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Ellie Graham
4th June 2024

Let it never be said that Kent doesn’t deliver the unexpected - and what better season than festival season to represent the county's passions, embracing your inner nerd and celebrating those quirky obsessions and curious hobbies that put a smile on your face. Whether you’re a dog devotee or want to discover a new passion, check out our round up of some of Kent’s niche festivals below. 

Gravesham Fringe

3rd - 9th June

Across multiple venues in the town, the Gravesham Fringe returns for seven days in 2024. With quite literally something for everyone, you will be able to spend the week taking in local artist exhibitions, comedy aboard the Light Vessel 21, free guitar lessons to bottomless drinks while watching live performances - see, we told you so! Time to get booking by visiting the full event calendar here

Pride Canterbury

8th June

A celebration of LGBTQ+ identity in the county's city starts with a parade through Canterbury centre, followed up by live music and plenty of entertainment in Dane John Gardens, including Michelle McManus, Baga Chipz and even The Oompa Loompa from the Willy Wonka Experience! If you've ever needed an excuse to feel good and celebrate diversity and equality - this is it! 

Medway Gaming Festival

15th - 16th June

The first of two festivals that make our list held at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, the Medway Gaming Festival is a celebration of all things gaming. Across the weekend of the 15th and 16th June, head to Chatham so that you can unleash your inner gamer and take part in a range of immersive experiences such as life-size Dungeons & Dragons, e-sports tournaments, cosplay and so much more. You'll just have to head to their website to see it all. 

Deal Music and Arts Festival

4th - 14th July

There’s something irresistible about the combination of summer, the seaside and wonderful music in the air. The Deal Festival is a unique celebration of all three across no less than 10 days – great classical and contemporary music from some of the world’s finest music-makers, as well as theatre, opera, cinema and dance – in the beautiful and historic surroundings of Deal and Dover on England’s south coast. 

Looking to make it a stay? Consider venturing to Elizabeth Cottage, a Keepers Cottage property, which is quickly becoming a local favourite for couples and small families. If you are looking for a little charming, cosy coastal cottage this one is for you!

Kent County Show

5th – 7th July

The Kent County Show is a staple of Kent (it's been running since 1923) and it's back once more this July for a weekend of farming, agriculture, and food production education in Kent. Run by the Kent County Agricultural Society, these three days are packed with animals, vintage vehicles, retail stands and plenty of Kentish food and drink. Bring the family along for the weekend and see how farming really works!

Godinton House Sculpture in the Gardens

20th July - 11th August 

Stunning gardens spread across 12 acres is what Godinton House near Ashford is known for. Among the Rose Garden, Walled Garden and Italian Garden (to name a few) across the two weeks 20th July to 11th August, you will also be able to delve into their annual exhibition of extraordinary contemporary work by artists of the South East. This event promises to celebrate the best of modern sculpture so you will be able to truly whet your cultural appetite. 

Dreamland's packed event schedule

Throughout the year 

When opening up the Dreamland website and going to their What's Going On page, you'd be forgiven if you think that it's a festival lineup itself! Throughout this summer, the seaside staple has so many events happening from the likes of The Margate Reggae Festival, Dreamland Drag Festival to bands and musicians such as Suede, Simple Minds and Status Quo, so you can keep returning time and time again. Plus, with Southeastern running more trains from Margate on Friday and Saturday nights, getting home with be easier and safer. 

Ramsgate Festival of Sound

22nd - 25th August

A coastal music escape, the Ramsgate Festival of Sound brings together a host of internationally recognised artists, grassroots acts, and the likes of Busk at Dusk which takes place on top of the east cliff promenade and Sonic Trail which all celebrate the town's unique architecture and landscape - plus they are all family friendly! Be sure to keep an eye on their website for the full lineup when it's confirmed. 

Clash of Knights at Dover Castle

24th - 26th August 

Immerse yourself in Medieval life as you watch rival knights go head-to-head in the ultimate sword battles, who are armed with nothing but their clubs and shields. You and the family can travel back in time to the 11th century as you meet people from the Middle Ages and see how they lived from open fire cooking to medieval camps – all while in the magnificently historic Dover Castle setting. With group and family tickets available, this is one historical weekend you don’t want to miss out on!  

Salute to the 40s

14th - 15th September

Head to the Dockyard's 1940s family vintage festival this September and be transported back in time for a weekend of vintage delights! Claimed as one of the UK's best vintage festivals, visitors can see vehicle parades, live music and entertainment, hundreds of re-enactment actors, live displays, air raid experiences to a range of open galleries and exhibitions, so there’s plenty to do for all the family. After all that exploring, you’re sure to be hungry and thirsty but fear not, there’s no rations at The Dockyard. Dig into some traditional Fish and Chips at The Mess Deck for dinner before testing your swing moves on the dance floor and dancing the evening away! Plus, it's the Dockyard's 40th Anniversary this year so what could be more fitting than to salute the 40s? 

Paws in the Park

14th - 15th September

This next festival is sure to really get those tails wagging! That’s right, Britain’s favourite dog show returns to the Garden of England this September, bringing with it plenty of treats for you and your fur-riends. With plenty of games and activities to sniff out – from agility to water sports, you can even enter your pooch into competitions such as heelwork to music and agility - you and your four-legged pals will be simply spoilt for choice. What’s more, this festival brings superb shopping and even dog-friendly camping to The Kent Showground in Detling. The paw-fect day or weekend out indeed!

Canterbury Festival

19th October - 2nd November 

Canterbury Festival is an extravaganza of the arts with an exciting array of performers, acts and activities – expect opera, folk, swing, classical, jazz, comedy, circus, theatre, science, cabaret, talks, family shows, visual arts and more. Taking place every autumn, this festival celebrates the joy of live performance, the heritage of our historic city and brings the people of Kent together. As an independent Charity the Festival works year-round to bring the very best in performance to the city - working with partners across Canterbury to present unique and inspiring experiences and develop emerging talent.

Looking to make it a stay? Consider venturing to the Sycamores, a Keepers Cottage property, which is perfect for families. There is a large garden which is ideal for a sunny day as is the kitchen for family cooking.


With the abundance of quirky events happening all throughout the year, you may be stuck in a rut of how to get around the county and attend them all. No car? No problem. Southeastern railway, Kent's reliable train service, will take you to and from the festivals without trouble. There are a number of stations planted nearby most of the events, so you can travel around the county with ease. 


Get into the festival fever with Stagecoach bus service, providing reliable transport around West and East Kent. With a number of discounted tickets and offers available, you can wave goodbye to hefty taxi fares and wallet strain as travelling just got a whole lot cheaper! Plus, throughout the summer, travel on their number 69 open top bus which will take you around Thanet in true seaside style.