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The Arts, Culture & Events Planner 2022

Roll up, roll up, 2022 is looking HOT! Want to know what to put on your radar? We've rounded up the best things to do in Kent, from big hitter shows to music festivals and more.

GIGS & CONCERTS | THEATRE | CINEMA | FESTIVALS | BOOK LOVERS | COMEDY | FAMILY FUN

Calling all culture vultures! The biggest and brightest offerings Kent are right here, ready and waiting for you to make 2022 a year to remember. So get those diaries out and here’s what not to miss.

GIGS AND CONCERTS

Leeds Castle Concert, Maidstone, 9 July

The iconic event has already established itself as one of the highlights of the summer season, set in the most stunning location and natural amphitheatre in front of the beautiful Leeds Castle. People in their thousands have attended the stunning setting for over forty years to be entertained by this amazing open-air musical delight. The Leeds Castle Concert is back on with world-classic music, a spectacular fly-over with a Spitfire and a fireworks finale. Bring the champagne!

Ronnie Scott’s All Stars Present The Ronnie Scott Story, EM Forster Theatre, 3 Feb

Direct from London’s world-famous jazz club, enjoy a unique evening combining world class live jazz, narration and rare archive photos and video footage celebrating ‘The Ronnie Scott’s Story’. Hear classic music from all the jazz greats who have performed at Ronnie Scott’s over its incredible 60+ year history, alongside tales of old Soho and police raids.

Simply Red, The Hop Farm, 17 June

Simply Red remain one of the UK’s most successful bands who continue to sell out tours across the globe. So sing along to your favourites tunes in the sunshine this June at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood.

Keane, The Hop Farm, 19 June

After a six-year hiatus, Keane made a long overdue return with their 2019 studio album ‘Cause and Effect’, they’ll be at The Hop Farm this summer and with a few tickets left, get booking now!

JAM on The Marsh, Romney Marsh, 7 – 17 July

JAM on the Marsh is an annual multi-art festival, hosting a wide range of events and exhibitions over a wide range of venues in Romney Marsh, including its famous medieval churches. Its internationally recognised as a creative, dynamic and forward-thinking festival, drawing an audience of over 17k every year. Enjoy visual arts, theatre, poetry, music and children’s events – the line-up to be announced soon!

An Evening with Michael Bublé, Kent Cricket Ground, Canterbury, 24 July

Grammy-award winning global megastar Michael Bublé will return to the UK and coming to Canterbury this July. Need we say anymore? Book now!

Dreamland Pride: All Saints, Margate, Sat 13 Aug

Rescheduled and set to go for this August, All Saints are headlining Dreamland Margate’s Pride for an explosive live set with special guests to be announced. All ages welcome.

Craig David, Dreamland, Margate, Sat 20 Aug

Don’t miss Craig David at Dreamland, an unmissable event for music fans! Sing and dance to Walking Away, 7 Days and Rewind this summer.

Tom Grennan, Dreamland, Margate, Sat 27 Aug

After a phenomenal year with his No1 album and a massive UK tour, Tom Grennan will be at Dreamland in Margate this August. We love his gritty soulful voice here at Muddy! Tickets are still available!

THEATRE

National Theatre Lives, EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge, from 27 Jan

There’s a whole range of magnificent National Theatre classics filmed live on stage in London’s West End streamed to the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge. Such as Olivier award-winning Leopoldstadt, Phillip Pullman’s The Book of Dust which is set 12 years before the epic His Dark Materials trilogy and Henry V, starring Kit Harington.

Royal Opera House Lives, Quarterhouse, Folkestone, from 14 Feb

Catch Royal Opera House lives streamed to the Quarterhouse in Folkestone from classic ballet Romeo & Juliet, Verdi’s thrilling Rigoletto and La Traviata featuring Verdi’s most acclaimed arias and not forgetting, the classic fairy tale Swan Lake.

School of Rock, The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, 19 – 30 April

Get ready to stick it to the man, because Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End and Broadway hit musical is coming to Canterbury to rock out! School Of Rock is the global hit musical based on the iconic movie starring Jack Black. Featuring 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie, and a band of insanely talented kids that play live every show, School Of Rock will warm your heart and blow you away in equal measure.

Hever Festival Theatre, 22 July – 31 Aug

For your guaranteed summer of fun, you’ll want to know about The Festival Theatre which is an open air venue set in the gardens of Hever Castle. They plan music acts, operas, films, plays and family shows every year all summer long and this year will be no different! They have a whole calendar of exciting events featuring Ronnie Scott’s All Star Jazz, Horrible Histories and Stacey Kent. Tickets on sale soon!

They’ll also be open for a variety of shows from 28 May for Half Term including Ilyria’s Peter Pan and Guildhall Strings with a Jubilee Prom.

Dream Girls, The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, Tues 13 – Sat 23 July

Let your soul sing with this dazzling multi-award-winning musical. Direct from the West End, with an extraordinary story and the unforgettable spine-tingling vocals that send audiences wild, this spectacular musical production features the classic songs And I Am Telling You I’m Not GoingListenI Am Changing and One Night Only.

CINEMA

Banff Moutain Film Festival World Tour, Assembly Hall Theatre, 19 March

Embark on a thrilling night of adventure with a brand-new collection of short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival! The Banff Mountain Film Festival joins the world’s best adventure film-makers and explorers as they push themselves to the limits in the most remote and stunning corners of the globe. Witness epic human-powered feats, life-affirming challenges and mind-blowing cinematography – all on the big screen! There are two shows, each with an entirely different selection of films – the Blue Film Programme (matinee, 2pm) and the Red Film Programme (evening show, 7pm). Double the adventure by coming to both with a two-show discount. An adrenaline-fuelled, not-to-be missed event with free prize giveaways that is guaranteed to ignite your passion for adventure, action and travel!

FESTIVALS

Black Deer Festival, Tunbridge Wells, Eridge Park, 17 – 19 June

Rescheduled for this year, the UK’s only Americana and country music festival is back! This family-friendly festival has a stellar lineup of established and new Amerciana, country, blues, folk and bluegrass artists. Latest additions include personal faves Jake Bugg, Jade Bird, Van Morrison, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls and oh so much more! There’s heaps of acts to enjoy and discover, with more than 100 across 6 stages in fact.

Plus enjoy food and drink stalls – think classic American smokehouse BBQ. Showcases of all the best mean machines from classic American trucks to custom vintage motorcycles. Plus there’s tons of fun for the young folk!

Gin in The Park, Tunbridge Wells, 14 May

Love gin? You’ll want to add this one to your diary! Enjoy a day in the sunshine with your friends, sipping on G&Ts from the various stall holders and live music. Get a FREE gin glass upon entry and gin encyclopaedia with gin tasting notes and recommended serves.

Pub in the Park, Tunbridge Wells, 8 – 10 July

Get ready for this! The massively popular sell-out Pub In The Park event is coming back to Tunbridge Wells this summer. In case you haven’t heard of it, Pub in the Park is Michelin-starred chef and TV personality Tom Kerridge’s food and music festival, celebrating the very best culinary delights the country has to offer, combined with great live music, chef demonstrations, top quality shopping and other festival fun. 

It’ll be at Dunorlan Park on Fri 8 – Sun 10 July 2022 with amazing music acts such as Faithless, Mel C, Supergrass and Sophie Ellis-Bextor plus nationally-famous chefs such as James Martin and brilliant local pubs and foodie heroes.

LoveFit Festival, St Clere Estate, Sevenoaks, 15 – 17 July

A 3 day adventure of fitness, well-being, and magical forest parties in the St Clere Estate in Sevenoaks. Enjoy 4 classes per day from Kobox, Gymbox, Another_Space, Broga, Farm Fitness, Fierce Grace and more. Relax in the wood-fired hot tub in the forest trees with a cocktail or enjoy the climbing wall, wild runs and the talks on health, fitness and nutrition. After an adrenaline fuelled day transcend into LoveFit’s majestic afterparties in the forest and dance the night away with live bands and DJ sets.

Margate Soul Festival, 5 -7 Aug

The UK’s most anticipated Soul Festival is back, bringing together an exciting international line up over 3 days. Offering both ticketed and non ticketed events, there’s plenty to see and do here! Their main outdoor area overlooking the sea, provides 2 days of live music, DJ’s and dancing whilst The Margate Winter Gardens and Olby’s Soul Cafe offer more intimate music events plus there’s free music stages dotted around The Old Town. So if you love soul and sunshine, don’t miss this!

Alfresco Festival, 25 – 29 Aug

Back for the August bank holiday weekend, Alfresco Festival is an award winning independent electronic music festival, featuring the world’s best DJs. Tickets are already on sale and the full line-up will be announced very soon!

Let’s Rock Kent, Mote Park, Maidstone, 3 Sep

The UK’s biggest retro festival is coming to Kent. An action-packed family-friendly occasion that celebrates the best of 80s music featuring acts like Wet Wet Wet, ABC, Sister Sledge and Bananarama! Don’t miss the chance to dance the night away to some 80s classics.

BOOK LOVERS

Faversham Literary Festival, 12 – 20 Feb

Calling all lit fans! Don’t miss this week-long programme of eclectic, thought-provoking and fun events with an exciting mix of well-known authors, leading thinkers, up-and-coming writers and local talent. There’s also writing competitions for all ages plus workshops, spoken word, slam poetry and more! The unmissable spoken word poets Hollie McNish, JJ Bola and Raymond Antrobus will be at the festival this year. Tickets are on sale now.

Lit Fest Fringe, Chiddingstone Castle, Sat 30 April – Tues 3 May

Last year, Chiddingstone Castle was host a series of live, in-person events in the Castle Gardens and its back for 2022! They’ve got a small but spectacular line-up promised so keep your eye on more details coming soon…

Wealden Literary Festival, Woodchurch, 25 – 26 June

Experience a magical weekend at the Wealden Literary Festival, a family-friendly weekend of nature, creativity and outdoor adventures in Woodchurch. You can expect packed children’s programme to inspire younger readers, literary speakers and events plus you can try tree climbing, wild cooking, wine tasting, weaving workshops, yoga plus writing workshops. Watch this space!

COMEDY

Comedy Club, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, once a month

Don’t miss the very best on the comedy circuit every month at Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells! Break up the boredom of the working week and join their rapidly growing Comedy Club where they host national to up-and-coming acts every month. Kicking off Sat 15 Jan, they’ve got The Good Ship Comedy, Alasdair Beckett-King and Felicity Ward!

Comedy Nights, EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge, once a month

Start your weekend off right at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge, their sell-out comedy nights featuring some of the best comedians is back. Get your tickets now for Fri 21 Jan (£13) to see headline Mary Bourke, Liam Pickford and Ross McGrane. Can’t make that? Add 11 Feb or 18 March to your diary now!

Live at The Marlowe, Canterbury, 29 Jan & 14 May

The hugely popular comedy nights at coming back to The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury this year. Previous headlines have included; Tom Allen, James Acaster, Sara Pascoe and Nina Conti. This January don’t miss, David O’Doherty as he headlines are great night of stand-up comedy. The fantastic line-up also includes Lou Sanders (TaskmasterQI), Sophie Duker (Live At The ApolloMock The Week) and Thanyia Moore (Mock The Week) as the host. Can’t make January’s one? The next one is Sat 22 May so book your tickets now!

Canterbury Comedy Club, The Malthouse Theatre, 16 April, 4 June, 20 Aug & 29 Oct

Chuckl. In association with The Malthouse Theatre bring you the very best in live stand up comedy. See some of the biggest names in comedy, the line-up so far for April and June are: Fin Taylor, Laura Lexx, Nelson Gombakomba, Mark Row, Paul Sinham, Esther Manito, Harvey Hawkins and Adams Beardsmore.

Jason Manford, Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells, 20 – 21 July

He’s back! It’s been a busy few years for Jason since his last smash-hit stand up show but fans of his Absolute Radio show will know this nationally acclaimed comedian hasn’t changed a bit so don’t miss him in Tunbridge Wells this July.

Sarah Millican, Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells, 7 – 8 Oct

The hilarious Sarah Millican is back on tour and we can’t wait! Learn about what happens when your mouth seals shut, how to throw poo over a wall, trying to lose weight but only losing the tip of your finger, a surprisingly funny smear test, and how truly awful a floatation tank can actually be. A new date has been added so go, go, go!

Tom Allen, Quarterhouse, Folkestone, 7 Oct

Tom Allen’s classic camp comedy with contemporary observational humour is coming to Folkestone this October with brand new material! Expect more than one or two cheeky jokes about love, life, sex and everything in-between.

Harry Hill, Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells, 22 & 25 Oct

Harry Hill is back with brand-new amazing jokes in an all-singing, all-dancing one-man spectacular. Audiences will meet Harry’s new baby elephant, Sarah, and Ian, The Information Worm. He will obviously be joined by Stouffer the Cat (his famous sidekick).

FAMILY FUN

Luke Gerram’s Gaia, Rochester Cathedral, 8 – 28 Feb

Did you love Museum of the Moon? Well Luke Jerram’s Gaia installation will be arriving at Rochester Cathedral in Feb 2022 and set to be just as popular. Gaia is detailed imagery of the Earth’s surface from NASA, providing the opportunity to see our planet in enormous scale, floating in three-dimensions. Specially made surround-sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composter, Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture. So immerse yourself in some beautiful culture and gaze upon Earth in some beautiful surroundings.

Wealden Literary Festival, Woodchurch, 25 – 26 June

Experience a magical weekend at the Wealden Literary Festival, a family-friendly weekend of nature, creativity and outdoor adventures in Woodchurch. You can expect packed children’s programme to inspire younger readers, literary speakers and events plus you can try tree climbing, wild cooking, wine tasting, weaving workshops, yoga plus writing workshops. Watch this space!

Medway Light Nights, 11 – 12 Feb

Medway Light Nights is a free spectacular festival of light which will transform Rochester’s iconic buildings and spaces into works of art this Feb from 6-9pm for 2 nights. Kicking off with the Night Lights Lantern Parade starting at the car park at Almon Place finishing at Rochester Castle Garden on Friday. Don’t miss CROSSROADS, immersive optical illusions created by light, sound and mirrors in Boley Hill Car Park – which looks amazing!

Twirlywoos! Live, EM Forster Theatre, 5 -6 March

Join Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy, Chick and their friends as they discover the wonderful world around us! Expect mischief, music and plenty of surprises as they set sail in their big red boat. The funny, loveable Twirlywoos are brought to life on stage with beautifully inventive puppetry promising an hour of colourful fun and laughter, it’s an enchanting introduction to theatre for all ages.

Alice in Wonderland, The Malthouse Theatre, 26 March

A fantastical ballet for the whole family! Go see stunning dancing, much loved characters and superb music brings the famous tale to life in this magical ballet production. Don’t be late for this very important date! Suitable for all, especially 2 – 14 year olds, including children with special needs.

Platinum Jubilee, Leeds Castle, 2 -5 June

Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in the summer sunshine at Leeds Castle with all the family! More information coming soon… But adults listen up! Book now for their Jubilee Bank Holiday House Party! Enjoy an evening of cocktails, delicious food and dancing with a live jazz / swing band.

The War & Peace Revival, The Hop Farm, 26 – 30 July

The greatest celebration of military history and vintage lifestyle in the world! Come along and see the greatest gathering of military vehicles, living history, vintage village, classic cars and the world famous trade stalls at The Hop Farm this July. Better yet, kids go free! More details coming soon…

Camp Kindling, Sevenoaks, 19 – 22 Aug

Don’t miss out on this brand-new summer camp for families this August in Sevenoaks! Camp Kindling promises to be a wild weekend set in a gorgeous forest retreat with over 100 amazing activities (included in your ticket) to do, learn and discover new skills and make tons of memories! Then dance the night away amongst the trees with 50 live bands and DJs across the weekend. Relax in wood-fired hot tubs or chill around the campfire. Sound good? Tickets go on sale soon!

bOing! International Family Festival, The Gulbenkian, 27 – 28 Aug

bOing! is bouncing back at The Gulbenkian in Canterbury this August. Expect an amazing weekend of the very best in theatre, dance, films and fun for all the family, packed with magical performances and experiences. The majority of the events are free with a select few are ticketed.

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