About Ramsgate Festival

2016 is the year of our seventh arts festival for Ramsgate, which is now known as the Ramsgate Festival.

The new name springs from the opportunity and ambition to make our cultural event into a ‘town festival’, with all parts of the community taking part. We are delighted that for the first time, we are working alongside a number of organisations and events: the annual Ramsgate Week sailing regatta, organised by the Royal Temple Yacht Club; Best Fest, a community festival organised by People United; the Ramsgate Carnival, now in its 90th year!

‘On the wind and the waves, the sea brings us life’ is the theme for this year – an ancient Ramsgate ceremony of ebbs and flows, loss and return, acceptance and the renewal of hope. Something strange is happening, you could say something fishy is going on. Sea Creatures start appearing in the town. Some crawl out of the Ramsgate Tunnels – could it be the Ramsgate Whale might return? The opera, Eugene Onegin, is screened on the beach, many other weird and wonderful happenings unfold….

Keep checking back here on our site, or sign up to our mailing list to find out more details of the 2016 Festival programme as they are published.  The Festival will take place from 23rd – 31st July, at the same time as the regatta, Ramsgate Week.

We are grateful to our funders, all our partners and our incredible volunteers for making the Festival possible. Please get in touch if you’d like to contribute to Ramsgate Festival in 2016 or beyond.

Read about the festival’s history and to get a flavour of what we do, have a look through some images, year by year…


Year One, 51 events in 18 venues, the Sonic Junk Machine, Sol Cinema, a huge sense of excitement – ‘we did it!’


Year Two, over 70 events, Wendy Cope, Thanet Open Studios launched, Vintage Mobile Cinema, The Grumpy Git on Winterstoke Pavilion – a great follow up to the first festival.


Year Three, another 70 events, the museum ran a Steam Fair, the Life Boat installation, OperaUpClose with La Boheme live on stage by the beach, the world premiere of Noggin the Nog, lots of workshops, !


Year Four, 80 events, we grew to 23,000 visitors and there are new ideas each time; this year brought Toc de Fusta 1000 miles from Spain with a street installation Robinson Crusoe, the Barber of Seville played the open air stage and for the first time we built and burned a beautiful boat on the beach!


Year Five, a big focus on the harbour area, a more condensed look, our first artist installation with Crowning Glory, a Viking boat built for the beach, Thanet Open Studios became artist-led.


Year Six, the first time we worked with a paid producer and partnered with harbour bars and cafes to bring in fireworks and a funfair. We loved Joli Vyann, Rob and Sally’s micro museum about Waterloo and Ramsgate’s connection with 1815 was honoured with it as our central theme.