A joyful summer’s day enhanced by words and music

“Inspiring, eclectic and inclusive – I’ve been woken up and warmed by words – THANK YOU!”

You’re welcome! With new friends made and old friends returning, our garden party was enjoyed by young and old alike, revelling in an eclectic mix of storytelling, poetry, music and more. The James Worse Public Address Method, Bill Lewis, Philip Kane and Didi Bergman were back with us again by popular demand, while our audience discovered the delights of lyrical songwriter Gavin Alexander, and the urban and gritty poetry of a new name and face to us, Deke Dobson. “Had a cracking time at @RochLitFest Garden Party. Performance of the day was a poet called Deke whose surname I missed. A real talent.”

Added to the mix were readings by our open mic performers, including ME4 Writers, Sam Hall and Barry Fentiman, who brought the Word Shed to life again and, together with Ed and Natasha of CreataboX, made a corner of the garden into a creative mini art-fest. “What a crazy weekend! I didn’t feel that great today but still loved every min of @RochLitFest garden party, CreataboX very popular #medway

The awesome Roy Smith, also an ME4 Writer, presided over a special Seasonally Effected session for us. Due to noise regulations, this took place inside The Good Intent, but lost none of its appeal, as a packed audience enjoyed the choral singing of Cosima, Tilly and Amerlie, plus the public debut of Mdhamiri Nkemi’s I Know How You Feel, words and didgeridoo by Thomas Kelly, and music by Abi Ziering.

Our talented young film maker, Mdhamiri, and uni friend Ed, showcased a selection of Mid Kent College’s students’ films, which ran on a loop inside all day; we thank them profusely for ensuring visitors were entertained during their bar visits.

And a  huge thank you to all of our other storytellers and poets for coming along on the day and sharing their work with us: Roy Smith; Charlotte Chou-fleur D’Ingle; Louise Micklewright; Chris Page; Charles Pankhurst; Malek Montag,

What else they said:

“Thanks for a great day :)”

“I adore CreataboX!”

“Wonderful idea, hope it keeps going.”

“Visited last year, loved the change of venue, did have difficulty hearing some of the speakers – possibly need a mic/pa? Enjoyed Deke – more young poets needed!”

@RochLitFest ~ great garden party, cheers!”

@RochLitFest totally blew me away!”

We are humbled and thrilled once again, by the generosity of all those freely gave of their time and energy to help us make this another successful event.  All our performers, CreataboX, The WordShed, Bunted! Karen and Dal at the Good Intent, and Roy for both his own creative endeavours and for helping us set up different aspects of the day. Guerilla Poetry the day before was also Roy’s idea, not only leading on this but also securing us a spot on the mic at the Vines Cherry Picnic! Thank you all very much 🙂

“A brilliant day out, fun for the family. I for one whole heartedly enjoyed the afternoon at the RochLitFest garden party, was an excellent day out, the only thing needed  was a mic, other than that I think the event was a success. My whole family enjoyed the day and look forward to all upcoming events!”
Photos courtesy of Ed Jennings, Melanie Benn, Marilyn Simpson and Jaye.

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