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Published: 08:21, 17 July 2019
| Updated: 10:23, 17 July 2019
Thousands will rock out as Ramblin’ Man Fair returns to Maidstone's Mote Park Kent this weekend.
The festival has grown since it started five years ago, becoming a three-day event, with fans rocking and camping in the 450-acre park.
The Darkness, who burst onto the UK music scene 18 years ago with their hit single I Believe in a Thing Called Love, will headline the main stage on the opening night on Friday, July 19.
The following day, American hard rockers Black Stone Cherry return to Kent three years after they last wowed the Ramblin’ Man crowd. Also playing on the Saturday are Cheap Trick and Ugly Kid Joe.
Rock legends Foreigner headline on the Sunday. The band, whose best known hit is I Want to Know What Love Is, have had 10 multi platinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits. Mick Jones from the band said: “We can’t wait to get back to the UK and play to our fans. We are planning a very special show.”
Among the bands playing on the final day, Sunday, July 21, will be Aussie hard rockers Airbourne. Here, frontman Joel O'Keefe talks about the rock 'n' roll life.
“You have got to give it everything you’ve got. You are pushing your system to the absolute max and doing it every night.
“But for everyone else, all week you’re in the trenches and life’s hard and there’s all these things to worry about and you’ve got to get up for work to get the train at 5am... but we’re still drinking at 5am!
“We know that when people come to our shows it’s a release.
“We are a bit of a circus and if you come to the show we are going to give it everything we’ve got and you’re going to have a good time and get drunk... and you’re going to wake up the next
morning with your ears ringing and a bit of a headache and a huge smile on your face.”
Joel makes a compelling case for the life he and his fellow band members live.
He said: “Ramblin’ Man – I love the name of that festival, man. We’ve been twice and the second time, when we came back, it was huge. We just thought ‘this thing is exploding’.”
“The way it is run, the whole vibe is so good. In Australia we have this no idiots rule. They’re just not allowed, we’re all like, we’ll help you out, no worries. And when you go to Ramblin' Man it’s the same - no idiots. Everyone is helping each other out, everyone is, like, in it together. It’s like ‘we’re here to rock’ - just good vibes.”
Joel also recommends seeing their fellow Aussie Jimmy Barnes at Ramblin’ Man on the Saturday. “Jimmy is awesome. If you’ve never seen him, you need to get out and watch Jimmy. He’ll school you in rock n’ roll.”
Maidstone’s Mote Park is one stop on Airbourne’s UK and Europe tour but don’t ask Joel where the band are heading off to on tour after Maidstone - unsurprisingly he doesn’t have a diary.
“That’s what tour managers are for,” he says.
But it can’t be all late night carousing and the like, surely? Joel has to think. “I love a cuppa and a biccy. Twinings does that afternoon tea in Australia, I love a bit of that. I hope you have it in Kent.”
More by this authorAngela Cole