Ramsgate’s Rock Dock festival scaled back for 2018

Ramsgate Rock Dock festival

The Rock Dock music festival due to take place on Ramsgate seafront this August has had to be scaled back due to costs.

The annual event, due to take place this year from August 24-27, is usually held in Harbour Parade, Pier Yard and The Queen’s Head pub and includes music, a funfair, street food and a festival stage plus fireworks on Sunday night.

But the Ramsgate Seafront Traders Association says this year it has had to scrap the outdoor activities in favour of a music weekender in The Queens Head pub because of mounting expenditure.

Thorley Taverns organise the annual event with the traders association.

The pub firm’s operations manager Craig Knight said: “Ramsgate seafront traders have decided to withdraw the event application for Rock Dock this year. The event has been free to the general public in previous years and we had planned to keep it this way for 2018.

“However in order to satisfy the legislative requirements of police, fire and rescue, NHS, health and safety and road traffic safety the costs soon escalate to ensure a safe event can take place; in particular for security and first aid cover.

Photo Adam Dark

“There are then the set up costs, stage hire, generator and fuel costs and not forgetting the costs of the acts scheduled for the event. The event has always relied on funding and contributions from traders on the seafront who benefit from it, but this year following a pre-event budget, the costs have outweighed the contributions making it unviable.”

Photo Brian Whitehead

A statement issued today (July 16) by the traders association said that despite welcome funding from Kent County Councillor Paul Messenger the festival was proving too expensive. The association added: “It is with regret that Ramsgate Seafront Traders Association has to announce that our Rock Dock Music Festival will not take place this year in last year’s format.

“This decision is for 2018 only and hopefully 2019 might see new opportunities that provide a more workable landscape to enable the festival to continue.

“The good news is that the music festival will be taking place back where it all started, at The Queens Head Pub.”

Queens Head manager Jim Barber said: “We will be putting on a fantastic, back to roots music weekender over the same period (August 24-27). We will still be hosting a full programme of live music outside the Queens Head and our beer and cider festival will also be taking place over the same weekend.”

A fun fair will be in operation at the former Pleasurama site.


  1. The council could of helped, you know bring visitors into the area which will help trade and tourism, but they would rather spend it on events in Margate.

  2. Once again Thanet District Council letting down the Tourism Industry in Thanet and local folk of Ramsgate. They would rather waste our money on wages for Councillers and faceless projects.

  3. Once again Thanet District Council letting down the Tourism Industry in Thanet and local folk of Ramsgate. They would rather waste our money on their own excessive wages for Councillers and faceless projects.

  4. It’s more like Thorley doesn’t want to put it on as it will bring people to Ramsgate but buy there beer in spoons as they are not robbing the public of there hard earned cash for over priced beer he won’t want to put money in competition pockets and is just using council, hse, police as an excuse the Thorley empire is one of the downfalls of thanet as they go hand in hand with tdc

  5. Are Wetherspoons not stumping up any cash? This is an absolutely brilliant event and I really cannot see why those in power can’t find the required funds to ensure that Ramsgate stays on the map in terms of great holiday destinations. Very disappointed 🙁

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