Everything you need to know about the Margate Rhythm & Rock 2019 Festival

Wilko Johnson will be just one of the headliners

Margate Rhythm & Rock 2019 comes to Margate this September as a spectacular new addition to the festival landscape.

Taking place on September 6-8 at the Margate Winter Gardens, the festival will assemble an expertly curated line up of legendary Rock and Blues artists.

Book-ending the summer festival season, classic rock aficionados are invited to enjoy a panoply of performances from headliners including Wilko Johnson, Lindisfarne and Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel.

More top notch acts include Focus, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band, The Blockheads and more.

The programme

Friday, September 6, doors open at 5pm, music from 6pm

Stage 1 headline set from Newcastle Folk-Rock royalty Lindisfarne. Mainstays of the folk scene for over 50 years and counting, the outfit have stolen the hearts of audiences the world over with their knack for spellbinding songwriting and untouchable harmonies.

Reacquaint yourself with the riches of best-selling albums including ‘Nicely Out of Tune’, ‘Fog On The Tyne’, ‘Dingly Dell’, ‘Back And Fourth’ and their myriad wonders at this stately opening to the festival.


Also on Stage 1 The Men They Couldn’t Hang with riotous folk-punk shenanigans. Actor, presenter and all-round punk rock polymath Edward Tudor-Pole (once of Stiff Records’ stalwarts Tenpole Tudor) will be sharing some of his idiosyncratic genius; plus, with a uniquely scattergun approach to musical stylings that sees them incorporate folk, blues, gypsy jazz, reggae, bluegrass and punk sounds with thrilling ingenuity and fronted by the ‘Godfather of Grunge Folk’ Wild Willy Barrett’s Roaring Touring will be bringing their irrepressible sense of fun to the mainstage.

On Stage 2, Rodney Slater’s Parrots play the music of Vivian Stanshall and the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Fronted by Bonzo founder Lord Rodney Slater with mighty backing band The Parrots  featuring Sir Michael Livesley, The Rutles’ Barry Wom aka  John ‘The Admiral’ Halsey,  Lady Susie Honeyman of The Mekons, Uncle Bill Leach, John ‘no jokes please’ Lewis from the Sir Henry show, and Malcolm ‘Iron Man’ Sked.

Getting the crowd suitably fired-up will be local Kent collective Screaming Alley Cabaret.

Saturday, September 7, doors open at noon, music from 1pm

Headliner Wilko Johnson, with the accompaniment of his band, will bring a tirade of fret mastery as the founding guitarist of pioneering proto-punks and R’n’B mavericks Dr Feelgood.

Yodelling Dutch megastars Focus will be hoping to ensnare the crowd with a little of their ‘Hocus Pocus’, and London-based Prog Rock Curved Air will be looking to blow the crowds away with 1971 hit ‘Back Street Luv’ plus highlights from their baroque-infused catalogue.

Here & Now will also be on the bill.

Setting the scene with something a little more soulful, the recently reactivated Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band will be taking stage for a set of their Sixties sounds on Stage 1. On Stage 2 Desmond Dekker’s faithful band The Aces will be playing unstoppable ska, reggae and rocksteady stunners including “Israelites” and “You Can Get It If You Really Want”, with vocals provided by Dekker’s long-time friend and manager Delroy Williams.

Hard Rock heads can fill their boots as 70s stalwarts Stray bring five decades of experienced riffage to the party on Stage 1. Blues aficionados can rejoice at the appearance of George Shovlin and the Radars on stage 2.

There will also be “The Sound Of The Suburbs”, with The Members and a selection of the freshest new names on the modern rock scene including Pearl Handled Revolver with tracks from their new album ‘Fantasy Reigns’ due out in July.

Comprising members of R’n’B acts the Pirates and The Mustangs, The Milk Men will rattle through a raucous set of classic blues renditions and their own foot-stomping originals.

Longstanding supporters of the blues scene across London and Kent will remember Rebel, who reformed as The Sharpeez.

Sunday, September 8, doors open at noon, music from 1pm

Closing the Margate Rhythm & Rock weekender will be Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel. From their glam rock roots to hitting their stride and setting the blueprint for 70s swagger, the influence of Harley and Co are very much definitive of a Golden era for British Music.

The Blockheads will be supplying sublime chief support on the Stage 1 soundtracking the oblique and poetic lyrics of the late, great Ian Dury and a counter attack of their signature punk-funk.
Stage 1 will also feature the John Otway Big Band, Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack and the Danny Giles Band.

Steve Harley

On the second stage, Nashville’s Skinny Molly will be topping the bill with a set of Southern Rock and shred-worthy solos. Also performing is Man, from Wales, Captain Accident & The Disasters, The Radi8ors and Hardwicke Circus.

DJ Wendy May will play sets all weekend.

 Camping offer

The festival  offers a discounted camping option for weekend ticket-holders at Manston Court Holiday Park. Camping space for up to 3 ticket-holders and 1 vehicle, with electrical hook-up for £75 or without electric £66. Prices apply to tents, campervans and caravans. To book camping or to get more details: Click Here

Food, drink and stalls

Striving to provide stalls with real heart, the festival will be sourcing plenty of real ales and ciders, oodles of great food, festival traders, and plenty of fun stuff from the local area for you to share and enjoy alongside the music experience.


Early Bird Adult Weekend Ticket  £89 – Only available until June 30, then £95.00

Young Person Weekend Ticket  £50 (under 18)

Day Ticket (Friday)  £35  – all ages

Day Ticket (Saturday)  £45 – all ages

Day Ticket (Sunday) £45 – all ages

Buy tickets here or Margate Winter Gardens by calling 01843 292795 or click here

Find more at the Margate Rock website here


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