About Ramsgate Festival

2017 is the year of our eighth arts festival for Ramsgate, known since last year 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 to be working alongside a number of organisations and other events including: 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 91st year; Margate Festival in our sister town of Margate which is on from 8th July till 6th August!

Keep checking back here on our site, or sign up to our mailing list to find out more details of the 2017 Festival programme as they are published.  The Festival will take place from 22nd – 30th July and the regatta, Ramsgate Week, is 23 – 28 July.

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 2017 or beyond.  As a charity we are always fundraising in order to continue doing what we do, so if you would like to make a donation – we would love you forever!

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.


Year Seven, featured a narrative theme – on the wind and the waves the sea brings us life – and a stunning large scale temporary artwork in the harbour by Theresa Smith, Perfugium Miseris, marking the history of the harbour and the great storm of 1703. We had Opera for All on the beach with Eugene Onegin, a giant storytelling whale, Adrian Sherwood DJing at the Sea Life parade and artists from Notting Hill helping bring our  carnival arts programme to life and much much more including heritage walks and talks and showcasing new local talent on the Ramsgate Rising stage. For the first time the festival ran over 9 days, alongside Ramsgate Week Regatta. The stunning Festival posters, featuring the harbour and the view out to sea, were designed by Gina Bailey-Stocken.

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