19 October 2019 - 2 November 2019


A Look Back at This Year's Festival and The Closing Weekend

The 2018 Festival highlights and closing weekend


This year’s Festival brought Canterbury an impressive mixture of local and international talent, featuring some of the best cultural events in the South East. Each October The Festival fills the city with colour and events you can’t find anywhere else, this year was no exception. Highlights ranging from headline music events such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Shires to an extensive family friendly line up including The Slightly Fat Show and Monsters That Might Be at our show-stopping Spiegeltent.

As part of our Made in Kent framework, The Festival supports local performers at the start of their careers. In the first week, we had the Bursary competition, presenting Timon Staehler with first prize and a year as the Foundation’s Bursary Ambassador. On Sunday 28th we had our Track Record Showcase final, Georgia Rutherford and The Shades were awarded winners of the recording studio time, demo CD and industry mentoring. The second week brought us Made in Kent: Dance, showing us an exceptional performance showcase from Luke Birch, Sidonie Carey-Green and Motion Alpha. On Thursday evening we had Traveller performing in St Mary’s Studio Theatre, indulging the theatre audience in a time travelling adventure. We also had our comedy competition in Lanfranc Theatre, compered by Spiegeltent host Matt Barnard. Dominic Harasiwka had the audience in stitches and won the judges over as this year's winner!

The Festival also brought some local and world class music to Canterbury, the first week compromised of The European Chamber Orchestra in the Cathedral Nave, followed by a show stopping gig from The Christians at our Spiegeltent to name a few. The rest of the first week included some great highlights such as The Feeling, The Shires and Sophie Ellis-Bextor raising the roof in The Marlowe and getting the Festival audience on their feet. The second week brought highlights from Jamie Smith’s MABON performing some outstanding original compositions in our Spiegeltent and The King’s Singers raised the bar for vocals, performing their 50th anniversary tour concert on Tuesday evening.

Every year The Festival has a showcase of performances, this year we had some great acts lined up. Last week a performance by A Regular Little Houdini took our festival audience through a fascinating and magical one-man journey. As always, we had some great local talent included in our performances, The Kent College, Canterbury Academy and Canterbury College school concerts raised the roof in our Festival Spiegeltent!

The final weekend closed The Festival with great music, comedy and performances, bringing four incredible events to our Spiegeltent on Saturday! We were indulged in unique classical some music by Close to You, Trio HLK and Canterbury Choral Society in the impressive Nave of Canterbury Cathedral. For three nights running we had Shift, a jaw-dropping acrobatics troupe, challenging physical limits which left our Spiegeltent audience shocked and amazed. Closing the show in style on Saturday, YoLanda Brown had everyone on their feet followed by a celebratory closing party which never fails to bring some last-minute fun to our Festival.

Join our mailing list