Gillingham, Dorset, 2018

29 June - 8 July

Gillingham's Community Festival

Main sponsor

Highlights of GillFest 2017

Tim Laycock

Ben Waters

Rick Wakeman

2017 - Rick Wakeman performs to a sell-out crowd

Rick Wakeman had the capacity audience at GillFest 2017 enthralled with his superb piano-playing and the engaging and hillarious stories of his life among the world's greatest celebrities.

Internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Gary Ryan was a major hit at GillFest 2017. His own composition Benga Beat, which redefines classical guitar, had the audience in raptures.

Pam Ayres

Gary Ryan

Pam Ayres returned to Gillingham in 2017 and did not disappoint her many local fans with her humorous poems and delightful anecdotes.

The Manfreds' Paul Jones and Tom McGuinness led an impressive lin-up of musicians from the 1960s and 1970s to revisit the major hits of Manfred Mann.

The music had the audience singing along and stamping their feet in tune to the beat.


                                                                                             The Ben Waters Band in full swing

The Ben Waters Band's impressive playing had the fans out on the floor dancing for all their were worth.

Ben, who has been compared to Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, is a recipient of the coveted Boisdale Best Boogie Woogie Piano Player Award.

Cuckooland's accomplished playing of blues and rock 'n' roll numbers provided an excellent evening of music featuring everything from Chuck Berry, through Cream, The Doors and Free, to The Stones.

Guest artist on the night was Ian Gahan, below, MD of Hambledon Estate Agents, joint major sponsor of GillFest.

(L to R) Ian Gahan, Hambledon Estate Agents, joint main sponsor of GillFest, with Cuckooland band members, Biff Smith, drums; Dave Harrington, guitar/vocals; Richard Cumming, Orchard Park, joint main sponsor; Harry Skinner, guitar/vocals, and Rob Marshall, bass guitar, at the GillFest gig in Moto Corsa, The Old Brewery, Wyke Road, Gillingham.

(L to R) Paul Jones, The Manfreds; Richard Cumming, Orchard Park, joint main sponsor, and Robert Freestone, Freestone and Co. Chartered Accountants, sponsor.

Cara Dillon performed some haunting and inspirational Irish songs of emigration and lost love at the Methodist Church during GillFest.

She is pictured above with her husband, Sam Lakeman

Caroline D'Cruz, Andrew Armstrong and Arabella Heaton perofrming during their magnificent Opera Night at the Methodist Church

The full GillFest 2017 Programme was:

Rick Wakeman, The Manfreds, Pam Ayres, Gary Ryan,

Cara Dillon, Ben Waters Band, Julie Dunn, Cuckooland,

Castle Cary Choir, Gillingham Imperial Silver Band,

Loose Connections, Big Brass Ska, Opera Evening,

Organ Recital, Town Fete, Antique Valuation, Fireworks

Bringing Music & Entertainment back to Gillingham

The Gillingham Imperial Silver Band performed a varied programme that included some wonderful movie scores ranging from Singing In The Rain to The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Big Brass Ska