What's on: Unmissable events in Kent this July 2022

Jess Gillam

Jess Gillam comes to Deal - Credit: Jess Gillam

Your guide to the county's best events, compiled by Naomi Porter


Spirit of Tenterden

Spirit of Tenterden - Credit: Spirit of Tenterden

Family Fun
July 1-3
Taking place on the town's recreation ground, the Spirit of Tenterden Family Festival - a free community event -  is back, promising this year to be bigger and better than ever! Delights on offer include music from top local bands (or you can let rip yourself during the open mic session), a display of military vehicles, children's activities and even a dog show. With around 40 craft stalls, food and a selection of cider, ale and gins to enjoy too, you could easily spend a long, lazy summer afternoon here. spiritoftenterden.co.uk

Deal Music & Arts  
1-16 July

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, the Deal Music and Arts Festival is packing a punch this year, with big-name stars from the world of music including percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, The Academy of Ancient Music and saxophonist Jess Gillam, all appearing at venues throughout the town. There are walks and talks, an outreach programme that involves local schools, and drama too, with Walmer Castle providing a suitably atmospheric backdrop to Changeling Theatre's production of Shakespeare’s Othello. Tickets from £7 dealmusicandarts.com 

Ooo Betty! 
July 5-9

Joe Pasquale stars as Frank Spencer is Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

Joe Pasquale stars as Frank Spencer is Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury - Credit: Copyright © Scott Rylander 2018

Starring one-time Kent resident Joe Pasquale as the lovable, accident-prone Frank Spencer, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em promises hilarious mayhem in a stage adaptation based on the classic 1970's TV Show. The wonderful Susie Blake, for many of us immortalised as the fabulously passive-aggressive TV announcer in The Victoria Wood Show, stars as his disapproving mother-in-law, with Sarah Earnshaw as his long-suffering wife Betty. Expect a feel-good fun night out at the Marlowe Canterbury when the show arrives this month. Tickets from £15. marlowetheatre.com

Arts festival
JAM on the Marsh
July 7-17

JAM on the marsh 2021 concert season

Much to enjoy at JAM on the Marsh - Credit: Justin Sutcliffe

Making the most of the medieval churches and stunning landscape of Romney Marsh, highlights of this year's JAM on the Marsh festival include the London Mozart Players and virtuoso clarinettist Michael Collins performing the world premiere of Judith Bingham’s Clarinet Concerto, The London Tango Quintet bringing its Latin heat  to the Marsh for the first time, and a return visit for local heroes, Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra. Changeling Theatre offers its twist on Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and there are exhibitions featuring sculpture, photography and oils,  poetry recitals and a Romney Marsh Churches Mosaics Trail. Ticketed events: £20. jamconcert.org

Centre stage
July 6-9

Earth Wind &  Fire, James Blunt (he of the bone-dry twitter ripostes and the 20-million album sales), Rebecca Ferguson and The Human League will all be bringing their hit songs to Rochester Castle this month, for four nights of spectacular musical entertainment. For some of us, this could mean the perfect opportunity to re-live our youth, with the 12th-century castle reminding us that at least some buildings are older than we are...Tickets from £35 rochestercastleconcerts.com 

Food and song
Pub in the Park
July 8-10

Hosted by top chef Tom Kerridge,  the three-day event in Tunbridge Well's Dunorlan Park features food from award-winning The Kentish Hare, based in Bidborough, Will Devlin’s The Small Holding, which holds a green Michelin star, and popular Tunbridge Wells seafood bar Sankey’s. Music comes courtesy of Faithless, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and former Spice Girl,  Melanie C. Tickets from £52.95 adults, £37.98 children for an evening session  pubintheparkuk.com

Textiles and craft

Quilts at Lullingstone Castle

Quilts at Lullingstone Castle - Credit: Lullingstone Castle

Lullingstone Craft and Quilt Festival 
July 15-17

Lovely Lullingstone Castle& World Garden play host this month to some of the area's nimblest fingers, with southeast members of the national Quilter’s Guild showcasing over 100 of their intricate, beautiful quilts and patchwork. There will be over 40 artisan craft stalls to explore, plus demonstrations of quilting, spinning, lacemaking, weaving and embroidery for further inspiration, and ‘Make and Take’ workshops, enabling you to head home with what you've created. Tickets £12.50 adult, under 16s free (Guild Members: £7.50)


The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds at Godinton - Credit: The Pantaloons

Godinton Park Open-Air Drama
July 16 & 30

Enjoy a lively line-up of open-air theatre performances, featuring fun-filled, action-packed adventure. On July 16, expect "interplanetary warfare on an epic scale” courtesy of The Pantaloons' War of the Worlds  - grab a picnic for before the show, then buckle up and brace yourself for music, puppetry and deadly heat rays on stage - suitable for all ages. Head the future at the end of the month, when The Rude Mechanicals present Gods & Dogs, a comedy set in the world of 2084 that explores the timeless themes of love and marriage. Tickets £15, thepantaloons.co.uk;  £22 therudemechanicaltheatre.co.uk


Gentlemen of Few

Folk group Gentlemen of Few at Barham - Credit: Gentlemen of Few

Summer in Barham 2022
July 20-24

Canterbury Festival's Summer in Barham is a mini-festival of music, talks and walks that takes place in an idyllic village setting, just outside Canterbury. With music from the award-winning chamber group The Brook Street Band, folk heroes Gentleman of Few, as well as the KD Jazz and Dance Orchestra, there's also the opportunity to enjoy a talk on the life and times of diarist Samuel Pepys and walks exploring the rolling hills, orchards, woods and quirky architecture of Barham and nearby Kingston. Tickets from £11.50 canterburyfestival.co.uk

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The Four Ds

The Four Ds bring their smooth sound to Hever - Credit: The Four Ds

The Four Ds
July 31

With years of experience on London’s West End, close-harmony group (and good friends for years) The Four D’s have captivated audiences around the globe with their combination of slick choreography, immaculate presentation, complex harmony and  charisma. Now, they're coming to Hever with a summer evening of hits, from songs made famous by The Temptations and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons to favourites from musicals including Les Misérables and West Side Story. Tickets £30, heverfestival.co.uk