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Hops and Harvest Festival – 20% off!

Like the sound of a late summer festival celebrating the best food, drink and music in the area? The Hops & Harvest is a smaller boutique festival taking place on 9 & 10 Sept at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, near Maidstone. It’s been running for 30 years and celebrates the very best of Kentish ales, local produce, hop picking and the community but this year they’re adding in a pretty darn decent live music programme too with new stages offering top artist names together with some VIP experiences. Get your exclusive Muddy 20% off discount here – by entering Promotional Code: muddy1.

Take your kids or your parents (then they can scoot your kids off home at tea time so the real fun can begin). Here’s 10 reasons why you won’t want to miss it…

1. Perfect for music lovers

There’s 3 stages – Main (big bands); Big Tops (big regional bands and up-and-coming artists) and Secret Garden Stage (singer songwriters playing acoustic music) just up from the Herb Garden and near near Dotty’s Tearooms where you’ll want to kick off your shoes and take in the sweet, sweet sounds of a summers days. This year Starsailor will be headlining the Main Stage on Saturday supported by The Hoosiers and Newton Faulkner and Toploader on the Sunday. Up-coming bands include Hannah Williams and The Affirmations (they’re sampled on Jay-Z’s new single Late Nights & Heartbreak). Oh and there’s Alex Francis (James Bay’s brother – just saying’).

2. VIP grown up indulgence

Caberet Noir is one quirky venue, where you’ll find everything from music to magicians and in the evening the hugely popular and entertaining 20s Burlesque (it’s selling out fast – so be quick!) This is the most exclusive venue on site – you need a VIP ticket for access – with its very own dedicated bar and ‘attended’ ladies and gents facilities (no normal festival loo for you). With phone charging facilities and festival fast-track entry, this is all about special treatment. 

3. Zebra Bar and Champagne Garden

This little opulent escape is nestled between the Wagon Store and The Village Hall and your pitstop for that perfectly chilled glass of the bubbly stuff. With open-air seating you can take in the sweet sounds all around. It’s where you’ll find me, sipping my pink fizz, perched under the Pagoda.

4. 40 local beers and ciders

And this will be where you’ll find Mr Muddy. There’ll be over 40 different local beers and ciders in the Kentish Ales Marquee down by the Big Top right in the heart of the action. Our fair county boasts a superb range of crafted ales and here you’ve got the chance to taste and test a few before you buy – what’s not to love?

5. Food and feasting

Dotted about the site, you’ll come across specialist food traders,who will be dishing up some delights – loads of local produce – think fresh fish and chips made to order, locally made burgers and posh dogs to name just a few. Dotty’s Tea Rooms will also be serving their usually scrummy home made cakes and scones with oodles of fresh cream and strawberry jam for that perfect English Cream Tea out on the lawn.

6. Magical Bohemian Woods

Wander into the woods to ‘Wish Upon a Star’ make a wish, write it down, tie it to the wishing trees and sprinkle a tad of fairy dust as you make it come true! And if you get the chance, relax and stretch out on the rugs and hammocks as you soak up the idyllic atmosphere of the festival with family, friends and frogletts, still taking a little time out.

7. Workshops and creativity corner

The School House is the creative space with regular workshops, beads galore, bracelet and necklace making, poetry ready, paint a pot and cardboard city all make for this space to be engaging.  They’ve even dared to allow some time for ‘Speaker’s Corner’ orations here – brave, yes!  Who knows what they’ll say? Just keep Mr Muddy out after all that beer sampling.

8. Hipster retro fun

Shimmy over to The Wagon Store and shake your thang in the Hip Shaker Lounge. Think 60s club nights, full of retro R & B, soul and funk – basically vintage sounds on all original vinyl and a hipster vibe right down to the decor.

9. A haven for literacy lovers

There’s even something for book lovers. Story telling for young and old performed by authors and speakers will be taking place in The Granary the lovely old original granary building. There’s the talented Cat Fisher coming along on Sunday to read from her superbly written and illustrated books, Charlie Snufflesnout and The Smile Revolution and even a taster from something new.

10. Hop picking tradition

And, least we forget, our Kentish hops is what all this celebrating is all really about – individuals or groups can come in and help pick the hops and lay them out ready for loading into the Oast house to dry a tradition steeped in history – if you fancy rolling your sleeves up and getting involved!

BOOK TICKETS HERE (don’t forget to add your Muddy Promotional Code: muddy1 for your 20% discount. Day Tickets from £30 (Child £15 & Family £75); Weekend Tickets from £50; VIP Day Tickets from £50. Kent Life, Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3AU, Tel: 01622 763936, hopsandharvest.co.uk

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