It’s time for the Margate Festival – and here are some of the highlights

The Margate Festival featured .dash theatre's Passing Phase in 2016 Photo Jason Pay

Art, exhibitions, performances, workshops and talks will all be on offer at this year’s Margate Festival.

Festival producers Threshold Studios, Kent County Council, Turner Contemporary and Dreamland Margate have created a mammoth programme for the event which runs from July 8- August 6.

Photo Jason Pay

Performances and exhibitions take place at venues across the town, kicking off with ArtGate in partnership with Turner Contemporary.


Art installations created by 80 children at four neglected sites in Margate will be unveiled on July 8.

The artworks are the result of an 18-month project between Turner Contemporary and four primary schools called Art Inspiring Change.

Pupils have been encouraged to find their voices, take the lead and show how they think Margate should be regenerated through working with artists, Thanet District Council, the team at Turner Contemporary, a philosopher and the wider community.

There are four artworks on four separate plots by four sets of Young Art Leaders from four primary schools – Holy Trinity & St John’s Primary School, Northdown Primary School, Palm Bay Primary School and Salmestone Primary School

The locations stretch from one end of Margate to the other and there is a set walking trail if you want to visit them all.

At each site there will be singing, music and art and craft workshops from 11am to 3pm when a drummer will round up the crowd at each site and lead everyone, artworks in hand, towards Turner Contemporary to join up with the other schools for final celebrations.

The event will end by 4.30pm.

More festival highlights:

4 Rooms 4 Arts: Jessica Willows and friends

Runs until July 11

Pie Factory Margate, 5 Broad Street, Margate . Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm

Jessica Willows welcomes you to this annual exhibition at Pie Factory accompanied by artists Mina Cullimore, Julie Bradshaw and Claire Warner who showcase an array of distinctive work, from bold statement pieces to fine drawings.

Eclectic Art

Saturday 8th July – Sunday 6th August

6 Broad Street, Margate. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10.30am – 4pm

A collection of artwork by local artists – Justin Gilday, Dee Wild, Emily Tull and Ian Barrowcliffe with jewellery by Linda Mead. Including painting, glass sculptures, thread paintings and silver work.

Raining Stones: The Human Condition

Friday 14th July – Tuesday 25th July

Pie Factory Margate, 5 Broad Street, Margate,  Open 10am – 6pm daily

An exhibition of paintings, photography and video at Pie Factory by artists from a number of European countries.

Artists include:

Francesco Amorosino (Italy)
Rich Cameron (Scotland)
Helga Dorothea Fannon (Sweden)
Amel Hodzic (Bosnia)
Deborah Humm (England)
Angela Maasalu (Estonia)
George Striftaris (Greece)
Inge Struys (Belgium)

Each artist has presented works from different perspectives, whether drawing from personal experiences or from looking at society. The overall presentation challenges the viewer’s perspectives about turbulence in people’s life, and highlights the conflict between beauty and horror and our own prejudices.

Rob Ball – Obselete Studios: The Itinerant

Saturday 8th July – Sunday 6th August.

The Shop Front, 161 Northdown Road, Margate

An exhibition of unique tintype portraits made by Obsolete Studios’ mobile photography studio at the 80th anniversary celebrations of The Walpole Bay Tidal Pool.

To compliment the exhibition, the Shop Front project space will be transformed into a reading room over the weekend of 29th-30th July. Come and explore publications, reproductions &ephemera connected with the project, the photographer Rob Ball and the SEAS archive of seaside photography.

Rob Ball is Deputy Director of SEAS Photography and Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. His projects have been published and exhibited worldwide including at The Photographers’ Gallery, London; Format Festival, Derby; Illinois State University, USA; and the Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury.

Touching the Void: When the physical collides with the virtual

Saturday 8th July – Sunday 6th August

CRATE Studio & Project Space, 1, Bilton Square, Margate, Open 11am-5pm Friday – Sunday

CRATE Studio and Project Space exhibit the work of eight artists who have responded to the theme ‘When the virtual and the real collide.’

CRATE is an artist-led organisation based in East Kent supporting contemporary visual artists’ research and practice. CRATE promotes critical debate and the exchange of ideas without prescribed outcomes.

Chiara Williams Contemporary Art: Afternoon Tea – Works on Paper

Saturday 8th – Sunday 16th July

Chiara Williams Contemporary Art, 4 Royal York Mansions, The Parade, Margate,

Meet the makers on Friday 14th July, 7-9pm.

Open 2-5pm on the weekends of 8-9 and 15-16 July. Other times by appointment.

Afternoon tea by the sea. A pop-up tea salon and exhibition of works on paper by local artists, the exhibition will turn a private residence into a temporary gallery, accompanied by intimate afternoon tea sittings.

All works are for sale.

Free entry to the exhibition, but booking required. Visitors will be asked to contribute a discretionary £1 per head towards tea and cake. To reserve an afternoon tea sitting email


Thursday 13th July – Sunday 6th August

Hantverk & Found, 18 King Street, Margate, Opens Wednesday 12th July, 6-9pm. Then Thursdays-Sundays 12-4pm throughout July and August. Other times by appointment.

From radical infographics, to Turner Prize nominees, Hantverk & Found present ‘Cartographies’ – exceptional representations of geographical, socio-political, personal or emotional landscape.

Artists include Jeremy Wood, Cornelia Parker and Adam Dant in this collection of artistic and politically potent responses to contemporary map-making, featuring international and emerging artists who are pushing the boundaries of cartography.

The Spooky Men’s Chorale workshop

Tuesday 1st August, 3pm

Turner Contemporary, Rendezvous, Margate,

The Spooky Men’s Chorale share secrets from the spooky lexicon, including getting in touch with your inner 22 stone tribal chieftain, how to sob like a man, and how to look good in profile. Oh yes- you’ll also learn some magnificently grandiose songs from their repertoire, including a useful song for building pyramids with.

This is a workshop for absolutely everyone, especially people who haven’t sung for a long, long time.

Tickets £5. Tickets available via the Theatre Royal Margate (Booking fee applies).

Tuesday 1st August, 3pm

Find out more

For more festival details go to