The ArtiGras festival brought two days of magic, music and fun to Park Mall. Visitors flocked in to see local bands and performers and shop from a number of local makers and artists.
The festival was officially opened by the Phoenix Primary and Herne Bay Primary Schools Samba Band led by Matt Miles.
Local musicians included Harry Hayes, Orfila, Bottles, Black Roses, Invicta Jazz Orchestra, Jim McDonald, Nathan J Walker, Rude Albert and of course Ashford Folk. There were amazing performances by the children and young people of TheatreTrain Ashford, Live2Dance and LCA Dance Academy, and The ArkWrights Appalachian cloggers.
Students from Ashford College and The North School made sculptures and art for the festival which was displayed at The Creative Collective and in Park Mall. One dragon made by Jay Amin of Wood N Ware watched over the proceedings.
The music stage backdrop was designed by volunteer and architecture student Milan Limbu and decorated and painted by a group of volunteers in the gallery.
Nathan J Walker on the Bandstand.
The Arkwrights performing the clog dancing we all love so much with guest James Dawkins on his double bass.
Black Roses performing in Park Mall Shopping Centre
A community canvas outside the gallery gave everyone the opportunity to contribute and paint the canvas which is now displayed at The Creative Collective.
The final band of the festival, Rude Albert entertained us until closing time.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Ashford Cllr. George Koowaree & Mrs. Gloria Champion dropped in unexpectly which was a wonderful surprise as the newly elected officials saw first hand the talent of local musicians and performers and spend time meeting stall holders, shop owners and visitors.
The festival ended with a Pinata, made by local young artist Emily Lomax, AKA ‘Weaselspit’ who works with Ashford Young Artists at The Creative Collective.
Our very own Thomas Sharrock spent most of his time going around with the bucket and raise over £150.
Our main sponsors The Auction House Bar raised money for future events selling beers and refreshments in a Bar Tent.
It was a wonderful event and everyone looked happy. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our festival and hope that more local bands, groups and performers will participate next year.
All photographs are by our young photography students Louise Hardy and Priyash Gurung and we are grateful to them for spending the whole day snapping photos. Some photos were also taken by Jim Ashby.
The festival was made possible by funding from KCC members Councillors Derek Smyth, Jim Wedgbury and Mike Angell and we are grateful for their generosity.
The theme for next year is ‘One Big Circus’. If you would like to get involved, please call us on 01233 421589 or email us email@example.com.