19 October 2019 - 2 November 2019


The Halfway Point

The highlights of our festival so far and what to look forward to


The Canterbury Festival is underway and it has been a week full of new talent, expert entertainment and eye-opening talks. We have seen a rage of local talent from our Made in Kent line-up, alongside world famous artists such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Feeling. The Festival has brightened the city this Autumn with a colourful opening weekend including a parade through Canterbury’s high street, toe-tapping music and family events at our showstopping Spiegeltent. There’s still time to get involved with The Festival running until 3rd November with some great events still to come.

As part of our Made In Kent framework, The Festival supports local performers at the start of their careers. Starting off with our bursary competition, bringing some exceptional musicians to St Gregory’s Centre for Music on Monday evening. The competition presented Timon Staehler, a pianist and music scholar at Marlborough College with first prize and a year as the Foundation’s Bursary Ambassador. On Sunday 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.

Opening The Festival on the 20th we had The European Chamber Orchestra showing the Festival audience the impressive acoustics of the Cathedral Nave, followed by a show stopping gig from The Christians at our Spiegeltent. The rest of the 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.

Our family-orientated events have really taken off this year, getting children involved in The Festival has been a great success with talented acts from Baby Loves Disco to Agar Art at The University of Kent’s labs. Slightly Fat left the whole audience in stitches during the adult show on Wednesday and the children’s version on Thursday. Other highlights included the song writing act and workshop, Ensonglopedia of Animals on Tuesday, the hilarious Greek Myths puppetry on Friday and circus tricks in our Spiegeltent in Children are Stinky on Saturday afternoon.

The Festival’s week has also included some fascinating and enlightening talks in The Cathedral Lodge and Shirley Hall. We were privileged to listen to Patricia Davies on Tuesday in conversation with Simon Robinson, she spoke about women’s lives in the 20th century following the vote and shared her experiences as a woman in wartime.  We were then immersed in true and shocking underwater and icy experiences told by Doug Allan, famously known for his videography in the series Blue Planet.

For our final week of The Festival, we have some great entertainment and talent to get involved with. Our top picks include: SHIFT - The Barely Methodical Troupe, Thursday to Saturday, set to amaze our Spiegeltent audience with jaw-dropping acrobatics, challenging physical limits you wouldn’t have thought possible. We have Jamie Smith’s MABON on Wednesday presenting a blend of world music and Celtic roots that combines traditional instruments with a modern rhythm section. We also have more of out Made in Kent talent with our dance and theatre events that are not to be missed.

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