19 October 2019 - 2 November 2019


Opening Day Celebration and Events

Our colourful celebration in the city centre and opening events on the 20th October


This year The Canterbury Festival runs from this Saturday (20th Oct) until Saturday, November 3rd. There’s a variety of events for the whole family to get involved in, starting off in the iconic streets of Canterbury’s city centre from 11am to celebrate the opening day  of the festival.

The colourful Opening Parade will be taking to the city centre from midday, flowing through the High Street and arriving in Rose Square, led by the Dutch band, Helmonds Muziek Corps. You can then listen out for some of Kent’s best music acts live in the city centre while you shop from the Track Record Music Stage. You’ll also find Airhedz performing their incredible aerial skills outside of the Marlowe 1-4pm with exclusive taster sessions for keen performers and aerialists on the day.

Our Spectacular Spiegeltent, the centrepiece of the Festival will host a range of events over the two exciting weeks. Starting off with Anifest Discover Hub, a workshop by staff and students from Canterbury Christ Church University creating backgrounds and characters which will feature in a short stop motion animation. The Spiegeltent will then be hosting Baby Loves Disco from 2pm, a great event for the family to enjoy. Later on Saturday 20th, headlining the Spiegeltent is The Christians, set to perform a show-stopping gig with their new album and hit singles from the 80’s and 90’s.

The music continues to flow around Canterbury on the opening day, including Canterbury Gregorian Music Society at St Dunstan’s from 1pm, their 13th-century chant will be in honour of St Dunstan, unlikely to have been heard in Canterbury since the Reformation. Also, opening the Cathedral on Saturday evening will be The European Chamber Orchestra. EUCO gives fresh, dynamic performances which benefit from the physical freedom of their playing standing up.

The opening day hosts even more events not to miss. Including Magic Circle, performing at St Mary’s Hall, a mystery drama will leave you on the edge of your seat. You can also take part in a modern treasure hunt The Timekeeper’s Return. This reality-game is an immersive story-based treasure hunt, designed for all ages, in which players scan QR codes to discover secrets about different locations in Canterbury’s Cathedral Quarter, a stones throw from the festival action in the high-street.


Information and booking details for all of the above are available at canterburyfestival.co.uk. Pick up a brochure from the Festival Office in Orange Street Canterbury.

Join our mailing list