Filming, new rides, more gig announcements and a ‘miniature park’ for Dreamland in 2023

New rides and old favourites at Dreamland Photo Frank Leppard

An exciting film project, diverse gig line up and a pledge for continued free park entry in the plans for Dreamland Margate this year.

Dreamland CEO Eddie Kemsley said there are several filming requests in the pipeline with a “really exciting” filming project due to take place at the end of this month – although details are currently being kept under wraps.

Photo Frank Leppard

Eddie said: “Everything seems to be culminating with the last 12 months for Margate, filming of Empire of Light and the Lily Allen series coming out, it feels like Margate has a lot of coverage and people are coming here from further afield.

“There will definitely be more filming, what people are getting now is that Margate is such a diverse town to film different things.

“We have a few things in the pipeline and a really exciting thing filming at the end of the month.”

With Dreamland recently being granted a new premises licence allowing a doubling of outdoor events and extension to eight indoor events per year from a 2am closing to 4am, the gig list is looking busy this summer with 10 headline acts still to be announced.

New acts recently announced include Placebo, The Streets, Rag n Bone Man, The Cuban Brothers featuring DJ Yoda, and Ocean Colour Scene.

James and Eddie

James Penfold, Head of Live Entertainment, said: “Welcoming the high calibre of acts such as Tom Jones, Placebo and The Streets is a massive step up for Dreamland and something everyone that works here and in the local community is really excited about.

“Last year we held 14 shows on our outdoor, 6000+ capacity Scenic Stage and we are on course to get very close to doubling it in 2023, I think this really shows the progression and the fact that some of the biggest artists in the world are now looking at Dreamland as a ‘stop’ on the summer open air show circuit.”

Photo Frank Leppard

James said there will be events that help showcase new and emerging artists as well as revealing acts are already confirming dates to return to the park in 2024, with the chance to perform in a theme park one of the main draws.

He said: “It is lovely that a lot of artists want to come back. There are still 10 shows to announce for this year, so there is lots more to come, and it will be a range of genres, putting on something for everyone and of every age group.”

Photo Frank Leppard

Eddie added: “With news about the live music scene experiencing an existential threat after Covid and from years of neglect, it is simply wonderful to announce that here at Dreamland we are heading in the opposite direction and going from strength to strength.”

Over the winter the park has undergone renovations and new additions this year include the family coaster, Mirror Maze and Margate Train running alongside the Scenic Railway and the Big Wheel.

Photo Frank Leppard

The rides also opened last weekend and Eddie says she was determined to keep free entry with rides paid for by token.

She added: “Times are tough and the cost of living crisis was one reason why I was determined it would remain free entry. It is really important that people can choose to come and either use a little bit of the park for an hour or stay here for the whole day.”

Additional events will take place throughout the season with musical theatre, dance classes and Margate Pride and Margate Soul Festival.

The retro roller disco, arcade and amusements plus food and drink, pop up activations, art installations and free outdoor screenings on the Scenic stage are also open.

The park is also providing permanent office, workshop and exhibition space for charitable organisations such as People Dem Collective and Resort Studios and working  with charities such as Kent Association for the Blind, Oasis, Margate Women’s Institute, The BeYou Project, Porchlight, UK Creative Festival, Creative Foundation, Arts Education Exchange and RISE UP. CLEAN UP.

Photo Frank Leppard

The Dreamland Heritage Trust also has a unit in the main entrance area with an exhibition which includes a miniature version of Dreamland past created by former Margate mayor and heritage park enthusiast Mick Tomlinson – aka Mick Tee in his DJ-ing days.

Sadly, Screamland will not be making a return this year although talks are underway to bring the Halloween event back for 2024.

Preparations for the 124 bed hotel on Margate seafront, approved by Thanet council in 2019, may resume this year.

Margate Estates Dreamland hotel image

The six storey hotel is planned to contain a gymnasium, meeting rooms, a shop or café with frontage onto Marine Terrace, a restaurant and bar at the ground floor and a rooftop bar.

The project was brought forward by Margate Estates, the parent company for Dreamland, but stalled when the covid pandemic hit. This was then followed by the cost of living crisis and hikes in the cost of building and materials.

Eddie said: “We are starting to look at it again. The cost of building and materials is going up but we are looking into it.”

Family fun

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang – Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th April

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang heads to Dreamland this Easter holidays. From Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th April (with matinee performances available on Saturday and Sunday), ticket holders will be delighted by this amateur production featuring Chitty herself on stage!

These are seated performances, with tickets selling fast so grab yours here:

Easter Sunday – Sunday 9th April

Have an eggcellent day out this Easter Sunday at Dreamland and take part in a free egg hunt. There’s lots of eggs hidden around the park for guests to find and one very special golden egg. Find the golden egg and hand it in to win a Dreamland Day Out for up to six people!

But it’s not just eggs for Easter Sunday, guests can enjoy rides and amusements, delicious street food and a free family film screening too. Check opening times:

Dreamland Dog Day – Sunday 30th April

Paws Up, who wants to bring their pooch for a fun filled event at Dreamland

On Sunday 30th April, the last day of the season where canines can cavort on Margate sands, folks with four-legged friends can bring their pups on park and take part in competitions, enjoy some tasty treats, or just show their best friends the delights of Dreamland as part of their day out in Margate.

Dreamland is free to enter, and dogs must be kept on leads at all times, with paws on the floor!

Coronation Celebrations – Saturday 6th May

Come and celebrate the King’s coronation at Dreamland on Saturday 6th May for a royally fun time! Ride our crowning glories, the Scenic Railway, and the Big Wheel, before tucking into majestically themed specials from our street food traders, fit for a king, or queen. At midday, relax in the food court to take in a free screening of a family film and pop by our arts and crafts stall to make your very own crown too. Free to enter, gates open at 10.30am with rides, amusements, and roller disco from 11.00am – 6pm.

Jerusalema Dance Off – Monday 8th May

Grab your dancing shoes and join the Dream Team for an epic Jerusalema dance fest! Free to enter and take part, you’ll learn the moves from the awesome team at East Coast Entertains, before taking part in an unofficial attempt to break a world record. Just sign up to let us know if you’re coming along – the more the merrier!

Salsa Dance Classes Ballroom

Every Tuesday at 7pm, until 30 May

Afro-Latino classes including Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba and more for all levels with local social dance company East Coast Entertains.

For details of what’s going on at Dreamland, opening times and more information please visit


  1. Whilst this is all very promising , one can only wonder if it is the death nail for the Winter Gardens ?
    I can’t help but feel that TDC have put all of their eggs in the Dreamland basket leaving WG to a very uncertain future .

  2. In a few years Dreamland will not have many rides ,and will be a live music centre only ,all done via a back door ,I bet people living nearby,going to love ,the extra dates,why don’t dreamland build a bigger enough hall to house live entertainment,bet they would get the money from TDC,as TDC will automatically be closing Winter Gardens and Theatre Royal down permanently ,shame on TDC

  3. 4 years on and still excuses as to why no work has started on the hotel. Think off shore hedge fund and there is your answer .The grade 2* listed cinema is still derelict and the exterior covered in more graffiti as if this is a badge of honour for Dreamland and Margate to be proud. Think hedge fund there’s your explanation .Virtually no vintage rides remaining and lot of hyperbole about a few second rate replacement rides. Think hedge fund
    Whilst the music and concerts will be a great draw for those attending, those who live in the vicinity and have done for years are about to have their summer totally ruined by noise late into the night throughout the whole summer. Think hedge fund and easy money.

    • Clearly holding out for the best price from potential developers or operators.

      The same applies with the 60 bed hotel on the Arlington site for which consent was granted a decade ago.

      Furthermore, a plot with planning consent carries a far higher ”book value” – so as you quite rightly point out, it is all about investments and returns in the longer term.

  4. I look forward to reading all about this on the fly posters dreamland put everywhere. Making thanet look untidy.

  5. It’s the typical dullard attitude.. “thing isn’t specifically for me, so shouldn’t exist”.
    And then whine that thing isn’t good enough or whatever. It’s insufferable.. you all may hate fun but that’s your problem more than the rest of us!

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