Published: 00:01, 24 July 2017
A popular festival celebrating local ale and country life is to relaunch with a new
focus on music and entertainment.
Kent Life's Hops n' Harvest Festival is to be named the Hops and Harvest Boutique Festival, a two-day family event which will celebrate hop picking, local ales and traditions while also featuring top bands and a full programme of activities.
Music artists signed up for the new-look festival, which takes place on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10, include Starsailor, Newton Faulkner and Toploader, with a series of local up-and-coming musicians taking to the stages too.
General manager Natalie Cox said: “The Hops and Harvest Boutique Festival will be bigger and better than before, while maintaining the traditions of an event which spans decades. With an impressive music line-up, fantastic locally-produced ales and plenty of activities for the children, there really is something for everyone. We really mean it, this is not your average weekend in the country – it’s an amazing one!”
Starsailor, who have supported the likes of The Killers and U2, and reaching No.2 in the album chart with Silence Is Easy. headline the Saturday, while Newton Faulkner and Toploader, best known for their hit Dancing in the Moonlight, play the Sunday.
There will be three stages at the festival, with the majority of the named acts taking to the Main Stage. The Big Top will play host to a number of local and regional talents, while acoustic sets will be performed on the Secret Garden Stage.
The Hipshaker Lounge in the Village Hall will feature original vinyl records, while live bands will also perform a range of funk, soul, jazz, rock, RnB and Motown classics straight from the 60s with a few guest decade spots.
The Zebra Bar & Champagne Garden will have indoor and outdoor spaces, with seating, plus a grand piano and The Bohemian Woods will offer the chance to relax on rugs and hammocks and, at night, follow your way through the glowing fairy lights and lanterns.
Cabaret Noir offers an experience for VIP ticket holders with the best club sounds around, a burlesque show and close-up table magician. Exclusively for adults, the VIP package will include fast-track entry, upgraded toilet facilities, a phone charging service and a private bar.
There will be some tasty options, including street food, alongside Dotty’s Team Room and a wood-fired pizza oven while drinks will be served up at the Hipshaker Lounge and The Zebra Bar & Champagne Garden, and local beverages will be sold in the Kentish Ales Marquee.
As usual there will be the chance to see and learn about hop picking, meet Pearly Kings and Queens and witness the process from picking hops to drying them - before tasting one of the beers they make.
The festival will be open from noon to 11pm on both days. VIP packages cost £50 per day or £90 for a weekend. Weekend passes cost £50 and £25 for children, and day tickets costs £30 and £15 for ages five to 15. A family day ticket for two adults and two children costs £75. Under fives go free.
To book go to kentlife.org.uk. You can also call 01622 763936.
There is free parking but visitors are encouraged to use a shuttle bus service operating from Maidstone East and West stations, as well as the town centre.
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