Published: Friday, 24th June 2022

Medway Presents a series of festivals, events and celebrations over the coming months for residents and visitors of all ages to enjoy.

We are supporting a number of events running from July through to October across Medway.

Kicking off the summer series of events is the Love Chatham Carnival, organised by Nucleus Arts, in Chatham town centre on Saturday, 9 July. For the first time in 20 years, Chatham – fast becoming known as Medway’s city centre – is to host a carnival, with processions, live music and much more. Find out more.

The following weekend, from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 July, IntraFest will host a spectacular music-based festival featuring Medway and the UK’s finest talent. In the heart of Chatham, residents will be able to discover fantastic bands and DJs from a variety of music genres and take part in workshops alongside their fellow musicians. Find out more about the rocking festival.

Residents will be able to enjoy live music from the highest point in Chatham with Fort Amherst’s Summer Proms Season of free concerts. The fort’s highest point, Spur Battery Amphitheatre, will welcome residents to enjoy live music every Sunday from 17 July to the 4 September. The season will open with the well-known local group, Pretending People and continue with performances by local artists BAE Systems Brass Band, Katy Carr and The Aviators and many more, before being brought to an end by local star Jamie Johnson and his band. For more information, visit the Fort Amherst website.

Medway Culture Club Carnivalon Saturday, 13 August is a free Family Fun Day bringing people together and celebrating the diversity within our community. Find out more about the event at Woodlands Youth Centre.

Back for a third year, this summer Electric Medway will present Augmented River. From Friday, 19 August to Sunday, 28 August the popular digital arts festival will see Alice in VR Wonderland by Jasmin Vardomin Company at Chatham Library, Exponential by Lucid Creates at the Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham and more. Enjoy 10 days of immersive events to alter all perceptions of reality including electronic music performances, light projections, augmented reality trails and boat trips from Sun Pier to Upnor Castle telling the story of the Saxon Shore and industrial river. Get ready to immerse yourself in the surreal and fantastical world of metaverse Medway.

Medway’s most diverse communities will be celebrated at Medway Pride on Saturday, 20 August, from 10.30am to 8pm, at Rochester Castle and in the castle grounds. Residents are invited to the LGBTQIA+ community festival, which will see live entertainment and a parade as well as local, national and internationally recognised acts. To find out more and book your ticket, visit the Medway Pride website.

Residents will be able to take a breath and have a refresh during the busy event season with a wellbeing festival on Saturday, 28 August, from 11am to 6pm, at Fort Amherst. Paramount Foundation’s Sticks and Stones event will showcase Medway’s services with free activities including yoga, candle making, carpentry and more. For more information about what’s on offer, visit Paramount Foundation's website.

The fun continues into the autumn months too, with the Festival of Chatham Reach on Saturday, 17 September. Find out more about the River Medway, its heritage and historic river vessels with Tiller and Wheel at Sun Pier in Chatham. Find out more.

The first event in October will take place at the Pentagon Centre in Chatham with Medway Fun Palace. Nucleus Arts’ celebration of community, art and science, by local people for local people, will take place on Saturday, 2 October. For more information, visit Nucleus Arts' webpage.

Do it, be it, see it all in Medway

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “We have already seen a whole host of fantastic events in Medway so far this year, including the English Festival, Medway Light Nights, the Sweeps festival and our many event tributes to Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year. Our events programme for the summer and autumn will continue to welcome residents and visitors into Medway, to enjoy what we have to offer – do it, be it, see it all in Medway. Our events celebrate our heritage and culture and are for people of all ages, as part of our aspiration to become even more child-friendly.”

One day celebration of the River Medway

Heather Burgess, Director and Events Producer at Tiller & Wheel, said: “We're thrilled to be bringing back The Festival of Chatham Reach this September! This event is a one day celebration of the River and the heritage vessels who have sailed this coastline for hundreds of years. Sun Pier comes to life with historic Thames Sailing Barges, Steam Tugs, and a Whitstable Oyster Smack. We want people to re-engage with our river and the skills needed to sail on the East Coast. We have fun interactive games and demonstrations for people to get hands-on, arts activities, free sailing trips, boat tours, storytelling, history walks, an arts market and live music."

Use digital technology in clever ways

Kevin Grist, Artistic Director at SparkedEcho and Producer of Electric Medway, said: “Now in it's third year, we're excited to be bringing a packed programme of workshops, performances and artworks that use digital technology in clever ways. There's something for everyone, from an electronic picnic in the park with chillwave music, to an augmented reality boat ride on the river. It really is going to be a great summer for families to experience something new in Medway."

Celebrate LGBTQIA+ diversity

Hilary Cooke, Chair of Medway Pride CIC, said: “It’s going to be a colourful fun filled event, at the iconic Rochester Castle, for all the family to celebrate LGBTQIA+ diversity and support equality and equity for all communities of Medway. It is in essence a community cohesion event inviting everyone to come together, to break down barriers and develop understanding and acceptance of each other.”

Showcase the best of Medway services

Matthew Salisbury, Paramount Foundation Manager, said: “There is a huge amount of services to improve lifestyle and wellbeing in Medway, sometimes they are only seen by people ‘in the loop’. The great thing about Sticks and Stones festival is that it showcases the best of Medway services in a really fun, accessible, festival environment. Even if you weren’t actively looking for something new in your life, you will leave the festival knowing what is on offer and having had a great time.

Celebrate artistic and musical talent in Medway

Janet Fischer, CEO of Live Music Now, said: “IntraFest is a celebration of the incredible artistic and musical talent in Medway. Live Music Now uses music to enhance quality of life and connect people. IntraFest, supported by Medway Council and Historic England, will genuinely have something for everyone, from the premiere of ‘Round Here (songs written by local young people at Trinity School), to the chance to make your own band t-shirt, learn some moves, and be surprised and delighted with music in all the usual and unusual places! It’s a chance for local residents to connect and enjoy their high street, and for visitors to come enjoy the fantastic hospitality and music on offer in Chatham Intra.’ 

Diversity and community of the area

Dr David Stokes, Nuclear Arts’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “We're really excited to be bringing the Love Chatham Carnival to Chatham to show off the incredible diversity and community of the area. We hope that the day will be hugely fun for the whole family, and maybe the start of a tradition for years to come.

Bringing surprises to the people of Medway

Dr David Stokes, Nuclear Arts’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “We've been running a Fun Palace in Medway since the movement started back in 2014. Each year the event has grown in scale and ambition, with more and more partners getting involved. This year we hope to bring some real surprises. Arts, Science, and the people of Medway, of course it's going to be great.”

Find out more about events in Medway.

Social media

Share your pictures and videos with us on our social media accounts, with the hashtag #WeAreMedway (FacebookInstagram and Twitter)

Medway Pride: #MPFestival2022 #MedwayPride2022

Electric Medway: #ElectricMedway

Festival of Chatham Reach: @TillerAndWheel @FoCR22 #FestivalOfChathamReach #ChathamReach #RiverMedway #SunPier

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