Welcome to the Dartford Festival 2013!
Dartford Festival 2013 will take place on 20 & 21 July!
Check back here for more information on 2013's event, along with how you and your business or organisation can get involved...
Dartford Festival a Hit!
Heavy rain didn't dampen the spirits of thousands of Dartford's Festival-goers this weekend as the free annual event returned to Central Park.
Now in its 76th year, the festival welcomed a range of big and local acts to the main stage, as well as an array of organisations who ran activities and stalls across the site.
Headlining the main stage on Saturday were Britain's Got Talent stars Loveable Rogues. The band made their fans' day by signing autographs and posing for photo's for a couple of hours before going on stage. Band members Eddie, Sonny and Te also tried their hand at archery with the Sutton Bowmen, having a competition between themselves!
Also appearing on Saturday were another great Britain's Got Talent band – The Mend, local band Beer Pressure and Beach Boys tribute band The Beached Boys who brought a hint of Californian sunshine to a very wet Dartford!
Sunday saw the sun shine over the park, with many people turning up to see the Counterfeit Beatles, Ray Quinn and Chas & His Band.
The Counterfeit Beatles brought the sound of the swinging sixties to the festival with covers of the Beatles' biggest hits including Back to the USSR and Help, before finishing their set with Hey Jude and the crowd singing along.
Ray Quinn wowed his fans and showed his musical roots by performing a selection of songs from West-End shows. He'll be back in Dartford in September when he performs in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at The Orchard Theatre.
On Sunday afternoon, Festival favourite Chas & His Band were welcomed back to the event for the fourth time. After performing a number of his greatest hits, including Gertcha, Snooker Loopy and Rabbit, he performed his new song – Got My Ticket for The Darts – which has been adopted by Dartford Football Club.
Away from the main stage there was lots going on around the site with the youth zone, sports zone, exhibition marquee, arena and charity & community stalls to explore.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Jeremy Kite said, "It was a great weekend and it was brilliant to see so many people with smiles on their faces despite the weather on Saturday. It was a testament to all the people and organisations who work hard to make the Dartford Festival the great free event it is."
Images from Dartford Festival 2012
Read the Festival programme here...
The Dartford Festival 2012 programme is available to view here (pdf, 1.5MB). FREE copies will also be available at the Festival entrances.
A big thank you to our sponsors!
Thank you to this year's sponsors – Conway, Pinnacle psg, the Orchard Theatre, the WJ King Group, Bluewater and Parkwood Leisure.
Dartford Festival: More acts announced
With Dartford Festival just three weeks away, we're delighted to announce that The Mend and Chas & His Band have been added to the line-up for the weekend.
The Mend will be entertaining the crowds on Saturday afternoon with a blend of hip-hop, R&B and soul.
The Mend – AKA Kris, Dean, Craig and Jay – made it to the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent and also got through the X Factor auditions.
Festival favourite Chas & His Band returns to the Festival for the fourth time on Sunday afternoon. Chas' first appearance at the Dartford Festival was with his former music partner Dave Peacock as Chas & Dave back in 2006.
Chas always puts on a great show and his songs are much-loved by the crowd so come on down and sing along
2012 marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles and The Beach Boys so also joining the growing line-up will be top tribute acts the Counterfeit Beatles and The Beached Boys.
Dartford Festival: First two headline acts announced!
Dartford Festival 2012 is fast approaching and we're excited to announce the first two headline acts!
Lovable Rogues will be joining us in Central Park on Saturday 14 July, along with Ray Quinn on Sunday 15 July.
Fresh from Britain's Got Talent, Lovable Rogues reached the finals of the talent show. The three-piece band hail from just over the Thames in Chigwell.
The band have been signed by Simon Cowell's record label, Syco, this week and will be releasing their debut single later in the year.
Liverpudlian Ray Quinn was a finalist on series three of X Factor. Following the X Factor tour, Ray embarked on a solo tour, playing 30 dates across the UK.
Since then, Ray has been busy appearing on the stage and screen in many musicals including Grease and Dirty Dancing in London's West End, and ITV's Dancing on Ice.
Keep coming back for more details and the full festival line-up as it develops.
Watch the highlights from 2011 here!
You can now relive the fun of the Dartford Festival 2011 by watching the highlights on YouTube here.
Dartford Festival A Hit!
Despite heavy rain, a persistent breeze and even a rumble or two of thunder, around 30,000 visitors attended the 75th Dartford Festival in Central Park this weekend.
Fans of Ronan Parke braved the weather to see him headline the main stage on Saturday. The 12-year-old Britain's Got Talent runner-up covered a range of songs from 'Because of You' by Kelly Clarkson to Cee Lo Green's 'Forget You', to the delight of his screaming fans.
Headlining the main stage on Sunday night was Gareth Gates, who opened his set with a rendition of Bryan Adams' 'Summer of 69'. He then went on to perform a mixture of covers, including 'Sweet Child O' Mine' by Guns n Roses, and a couple of his own songs.
Britain's Got Talent stars Michael Collings, Jean Martyn and New Bounce also drew in the crowds despite the rain.
Away from the main stage, visitors armed with umbrellas and waterproofs roamed the Festival site, trying out the different activities on offer and visiting the charity and commercial stalls and the funfair.
Over in the youth zone, 5th Dartford Scouts were showing off their pioneering skills, having built a swing bridge and a climbing frame. Kent Youth Service ran a very popular stall offering hair-braiding, bath salt making and face-painting.
The sports activities were also popular, with visitors trying archery, slacklining, football and rugby, plus finding out about sailing opportunities with Erith Yacht Club.
Jeremy Kite, Leader of the Council, said, "The Dartford Festival is always a great event and this year was no exception, despite the weather. We're always looking to make our events bigger and better so let us know what you think about the Festival by filling in our online survey."