What’s On: The Canterbury Festival 2018

Kent’s international arts festival is coming to town and here are some of the performances, musical extravaganzas and installations that you can enjoy this month. 

What is is about?

There are accounts of The Canterbury Festival back in 1984 and so for the last 34 years people have been flocking to the city to experience many of the artists and best talents of Europe.

This October will see hundreds of events brought to approximately ten locations across the cathedral city. Visitors can purchase tickets to participate and view musicians and artists from October 20th until November 3rd 2018.

The venues include The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury Cathedral and Sidney Cooper Gallery.

Here are some of the best events that The Canterbury Festival has to offer.

Opening Day Celebrations

Come and experience the hustle and bussle of the Canterbury Festival parade as it glides throught the High Street.

Typically, this event is filled with colourful characters and large creative signs held by children, so if you want to get in the spirit – why not make a Canterbury-based festival sign?

Tickets: Entrance to this event is free.

When and Where: Canterbury City Centre, October 20th at 12pm.

The Shires

This duo are Britain’s most successful singers of American country music.

Award-winning singer-songwriters, Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes, got together in 2013 and have crafted their own unique style of up-tempo beats.

“Expect an evening of ballads, up-tempo beats and a mix of pop elements running through their own brand of country.”

Tickets: £31.25-£46.25. Click here to purchase tickets.

When and Where: The Marlowe Theatre, October 25th at 7:30pm.


This four-piece band from Kent and London formed in 2015 and have since shared their love of West-African music, ‘Ghanaian fusion of traditional rhythms and jazz’ and popular music styles.

For this gig the core fourpiece band will be richly expanded with percussion, a brass section and some veteran guest players.

“Infectious grooves, great musicianship and even a little of the history behind the songs… expect to dance!”

Tickets: £16.25 each. Click here to purchase tickets.

When and Where: The Festival Spiegeltent, October 25th at 9:30pm.

YolanDa Brown

Award winning YolanDa Brown is the premier female saxophonist in the UK. Her music is a delicious fusion of Reggae, Jazz and Soul.

YolanDa has toured with The Temptations, Diana Krall, Billy Ocean and as part of Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

“A real renaissance woman, set to reach new heights.”

Tickets: £21.25 each. Click here to purchase tickets.

When and Where: The Festival Spiegeltent, November 3rd at 8:30pm.

Patricia Davis: 95 Years as a Modern Woman in Conversation with Simon Robinson

As a 95-year-old, the remarkable Pat Davies has lived through some of the greatest upheavals in history.

Davies talks about women’s lives in the 20th century from the vote onwards, including her experiences as a woman in wartime, serving as Special Duties (Linguist) in the WRNS for Bletchley Park.

Pat discusses her post-war university life and experience as a television producer from the late 1950s into the 1960s.

Tickets: £10.50. Click here to purchase tickets.

When and Where: Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, October 23rd at 5:45pm.

Robin Ince

Described by The Guardian as ‘One of the UK’s most accomplished, versatile comedians’, Robin Ince will be talking through his ideas and opinions on what makes us human.

As a connoisseur of comedy and co-presenter with Professor Brian Cox of the BBC Radio 4 show ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’, he has spent decades mining our eccentricities.

In his latest show Ince asks some of life’s big questions like ‘Why do we make the choices we do in life?’, ‘Where does anxiety come from?’ and ‘Are we more than our brains?’

Tickets: £11.50 each. Click here to puchase tickets.

When and Where: Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, October 29th at 8:00pm.

For more information about The Canterbury Festival, click here.

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Brittany Tijou-Smith

Brittany is a third year Multimedia Journalism student, her work has been featured on KentLive and KentOnline. Her filming work also won ‘Documentary of the Year 2018’ at Canterbury Christ Church University.

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