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chdtbeatlesIt’s Full Steam Ahead to The Historic Dockyard Chatham this Easter, as thousands plan to travel to one of the South East’s biggest and best events – The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport. Visitors to the Festival on Easter Sunday and Monday, 20th and 21st April, are in for a real treat this year as one of the South East’s favourite events gets bigger and better still!

The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport is back this year with an injection of even more music to complement the classic and vintage vehicles across the 80 acre site. Visitors will be treated to a variety of music on two main stages located within a historical setting.

The Victorian Warship HMS GANNET, No. 3 Slip and No. 1 Smithery will encapsulate the Folk and Blues Stage, surrounded by vehicles dating from 1901 to 1930 and Steam Traction Engines, where visitors will be entertained with lively and toe tapping folk and blues music.

Acts performing to the crowds include: Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs an ‘off the rails’ skiffle band, well known on the Glastonbury Festival scene, with their quirky and comedic act playing music with wash boards, soap boxes, banjos and guitars and CoCo and the Butterfields, provide something a little different. A five piece band with a unique fusion of folk, pop and hip hop or ‘Fip Fok’ they are not to be missed! Funke and the Two Tone Baby a talented multi-instrumentalist will entertain with his mechanical alt-blues music; Kentish band The Flowing play alternative and folk songs with a range of instruments; and performances from Larkspur with their mix of lively traditional and modern folk music, will ensure that visitors will not be disappointed.

The River Medway sets the scene for a second stage, backed by the beautiful Commissioner’s House. This Sixties and Rockabilly Stage will be flanked by vehicles from the 1960’s, hot rods, trucks and American vehicles and this area will have an American Diner feel to it where visitors can rock ‘n’ roll the weekend away!

Acts on this stage include: Scarlett Rae and the Cherry Reds who perform a fusion of blues, rockabilly and jazz; Like…The Beatles bringing visitors the most accurate and fun Beatles tribute act in the UK, take a trip down memory lane; making a welcome return Thee Waltons, a playful act with a unique blend of hillbilly rock ‘n’ roll; The Kick-Backs are a six piece rock, funk and soul band with sing-a-long covers; The Scalextrics are a new-wave punk rock band with hits from the ‘60s, ’70s and ‘80s; and performances from Leroy and the Rockets with impressive credits in the music industry, be entertained with a mix of rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and blues.

With such an impressive festival line up set to come to the Medway Towns, visitors are being encouraged to buy their discounted tickets in advance to avoid the queues, to enjoy their music filled Easter weekend at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. For more information and tickets, go to www.thedockyard.co.uk/steamandtransport
chdtbutterfields

Castle Concerts - Under SiegeTalented young people from Medway will perform at Rochester Castle gardens in Under Siege on Sunday, 21 July from 1pm to 3.30pm.

The free event is part of Medway’s Festival of Music and gives some of the area’s most gifted young performers the chance to showcase their talents on the Castle Concerts stage.

This year the Under Siege performers will follow in the footsteps of Status Quo, The Wanted, Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet, ABC and Go West as well as The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

All the acts will be able to perform on the same full-sized stage, with professional equipment and the support of an experienced crew. More

More than a dozen sports will be on offer as Medway Park plays host to a free disability and Clubmark sports taster day.

Visitors to the centre on Thursday, 18 July will be able to try everything from archery and athletics to martial arts and wheelchair rugby league – just days after the completion of the wheelchair rugby league World Cup at Medway Park. More

This year’s Medway River Festival will be awash with exciting displays and activities for all the family.

The free event takes place this Saturday, 6 July and celebrates Medway’s maritime heritage, with sailing vessels of every kind joining together for river displays and races. On land there will be exhibitions and talks, food stalls, live music and nautical themed performances throughout the day.

Among the groups taking part this year will be Medway Yacht Club, Medway Towns Rowing Club, Flying Fish Hovercraft, The Royal Yachting Association, RNLI River Rescue along with a Fire Tug Display and a Sea King Helicopter. More

It’s party time on the prom again. Saturday 20 July from 1.30pm the music starts and goes on until 8pm. This year the huge free concert’s theme is Rocking All Over The World. More

Flower festival advert in word copy

A New band have just been added to the line-up of FREE entertainment in Gravesend on Saturday 15 June at the Music & Motors Festival of Transport.

Defunk’d are a high-energy funk-rock band from the University of Kent, where all of the band members are studying Music Technology. With a wide range of covers, each of which has been given a unique twist, and a growing number of originals, Defunk’d have found themselves extremely busy over the past few months. More

Don’t forget the Dickens Festival this weekend and it looks like the weather will hold too.Dickens 276

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Places are still available for entries in two football tournaments taking place next weekend (Saturday 1 June and Sunday, 2 June) as part of Medway’s Festival of Sport.

Saturday is the Medway Masters 6-a-side tournament. This is open to teams or groups of all aged 35 and above, with a maximum squad size of 10 players. Sunday is a 6-a-side open women’s tournament for over 16s.

The entry fee for squads of up to 10 players is £20 per team. Teams do not need to be affiliated, so can be made up of groups of friends or former players.Both tournaments take place at Anchorians FC, Darland Avenue, Gillingham between 9am and 5pm.

To enter, call the Medway Sport team on 01634 338763 or email medwaysport@medway.gov.uk.
Entry forms can also be downloaded at http://www.medway.gov.uk/festivalofsport

The tournaments are being run in partnership with Anchorians FC, the Rochester and District Football League and the Kent FA.They form part of the Medway Festival of Sport 2013 – a programme of 50 events in 70 days involving some 12,000 people.

More than 200 artists across 32 venues will be opening their doors this July as part of the Medway Open Studios & Arts Festival. Spread across Lower Higham, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham, the annual Festival is the largest art trail of its kind in the area. More

Glyndebourne has today launched its first national art competition inviting talented and aspiring young artists from across the UK to design the cover of its 2013 Tour Programme. The winning artist will see their artwork grace the cover of 10,000 copies of the Glyndebourne Tour Programme and be exhibited at Glyndebourne and participating gallery spaces this autumn. Read the rest of this entry »

A community project is set to transform part of Chatham town centre into a work of art.
Artists are being invited by Medway Council to submit ideas for a colourful mural that will cover a stretch of wall next door to the High Street Homestyle store. The deadline for applications passes on Tuesday, 7 May with work set to start in July.
The project has a working title of ‘Chatham, past, present and future’ with the winning artist working closely with community groups and local schools to complete the work. The site is owned by Emmaus Church based in nearby Clover Street.

It is one of a number of initiatives the council is undertaking to support Medway’s High Streets, not least providing some of the cheapest car parking charges in Kent.
Plans to develop new shops and housing at Chatham Waterfront, ongoing environmental improvements and the transformation of buildings at Sun Pier into a new hub for creative businesses – will further help to regenerate the area.

Festivals like Fuse and the River Festival, back on Saturday, 6 July for its second year, have helped to give more reasons to visit what remains Medway’s biggest shopping destination.

Robin Cooper, Medway Council’s Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture said: “This project will transform the appearance of this part of the High Street for shoppers and visitors alike and produce a work that the whole community can be proud of.

“The artist chosen to create this mural will be expected to involve local groups and schools from the start, including students from the Bishop of Rochester Academy, St John Fisher Catholic School, the Emmaus Church and Medway’s Older People’s Partnership
“That will include everything from workshops discussing the initial concepts to producing the final work.”

The commission is part of the council’s Developing Neighbourhoods Approach (DNA) project, part funded through the European Regional Development fund.

The Wheelchair Rugby World Cup comes to Medway this summer and volunteers are now being recruited to help stage the event. More

Registration for the Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival closes on Friday 26 April. All artists and makers from the Medway area are being urged to sign up quickly and avoid missing out on being a part of this creative festival.

Now in its second year, the arts festival has increased by 100% since its launch in July 2012. This summer, 30 venues will be displaying work by more than 100 local artists and students, making it the largest independent art festival in Medway.

To encourage more artists to sign up a Makers Market option has been introduced, offering pitches inside the new emerging art venue, Sun Pier House. The art market will be open over the weekends of the festival, with various products and crafts on sale. Apply before Friday 26 April to book your place.

The festival runs from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 July 2013. For more information please visit http://www.medwayopenstudios.co.uk

Around 2,800 children from schools across Medway will take part in a series of concerts to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Medway Music Association.

The Primary Choral and Instrumental Festival takes place from Monday, 11 to Friday, 15 March at The Central Theatre, Chatham.

A 200-strong Recorder Ensemble and the recently formed Medway Junior Youth Orchestra will open the festival with a performance on Monday night (11 March) at 7pm. More

St Helen’s Church Christmas Tree Festival, Open Mondays to Saturdays from December 1st
until December 22nd 2012 11 a.m til 4 p.m

There are craft activities for the children and a mince pie and cup of tea so enjoy the space to rest, and come along and see over 60 Christmas trees decorated by the local community.

There is also a sealed auction of art work in aid of Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (Medway)

(excluding Saturday 15th and Thursday 20th December)

As the first door is opened on the advent calendar this weekend, Rochester’s streets will come alive with all the excitement and bustle of a Victorian Christmas.
Traditional entertainment, song and dance will be on offer at Rochester’s Dickensian Christmas festival from Saturday 1 to Sunday, 2 December, against the backdrop of the town’s unique mix of specialist shops, galleries and cafes. And there’ll be even more reason for festive cheer this year, as Medway’s celebrates the 200th anniversary of the great writer’s birth. More

Thundering Taiko drums, colourful kimonos and majestic flying falcons are just some of the sights and sounds at this year’s Will Adams Festival, taking place on Saturday, 15 September at Gillingham Park.

Now in its 12th year, the free family event is held to celebrate the life and times of Medway’s famous seafaring son, who is said to be the first Englishman to travel to Japan.

Themed zones will focus on both the Tudor England that Adams would have grown up in, and the Japanese life he would have encountered on his arrival, when he was bestowed the honour of becoming a Samurai. More

Shane from Strood having fun at last year's English Festival: picture Simon Kelsey

Build sandcastles, dance to big band sounds and even rub shoulders with Shakespeare at Medway’s third annual English Festival, taking place on Saturday, 21 April at Riverside Country Park, Gillingham. More

The ‘Man of Kent Real Ale House’, Rochester will host a Folk and Blues music stage at the Medway Festival of Steam & Transport taking place at The Historic Dockyard Chatham this Easter Sunday and Monday, 8th & 9th April. More

Medway’s school children are preparing to do battle in the Winter Festival of Sport. More

One of The Brook Theatre’s in-house production companies is taking its show on the road and heading to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. More

Fans of stand up comedy are in for a treat next month when two comedians trial their Edinburgh Comedy Festival routines on Medway audiences. More

Some of the world’s rarest motorbikes were on display in Medway during this year’s Dickens Festival, in a special event organised by the British Two Stroke Club. More

The West Sussex-based Goodwood Motor Circuit originally opened its gates to the public on September 1948 More

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