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broadstairs-jen Sweeps Festival 2010 - Rochester, Kent (165* d) RE: Sweeps Festival 2010 - Rochester, Kent 13 Mar 10


Here is the official but draft program...

Rochester Sweeps Festival 2010

The History

Imagine a world 400 years ago where children were used as chimney sweeps. There was little pay, it was a dirty trade and there was little reward for the men who did the job and even less for children.

Medway's annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday. It was the one time of year that the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. The Sweeps holiday was traditionally held on 1 May. Locally, they used to mark the occasion by staging a procession through the streets of Rochester.

Their fun continued with the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony. Jack was a seven-foot character who they used to awaken at dawn on Bluebell Hill, Chatham. Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade. In 1868 the Climbing Boys' Act made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, so the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.

Local businessman Gordon Newton, a keen historian, revived the festival in 1981. He decided it was time to bring it back and over the years he has helped develop the festival into what it is today an extravaganza of traditional Britain.

Gordon researched the sweeps tradition and organised a parade, involving local Morris teams. Today he is festival producer and plays melodeon for several Morris teams. Meanwhile Doug Hudson is the festival's music director, a role he has held for many years. Doug is well known on the local and national folk scene.

He was involved in a folk club at Medway Little Theatre in the 1970's and now arranges a programme for Medway Folk Cellar and Folk at the Brook, two local clubs. He is also lead singer with the Hot Rats. Through Gordon's vision and hard work, Doug's musical ability and Medway Council's assistance with organisation, Rochester's Sweeps Festival is in its 30th year and is the largest May Day celebration of its kind in the country.


Festival Highlights

Festival Concerts
Rochester Castle Gardens
Concert Marquee

================

Friday 30 April

8pm Medway Rocks

Lupen Crook, The Lovedays, The Flowing

Some of Medway's leading music makers take the stage in a special concert celebrating the diverse and innovative local music scene.

Tickets 6 see box office for booking details

================

Saturday 1 May

8pm Bellowhead
Wild, joyous, perverse, bold, crazed, full-blooded, intricate, fearless, funny, epic and mostly BIG. The mighty 11-piece Bellowhead are quite possibly, the best thing to have happened to English music for a very long time.
Blending folk, jazz, classical, rock, disco and world music influences with English Music Hall and cabaret, they are Kurt Weill, Arcade Fire, Lotte Lenya and Tom Waits, all rolled into one.
Between them, the 11 musicians play more than 20 instruments and six of them sing. The horn section includes a helicon, reeds and a bass clarinet. There's a frying pan amidst the percussion, and a cello in the strings. Add to that melodeon, fiddle and vocals and you have a heady brew that defies categorization.
Voted 'Best Live Act of the Year' at this year's BBC Folk Awards.
LUPEN CROOK will open.

Tickets 20 see box office for booking details

================

Sunday 2 May

7.30pm Cara Dillon
Cara Dillon has a rare talent that you only come across a handful times in your whole life. Her staggeringly beautiful voice has the ability to reach inside the soul of a song and imbue material with not only profound sweetness but also poignancy and depth.
Her album 'Hill of Thieves' was voted 'Best Album' at this year's BBC Folk Awards. Harmony group HEX will provide the support.

Tickets 18 see box office for booking details

================

Monday 3 May

12.30pm The Dealers in Concert

The Dealers won the first ever Folk Factor four years ago and developed into one of the best acoustic/roots folk duos in England. Pierre is now joined by Gemma and Martin Gayner to add violin, percussion and vocals to the original songs.

Free of charge

================

Sweeps Festival Special
Fort Pitt Grammar School, Rochester

Saturday 1 May

8pm 11pm
Festival Special Ceremony of May (followed by Sweeps Ball) NEW
Tickets 6


Box Office

Tickets can be purchased in advance from Medway Visitor Information Centre, 95 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1LX. Telephone 01634 843666.

================

Programme of Activities

Friday 30 April

(pre festival entertainment)

8pm
Concert Marquee Lupen Crook, The Lovedays, The Flowing NEW

8.45pm 11pm
Jolly Knight A pre festival music session
Prince of Wales, Strood Sur Les Docks
Good Intent Singaround session with John Barden
Gordon Hotel A pre festival music session
Coopers Arms A pre festival playalong with P.J. NEW

================

Throughout the Festival

High Street Morris Sides from around the Country will perform throughout the day
Corn Exchange - Princes Hall Traditional Musical Instrument Fair
Rochester Castle Gardens Children's traditional fun fair, real ale tent, stalls, Dutch traditional herring smoking by Rene Godlivet, acoustic tent and festival concert marquee. NEW

================

St. Margaret's Church, St. Margaret's Street, Rochester
Saturday 1 May 10am 5pm
Sunday 2 May 1pm 5pm
The church will be open between the above times to visitors who wish to come and look round. Light refreshments will be available as well as a display of photographs of local interest.

================

Saturday 1 May

5.32am (Dawn) Bluebell Hill Picnic Area
Jack-in-the-Green Awakening Ceremony
Dance teams and sweeps bring Jack to life at the crack of Dawn. Everybody is invited to this traditional welcome of May Day.

10.45am Guildhall Museum Forecourt High Street
The Mayor of Medway will officially open the festival, which will be followed by a dance showcase.

City Wall Wine Bar, Stage
11.30am 5pm
Music hosted by Pigs Ear accompanied by guests, Mike Nicholson, Valenciennes, Suntrap, Missouri Gutts

11am 6pm
Corn Exchange (bar) Singaround session with Bob & Kathy Drage and Mark Lawson (Mike Nicholson 4.30-5pm)

Castle Gardens Concert Marquee
11am-12 noon
SUR LES DOCKS (FRENCH FOLK/ROCK)
Free of charge

12.30 - 2.30pm
The Crown Inn Happy Trails
The Eagle Tavern Junk & Disorderly
Gordon House Hotel Suntrap
Two Brewers The Dealers
Prince of Wales, Strood Phoenix
Expectations The Chimney Boys
Kings Head Atlantic Currants
Good Intent Singaround with Ruff N'Reddy


Boley Hill Dance Stage
1 5pm - McManigan Academy of Irish Dancers, Morena Slovakian Dancers, Fabulous Fezheads, Motley, English Miscellany, Jack in the Green, Chinese Dragon Dancers NEW

1 - 3pm: Ye Arrow Ian Petrie Band
2 4pm: Man of Kent Alehouse Heretique

Acoustic Tent, Castle Gardens
1 5pm Hosted by Lee Charles, guest artists and open spots available NEW


2.15pm Outside Medway Visitor Information Centre
Guided walking tour of Rochester led by the City of Rochester Society. The tour will last for approx. 90 minutes. Free of charge although donations to the society are very welcome.


3 5pm

Coopers Arms Chris Taylor (Irish Music Session) NEW
Gordon House Hotel McManigan Academy of Irish Dancers (till 3.30pm)

3pm 6pm
Expectations Roy Golding

4pm 6pm
The Crown Inn The Chimney Boys
Eagle Tavern Moveable Feast
Ye Arrow Atlantic Currants
King's Head Perfect Strangers
Gordon House Hotel Tanglefoot Appalachian (till 5.30pm)


6pm 8pm
Expectations The Bounty Hounds


8.45pm 11pm
Gordon House Hotel Calico Street Riots and Moveable Feast
Heretique Acoustic (11.30-12.30am)
Man of Kent Alehouse Sur Les Docks
Prince of Wales, Strood Happy Trails
Good Intent Singaround with John Barden (Guest Mike Nicholson)
Two Brewers Phoenix
Coopers Arms Playalong session with P.J. NEW

================

Sunday 2 May

11.30am 5pm
City Wall Wine Bar, Stage
Music hosted by Pigs Ear accompanied by guests Janette Geri, Valenciennes, Luke Jackson

11am 6pm
Corn Exchange (bar) Singaround session with Bob & Kathy Drage plus Mark Lawson

Castle Gardens Concert Marquee
12.30-1.30pm: The Fabulous Fezheads

12.30pm 2.30pm
The Crown Inn Luke Dorman & The Dark Horses
The Eagle Tavern Sur Les Docks
Gordon House Hotel Morena
Two Brewers Skinners Rats
Prince of Wales, Strood The Biggin Hillbillies
Expectations Green Diesel
Kings Head Jumbo Gumbo
Good Intent Singaround with John Barden


1pm 5pm
Boley Hill Dance Stage The Singing Loins, English Miscellany, Gutersloh, Morena Slovakian Dancers, The Hot Rats NEW

Acoustic Tent, Castle Gardens
1 5pm Hosted by Lee Charles, guest artists and open spots available NEW

1pm 3pm
Ye Arrow Open Harp Surgery

2pm 4pm
Man of Kent Alehouse Kay Hurdley & Alex Percy

2.15pm Outside Medway Visitor Information Centre
Guided walking tour of Rochester led by the City of Rochester Society. The tour will last for approx. 90minutes. Free of charge although donations to the society are very welcome.

Castle Gardens Concert Marquee
2.45 4.15pm Concert with Wheeler Street (free of charge))

3pm 5pm
Coopers Arms Irish Music Session with Chris Taylor         NEW

3 7pm
Expectations Roy Golding
Good Intent Gastove Special (Celebration of the Guitar with Shaun Murray, Davey Slater, Roger Allen and Pete Weller)

4pm 6pm

The Crown Inn Green Diesel
The Eagle Tavern Skinners Rats
King's Head Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs
Gordon House Hotel Tanglefoot Appalachian (till 5.30pm)

4.15 5pm
Boley Hill Stage The Hot Rats

6 6.30pm
Gordon House Hotel Luke Jackson

7.30pm -10pm
Coopers Arms Playalong session with P.J. NEW

8pm -11pm
Gordon Hotel Sur Les Docks and the Singing Loins
Kat Hurdley & Alex Percy Acoustic (11.30-12.30am)

8.45pm 11pm
Expectations Phoenix
Man of Kent Alehouse Morena
Prince of Wales, Strood Jumbo Gumbo
Good Intent Singaround with John Barden
Two Brewers Open Harp Surgery

================

Monday 3 May

11.30am 2.30pm
City Wall Wine Bar, Stage
Music hosted by Pigs Ear accompanied by guests Missouri Gutts and others

11am 2.30pm
Corn Exchange (bar) Singaround session with Bob & Kathy Drage
1pm 5pm
Boley Hill Dance Stage Morena, Jugnu Bhangra, Sur Les Docks NEW

12.30pm 2.30pm

Concert Marquee, Castle Gardens The Dealers in Concert
Ticklish Allsorts Farewell Show (4-5pm)

The Crown Inn Kat Hurdley & Alex Percy
Eagle Tavern The Bounty Hounds
Gordon House Hotel The Hot Rats
Prince of Wales, Strood Junk & Disorderly
Expectations Luke Dorman & The Dark Horses
Man of Kent Alehouse Janette Geri
Kings Head Phoenix
Good Intent Singaround with Ruff 'n' Reddy
Ye Arrow Happy Trails

2.15pm Outside Medway Visitor Information Centre
Guided walking tour of Rochester led by the City of Rochester Society. The tour will last for approx. 90minutes. Free of charge although donations to the society are very welcome.


2.45pm Rochester Sweeps Festival's traditional Bank Holiday Procession
The finale to the sweeps Festival 2010 will involve many Morris Sides, chimney sweeps and Jack-in-the-Green. The procession will start in Rochester Castle Gardens and process through The Esplanade, Rochester High Street, Crow Lane, Vines Lane, St. Margaret's Street, Boley Hill, Epaul Lane and back into the Castle Gardens.

3 7pm
Expectations Roy Golding

4 6pm
Eagle Tavern Thee Waltons
Boley Hill Stage Sur Les Docks (till 5pm)

================

Rochester Cathedral Service Times

Sat 5        8am                Mattins
        8.30am        Holy Communion (crypt)
        3.15pm        Evensong

Sun 6        8am                Holy Communion
        9.45am        Mattins
        10.30am        Sung Eucharist
        3.15pm        Evensong
        8pm                Taize Prayer
        
Mon        7.30am        Mattins
        8am                Holy Communion
                        (Lady Chapel)
        3.15pm        Evensong

================

Travel Information
Train
Rochester station is only a five-minute walk from Rochester High Street and has excellent links between London and the coast. For information on planning your journey visit: www.setrains.co.uk

Car and coach parking
Limited car parking is available near the centre of Rochester. Public car parks are indicated on the festival map. Normal car parking restrictions will apply and information is available at all car parks. Free car parking is available at the Civic Centre, Strood, throughout the festival and is only a short walk away. Coach parking is free and shown on the festival map. Coaches may use the drop-off and pick-up point also shown on the map.

For Further Information
Medway Visitor Information Centre, 95 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1LX
Tel: 01634 843666
Email: visitor.centre@medway.gov.uk

================

MUSICAL BIOGS

WHEELER STREET Success story of the NEW Brat pack of folkies. One of the best live acts you could wish to see.

SUR LES DOCKS Dynamic Dunkerque based French folk/rock seven piece band.

CALICO STREET RIOTS A young festival band who aim to leave an indelible impression!

HOT RATS - Festival favourites feature Ian Cutler's world class fiddle playing.

MIKE NICHOLSON Simply an excellent singer and purveyor of songs. A singers' singer.

CHIMNEY BOYS Six middle class youngsters from Canterbury currently taking the folk scene by storm.

GREEN DIESEL Folk, funk, klezmer, jazz and morris dancing from another young band of Kentish songsters.

KAT HURDLEY & ALEX PERCY Brilliant young musicians at the heart of the NEW revival. Kat plays sax, flute and whistles and is an accomplished dancer and Alex plays fiddle.

THE BOUNTY HOUNDS Suffolk based folk/rock band.

SUNTRAP Three girls and one guy with an array of instruments and harmonies.

JOHN BARDEN Singaround supremo and charismatic figure who encourages others to play.

JANETTE GERI Touring Australian singer/songwriter with Celtic influences.


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