The Sweeps Festival for 2018 was held on Saturday 5 May, Sunday 6 May and Monday 7 May with pre-festival music on Friday 4 May 2018.

The festival celebrates the traditional holiday that the chimney sweeps enjoyed on 1 May each year which used to be marked locally by staging a procession through the streets of Rochester.


Rochester Cathedral Tours

Free tours and pilgrimages; search for green men and other medieval symbols hidden in this 1400 years-old building.

Find out more about Rochester Cathedral tours

Edward II – Saturday 5 May 2017

Sweeps Concert Night, Rochester Castle Gardens, 7.30pm. Edward II Supported by Funke and the Two Tone Baby.

Sweeps procession parade

The Sweeps parade took place on Monday 7 May at 2.45pm. The Sweeps procession featured the Jack in the Green from Star Hill on the High Street, ending in the Castle Gardens.

Sweeps Festival parade participants

Jack-in-the-Green awakening ceremony

took place on Tuesday 1 May at 5.33am, finding morris dancers and sweeps bringing Jack to life at the crack of dawn. 

In the Castle Gardens

  • Artisan Produce Fair
  • Folk-art and Psychic Fair
  • Children's Fun Fair
  • Real ale tent and fully licensed bar
  • The festival's main stage

At Boley Hill

  • Musical Instrument Fair
  • Recollect Record Fair
  • More of the Artisan Produce Fair
  • Performances at the Boley Hill Stage

In the High Street

  • Morris dancers
  • Festival stages with live music
  • Plenty of food and drink to enjoy

Morris dancing

Morris dancers from around the country came together to perform across the High Street.