Ramsgate Festival of Sound 2023: Music, regeneration workshops, children’s fun, installations and more

Busk at Dusk Photo Frank Leppard

Ramsgate Festival of Sound is almost here with performances and installations from 23rd – 28th August.

From internationally renowned artists to grassroots acts, theatrical spectaculars to captivating art work, there will be something for everyone.

As part of the festival  Arts in Ramsgate and Louis Palfrey will be hosting workshops looking at what regeneration means for Ramsgate.

Ramsgate Reconnects will comprise of free workshops on Friday 25th August, 1pm-4pm and Bank Holiday Monday 28th August, 1pm-4pm.

The workshops ask if people are excited because more shops might open on the high street or whether they are worried rent might go up, making it more difficult  to live in the town.

Ramsgate Reconnects is a chance to find out what’s Thanet council’s plans are for ‘Ramsgate Future’ but is an independent event which will create a tactile sonic map, thinking through the impact of change and connection.

The map will be created with the help of composer, sonic artist and neurodivergent advocate Louis Palfrey. The temporary installation will use electrically conductive paint – which consists of a conductive pigment such as silver, copper, nickel, or various forms of carbon.

Drop in on the day or email: office@artsinramsgate.org.uk

In Ellington Park, an eclectic mix of exciting free events will take place throughout the day on Saturday 26th August with a children’s extravaganza, combining fun mix of live acts, workshops and DJs for all ages. Part of the fun will be with Baby Sensory Thanet and Toddler Sense Thanet providing activities for babies and young children from 11am-12.30pm.

Baby Sensory

Baby Sensory provides ideas for creative play, massage, tummy time, movement, visual development, textures, scents and music in simple practical ways.

At Ellington Park in the afternoon, expect show tunes galore from Hear the People Sing, featuring performances of renowned West End musical numbers by Stage Door Academy and hosted by Katie McGarry, plus Gaddzukes and Thanet Vocal Collective.

In the evening a much-anticipated performance – Screaming Alley Cabaret presents: La Isla Thaneta, featuring MC Jonny Woo – a raucous tribute to the undisputed queen of pop, Madonna.

Photo by Omar Cruz

Music headliner for the festival is Grammy Award-winning artist Aoife O’Donovan, who will be appearing at St George’s church on Thursday 24th August for a special solo performance. Tickets for the show are on sale now.

Dead Music, a new sonic installation by the critically acclaimed BAFTA-nominated composer Simon Boswell, will feature previously unheard compositions from his archive of scores brought to life from inside coffins. The event forms part of the Festival’s Sonic Trail, running from 23rd – 28th August and taking place in the Crypt of St George’s Church in Church Hill.

Busk at Dusk Photo Frank Leppard

Busk at Dusk is also back from 4pm-10pm on August 27 with a feast of live music from the best up and coming and established artists in the area. Set along Ramsgate’s East Cliff, each act will treat audiences to live performances as the sun sets over the festival. Get set for rock’n’roll trio Guitars Have Ghosts, plus Dolly & Clyde, Daisy Beau, Steve Gamble, Ukulele outfit Gaddzukes and Luke J Dorman.

The full line up so far…

Wednesday 23rd August

St George’s, Church Hill – Simon Boswell’s Dead Music (private view). A unique ticked event forming part of the Festival’s Sonic Trail and running 23rd – 28th August. Dead Music is a jaw-dropping new sonic installation by the critically acclaimed composer Simon Boswell. This really must be seen and heard to be believed.

Thursday 24th August

Headline performance: Aoife O’Donovan, St George’s, Church Hill, plus support from Claire Hamill and Dolly & Clyde.

Sonic Trail: St George’s, Church Hill – Simon Boswell’s Dead Music (ticketed event)

Various locations – the series of free events will this year feature Marianne Dissard, Jemma Cullen, Tom Adams and Sadie Hennessy plus more to be announced, all taking place on Ramsgate High Street

Friday 25th August

Banned Live! Chatham School Hall

This ticketed event will host Sabina Desir and band, featuring guest soloists plus opening performance from vocalist and composer Randolph Matthews. Ticketed – Doors 6.30pm

Saturday 26th August

Ellington Park bandstand: an eclectic mix of free events throughout the day

Morning: Kids extravaganza, combining fun mix of live acts and DJs for all ages, plus Taiko Drumming – a special drumming workshop hosted by Taiko Dunlopo

Afternoon: Hear the People Sing, featuring Stage Door Academy performers and hosted by Katie McGarry, plus Gaddzukes and Thanet Vocal Collective.

Evening: Screaming Alley Cabaret presents: La Isla Thaneta, featuring MC Jonny Woo. A raucous tribute to the undisputed queen of pop, Madonna.

Sunday 27th August

Talk: Caroline Knowles at Hold Creative Spaces, Albert Street from midday

Accompanying Marianne Dissard’s sonic trail installation, author and professor of sociology at Goldsmiths University, Caroline Knowles discusses the wealth divide and her book Serious Money.

Talk: Known as ‘The People’s Lawyer’ and ‘The People’s Poet ‘, David Neita will give a talk connected to the themes of place, belonging and identity. 2.30 – 3.30 pm The Kings Suite, The Royal Oak Hotel

Produced by Freedom Road Project, The Ramsgate Society and Ramsgate Festival of Sound

Ramsgate Festival of Sound Main Stage and Busk at Dusk

Main Stage: Pie Factory Presents – 4:15pm – 4:45pm

Main Stage: Thomas Abrahams – 5:10pm – 5:50pm

Busk at Dusk performances from rock’n’roll trio Guitars Have Ghosts, plus Steve Gamble, Taiko Drums, Gaddzukes, Luke J Dorman and more from 6pm.

Dead Music: 8pm

Following its installation in the Crypt at St George’s, Simon Boswell’s Dead Music will resurrect on the East Cliff ahead of the Busk at Dusk headline act.

Headliner act: The Future Psychedelics 8:40pm

A 13-piece all-star band featuring some of the area’s most established and notable performers will take to the main stage to end the evening.

Monday 28th August

Final chance to see performances and installations of the Sonic Trail

Poetry event with Sarah Tait (venue tbc)

Reflexions: Reframed is a ticketed, guided improv performance with visuals featuring Mike McEvoy, Ivan ‘Celloman’ Hussey and Mark Sanders 5-6pm (venue tbc)

The Falstaff, Addington street – Festival closing party

Tickets for all events are available now from ramsgatefestival.org