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Rochester Castle Concerts rescheduled to September for The Libertines, Soul II Soul and UB40

Organisers of a Medway music festival have announced a new set of dates, following the government's delay to 'freedom day.'

On Monday Boris Johnson announced a further month-long wait for the country to finally be free of Covid-19 restrictions, with a new date of July 19.

Rochester Castle Concerts will now go ahead in September. Picture: Steve Crispe
Rochester Castle Concerts will now go ahead in September. Picture: Steve Crispe

The decision was made due to rising cases of the Delta - or Indian - variant.

The move effectively cancelled all large music events that were due to go ahead before then, including Rochester Castle Concerts.

The three-day long festival in the grounds of the castle is being organised by promoter AGMP, after taking over from Medway Council which came under fire in recent years for its handling of the event.

The original concert dates fell slap bang in the middle of the first freedom day date of June 21 and the new date of July 19.

Going ahead would have not been an option for the organisers - its location inside the castle walls would have stopped them from increasing the event space to allow for social distancing.

The new poster for the rescheduled weekend
The new poster for the rescheduled weekend

One of Kent's largest music festivals, Black Deer, in Eridge park, near Tunbridge Wells, made the decision to cancel altogether, with the organisers promising to return in 2022.

But AGMP have today announced a fresh set of dates for Rochester Castle Concerts later in the year.

The events will now take place between Thursday, September 16 and Saturday, September 18 - and include some fresh names, too.

Thursday's concert will be headlined by The Libertines, with support from cult British rock band Sports Team and Black Honey, among others.

Friday boasts a set from Soul II Soul, the artist originally billed to replace The Jacksons in July due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Fans watching UB40 perform in 2018. Picture: Steve Crispe
Fans watching UB40 perform in 2018. Picture: Steve Crispe

The Friday will also include performances from The Brand New Heavies, and Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson.

Meanwhile, the Saturday will round off the event with previous Castle concerts performers UB40, along with support from The Beat and Stone Foundation.

Adrian Gibson at AGMP said: "It has been an incredibly challenging 16 months for all of the artists, sound and light technicians and of course for us as concert promoters.

"We are incredibly grateful for the patience and support shown to us by our ticket-holders and we all cannot wait to get back to doing what we do best, namely to stage these fantastic concerts with brilliant bands in the most amazing setting of Rochester Castle.

"Having grown up in Medway, these concerts represent a personal milestone achievement for me and my team."

Last year’s Rochester Castle Concerts were rescheduled after it was clear live music events in 2020 could not go ahead under social distancing guidelines.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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