An arts festival can give people unique access to the latest art, music, theatre, and more. One of the most popular festivals in the UK is Kent's premier international arts festival, the Canterbury Festival. Each year, tens of thousands of visitors swarm this region in the southeast to enjoy a range of events focussed on world art and culture. Those who have never attended the festival may have a lot of questions relating to things like accommodations, event details, and the history of the festival.
Anyone wishing to attend this annual event may also want to learn a bit about how to find and purchase tickets to Canterbury events and performances. Understanding the festival and the ticket purchasing process goes hand in hand with getting to know the various venues and accommodations in the area, as well as some of the events that are part of this diverse festival. Finally, learning about some of the better retail options for preparing for the festival, including utilising the online retail site eBay and other ticket sellers, helps consumers plan for some terrific experiences.
What Is the Canterbury Festival?
The Canterbury Festival is an international arts festival that attracts professional performers from around the world. These artists deliver performances related to everything from puppetry to dance to music to poetry. The genres and schools addressed by the festival are wide ranging. Past events have included performances as diverse as classical music by Mozart to spoken word gatherings at local pubs. New events at the festival in recent years include a dance extravaganza known as The Lock In and the all-new Spiegeltent, which combines unique cultural events and a pub under one big top tent on the St. Lawrence Cricket Ground.
In addition to its international characteristics, the Canterbury Festival also incorporates local 'Fringe' performers from the Canterbury area, and this adds a secondary street art aspect to the festival. The festival also hosts youth programmes in music and poetry to encourage appreciation of the arts in young people, and a festival Poet of the Year is appointed each year.
Canterbury Festival Venues
There are several stage, music, and meeting venues used during the Canterbury Festival. These locations are scattered around the town of Canterbury itself as well as in neighbouring towns and villages, such as Faversham, Whitstable, and Margate. The venues host events as diverse as theatrical productions, musical performances, and drink mixers.
The Cathedral in the heart of Canterbury is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. It is also the site of several of the festival's concerts every year. The nave of the Cathedral seats more than 1,100 guests, so some of the most popular Canterbury Festival events are held in this historical venue each year.
Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
The Canterbury Cathedral Lodge is a contemporary venue located on the property of the Cathedral. This modern space can seat up to 250 attendees in an auditorium setting. The facility has audiovisual support for presentations and discussions. The Talks festival programme is held here every year.
Located on the former site of the King's School’s tennis courts, Shirley Hall is a mid-sized venue with a seating capacity of 730 guests. Many headline shows and performances are staged here every year during the festival. The facility also has a bar so that patrons of the festival can enjoy drinks during intermissions or before shows.
St. Mary's Hall Studio Theatre
A black box theatre space, St. Mary's Hall seats around 125 attendees and is located on the site of what was once St. Mary's church. Located near the city wall at the Northgate of Canterbury, St. Mary's hosts several theatrical performances during the festival.
The Festival Club
The Festival Club is located within The Canterbury Environment Centre run by the King's School. The weeks of the festival are the only time all year that this space is open to the public. It functions as a drama space and also has a bar for intermission drinks. The seating capacity of this space is 120 guests.
The Jolly Sailor
The Jolly Sailor is a popular students' pub located in the Northgate section of the city. An upstairs function room with a seating capacity of 50 serves as the site for various poetry readings and spoken-word events during the festival.
Theatre Royal Margate
Located in the neighbouring town of Margate, the Theatre Royal Margate seats 360 people and is an active theatrical space throughout the year. This space has a 200-year tradition of hosting theatrical events.
A wealth of accommodations are available for patrons of the Canterbury Festival during the weeks of the event. The possibilities range from cottages to standard hotel accommodations in the area.
A cottage located near the city centre, 7 Longport balances a good location within easy access of festival activities with an intimate setting. This hideaway has boutique accommodations as well as locavore food options prepared in the cottage's renowned kitchen.
Located in the heart of it all on High Street, the ABode Canterbury is a four-star hotel with 72 bedrooms and is a popular choice for festival attendees every year. Festival goers interested in staying at this centrally located hotel may want to look into bookings well ahead of time to ensure availability.
Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
For those who love the history and mystery of Canterbury Cathedral, there is the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge to consider. Located on the grounds of this historical site, all rooms in the lodge offer a view of the main Cathedral structure. Access to the venues on the Cathedral property is just one of the many advantages of this space.
Other options to consider when it comes to accommodations for the festival are local holiday bungalows that are available to let. These locations offer a festival goer a certain autonomy. Many are self-catering, meaning that someone staying in one of these bungalows can prepare his or her own meals in the on-site kitchen. A bungalow can be a great way for a festival attendee to enjoy the sights and sounds of the festival while staying a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.
Holiday Inn Express
For visitors who prefer to stay in very modern and convenient accommodations, there is a local Holiday Inn Express. This hotel is located a few kilometres outside the town centre. It offers affordable accommodations and has a lounge and bar area for relaxing after a busy day.
Preparing for the Festival
The Canterbury Festival takes place in the fall every year, but many people begin preparing for their visits to the festival months in advance. Tickets typically go on sale in the middle of the summer. Bookings for accommodations and travel are usually organised around this time, as well. Since the festival takes place in colder, wetter months, patrons are advised to plan ahead by purchasing plenty of adverse weather accessories, including macks, wellies, and umbrellas.
Buying Festival Tickets on eBay
One of the best resources for festival tickets and packages is the online retail site eBay. This site brings many sellers together to create a wide variety of options for Canterbury Festival fans. On eBay, visitors can find tickets as the festival season approaches, sometimes even after the official box office has sold out. They can also find many of the accessories they may want to take to the festival. The site is also a good resource for accommodations, including holiday bungalows in Kent. To begin a search on the site, just enter a keyword term related to the tickets or the items you want to buy.
Evaluating Sellers on eBay
This site is also a great choice for consumers who want the convenience of purchasing online combined with the opportunity to communicate with a seller. You can achieve either of these goals by visiting a seller's page, which can be accessed by clicking on the seller's name on a listing's page. Be sure to look through a vendor's past listings, if available, and also read through the feedback that other customers have submitted in the past.
Attending the Canterbury Festival can be a unique cultural experience. Those who attend this festival typically leave with memories of art, music, and theatrical performances that last a lifetime. With its beautiful setting in Kent in the region of Canterbury, the festival combines a classic UK historical setting with some of the latest and greatest creations in the world of art and music. For those attending the festival for the first time, it can be a good idea to get to know the various venues and accommodations in the area.
Potential festival attendees may also wish to learn about some of the best options for buying tickets, booking accommodations, and purchasing the accessories they may need for their travels. The online retail site eBay can be a great resource for this, particularly if tickets are sold out through traditional vendors. With a quick search interface and the ability to evaluate sellers, the site can be just the tool Canterbury Festival visitors need to plan amazing events.