arena comprises a top-quality stage, camping, free parking, a wide variety of food outlets, an onsite beer festival and plenty of toilet facilities, providing all the ingredients for a great weekend of live music. This year the line-up includes Ferocious Dog, Voodoo Vegas, Gaz Brookfield, Jesse Walton, Skaciety and Noble Jacks amongst many more.
Medway Open Studios // Kent // 16-24 July
Medway Open Studios & Arts Festival takes place every July throughout the Medway Towns. Run by volunteers, the aim of the festival is to celebrate the wealth of creativity in Medway. More and more artists have signed up year on year, benefiting the aims of the festival and promoting a positive opinion of Medway.
The great thing about Medway Open Studios is that there is no pressure on either the artist or the people who want to come and look. Buying is possible, but it’s not the only reason for attending; these open studios are there to be enjoyed, and whether you visit one or dozens, this is a day out with a difference. You don’t even need to have any artistic knowledge as this is something that can be enjoyed by art lovers and those who aren’t in the know! The only thing required is an appreciation of beautiful things and the hard work that goes into creating them.
Whitstable Oyster Festival // Kent // 21-31 July
The Whitstable Oyster Festival is the premier oyster festival in the UK, offering not only the oysters themselves but also plenty of entertainment. The entire festival opens with the traditional blessing of the water, and continues for 10 days of oyster related events, demonstrations, tastings and the music hub called The Shuck. For those who want to attend from further afield, a campsite will be set up specifically for Oyster Festival attendees.
Create Festival // Kent // 23 July
11.30am – 9pm
Create Music Festival, one of the South East’s biggest free music festivals, is back for its 21st birthday in Ashford’s Victoria Park. With an impressive line-up of local, regional and national headline acts across four stages, visitors will enjoy a packed programme of music spanning from rock, pop, dance and singer-songwriters.
Last year saw outstanding headline performances from Adam Ant, Mark Morriss (Bluetones) and Gaz Coombes (Supergrass). New for 2016 is a debut ‘Fountain Stage’, and a ‘Love Ashford’ Local Producer’s Market, alongside the usual good food, bar and children’s rides. Look out for the announcement of this year’s headline act as well as a pre-festival event at the award-winning town centre arts venue, Revelation St Mary’s.
Ramsgate Festival // Kent // 23-31 July
The first Ramsgate Festival was a huge success and there were hundreds of positive comments from visitors. It was a happy move from A Summer Squall to the new name. Ramsgate was buzzing, and there haven’t been as many people by the harbour for a long time. There was such a range of entertainment that everyone could find something to enjoy. A Summer Squall drew crowds of over 20,000 people to theatre, dance, film, exhibitions, workshops and Thanet Open Studios. Artists have included OperaUpClose, Wendy Cope, The Caravan Gallery and the Vintage Mobile Cinema, performing alongside many of East Kent’s best professional practitioners. 2016 promises to be bigger and better than ever, so keep an eye out for announcements!
Qatar Goodwood Festival // Sussex // 26-30 July
With five days of thrilling action set against the magnificent backdrop of the rolling Sussex countryside, Qatar Goodwood Festival – popularly known as Glorious Goodwood – is the sporting and social highlight of the flat-racing season. Traditionally taking place at the end of July, here the finest thoroughbreds compete in some of the world’s most prestigious races. The Stewards’ Cup was first run in 1840, and it was here that Edward VII caused a sartorial stir by sporting a Panama hat and lounge suit instead of traditional top hat and tails. 2015 saw a new association with Qatar, whose sponsorship will ensure that Goodwood continues to attract champion jockeys, trainers and the finest equine athletes.
Leefest Presents: The Neverland // Sussex // 28-31 July
Celebrating 10 years since the very first LeeFest kicked off in the back garden of founder Lee Denny, LeeFest takes off into their next chapter with The Neverland, a kaleidoscopic vista of immersive activities, sensational new music and non-stop partying across three distinctive realms. Delve into the neon-soaked paradise that is Mermaid’s Lagoon, the decadent dark vibrations of Skull Ridge and the stunning panoramics of The Neverwoods, with an untouchable line-up of new music destined to become the global sounds of the future. From headliner Lianne La Havas to Ghostpoet, Shura, Roots Manuva, The 2 Bears, Little Simz, Spring King, Loyle Carner, Formation, Clean Cut Kid and many more, embark to The Neverland for an unforgettable weekend where dreams never grow old.
WIN TICKETS TO THE NEVERLAND!
Spaces on the journey to The Neverland are filling up, and we’ve secured an exclusive group ticket (4 tickets) for the weekend! To enter, answer the following question:
What is the name of Peter Pan’s archenemy?
To enter, tweet @insideKENT with the hashtag #TheNeverland and your answer! Competition closes 23.59 on 31st May 2016.
Terms And Conditions
- The prize on offer is 4 Adult Weekend Tickets to LeeFest Presents: The Neverland.
- No other extras are offered with this prize; for any other additions these would have to be purchased from the LeeFest website (including parking etc).
- This prize cannot be exchanged for any monetary value.
- The competition closes at 23.59 on 31st May 2016.
- Entrance to LeeFest Presents: The Neverland is strictly under agreement with the organisers, security and The Zeitgeist Agency, and entrance to the event is completely at these agencies discretion.
Chilled In A Field // Kent // 29-31 July
The name of this festival really does say it all! This is an extremely family-friendly, award-winning festival with plenty going on. Grown from the 90’s London party scene this is a small, independent Kent festival for grown up ex-ravers and their kids. Enjoy free activities for children and adults all day, bands, musicians, artists, science, theatre, performances and, awesome dance music from some of the UK’s top independent labels. There is also an ale festival bar, mountains of street food, a not-for-profit festi shop, and glamping and campervan pitches with electric hook-up.
Brighton Pride // Sussex // 5-7 Aug
Quite simply, this, the biggest pride festival in the UK, is the most spectacular, diverse, flamboyant and life-affirming alfresco festival. Pride 2015, the 25th anniversary, was easily the best ever with a sparkling array of internationally renowned performers, artists, DJs (including the legendary The Human League, Fatboy Slim, Ella Henderson, Hercules & Love Affair, Foxes, Tulisa, and many more) with an array of other diverse entertainment and community areas. Add the Wild Fruit Big Top, Legends Cabaret big top, the Shelia McWattie Women’s Performance Stage, the Bears Tent, and the Family Diversity Area and Pride is certainly something to be proud of.
Forgotten Fields // Sussex // 5-7 Aug
Taking place in Eridge Deer Park, Forgotten Fields returns for its second festival, and cements its reputation as one of the most popular alternative music festivals of the year. Forgotten Fields is jam packed full of sing-a-long back catalogues, fine ales, world beating cuisine, extravagant site art, festival games, fancy dress frolics, boutique stalls and camp fire tales all set in picturesque English countryside. Activities include the shisha tent, cinema, café, fairground, workshops, and yoga. And there is plenty for the children to do too with Bigtopmania where they can enjoy interactive inflatables, mega balls, crazy bikes, big bubbles and a boogie in Big Bear’s Big Balloon Disco.
The lineup for 2016 includes Kelis, Band of Skulls, Maximo Park, Sugarhill Gang, Jack Savoretti, Newton Faulkner, Kula Shaker, Milky Chance, Ibibo, Sound Machine, Too Many Ts, Hudson Taylor, Shy FX, Norman Jay MBE, DJ Yoda, Krafty Kuts, Gotsome and The Nextmen.
Broadstairs Folk Week // Kent // 5-12 Aug
Broadstairs Folk Week is going to be turning 51 this year, and the party will be running all week! There will be over 500 events in total ranging from concerts, parades, fairs, crafts, children’s activities, dance, and ceilidhs. Buy a ticket for everything or pick and choose. Acts this year include the Noble Jacks, Panic Circus, Andy Kershaw, and Larkspur. The festival takes place all over the town and there’s hardly a venue that isn’t bursting with song, music and dance.
Arundel Festival // Sussex // 20-29 Aug
This incredible annual charity and volunteer run multi-arts festival is one of the largest in the south. Every August this wonderful, fun-filled festival brings Arundel to life, and includes diverse acts such as dancing, music, and entertainment. Although the line-up for 2016 is still under wraps, if last year is anything to go by this will be a bright and bold event that no one will want to miss.
Rye International Jazz Festival // Sussex // 25-29 Aug
This is a lovely combination of friendly venues and popular jazz artists for all the family to enjoy this summer. The line-up for 2016 is a spectacular array of the best of the best, and if you love jazz you won’t want to miss the likes of Claire Teal and her Mini Band and Curtis Stigers. As the organisers say, “Music crosses many boundaries and unites people all of ages, backgrounds and social standing. Jazz is a four letter word that means so much.”
The Big Kahuna // Sussex // 26-28 Aug
The Big Kahuna is a brand new, three-day music festival coming to Horsham over the August Bank Holiday weekend. From Friday 26th to Sunday 28th, Holmbush Forest will undergo a transformation for Big Kahunas and Little Kahunas alike!
The Big Kahuna invites you to the forest, where music, fun and themed areas, giant props and special effects create a wonderland within the woods. The weekend also offers comfortable camping, kids (and adults) activities, a silent disco, a fully themed Frozen cinema – complete with falling snow, frosted trees and snowmen – a fairly priced but delicious range of food, a multitude of bars, kid zone, interactive arts and crafts experiences, workshops, and much more. Headline bands include The Happy Mondays and Boney M.
Sandgate Sea & Food Festival // Kent // 27-28 Aug
Now an established annual event, the Sandgate Sea and Food Festival will once again provide residents and visitors alike with their August bank holiday entertainment. The event kicks off on the Saturday evening with a spectacular firework display together with the formal lighting of the beacon with Sandgate’s 95th Rifles in attendance. BBQs and other food outlets will be on hand to provide refreshments. Sunday promises numerous stalls, stilt walkers, Punch & Judy, Folkestone Party Mascots, circus workshops, live music and much more.
Horsham Food & Drink Festival // Sussex // 3 Sep – 2 Oct
You are in for a real treat this September with some of the Horsham district’s finest produce showcased as part of the 14th annual Food and Drink Festival. The Horsham District Food and Drink Festival 2016/17 promises four weeks of fantastic special offers, events and promotions taking place right across the Horsham district and there’s plenty of choice for everyone, making it an excellent opportunity to explore what the district’s local producers have to offer.
Faversham Hop Festival // Kent // 3-4 Sep
With over 50 bands, dance acts, fairground, street parades and performances, circus workshops, Punch and Judy shows, magic shows and over 80 trading stalls in the streets, the Faversham Hop Festival is more than a celebration of Kent’s most famous produce; it’s a celebration of a way of life. There are a number of different stages and events for all ages including the Market Place Stage, Preston Street Stage, Brewery Stage (in Court Street), and the Folk Stage.
Together The People // Sussex // 3-4 Sep
After the huge success of last year’s inaugural Together The People Festival, they are thrilled and honoured to announce the legendary Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) as the first headliner at the family-friendly TTP16. Brian Wilson will be joined by founding member of The Beach Boys, Al Jardine, and their band to perform a UK Festival Exclusive of the classic album Pet Sounds in full, plus a Beach Boys greatest hits set! Other performers include The Horrors, Hiatus Kaiyote, Gaz Goombes, Songhoy Blues and many more.
Folkestone Skabour // Kent // 16-18 Sep
It began in 2010 based on an idea by graphic designer John Sims and a discussion with local seafood seller Tony Pye of Chummys aka “The Codfather”. The idea progressed to have a few bands at the Folkestone Harbour as part of John’s “This Art 2 Tone” exhibition. Over the past six years this has grown into a huge popular and well-attended festival of ska music. This year’s acts include The English Beat starring Dave Wakeling and The Dualers amongst many more.
Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival // Sussex // 17-18 Sep
Coming to Hastings, sensational celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli is the special guest at this year’s Seafood and Wine Festival. He will be around all weekend and will host a series of cooking demonstrations and Q&A sessions. Fans of the TV chef can also buy and get their books signed by him. Mouth watering food, exceptional wine tasting, demonstrations, and superb live music and street entertainment completes the lively festival atmosphere, making this an unmissable event.
Tenterden Folk Festival // Kent // 29 Sep – 2 Oct
The Borough of Ashford has more than its share of successful music festivals, and Tenterden Folk Festival is probably the longest running and most unique. This very popular festival of folk song, music, dance, crafts and traditions attracts singers, musicians, dancers and audience members from across the whole of England as well as some from Europe and beyond. The emphasis is on traditional and contemporary English folk music but with a few surprises in the mix such as friends from Belgium and Slovakia. Ticketed events include concerts, barn dance, special shows, workshops, folk clubs, and events where you can meet the guests. There are also many free events including craft stalls, folk sales and street stalls, the popular free music stage and dance stage in a large marquee on the Recreation Ground, hundreds of Morris dancers, dance displays, a procession, song and music sessions in the town centre pubs, street theatre and much, much, more.
Broadstairs Food Festival // Kent // 30 Sep – 2 Oct
Broadstairs Food Festival is an incredibly popular three-day food festival which features a range of Kentish (as well as food and drink specifically from Thanet) foods including cheeses, meats, artisan breads, pickles, cakes and pastries, all washed down with Kent wines, ciders and ales. This is a wonderful festival for trying new things, seeing (and tasting) food you’ve never seen before, and buying lots of lovely goodies to take home with you. This enormous festival has over 100 stalls of local and regional produce and includes the chefs’ theatre, writers’ forum, wine tasting, Prosecco tasking, ask the expert sessions, masterclasses and children’s activities as well as a superb fundraising gala dinner.
Mammothfest // Sussex // 30 Sep – 2 Oct
Following the demise of other local rock and metal festivals, Mammothfest find themselves to be the last festival standing on the south coast and in fact for quite a distance in the UK. This year they have the legendary Venom Inc. who have been going for over 30 years and regularly sell out shows all over the world. Mammothfest are set for a sell-out weekend again as they progress towards making Mammothfest an outdoor festival.
Canterbury Festival // Kent // 15 Oct – 5 Nov
The Canterbury Festival is Kent’s International Arts Festival, one of the most important cultural events in the South East. As an independent charity, the festival takes great pride in bringing the arts to Kent. Canterbury Festival is an annual event devised to raise funds to further the work of the Canterbury Theatre and Festival Trust. The Festival attracts an audience of 60,000 people of all ages to over 200 free and ticketed events, drawn from across Kent, London and the South East. Every year festival fortnight includes a wide range of events, including music, theatre and dance, comedy, science, exhibitions, walks and talks.
Venues for 2016’s events include the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral, the Marlowe Theatre, Augustine Hall, the Gulkbenkian Theatre, St Gregory’s Centre for Music, and Canterbury Cathedral Lodge amongst others – and of course there is the fantastic Festival Spiegeltent in use for two weeks only!