The wait is finally over. Sittingbourne’s Party In The Park music festival returns this Saturday after a break of two years caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Headlining at The Appleyard Sports Bar in Gore Court Road will be Marylebone Jelly arriving straight from a performance at the Foodies Festival in Maidstone’s Mote Park.
The day also marks the band’s release of their new single Human.
Also on the bill are The Curb Pilots, The Choos, The Martellos, Elvis tribute band Taking Care of Vegas and a Robbie Williams tribute act.
Mike Farrow, the managing director of The Appleyard, formerly UKP Leisure Club, said: “Party In The Park is really important to us. It is normally our biggest fundraiser of the year and helps us provide sporting activities for the community.
“We are so glad it is coming back but it has been giving us some problems. Not having done it for two years means we are having to learn how we do it all again.
“And the cost of everything has gone through the roof. The price of fat to fry the chips is up by a third and lemons and oranges have doubled. We have also been told rain is predicted on Saturday after the heatwave. We could do with a break!”
He added: “We had the same line-up planned for last year and tried so hard to make it Covid-compliant but in the end we couldn’t guarantee that people wouldn’t dance or sing. The council told us that if we couldn’t guarantee that, we could be prosecuted, fined and even sent to prison.”
Chart-topping 1990s stars East 17 thrilled the crowds at the last Party in the Park back in 2019 when Marylebone Jelly's lead singer was grabbed during a stage invasion.
Advance tickets for this weekend are £17.50 (£7.50 children) from The Appleyard, online at www.theappleyard.net or call 01795 427852. Some will be available on the gate.
The stage is being provided by Sittingbourne firm Triple A Events. Music starts at 2pm and there will be a funfair.
Swale’s summer season of festivals began last month with Groovy Fest 3, also starring Marylebone Jelly, at the Woodstock Club.
Next on the diary is Iwade Rock on Saturday July 23 and Chicken Stock at Stockbury follows on July 28-31 with 10cc.
Iwade Rock, run by husband and wife team Keith and Nicola Reynolds, will feature Marylebone Jelly (again), The Choos, The Lost Search Party, Echo 90 from Sheppey, singer/guitarist David Shepherd from Herne Bay and Sonic Slaves.
Mum-of-four Nicola said: “Iwade Rock is our baby. There isn’t a huge group of people behind this event, as many people think. It’s just us. We don’t get paid, we just do it because we’re crazy!” She said there were just 100 tickets left.