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Marylebone Jelly lead singer grabbed during stage invasion at Sittingbourne's Party In The Park after East 17 appearance

Eat your heart out, Glastonbury. Sittingbourne's Party in the Park had all the fun and drama of a top music festival.

Minutes after 90s boy band East 17 had left the stage a man dodged security guards and made a bee-line for Ed Austin, lead singer with Marylebone Jelly.

The Jelly Boys were closing the show at the Appleyard's Gore Court Road sports ground on Saturdaywhen the unknown man jumped crowd barriers and raced across the stage to grab a stunned Ed, a 49-year-old project manager, round the waist.

What are they like now? Scroll down for East 17 video

A stage invader grabs Ed Austin of Marylebone Jelly around the waist at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden (13188244)
A stage invader grabs Ed Austin of Marylebone Jelly around the waist at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden (13188244)
The stage invader is dragged away after grabbing Ed Austin of Marylebone Jelly at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden (13188246)
The stage invader is dragged away after grabbing Ed Austin of Marylebone Jelly at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden (13188246)

But the pro didn't miss a beat as he carried on singing while security guards grabbed the stage invader and dragged him away. Afterwards Ed admitted: "Well, that was a first for us!"

The rest of the music bash went without a hitch although East 17, now a trio, ended up with a fourth member when Sittingbourne postman Aaron Griffith was invited on stage to help with their dance routine.

He had been plucked from the crowd by lead singer Robbie Craig who was also in Artful Dodger.

Postman Aaron Griffith made a special delivery when he was called up on stage to join East 17 at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday (13187926)
Postman Aaron Griffith made a special delivery when he was called up on stage to join East 17 at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday (13187926)

Afterwards Aaron, 37, admitted: "That was amazing and absolutely brilliant. I never expected that. What a legend of a band!"

Despite it being the hottest day of the year the band insisted on singing their 1994 Christmas hit Stay Another Day along with favourites It's Alright and House of Love.

They also made Zena Walker's day. The 37-year-old fan from Russell Street, Sheerness, was singled out by original member Terry Coldwell to sing and later grabbed the trio for a backstage selfie.

East 17's original member Terry Coldwell greets fans at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday (13187922)
East 17's original member Terry Coldwell greets fans at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday (13187922)

The music fest, which attracted nearly 3,000 fans, was opened by Heroes who were followed by Elvis tribute act Taking Care of Vegas, ska band Skadekat and six-piece The Chaucers. All the support bands have members from Sittingbourne or Sheppey.

Taking Care of Vegas opened Party in the Park at Sittingbourne on Saturday (13188050)
Taking Care of Vegas opened Party in the Park at Sittingbourne on Saturday (13188050)
The Chaucers at Party in the Park, Sittingbourne, on Saturday (13187993)
The Chaucers at Party in the Park, Sittingbourne, on Saturday (13187993)
Ska band Skadekat performing at Sittingbourne's Party in The Park on Saturday (13189219)
Ska band Skadekat performing at Sittingbourne's Party in The Park on Saturday (13189219)
When it's hot, hot, hot there was only one way to cook down at Sittingbourne's Party In The Park (13187247)
When it's hot, hot, hot there was only one way to cook down at Sittingbourne's Party In The Park (13187247)
All the fun of the fair: Lola Hook, six, takes a ride on the chair-o-planes at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park (13187521)
All the fun of the fair: Lola Hook, six, takes a ride on the chair-o-planes at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park (13187521)

There was a funfair with dodgems, chair-o-planes, ghost train and white-knuckle rides.

When temperatures began to soar, organisers allowed youngsters to cool down with a giant sprinkler used to keep the lawns watered.

The sound, lights and stage were provided by Colin Umbers' Sittingbourne firm Triple A Events and DJ Dave Bowles was compere.

Sound man: Colin Umbers of Sittingbourne stage hire firm Access All Areas at Party In The Park (13187084)
Sound man: Colin Umbers of Sittingbourne stage hire firm Access All Areas at Party In The Park (13187084)
Bringing the house down: Marylebone Jelly at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden (13188242)
Bringing the house down: Marylebone Jelly at Sittingbourne's Party in the Park on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden (13188242)

Organiser Mike Farrow said: "It was a fantastic day. The sun shone and everyone had a great time.

"Apart from one idiot getting onto the stage there was no trouble. The security team was brilliant and East 17 were really down to earth and friendly.

"They had flown in from Germany that morning after performing in front of 65,000 in a stadium, they have a number one song in the USA and they played Sittingbourne!"

He added: "All the bands were brilliant and Marylebone Jelly closed the night in style with tons of special effects.

"People had been concerned we would run out of water but we kept the water butts full which kept the drinking water cool.

"The only casualty was the football pitch after youngsters cooled themselves down dancing around the sprinkler. But that was a small price to pay for what was an excellent day."

He praised his staff for working in the heat.

Money raised will help subsidise the club and its sporting facilities.

Read more: Sittingbourne stories here.

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