13th Margate Soul Festival has had ‘more local support than ever’

The organisers of Margate Soul Festival are gearing up for this year’s event, which is only two weeks away.

The music festival will return to Margate’s old town for the 13th time from August 3-5, with stages and performances located at a number of venues in the town.

And interest in the festival is building, as ticket sales have increased on last year.

Claire License, one of the organisers of the event, explained: “Preparations are going well – this is the final push now. It’s all the bits the audience don’t see, yet without it, we wouldn’t be able to have the event.

Thousands of people filled the streets during Margate Street Festival 2017
Thousands of people filled the streets during Margate Street Festival 2017
(Image: Carsten Waesserling)

“It’s incredibly important to host this festival in Margate, but not just for Magate, for Thanet as a whole. We see it as a showcase for the whole area.

“80 per cent of our ticket buyers come from out of the area, and it’s important we show them what Thanet is all about.

“Margate has always been about entertainment, it’s a seaside resort, people have always come here for a break from their 9-5 lives.

“We have the weather, the beautiful beaches, a host of restaurants and bars, so let’s show them at their best, full of life and fun.”

Margate Soul Festival started out during the Margate Carnival 13 years ago. Olby’s Soul Cafe owner Eli Thompson got his DJs to play music to complement the carnival, and the event has continued to grow since then.

The festival took place at venues across the town, including the Winter Gardens
The festival took place at venues across the town, including the Winter Gardens
(Image: Jen Jenny B)

A new development for this year will see Stagecoach run the Loop bus service for 24 hours a day across the weekend, in order to help connect the towns and get the audience to and from the event.

“People really get into it, and are embracing the event and looking forward to it”

Some of the must-see acts this year include Atlantic Starr and The Fatback Band, as well as up-and-coming DJs Children of Zeus.

If you’re a fan of Northern Soul, Ned Stax and Noble and Heath are two DJ acts to look out for.

And if you want acid jazz, Laville Laville will be making his UK festival debut.

The Fatback Band will be performing during the festival
The Fatback Band will be performing during the festival

Miss License added: “It is difficult to get others to buy into someone else’s vision, and although always successful as an event, previously years may not have been supported as well as they could have been by the local community.

“However we are now getting to the point where people really get into it, and are embracing the event and looking forward to it.

“We’ve had more local support than ever, which is great and that helps strengthen our relationships with the community, which will help the festival grow further and sustain it for future generations.”

Full weekend and day tickets are still available. For more information, visit the Soul Festival website.

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