Drum playing at Will Adams Festival
  • Date: 12th September 2020
  • Location: Gillingham Park, Gillingham
    ME7 5LJ
  • Time: 11:00 - 16:30
  • Cost: Free entry

Celebrate the legacy of Will Adams at our annual festival.


The festival is a celebration of Gillingham born William Adams, an English navigator, who in 1600 was the first British person to reach Japan. He settled in Japan and became a key advisor to the Shogun and one of the first ever (of very few) Western samurai a title bestowed by the Shogun and an incredible honour for a foreigner.

Will Adams died in Japan in 1620, and in 2020 we are commemorating 400 years since his death.

Creative commission opportunity

We are offering a new creative opportunity that will commemorate Will Adams' life, reflect the nature of the event and the significance of 2020. We'd love you to get involved.

Download the call for proposals and application form for more details.

Email your proposal to ciara.laing@medway.gov.uk by 1pm on Tuesday, 11 February 2020.

Getting to the festivalWill adams woman painting 1

There will be limited adjacent street parking. Or you can easily get to Gillingham Park by public transport.

You can get the following buses:

  • 101 to Jeffrey Street (5 minute walk to park)
  • 182 to Gillingham High Street (15 minute walk to park)
  • 116 to Canterbury Street (1 minute walk to park)
  • 132 to Jezreels (3 minute walk to park).

Please note these are all estimated times.

Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.