Packed Summer programme for The Oval Bandstand and Lawns

Outdoor cinema at The Oval Lawns Photo John Horton

A packed Summer programme has been announced for The Oval Bandstand in Cliftonville.

The venue, which is run by not-for-profit GRASS Cliftonville CIC,  will host music and family events, the night market returns and live wrestling shows will take place for the first time in 40 years.

GRASS is receiving funding of £500,000  from the Margate Town Deal to develop  The Oval Bandstand & Lawns to create a facility for 365 days of the year. The CIC took over the site through an asset transfer from Thanet council in 2021.

The massive Summer programme for this year includes 20 free-to-enter Summer Sundays concerts, 12  Cliftonville Night Markets, four outdoor cinema events, two outdoor theatre shows, live wrestling, Margate Pride, the Cliftonville Games and Margate’s first Mermaid Festival.

The night markets include street food, music, vintage, arts and crafts, and artisan goods. There is also live music. The markets are free entry.

The outdoor cinema screenings will be Erin Brockovich (May 12), Beetlejuice (June 9), Jaws (July 14) and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (August 11).

Clifonville Dog Show will be held on May 8, Mergate – the Margate Mermaid Festival is on June 3, the Cliftonville Games take place on August 26 and the Harvest Festival is on September 23.

Find all the events and book tickets at


  1. Outdoor cinema, live wrestling and a dog show!

    Night markets, artisan goods and arts….

    Plus the fantastic pride festival….

    Superb stuff.

    With the amazing events dreamland is serving up over the summer, Thanet really (and especially Margate) is going in the right direction.

    • Totally agree Peter.
      All the concerts that were held there before over 20 years were all FREE, mostly funded by the group that put them on.
      Why didn’t the Winter Gardens get the half a million pounds that the Margate Tuwn Deal awarded them, that is without all the other grants and crowd funding they have received.
      TDC handed them public land, in effect also a profitable business.
      The council should be ashamed of their actions and their treatment to the previous group who were there for 25 years.

    • Why should anybody MOVE for stating facts.
      I have googled this group, who have had many grants and crowd funding before the £500,000 they have been allocated.
      The bandstand is only 16 years old and the kiosk not much older.
      The funding for both of these buildings was accessed by the previous group, who also still run the farmers market
      The people who have moved to this area in the last 5 years would not be aware of this.
      All concerts that they held were free, 16 each summer.
      I attended and enjoyed them.
      Like everything they did and still do with the market, self funded.
      For you ‘Not Impressed’
      can’t even put your real name, to say MOVE is unbelievable!
      With that sort of public money, to be spent on what was ‘public land’ just about sums up TDC.
      The Winter Gardens should have been allocated this enormous sum of money.
      I see on another thread that you are all for the licence at Dreamland being extended to 4 a.m
      You should MOVE.

      • I love Thanet.

        I don’t need to move.

        I’m just using the same logic people shout at me on here when I use facts to explain why the airport will fail.

        Same people hate the idea of outdoor music coz it’s loud.

        Oh the irony.

        • And lots of local people and holidaymakers, enjoyed shows and events at the
          Winter Gardens.
          Most seaside towns have venues like this.
          Somewhere you can visit all through the year because it is inside.
          Most people also enjoy outdoor music events.
          Not usually late at night in a built up area.

          • I remember the halcyon days in the 1970’s when Margate was a busy holiday resort and when we had top tv wrestlers like Mick McManus , Les Kellett , Kendo Nagasaki and Jackie Pallo taking part each week in bouts at the Oval bandstand .

    • Opinions mate… Opinions.. Yours isnt your comment is have a pop and type hate message.. Move out. Is that your best move…

  2. If you love GRASS so much and feel that strongly about them, why don’t you use your real name and not a stupid one?
    Give your support by letting them know who you really are.

  3. I notice this group are called GRASS Cliftonville CIC, with Directors.
    I have googled and read that Directors of a CIC can be paid a salary.
    Does anybody know if these directors are paid?
    I suppose with such a large sum of public money and grants they have received, it should all be in the public domain, with access to the spending of these vast sums, by such a small group.

  4. Oh Jack you clearly have no idea of how charities or CIC work. So you think the ceo of Pilgrims hospice and cancer research works for free? Do you think the CEO of SEK work for free? These are all professional people with relevant qualifications and expertise that work there for a living. What you are suggesting that people don’t get a honest wage for employment is disgusting like all said mentioned organisations they have volunteers that assist. I just hope other unregistered community groups pay there taxes and NI cause we deserve a funded NHS.

  5. What on earth are you spouting on about?
    As a residents group of volunteers, I would think they were all unpaid as in most constituted residents groups I know of.
    Once again sonebody makibg unkind and unfounded comments hiding behind a pseudonym.
    I hardly think you can equate GRASS with Pilgrims Hospice or Cancer research.
    Why would a constituted residents group with volunteers who are unpaid, pay taxes or N.Insurance and for goodness sake what has any of this got anything to do with the NHS.
    Are you for real?

  6. Have just come across this article and comments.
    Better Pay for All,
    You clearly have no idea about community residents association groups.
    They do not have to be registered but have to be constituted. As they would all be unpaid volunteer groups, they would not have to pay tax or N.I
    This is different to a
    I also agree with Jack Green, how ridiculous to compare this group with
    It is laughable!
    Why on earth bring the
    NHS into your comment.
    It has nothing to do with this article.

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