The first ever Maidstone Fusion Street Festival takes place in and around the town centre on Saturday 28th August between 10.30am and 2.30pm. The pop-up festival will feature a life size roaming elephant accompanied by colourful bhangra dancers, a brass band playing pop hits and classics, interactive street mime artists, and Caribbean steel pan drums all of which will take place in Fremlin Walk, Week Street and Jubilee Square. The Playground Project will also be present and delivering creative, interactive storytelling workshops for 0-3-year olds and their families at the Bandstand in Fremlin Walk.

The event has been produced by Cohesion Plus who use the arts to break down barriers and promote greater understanding between communities by showcasing diverse art and celebrating shared values. They are working in partnership with Maidstone Borough Council and Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre to deliver the event which at its heart, aims to use the arts to promote public spaces and increase footfall now that the final restrictions have at last been lifted.

Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented, “We are delighted to be working with Maidstone Borough Council on this exciting new street festival. After the many challenges and upheavals caused by the pandemic we wanted to produce an event that would allow creative activity and performances to take place in a safe and responsible way whilst simultaneously promoting and celebrating a return to new normality so to speak. We are ever mindful that while life must go on, we are not out of the woods yet in terms of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate getting back to regular life. We have an array of exciting and culturally diverse artists performing so be prepared to see something spectacular around the town centre in Maidstone on the 28th August.”

Cllr Martin Round, Chair of the Economic, Regeneration and Leisure Committee at Maidstone Borough Council added: “This fantastic Fusion Festival looks set to be a wonderful, colourful and fun event for all the family. So come on down to the town centre and enjoy the sights and sounds.”

Maidstone Borough Council has recently been allocated funding from the Welcome Back Fund, part of £56 million provided to councils across England from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe return to high streets and help build back better from the pandemic. It builds on the £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) allocated to councils in 2020 and forms part of the wider support government is providing to communities and businesses. A share of this money has been used to fund the Maidstone Fusion Street Festival.