Ashford Folk Festival Returns!

The fabulous folk musicians of Ashford return for the 2nd annual folk music evening at Ashford Arts Centre on Thursday the 25th of May.

The event will take place  inside Ashford Community Theatre, an intimate venue for music and drama.  There is ample parking nearby, but the theatre is in the town centre, so you’ll have to walk a bit, but it will be worth it.  Entry is free.


Children’s Day On The High Street

Ashford Fringe Festival is thrilled to announce Children’s Day on the High Street on Saturday the 20th of May from 12 – 4.   These are the FREE and FABULOUS things you can enjoy this coming Saturday:

Face painting 12 till 4
Magic show 12.10 till 12.30
Story telling 12.35 till 12.55
Balloon modelling 1pm till 4pm
Mascots 1pm till 4pm

There will be story time at the County Square soft-play area. Groovy acoustic bands in cool little gazebos along the High Street, Park Mall and inside County Square! There will be face-painting, balloon artists, a fabulously fun mascot roaming around for photos and more!

It’s all free and good fun. Bring the kids! Jay’s will be serving up popcorn and slushies on the High Street near the mainstage, but if you’re in the mood for a sit-down meal, there are LOADS of places to eat in the town centre.  Grab your lunch and have a listen for a while. High Street Music Festival is very very child friendly. You’ll see.

Ashford Fringe Festival Is To Run All Summer

Ashford Fringe Festival will run throughout the summer of 2017 due to a generous grant which will enable fifty young people aged 11-17 to take a range of arts-based courses and workshops for the entire summer and then showcase the skills they’ve learned in an exciting array of exhibits and performances over the remainder of the year!

The grant received by the festival’s parent company KATFM, will make it possible local professionals in radio, film, television, art, music and drama to run short-term BootCamps which will launch Radio Club, Film and Production Club to a whole new level, some students will learn to paint background sets for live events whilst others will run the sound/lights and more.

Each year, Ashford Fringe Festival. the FIRST Fringe in Ashford, will run for 95 wonderful days, from the 1st of May to the 3rd of September. There will be quiet periods when local people are learning new skills the share with friends, family and supporters of the arts, followed by spontaneous pop-up shows and performances all over the town centre!

This is going to be a Can’t Miss Event for the High Street.

Viva La Fringe!


ChoirFest! Classical vs Rock and Pop

Ashford Fringe Festival is thrilled to announce Ben River will be performing at ChoirFest! Rock and Pop on Saturday the 27th of May.  Tickets are only £3.00 and you can get yours here.

Ben River, is a British singer, songwriter, poet, composer and music producer whose work includes music on the satirical BBC animated series Monkey Dust in 2003, remixes including Howard Marks and The Mystery School Ensemble in 2005, also most recently a collaboration with playwright, publisher and spoken word artist Lee Harris released on Genepool/Universal Music Group in 2009 the album Angel Headed Hip Hop.  (Ben’s Wikipedia page)

If you’re into classical music, come along to St. Mary’s Ashford town centre on Sunday the 28th of May, when Steven East shakes the rafters with his soaring bass/baritone voice.  Ashford Invicta Singers will perform a fantastic set of songs, there will be stringed instruments, a must-see piano solo from a French pianist who is temporary resident artist at Ashford Arts Centre, solos from local artists and more! The show runs from 1 – 4 and tickets are £3.00, you can buy yours here.

Steven East, as a wickedly authoritative
Don Alfonso is particularly impressive’

The Daily Express (Cosí Fan Tutte for King’s Head Theatre, 2016)

‘Steven East’s booming, authoritative Sarastro holds the promise of a very special career’

Opera Now (Die Zauberflöte for Brent Opera, 2013)

Japan Society Sponsors AFF2017! Event

Ashford Fringe Festival is thrilled to announce the Japan Society will be sponsoring an afternoon of Japanese Children’s Music and art.

AFF2017! is hosting an afternoon of Origami and Japanese Children’s music, sponsored by The Japan Society. This will be massive fun as you create your own piece of artwork designed to play along with the music as the band plays!


Early Bird Ticket information coming in January 2017.  All guests will be given special Japanese rice paper and  an accomplished artist will lead us through the process.  There will be musical games while the band plays and suddenly stops! This will be fun and informative.

Meanwhile… The High Street Music Festival is returning with the Folly Stage on the Lower High Street.

folly stage

ChoirFest is making its debut in 2017, with over a dozen choirs and other music groups taking the stage, there will even be an original work performed by a prominent line-up of operatic singers. AFF2017! will truly have something for everyone. Be sure to look out for the Ashford Fringe Festival Magazine for listings of free and ticketed events.


AFF2016! at Ashford Arts Centre

‘It looks an interesting and imaginative programme of activities, which will I am sure be enjoyed by all attendees. ‘  – Heidi Potter, CEO (Japan Society)

japan society

Origami and Music, will immerse AFF2017!guests in hands-on origami artmaking which can then be used as the band plays! You won’t want to miss this event, it’s definitely family-friendly and a ton of fun!

Appalachian Clogging and Dance Ashford

The Arkwrights hosted a free taster for people to try out Appalachian Clogging and Dance which is held at Ashford Arts Centre on the 1st Saturday of each month at 11AM.

For more details contact Lesley at 07872 442 602 or email

Roan Kearsey-Lawson To Speak Tonight

Ashford Arts Centre is proud to announce that successful Kent musician Roan Kearsey-Lawson will be speaking about his experience in earning a living through live gigs and royalties paid by PRS and PPL.

As Seen on BBC1TV he is a “Master vibesman…We Mean Supreme Vibrations”(Octave8 Club, London)

Andy Ellis, Sr Education and Outreach Manager, will be in the AAC representing PRS and Leo O’Brien will be here on behalf of PPL.


There will be live music followed by a discussion on each song we hear as to who owns what and how music credits work, how musicians are actually paid and when. This will be a must-attend event for anyone in a band, gigging and/or recording music.


You can actually be paid for performing your own songs, even for unpaid gigs. If you’re a musician, then you need to understand this stuff. Doors open at 7:00 and the event is free.

Ashford Arts Centre, 5 – 7 Park Street, Ashford TN24 8LR.


Fringe Week Begins!

There were a few technical glitches, but after a slightly spluttery start, the Fringe began to find its stride.DSC02016

We had a fantastic team of Leonie and Stu,  face-painting, magic balloon artists working the stream of passers-by.  Our own Ritchie was DJ on the band stand playing his old school favourites.  There was a rush to get faces painted and balloons made in the late afternoon and we decided to have these wonderful people come back and start about 1:30 in the afternoon on the 4th and 5th of June.

The sun shone down on us all day. There was a general air of happiness and contentment. We were small but mighty and Ashford Arts Centre now has two more members joining our language and music clubs. This is about making a non-profit and self-funded arts project just a bit steadier on its financial legs and we’re doing it!

Thank you for supporting our effort to safeguard and nurture the Creative and Performing Arts in Ashford town centre.

On Sunday the 29th, we’re having Sunday Sessions. There will be some truly outstanding performances and its free. Be sure to come round and catch the show if you can.


Comedy Night at Ashford Arts Centre

Comedy night at Ashford Arts Centre kicked off Ashford Fringe Festival with up and coming Comics of Kent! There were laughs and a warm, good-humoured evening. If you missed it, be sure to catch the next one. We’re aiming for the last weekend of each month. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay in the know.DSC02051 DSC02053 DSC02055 DSC02056 DSC02062 DSC02061

PPL Sends A Messenger To Kent Musicians

Ashford Fringe Festival presents a special evening for working musicians. hosted by Ashford Arts Centre. Leo O’Brien is from PPL, the collective management organisation who collects and distributes money on behalf of performers and record companies for the use of their recorded music in broadcast and public performance.


Leo has been with PPL for almost 4 years and is one of the Performer Development Specialists that make up the Development team. Being part of PPL’s Performer Development team, Leo works with emerging artists/bands/labels to ensure they are registered and their rights are being managed correctly thus maximising their neighbouring rights income.

The event is to be held on Thursday 2 June 2016 at 7:00pm.