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Dartford Festival in Central Park headlined by Matt Terry, Skatonics, The Christians

By Angela Cole

Famous faces, live music and entertainment plus stalls and sports events – and, just to top it off, it’s free.

The Dartford Festival has been filling Central Park each summer for some 80 years and has grown from a town carnival to a free family-fun weekend, with almost 40,000 people flocking to attend last year.

Live music and dance acts will perform on two stages throughout this weekend, while the park will be filled with plenty to see, do, and eat, for all ages.

Skatonics will take to the Dartford Festival stage Picture: Matthew Walker

Headlined by The X Factor winner Matt Terry, the two days of the festival include live music from The Skatonics, an eight-piece band with a big following, and M.A.N.E., a new indie pop electronica artist/producer whose debut single will be lighting up dance floors later this year.

Ian Prowse & Amsterdam will perform at Central Park

More music will come from The Christians, Space, Peter Hook & The Light, Ian Prowse & Amsterdam and more while local acts taking to the stage include Sapphire Dance Company, Taylormade Dance, Hollywood Performing Arts and Daluca Dance School.

Sports clubs including Dartford FC, Dartford Valley Rugby Club and Dartford Cricket Club will be running taster sessions and there will be plenty of food and drink – as well as the option to bring a picnic.

There will be kids and sports activities at the Dartford Festival in Central Park Picture: Steve Crispe

Dartford council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite said: “We’ve worked hard to build the reputation of the Dartford Festival. Once again, we’re delivering a great mix of community groups, local charities, brilliant local performers and some of the country’s best loved live bands. The number of people attending just keeps on rising. It’s a fantastic showpiece for the whole town.”


He’s been jet-setting around the world, from Miami to Sweden and Finland to Gibraltar, but Dartford’s where it’s at for The X Factor winner Matt Terry.

The 24-year-old from Bromley, whose family home is in Sutton Road in Maidstone, is looking forward to playing so close to home.

X Factor winner Matt Terry will headline the Dartford Festival

After winning last year’s ITV talent show, his debut single, When Christmas Comes Around, written by Ed Sheeran, charted at No.3.

Speaking between trips, he said: “It is going great. I’ve just come back from Miami where I was working on some of my new stuff, some of it in Spanish – yes I sing in Spanish!
“It’s been super fun. I have had such a good time. I have some stuff coming out over the summer.

“I’m doing quite a few festivals around the country but Dartford’s great because it’s so close to home. I’m sure my family will be there – I just need to tell them I’m doing it! I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll be singing, because you have to tailor what you do to what people want, but there will definitely be one of the tracks I’ve been working on in there.”

Busy Matt, who is signed to RCA (Sony), revealed some of his plans for the year.

X-Factor winner Matt Terry is headlining the event

“I’ll obviously be releasing my single and album before the end of the year. I use to do a tiny bit of songwriting before I won The X Factor but I am getting the hang of it now and it’s going to be great to let people hear what I’ve been doing. Whatever I work on, it is always me and who I am.”

He admitted the six months since his win had been a “whirlwind”, and said: “I have been all over the world and met and worked with some great people. I am definitely living the dream.”

Matt will headline the main stage at the Dartford Festival from 4.30pm on Saturday, July 15.


The Dartford Festival will be held in Central Park, Dartford on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16. Gates open at 11am on Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday, with events running until 7pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday. For the full line-up, go to dartford.gov.uk/festival or facebook.com/dartfordfestival

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