Here you can check out some of the fantastic events we’ve organised in the past – we’re always on the look out for feedback, fresh ideas and ways to improve so if any of the below events inspire you to organise a brand new Folkestone Festival, be sure to let us know via the Contact Us page.

Folkestone Festivals programme 2020:
Coming to Folkestone Bandstand this Sunday 6th September
2.30 to 4.30pm
Really looking forward to welcoming back by popular request BEN LOCK DUKE OF SWINGS – FOUR PIECE SWING BAND & JAZZ DUO
Deckchairs and a safe environment will be provided for our regular audience and hopefully of course many new ones. Bring a picnic and settle down to a great afternoon of fantastic entertainment.
Don’t miss it! Be there! And listen to The Dukes of Swing play a great selection of tracks from the 40’s and 50’s, made famous by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Sammie Davis Junior, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett (and more recently Michael Buble, Robbie Williams and Jamie Cullum). They are fronted by Benjamin Lock; a charismatic and smooth sounding jazz singer from Kent with experience of performing all over the UK at top venues and clubs. The line-up also consists of the hugely talented Chris Kennedy on Piano, Darren Reynolds on Double Bass and Mark Stitson on Drums.
Our repertoire consists of popular swing/jazz songs both old and new including: Fly Me To The Moon, Come Fly With Me, Mondance, I Get a Kick Out of You, Mr Bojangles, Mack The Knife, Moonlight in Vermont, What a Difference a Day Makes, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, King of the Swingers, Have You Met Miss Jones, Cry Me a River, Straighten Up and Fly Right, The Way You Look Tonight, Beyond The Sea, Girl From Ipenema, Yes Sir That’s my Baby, The Lady is a Tramp, Night and Day and Hit the Road Jack… just to name a few!

Great news – although all our events in June and July had to be cancelled during the coronavirus uncertainties – we are excited and delighted that our Sunday Bandstand Events will be re-starting on Sunday 9th August on the Folkestone Bandstand from 2.30 to 4.30pm.

Do come along and listen to Victoria Bass and Andy offering you live piano and vintage vocals playing songs through the decades from the 1920’s to 2020’s in a jazzy style.

Due to the present climate there will be certain measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Hand Sanitisers will be on site for your use. Deckchairs will be provided as usual set out in pairs with 1m distance between each pair of chairs. Do bring your own chairs, blankets, picnic, food and drinks, and settle down near the Bandstand as directed and enjoy an afternoon of fun and enjoyment. We look forward to seeing you.


AUGUST – SUNDAY 16TH & SEPTEMBER SUNDAY 6TH – NICK BENNETT – A solo/acoustic performer, who supported Brian McFadden (Westlife / TV personality) on his UK & IRE tour last year, along with the X-Factor’s Luke Friend, before opening for the show’s winner, Ben Haenow. He has also supported many other bands too, including Suede, Everything Everything and Morcheeba, with his own songs aired on BBC radio and TF1 (France’s  TV Ch 1). He also plays many pubs, clubs, hotels, bars and restaurants around the UK, as a full time professional, where he plays all cover versions. He will play a full 2 hour+ set of popular covers on Folkestone bandstand; performing songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Jam, The Kinks, Oasis, The Who, The Smiths, Johnny Cash etc.

AUGUST – SATURDAY 22ND – THE DUKES OF SWING  – SWING BAND AND JAZZ DUO – The Dukes of Swing play a great selection of tracks from the 40’s and 50’s, made famous by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Sammie Davis Junior, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett (and more recently Michael Buble, Robbie Williams and Jamie Cullum). They are fronted by Benjamin Lock; a charismatic and smooth sounding jazz singer from Kent with experience of performing all over the UK at top venues and clubs. The line-up also consists of the hugely talented Chris Kennedy on Piano, Darren Reynolds on Double Bass and Mark Stitson on Drums. Our repertoire consists of popular swing/jazz songs both old and new including: Fly Me To The Moon, Come Fly With Me, Mondance, I Get a Kick Out of You, Mr Bojangles, Mack The Knife, Moonlight in Vermont, What a Difference a Day Makes, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, King of the Swingers, Have You Met Miss Jones, Cry Me a River, Straighten Up and Fly Right, The Way You Look Tonight, Beyond The Sea, Girl From Ipenema, Yes Sir That’s my Baby, The Lady is a Tramp, Night and Day and Hit the Road Jack… just to name a few!

AUGUST – SUNDAY 23RD – COLJONES 7 – Humour, fun, repartee and of course great jazz mark The Coljones Seven’s style. You will thoroughly enjoy listening to Kent’s Number 1 Swing & Party Band – not to be missed!

AUGUST – SUNDAY 30TH – STEVE BELL – 50 minute musical trip in solo guitar music from the era of Henry VIII to the present; 20 minute break followed by 50 minutes of other music of the 20’s and 40’s. The play-list for today’s music – the “Key in Time” programme.


The Monthly ArtMart Craft & Art market in Bouverie Place Shopping Centre Plaza restarted on Friday 30th July and will continue on the last Friday of each month.


Folkestone Festivals are pleased to announce details of their 2020 programme of fantastic free events for the town of Folkestone.

Following the success of last year’s Vintage Music Festival we are delighted that this will occur once again on the Bandstand on Saturday 11th July 2020. The Music Festival will open at 10am. At 11am Steve Bell will be performing “A Key In Time” which is a 60 minute musical trip in solo guitar music from the era of Henry VIII to present, and again at 1pm.  He will be followed at 12 noon by a performance from Vintage Ruby, a professional Jazz, Blues & Swing singer based in Folkestone. Her repertoire covers songs from the 1920s to the present day. Ruby has a beautifully soft jazz voice, reminiscent of the classic jazz and blues singers of the 1930s & 1940s. She will repeat this performance again at 2pm.

The rest of the afternoon we plan to have the Folkestone Community Swing Band performing for us once again, and the swinging sound of two vintage voices harmonizing together to form the Dulcettes.

Classic vehicles will also provide static displays. Vintage amusements, Punch and Judy Shows and a host of other things will make the day go with a swing! Stall holders selling vintage and retro goods as well as craft and food will add to the ambiance of the event. Dressing up in the style of the era is also welcome.  There are numerous local music groups, dancers and singers and Folkestone Festivals would welcome interest from potential participants.  

Sunday 12th July sees the return of The UK U105kg Strongest Man Competition.

On Saturday 27th June, is the Mariners Cake Off Competition Fun Day. Please note we have moved this event from September to June to benefit from better weather conditions.  Sponsored by The Mariner (to support the work of The Beacon School in Folkestone) this event will be held on Folkestone’s Stade by the picturesque fishing harbour. There will be a Baking Competition, a variety of music and entertainment, face painting and Punch & Judy with food, craft & gift stalls.

These great events complement Folkestone Festivals’ regular events with Music at the Bandstand commencing Sunday May 24th through to September 6th and the brilliant monthly ArtMarts which take place on the last Friday of the month from March to November with a special Christmas date of December 18th.

Enquiries are welcome from those who would like to take part. For stalls contact and for entertainment and other information;


* Last Friday of the month at Bouverie Place Shopping Centre

28th March

24th April

29th May

26th June

31st July

28th August

25th September

30th October

27th November 

18th December 

*Please note that the event programme is subject to change on the day and many are weather dependent but all are family, friendly and fun.


*Taking place on Sundays unless otherwise stated, performances from 2.30PM to 4.30PM.

24th May – Bracknell & Wokingham Community Band 

31st May – East Peckham Silver Band

June 6th -(Saturday) Folkestone Community Swing Band

7th June – Ashford Concert Band

14th June – Hythe Town Concert Band 

20th June – (Saturday) Invicta Jazz Orchestra 

21st June – TBC  


5th July – TBC

11th July – (Saturday) Vintage Musical Festival

12th July – UK Strongest Man Competition

18th July – (Saturday) UK Paper Band 

19th July – 1st Whitstable Scouts Group Band

26th July – Invicta Concert Band

2nd August – Faversham Mission Brass Band

9th August – Birchington Silver Band

16th August – Second Wind Concert Band

23rd August – Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Concert Band

30th August- UK Paper Band 

6th September- City of Canterbury Band

*Please note that the event programme is subject to change on the day and many are weather dependent but all are family, friendly and fun.


Arranged for you by Folkestone Festivals with support from Shepway District Council.

All performances were from 2.30 to 4.30pm with a short interval.

MAY 28th             Kent Police Band

Kent Police Band was formed in 1977 by serving Police Officers. It has performed in front of the Royal Family, including the Queen, and a few years ago at No. 10 Downing Street for the Police Bravery Awards. The Director of Music is John Groves.

June 4th                UK Paper Band

Playing a balanced programme containing varied music to suit everyone’s tastes. Their repertoire contains traditional marches, selections from popular musicals, and popular songs and some more unusual pieces as well – a programme to entertain everyone!

June 11th             Sevenoaks & Tonbridge Band

The Band was formed in 1980 and is made up of players travelling from a wide area including such places as Tunbridge Wells in Kent, East Sussex and South East London as well as locally. The Band plays at a number venues throughout the South East during the Summer months such as Eastbourne and Tonbridge Castle. The Autumn and Spring concerts are always popular.

June 17th              Multi-Cultural Festival – 10am to 5pm various

June 18th              Deal Brass Academy ( as part of the Multi-Cultural Festival)

DBA welcomes players of all ages and levels of musical achievement. The band offers unique opportunities, particularly for young players, to share in the joy of music making with others and to develop their abilities in a supportive and sociable atmosphere. Instruments may be available on loan for new players. 2016-17 will be our 4th year as an independent band! 

June 25th              Invicta Jazz Orchestra

A friendly group of approximately 30 amateur musicians with a huge variety of ages: from GCSE students to retired! They play in several gigs over the year – Whistable Oyster Festival, Sevenoaks Festival etc. The Director of music, Scott Jenkins, was a founder member of the band and after several years with the Kent and National Youth Jazz Orchestras, his work led him down the funk and fusion line. He toured professionally with soul band “Loose Change”.

July 2nd                 East Peckham Silver Band

Based in the village of East Peckham, the Band can be seen at a wide range of venues across the South East. Also available for Concert performances, weddings and community events.

July 9th                  Medway Towns Concert Brass Band

The Medway Towns Bands have been performing brass band music to the highest standard all over the South East of England since 1928. The organisation comprises of two full brass bands, as well as supporting a learner band in collaboration with Napier Community Primary and Nursery Academy. We can also provide small ensembles and 10 piece groups. Medway Concert Brass is a Third Section band that enjoys a more relaxed approach to banding. However, we also work hard to achieve the highest standards and enjoy a busy schedule of performing and contests.

July 15th               Primary Schools Concert 12 to 4pm

July 16th               No Band – Strongest Man UK Competition

July 23rd               Cantium Brass Band

A quality entertainment band based in Chartham Hatch, near Canterbury. Started in 1886 as the Garlinge Wesleyan Mission Band and after WWII became the Margate Silver Band before being renamed the Cantium (Latin for Kent) Brass Band in 1998. They played in Folkestone in October 1992 at the First Section band competition with a performance of Percy Fletchers Labour & Love, gaining 2nd place.

July 30th               City of Canterbury Brass Band

The present Brass Band was formed in 1969 and some of the original members still play with the band now. Band members come from all walks of life and are of a great range in ages. Many of the players travel great distances to rehearsals. The band prides itself in being a welcoming, friendly and dedicated organisation that provides entertaining music for its listeners.

August 6th           Birchington Silver Band

Founded 70 years ago. A concert band, which enjoys a good reputation and devoted supporters. Musical Director is Stuart Cates. Official town band of Les Mureaux near Paris where they play at the Easter Services and give a concert to the people of the town.

August 13th         UK Paper Band

Playing a balanced programme containing varied music to suit everyone’s tastes. Their repertoire contains traditional marches, and selections from popular musicals, but it also contains popular songs and some more unusual pieces as well – they provide a programme to entertain everyone!

August 20th         Betteshanger Brass Band Academy

The Betteshanger Brass Academy was founded in 2003 as a training band for the senior Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band. It began with a few young players but soon increased in numbers and many have progressed to the senior band, some even going on to a career in music within our Armed Forces. The band has a growing membership of players of mixed abilities aged from 8 to older than we are prepared to say! Betteshanger Brass Academy offers fun, friendly and affordable music tuition taught by experienced musicians.

August 27th         Gravesend Borough Band

September 3rd   1st Whitstable Scout Band

This popular band will give a rousing finale to this Bandstand summer season. We hope you have enjoyed the performances 2017′ summer.


2017 Leaflet

FRIDAY 19th MAY 2017 – 7pm for 7.30pm start

In aid of The Gurkha Welfare Trust – No. 1103669: provides welfare to enable Gurkha ex-servicemen and their dependants to live out their lives with dignity, primarily in Nepal but increasingly in the UK and elsewhere.

and The Gurkha Memorial Fund – No. 1137393; initial aim was to commission and erect a modern Gurkha statue in Folkestone, now moving to more humanitarian needs of the Gurkhas and Nepalese Community in Folkestone and educational needs such as computers in schools in Nepal.

Tickets available in Cheriton at Everest Cash & Carry and at the Leas Cliff Hall. £15pp. Reception at 6pm.

The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas is based at Shorncliffe near Folkestone. They are a popular band and are always very busy. The Band has also toured to the many parts of the world and performed for both military and public events. The Band is not actually part of the Corps of Army Music it belongs to The Brigade of Gurkhas. The musicians all undertake their training at the Royal Military School of Music once selected and after an initial period of training within the Band.

The Headquarters the Corps of Army Music gives policy guidance and routinely inspect the band as per the other 22 Bands of the Army. The Band also has a slightly different management structure to the other Army Bands, it has a British Director of Music and a Gurkha Assistant Director of Music – who has completed the Bandmasters’ course and then been commissioned.

Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas


The Band was raised in November 1859 as part of an Indian Army Gurkha Regiment called the Sirmoor Rifle Regiment. It had 16 Bandsmen and one Naik (a leader) and soon became a part of Regimental life, playing for parades, polo matches, dinners and troop entertainment at the Regimental base at Dehra Dun, North East of Dehli. In the early days the Band travelled with the Regiment to other areas of India, Malta, Cyprus and Afghanistan.

1886 saw the raising of a 2nd Battalion which allowed for a further 16 Bandsmen and Naik and whenever possible these joined the already trained band, effectively forming one large band. As the 2 Battalions were often co-located this worked well enough but when separated the band would support each Battalion with a smaller group both musically and as stretcher bearers on operational duties. When India was partitioned in 1947 Gurkha Regiments chose their new affiliations to either Britain or India. The 2nd Goorkhas, as the Regiment was now called, chose Britain and sailed for Sungei Patani in Malaya with the Band Instruments. Sadly there were no bandsmen to play them as they had all elected to remain in India!

In 1949 sanction was given to raise the band again, with some 56 recruits commencing training. Ad-hoc musical instruction from co-located British Regimental Bandmasters was given until May 1951 when Captain J P C Bailey MBE was appointed as the first Director of Music. From that day forward they have delighted crowds with their fast and slick marching displays, lively concert music, ethnic Nepali folk tunes and colourful traditional dances.

In 1950 the decision was made to raise a Staff Band for the Brigade and by 1958 there were two flourishing Gurkha bands. This happy state continued for some twelve years when, because of financial stringencies, the 2 bands were amalgamated. Hong Kong and the United Kingdom provided dual bases for the Band in support of the two Battalions of 2nd Goorkhas and other units of the Brigade of Gurkhas. Then in 1994 as a result of the withdrawal from Hong Kong the Band moved back to the United Kingdom permanently.

It has travelled extensively throughout the world. Australia, Brunei, Canada, South Korea and Malaya were visited in the 70’s and more recently Solomon Islands, The Falkland Islands, France, Canada, Korea, Germany, Cyprus, Belgium and Australia again in 1995. Today, musicians are recruited into the Band after their basic military training. Initial musical instruction then commences, first under the supervision of the Director of Music then after approximately four years, at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall in London.



Join us for a fun-filled day Parade with youth groups from the District in honour of St. George, and life-sized puppets of St. George and the Dragon. The day begins with a Service for The District Scout, Cubs, Beavers to celebrate their work in the Leas Cliff Hall.

The late afternoon and evening is our second Strictly Folkestone Dancing event. This is a paid event with dinner, dancing and music to suit all tastes.




Voting for your favourite couple(s) is easy, follow these simple instructions:

1) Scroll down to “Strictly Folkestone Votes”

2) Find your favourite couple by clicking the drop-down arrow

3) Select their names from Groups 1 or 2 so that it appears in the text box 



4) Once your chosen couple appears in the text box click “BUY NOW”

5) Remember 1 VOTE = £1

6) Type in the number of votes you would like to buy E.G Quantity: 15 = £15

7) Enter your payment details as appropriate






Below are details of the 2016 event. 

2016 St. Georges Day 2

PROGRAMMESt. George painting

11.00AM – Service with the Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and youth organisations

12.00PM – Parade to Folkestone Town Centre and back to the Leas Cliff Hall

1.30PM – Youth group activities in and around the Leas Cliff Hall

3.30PM – Doors open for Strictly Come Dancing Competition and Evening Spectacular


Kicking off at 3.30PM with the Strictly Come Dancing Competition with the Peninsula Big Band, then enjoy the King of Cockney himself Gordon Bennett with the immaculate comedian and impressionist Chris Wheeler while having a feast of fine food provided by our hosts the Leas Cliff Hall, finishing with live music from the Apache Showband.

There are also prizes to be won, get involved in our auction and raffle also in aid of the Folkestone Town Mayor’s Charities.

You can purchase tickets for the entire evening’s activities below:


“Nice to see you, to see you … ?”

Check out Folkestone’s finest amateurs strutt their stuff on the dance floor competing to win our very own Strictly Come Dancing competition. Our couples have well and truly put their best foot forward in recent months, training vigorously with Joyce of JB Dance Studios, whilst putting their pride and well, they’re health on the line in an effort to raise some very important funds for the Folkestone Town Mayor’s Charities in what promises to be a fun-filled evening of dance, laughter and undeniable entertainment in one form or another.

2016 St Georges Day




To be held on Folkestone’s famous grassy Leas between the Bandstand and the Leas Lift overlooking the English Channel. A Demelza Dog Walk along the Leas with a Fun Dog Show. Around the arena where the judging will take place there will be stalls selling dog related items also a variety of catering and craft & gift stalls.


Demelza charity number 1039651

Demelza Kent is a 10-bedded hospice providing residential respite and palliative care to life-limited and life-threatened children, young people and their families across Kent. Everyone should have the opportunity to join in activities whatever their ability and a Demelza our children and families certainly do that. They can ring the bell at the top of our spectacular pirate ship, make hand and foot prints in paint in our inspiring art room, play with their brothers and sisters in our fantastic soft play and enjoy a family swim in our amazing hydrotherapy pool. We ensure that everyone can join in with as many activities as possible, giving a sense of independence, freedom and building memories, that as a family they can treasure forever. We receive very little government funding and rely on the support of the local community to keep our services running.


For further information email:

For stalls email:



Folkestone Festivals along with Folkestone Trawlers and the National Coastwatch have joined together again this year to host the 3nd return of the towns historic “Trawler Race & Fun days” on Saturday & Sunday 6th & 7th August. The actual “Trawler “race will be on the Saturday (tba according to tides) we have put on events to cover both days so the community can have a fun weekend. All these events will be happening along the Stade by the Harbour which will include a Fairground rides, Market & Food Stalls whereupon you can try our own freshly caught “Fish Baps” the “Mariner’s 5th Annual Fish Pie competition, Lifeboats, Emergency Services, Live Music with lots more on both days  The National CoastWatch will be showcasing the wonderful work they do along side their Tombola and “Guess how many shells are in this tank” great prizes to be won.

Fish Pie Comp

This weekend is a free event for the community – not only for the town to have some fun but to increase footfall & tourists along the quay, to encourage more people to support their local fishermen and buy fresh fish whilst enabling us to highlight the magnitude of our fishing heritage and the importance of keeping it. The Folkestone Fishing Heritage museum is located at the Old Booking Hall in the Harbours old Port Terminal.  Free to enter and open from 10.00 – 16.00hrs daily.


Noon: Crew joining and loading trawlers, battling each other in the harbour with water hoses and flour bombs.

Noon: Dover Lifeboat arrives

2pm: Race starts

3pm: SplashPals Newfoundland Dog Rescue display

3pm: Dancers from Studio Six perform

3.30pm: Cup presentation

4pm-9pm: Live music from five local bands: Blackbirds, Jimmy and the Riddles, Axis Blues Revival, Mamas Funkin Skunks, Rhonda and the Great Unknown


Noon-4pm: Live music from four bands: Rhonda and the Great Unknown, Jack Pound and The Rattlaz, Harry Coe and the Beans, Gary Dean

1pm: The Mariner’s annual fish pie competition

2pm: The Doubloon Hunt

2.30pm: SplashPals Newfoundland Dog Rescue display

*All events are subject to change depending on weather conditions

Weather: At the time of writing, the Met Office was predicting a good weekend of weather. It forecasts: “Becoming warm and humid on Saturday, with sunny spells before becoming fresher again on Sunday.”

To help us recreate the nostalgia of our local “Trawler Race” we are asking if any members of the public have any footage or photos of previous races that we could utilise and share.

If you would like to get involved or require any information please contact Cath Mison 07769684681 or email

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2016 trawlers FE137 and ano coming into inner harbour


For information and sponsorship opportunities email:

For stalls email:



This year the event will run over two days.

On Saturday there will be Live Music from a range of exciting performers, including Jayl De Lara, also Brockhill School, Folkestone Academy and Dance Performances.

Sunday will include Boot Fair, Live Music and the wonderful display by the Blue Falcons Gymnastic Display Team. In aid of Unique.


van leaps



Family Fun Day



FFD Edit





















In 2016 we had Live Music from the A-Tees 80’s tribute band, Paradigm Shift, Vikki Hibbert, Charlie Dorrell, Showcase from Folkestone College, Brockhill School and Folkestone Academy and a dance performance by Chloe Scott dance group. 

Activities include Inflatable Photo booth, Reptile Exhibit, Bouncy Castle & Assault Course, childrens rides, childrens entertainer, Children’s Party Mascots, Mobile bar, Ice Cream van, Hot food stand. 


If you would like to donate to the Folkestone Festival Family Fun Day – you can do so here
Supported by the Folkestone Academy who will be broadcasting live between 10AM – 4PM.

Be sure not to miss it!




Head for the Bandstand for the eleventh Multi-Cultural two day Festival of non-stop music and entertainment from all over the world! Enjoy performances from Nepal, Japan, Brazil, the UK, Scotland, the Caribbean and Africa. Learn Kendo and Tai Kwan Do, watch the art of Tai Chi and Belly Dancing, jive and rock. Be amazed by demonstrations of Origami and Calligraphy, while enjoying the gift and art stalls, and foods from around the world to tempt all tastes and ages.

See below for the 2016 programme:

MC Fest PG 2

On both days by the Bandstand, sit and laze on the grass, or relax in a camping chair or deckchair, while tucking into your picnic. Being out of the town, the Festival can now really be enjoyed because there is more room and space. This allows many more activities to take place, including Punch & Judy Shows, Tight Rope Walking, Circus Skills with dancing and demonstrations for all ages to enjoy. Throughout the day Children’s Party Mascots will roam the Leas with Fireman Sam, Peppa Pig, Mickey and Minnie and Elsa and Anna.

Saturday kicks off with the ever popular Japanese Fisherman’s Dance, the amazing Apache Showband with their range of well-known music from the sixties, Metamorphosis our local Belly Dancers, and skilful performances from the Nepalese Community, followed by the Teenyboppers Rock’ Roll demonstrations and the hawking Flyers, who have participated almost every year since we started.

Sunday takes a different route with music from Brazil to welcome the coming Olympic games which start on 5th August. We plan to have the Lambada a dance from Pará, Brazil, which became internationally popular in the 1980s, especially in Latin America and Caribbean countries, and Capoeira (pronounced CAÁ-PUÉRA) which is a fusion of combat, music, songs, and dance. With a deep routed history starting with the black slavery in Brazil this unique martial art emerged. The infectious musical rhythm to which capoeira is practiced injects a fluidity and grace to this powerful art; it must be seen to be believed, played to be appreciated and embraced to be loved…

Our wonderful friends the Phase 5 Steel Band will again enliven the day with their beautiful musical style. There will be entertainment from Scotland, Irish & Folk songs and our amazing Tight Rope Walker. A day not to be missed ending with the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Band playing music from around the world from 2.30pm for all ages to enjoy in the warmth and beauty of the Folkestone Leas.

While waiting do take time to visit the Folkestone Cliff Lift, a water balanced funicular first opened in 1885 and remarkably remains substantially intact and is now run by a volunteer team of enthusiasts. Or dawdle down the zig zag path to the beautiful Coastal Park with children’s play equipment – all free.


For information and sponsorship opportunities email:

For stalls email:


2017 Saturday 29th July 7pm – Brought to you as a joint venture between Folkestone Symphony Orchestra and Folkestone Festivals.

We are delighted to have secured the Leas Cliff Hall for this presitigous event this year with a local Orchestra performing for us.

Bring your flags, tune your voices and join us for a traditional ‘Last Night’ performance of the popular Royal Albert Hall spectacular. Why not have a picnic on the Leas beforehand with the Pilgrims Hospice team providing refreshments and hot drinks to get you in the mood?

Tickets £20, £15, £12; Promenaders and students £6. Free for children under 12.

Expect the unexpected for this event!
Folkestone Proms has been a premier event in the town in 2012-2014 and rounded off the Folkestone Festival programme. The setting was unique in front of the Edwardian buildings of The Grand and Metropole, and looking over the English Channel. The Proms starred the Kent Concert Orchestra conducted by John Perkins with soprano Margaret Threadgold and covered a range of music suitable for all ages. Those attending were impressed with the programme of music and rousing finale that included a spectacular fireworks display. Sadly outdoor events are so weather dependent, we have had to take eveything back indoors but you will not be upset!


A beautiful, sunny day in Folkestone greeted the Primary Schools Concert event in 2016, sponsored by Basepoint, organised by Hilary Walker of All Souls CE Primary School in Cheriton and enjoyed by many in a relaxing venue.

After all costs £385 was raised for Great Ormond Street Hospital on the day – a great result. A total of £1,300 has now been raised for the Hospital by All Souls CE PS. In 2017 the schools would like to support Demelza House.

Schools and groups who participated included Shepway Brass Academy who played a selection of pieces including Mission Impossible and Pirates of the Caribbean. This was followed by the Folkestone Academy Junior Choir singing Diamonds Medley and a solo performer from Brockhill Park Performing Arts College.

St. Martins Primary Choir sang Beauty and the Beast and When She Loved Me followed by a solo performer from Folkestone Academy singing Empty Chairs from Les Miserables and a solo performer from Ark Drama 2000 with the beautiful song I Dreamed a Dream Other performances came from Glassworks Sixth Form  Rock Band (500 miles), Josh Sprague the beatboxer and Matt Walker of Harvey Grammar singing Mr Cellophane.

The afternoons music and dance festival continued with Christ Church, CEP Academy with a selection of songs including Thank you for the music, Ark Drama 2000 – Pure Imagination, Summer Nights, Wild Wild World and Bollywood Dance and a solo performer singing Somewhere Only we Know.

This was followed by a Collaboration of Folkestone School for Girls/ Glassworks sixth form (All that Jazz) with Katie and Chris Walker. The finale included  a Gospel Medley, Scary Fairground Ride, Power in Me by All Souls Primary Performing Arts Club, a Collaboration of All Souls /Ark Drama 2000 with a Madness Medley and then all schools and Ark Drama 2000 sang together Invincible (with Kate Walker as the Soloist).

A brilliant day with food stall, ice cream, Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam and story-telling and Face Painting with a Pirates Theme throughout the day. Hilary Walker was thanked for laying on such an entertaining afternoon and Basepoint and Children’s Party Mascots were thanked for their sponsorship.

Basepoint are happy to sponsor the 2017 event again and it is planned to raise money for Demelza House. Various costs could be reduced/shared and more money raised if we turn this event into a two day event with the second day being a fun day perhaps with games and so on.


2016: SATURDAY 11th JUNE – THE LEAS BANDSTAND – 10.30 – 17.30

Head for the Leas to the Bandstand to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday!

Sponsored by Buckingham Covers of Folkestone this free, family friendly event will be full of music, fun, singing and dancing by the Bandstand, which was built in 1895, with its tent shaped canopy, supported by cast iron columns decorated with honeysuckle motif based on ancient art forms – a truly beautiful venue for this special occasion.

There will be a variety of music through the ages kicking off with the Apache Showband to get us in the mood of the Fifties (when Her majesty acceded to the throne) and the Sixties followed by the UK Paper Band will play a range of music in the mid afternoon session.

Although deck chairs will be provided, bring your own chairs and picnic to enjoy a really fun day of relaxing entertainment for your family and children, with Punch & Judy shows, story-telling, bouncy castles and outdoor games.

Throughout the day Children’s Party Mascots will roam the area and there will be a fancy dress competition for the best dressed costumes of the era (1926 to the present day). Let your imagination run wild – famous characters and personalities of the UK (from music, film, armed forces, politics, health, engineers etc.).

Food, ice cream and drink stalls will be nearby as well as additional toilets and security to cope with the large numbers expected. The Leas Cliff Hall and other toilet facilities are nearby, as well as the Clifton Hotel, Skuba Bar, La Tavernetta and the Southcliffe Hotel for further sustenance.

The road by the bandstand will be closed to make it safe for children. The Sandgate Road Car Park is nearby where parking is £1 for four hours, £2 for five hours or £3 all day.

While waiting do take time to visit the Folkestone Cliff Lift, a water balanced funicular first opened in 1885 and remarkably remains substantially intact and is now run by a volunteer team of enthusiasts. Or dawdle down the zig-zag path to the beautiful Coastal Park with children’s play equipment – all free! All performances are subject to change and a full programme will be released in the near future.




This was FFs’ penultimate event and the sun shone throughout. Visitors, especially the young, were enthralled by the variety of wonderful entertainment on offer. Phase 5 Steel Band started the event. The Folkestone Town Mayor Cllr. Martin Salmon welcomed everyone. He and the Mayoress proceeded to Tom Kellett’s Circus Day Workshop and learned to tackle the diablo with some dexterity and then they enjoyed the Metamorphosis Belly Dancers, some sustenance and a ride in the Land Train.

A new mildly humorous and charming walkabout performance from OCTO-POT a larger than life seafood surprise – a giant and grumpy octopus puppet emerging from the smoking cooking pot – and led by a quirky chef and his red and white checked serving trolley. Cllr. Jan Holben the Chairman of Shepway District Council was squirted by the octopus and then joined the steel band, performing a masterpiece with great skill and talent. She was welcomed as part of the team, making it Phase 5.5 steel band! She in turn thanked everyone for coming and the performers for their lovely music and being such good sports.

The newly opened Cliffe Bar and Restaurant very kindly allowed the dancers to change in their refurbished premises. The Fancy Dress Competition was held too late in the day so numbers were disappointing and was judged by the Princesses, Folkestone Festivals volunteers and Cllrs. Frank McKenna and Mary Laws.

The Hawkinge Flyers laid on an outstanding performance once again and Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peppa Pig, Woody, Doc Mcstuffin and Minion made regular appearances to the great surprise of the young and not so young. Throughout the days the Land Train ran from Bouverie Place Shopping Centre to the Bandstand, and the bouncy castle and children’s amusements were much in use and the Punch & Judy Show and Story-Telling very popular. Thanks to Scoff & Sip Ice Cream, Khay’s Kitchen and the lively ladies of Streetz2Streetz visitors were provided with excellent food, ice cream and drinks on this very hot day.

On Sunday armed with a picnic huge crowds came to watch the amazing Giant Balloon Show and waited for the feverous balloon sculptures, high energy comic performance and the all-important giant balloon! They listened to the brilliant Animated Story Time and Sing a Long with the Princesses, then to the Northern Men Pipe Band from Northern France, to Kent Young Singer Emily Hodges, to Trundlehonk the one man bandstand and the UK Paper Band with their programme of music including RAF March Past, Any Dream Will Do, Snow White, Cruella de Vil, Liberty Bell, Beauty and the Beast, Can’t Help Falling in Love, The Lion King, Nine to Five, James Bond Theme, Standard of St, George and the National Anthem.

The Prince, Geordie and the Dragon puppets story-telling were much enjoyed especially the hidden treasure from Smoulder the Dragon. Elsa, Anna and Belle judged the fancy dress competition and Marshall of Paws Patrol kept a beady eye on proceedings with Minnie and Mickey. The Fancy Dress Competition was held earlier and the numbers present made it all worth-while.

Quite simply it was a brilliantly bonkers and amazing weekend with the ADP Tour container also on site for all to see the artistic creation by Jimmy Cauty. Filled with fun and dancing demonstrations it was an event for all the family, with plenty to see and do. On both days, people sat and lazed on the grass, or relaxed in a camping chairs or deckchairs, while tucking into their picnic. Being out of the town, the Festival can now really be enjoyed because there is more room and space.

A huge thank you Emma of Party Mascots Folkestone in Guildhall Street for providing all the characters. The Land Train sponsored by the Folkestone, Hythe & District Hotel & Catering Association and Wilmoths was a huge success once again over the two days.




2015: 8th AUGUST 2015

2015 Mermaid Festival programme









2014: SATURDAY 19th – SUNDAY 20th JULY


Following the success of the first Mermaid festival last year, came a fun packed 2 day event held on the glorious Folkestone Sea front. Celebrating all things Mythical and Magical about the Sea, including live local music, trade village, magical parade and much much more. Leading up to the event were workshops, Sea Babies, treasure hunts, costume designing and exhibitions.

Once again the Mermaid Parade highlighted the day joining Merfolk, Pirates and Sea Babies in celebration lead by the Djembe Drummers from 12 noon on the Saturday starting at The Royal George.

Local music and performances on both days at the Live Main Stage, including brand new acts, the wonderful Katie Wintie, Lucky Jackson and Katie Bradley Headlining on Saturday evening.

With plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy from donkey rides to Punch & Judy, sandcastle building to fair rides, the festival also hosted a gathering of retail traders with perfect souvenirs and gifts.
Visiting Mermaids sheltered in their grottos telling stories and singing songs and celebrate the sea, alongside important awareness of or marine and coastal conservation.

Grottos were generously sponsored by, The Lavender Tea House, Call Dan Removals & Gems Hair & Beauty, with decorations made by Stella Maris Primary School: Class 4, Mundella Primary School years 1,2 5 &6 & St Eanswythe Primary School Art Club.

British Mermaid – Lily Rose, joined the Folkestone Mermaids for the parade and in the Grottos  and performed on stage at 3pm on the 19th (

Mermaid Duo – Merlesque also joined us for the parade and on the shoreline for meet and greet sessions on the 19th July as well as performing at 7pm on the main stage. ( A video of their wonderful performance is COMING SOON.

Meet a Mermaid’s Toni Mishell, and her trusted companion, Captain Redbeard also come all the way to Folkestone Mermaid Festival. They brought to life the legend of this mythical creature with craft and mermaid mythology workshops, joined the parade and were also be available for autograph signings and photos on Saturday and Sunday.

You all joined in the free workshops Saturday morning to make noise makers and parade accessories, have your faces painted and join the fancy dress competition.

The Fancy Dress Competition  Judged by Folkestone Mayor Cllr Alan North and Claire Short chose the Winners – Under 10’s Avalon, 11- 17 Chloe and 18+ Jody Wood.

We have been working very hard since October to produce the Folkestone Mermaid Calendar, now complete and available to purchase via paypal on the link below.

Also available at Cauldron of Inspiration on The Old High Street and County Fayre on Rendezvous Street, Folkestone. The Folkestone Festival Events throughout the Summer and of course at The Mermaid Festival.

Sea Babies Top Ten. Winner Matilda aged 15 Months was announced Saturday 19th July at 3.45pm on the Main Stage. Judges Georgina Baker, Honei Jackson and Cath Mison were there on the day to meet the winners who received a Canvas Print donated by Nik and Trick Photography Services of The Old High Street.

1st JULY – 31st JULY

Mermaid Art Exhibition at The Mariners. Showcase of artworks by locals of a mythological Sea Theme – Art Works are still available to purchase contact for contact information.


Check out the video featuring some of the highlights from the 2015/2016 events and one video highlighting the 2014 Folkestone events, or click the archive to re-visit previous Folkestone festivals. 



The Big Green Day will be a day event that will promote awareness of environmentally friendly causes, showcasing local businesses and groups with the best eco-friendly products and advice to sustain a greener lifestyle.We wish to have an array of businesses promoting eco-friendly, fair trade products and produce. Local and national companies will also provide information on sustainable living i.e. solar panels, re-cycling, hybrid cars, gardening and outdoor activities.

The aim is to encourage a family friendly event with local community involvement to promote Folkestone, bring trade into the town, increase footfall for all business and offer a vast range of eco-friendly information and knowledge.



The Shepway Talent Showcase was a series of concerts featuring the musical and performing arts talent in Shepway. There was a weekly concert at the United Reformed Church in Folkestone, where each concert had a minimum of four acts performing. These ranged from choirs, bands, orchestras, groups and soloists. This gave opportunity to any local talent to be heard doing what they love.












Anyone passing by Beach Hut Number One, Folkestone between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 31st May 2014 was treated to poetry readings by acclaimed writer George Szirtes.

George Szirtes is a poet and translator who has published some 40 books and has won major prizes for both his own books and those he translated. Reel (2004) won the T S Eliot Prize and both his collections since then, most recently Bad Machine (2013), have been on the Eliot shortlist. He has also written for children and on visual art.

He was joined by local poet Leah Thorn who is an artist/activist. She frequently performs in collaboration with dancers and musicians and her work is published through performance, film, anthologies and magazines in England and the United States.

The Beach Hut Readings is being organised by local writer Helen Thomson.  Helen has recently published her first novel ‘Stolen Destinies’. As well as novels she writes short stories and local interest books.

Joining George and Leah were other local poets and readers included Folkestone Festival Committee member Cath Mison with ‘The Lonely Beach Hut’

2012 Folkestone Festival Gallery

2010 Folkestone Multicultural Festival Gallery

2009 Folkestone Multicultural Festival Gallery

2007 Folkestone Multicultural Festival Gallery