Published: Monday, 5th September 2022

Update on 14 September: The Medway Food and Drink Festival has been postponed.

Read the latest information. 

The Medway Food and Drink Festival, taking place from Friday, 16 September until Sunday, 18 September, will provide a fantastic weekend of daytime food events and evening entertainment.

Not only will Rochester Castle Gardens see a variety of stalls, authentic cuisine and live entertainment for daytime ticket holders, you can also now get your hands on tickets for three exciting evening events. There will be something for everyone to enjoy including music, comedy and a tour around a gin distillery. Tickets for the evening events are now available, with a limited number of spaces.

On Friday night Rochester Castle Gardens will be filled with the sounds of blues and jazz with artists Katie Bradley and Dave Ferra. Katie Bradley is an internationally known award-winning vocalist and songwriter and Dave Ferra is an UK Blues Awards nominee. Katie is a celebrated vocalist and harmonica player who will play original songs alongside the very best of soul, blues and jazz including Etta James and Aretha Franklin. With a symphony of original blues, ragtime and spirituals, Dave will showcase his fantastic guitar and vocal skills to the residents of Medway. The music night takes place between 7pm and 9pm for visitors aged 16 and above.

If comedy is more your thing talented comedians including Mel Byron, Joe Wells, Adam Morrison Jones, Ribs Norman and Stylophobia will take to the stage on Saturday evening (17 September) to round off the second day of the festival.

MC Mel Byron has performed stand-up all over the UK. She has taken two solo shows to the Edinburgh Fringe and has performed at Fringes in Brighton, Manchester, and Hastings and headline act Joe Wells made his name with critically acclaimed Fringe shows. The Saturday Comedy Night will take place from 7pm until 9.30pm and is suitable for those aged 18 and above.

The Medway Food and Drink Festival will close with a spectacular party at The Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham. The Victorian Pumphouse in Chatham welcomes visitors all year round eager to tour the distillery and try their gin, whisky and vodka.

Ticket holders will be able to try the unique spirits from one of the UK’s only spirit makers who undertake the complete process of brewing and distilling from grain to glass. The craft distillery has rich history in Chatham and makes a range of artisan spirits, inspired by the craftsmen, creativity and work of those who were there before them.

The closing party will take place on Sunday, 18 September with canapés starting from 7pm, followed by tours of the distillery. Guests will receive a glass of Copper Rivet spirit and tonic at the bar before a live DJ set. Tickets are priced at £45 per person with only 100 tickets available. To find out more and book your place, call The Pump Room on 01634 931121 or email

Don't miss out on the first event of its kind in Medway

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “The Medway Food and Drink Festival is going to be a fantastic event which will welcome residents and visitors of all ages to the picturesque Rochester Castle Gardens. I am pleased that head chefs from Medway’s culinary scene, such as Will Freeman (Copper Rivet’s Pump Room) and Samuel McClurkin (Fish at 55) are involved in the festival, and I’m looking forward to the Kitchen Theatre events, which are set to be a real treat. I would encourage residents to get their discounted tickets early to make sure they don’t miss out on the first event of its kind in Medway.

“The ticketed evening events will welcome fantastic musicians and comedians to Medway and provide entertainment to visitors after the daytime festivities finish. Visitors will also be able to toast to the first year of the festival at the closing party at the much-loved Copper Rivet Distillery.”

Find out more about the Medway Food and Drink Festival and the separate evening events 

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