The UK’s First Road Safety Experience Uses Immersive Teaching To Save Lives

Last year I was invited to a Medway Dementia Action Alliance meeting at the new Kent Fire and Rescue Service building in Rochester, Kent. When I arrived I imagined we would be going into a boardroom as normal and that Kent Fire and Rescue Service were just kindly hosting us. We had been warned that if we wanted to attend the Road Safety Experience as well, then to arrive early. We were also warned not to attend this if we were of a sensitive disposition.

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As I entered the large foyer there was a crashed car in the middle of the floor. With my associates around me waiting, I presumed this was where the Road Safety Experience began. However this was not the case, and we were lead into a new room which was beautifully laid out as a small cinema.

I instantly realised I had completed misinterpreted the lovely new building – having opened in April 2016, this was no mere fire station as I had for some reason presumed (or fire station in the typical sense at all it turned out) or Kent Fire and Rescue Service HQ – this was an immersive teaching centre.

As I sat down and the lights dimmed, a film began to play. A young man who has been drinking gets into his car, turns his music up loud and drives off rapidly without fastening his seatbelt (literal schoolboy error). The music pumps out loudly from the cinemas speakers and you are taken into the young teenagers world. The excitement of driving through the night from one destination to the next, music blasting and making the car vibrate.

Of course, just as in harsh reality, this does not end well. The young man crashes and he and all his belongings go flying through and around the car. As the chaos ends he is left in the darkness – his phone vibrates and bleep’s with a text from his mum saying “Are u okay?”. The screen goes black and I hear sirens. Then, something completely unexpected happens, the screen the film was projected onto bounces up and disappears – revealing the car crash reenacted. Car debris are scattered across the stage area and the car is in carnage. We didn’t get the full experience on this occasion, but usually there would be firemen who come out to reenact the difficult task of trying to cut someone out of a car crash.

I could not actually believe what I was seeing, this was theatre being used to educate young minds, in a setting that was completely unexpected. I was so excited that someone, a group of people even, had been smart enough to realise the value of creativity and immersion for education.

I planned to visit again and take a deeper insight into the centre and what it was about, so I re-visited in December 2016.

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I sat down with road safety manager Lawrence Pater over a coffee and we discussed the way the Road Safety Experience came about. Lawrence explained that there were some vital lessons they wanted people to learn through the experience – from risk assessing an accident scene through to knowing that it is definitely 999 that you call in an emergency.

Lawrence asked me “When you were 16 did you worry about much else apart from yourself?” “No!” I replied laughing. “This is the issue, many young people do not think about situations outside of themselves, therefore we have to try and reach their heart to adopt a change in behaviour”. The point about behavioral change was a clear one, Kent Fire and Rescue are a trusted ‘brand’ to begin with – which helps people to listen and believe. Additionally,  the ‘experience’ rather than simple classroom teaching has more of an impact – you as an audience member, or even participant (I will explain in a minute) become involved.

Lawrence explained that the increase in drink driving and drug driving was becoming of such a serious concern, that something had to change to educate young people to be aware of the dangers. The centre is the first and only purpose built road safety experience in the UK – and we are lucky enough to have it here in Medway. I had to ask “How was this place and concept designed? It is so unique!”. “Students were involved in the design, they gave feedback about what would have the most impact and what they would engage with the most” Lawrence replied.

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I watched students from a local academy as they toured the other various experiences in the building.  There was a ‘bar’ scene where students had to guess how much alcohol they were “allowed” to drink before being over the limit. They then moved on to a large roulette wheel, where students had to guess the answers to certain questions and battle against their friends to score points. Then came the obligatory goggle glasses test, where students were asked to walk and balance on a raised platform.

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I asked some of the students about the experience and what had the most impact in the centre. They all agreed that it was the film, which is the the introduction to the experience day. Charlotte, 17, commented “When the young man crashed and his mum text him asking if he was okay, that really got to me. It made me think about how you should think about your parents when driving. Also I have learnt today that even if you were drinking the night before, you might still be over the limit the following morning and not be equipped to drive”.

I had a brief chat with a teacher who had brought her students to the centre, she said “This is a really good way of engaging students – it is realistic and has clear messages. The space is clearly designed for delivery and is very interactive – however it is also serious and had a clear impact on the student’s mood because this is a real danger”.

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Immersive teaching, often created by theatre groups like “Punchdrunk” or creative organisations “Ministry of Stories”, moves hearts and minds. “Visitor feedback tells us that immersive environments create the most memorable experiences” says Sarah Lockwood (Head of Learning and Interpretation at the National Maritime Museum) in a video about “Against Captain’s Orders” which was created at the museum by Punchdrunk.

The difference with Punchdrunk is they create theatrical immersive teaching experiences within spaces that would usually not usually have such. Kent Fire and Rescue Service have however created a permanent immersive teaching space that will likely be shaped by the needs of the time. Take a look at KidZania if you want to see a really full on version of what immersive teaching can look like!

 I can only hope that the future of education includes even more immersive teaching. Let me know if you have seen other great examples of what immersive teaching can look like!

To find out more visit www.kent.fire-uk.org or/and watch the video below.

By Natasha Steer

Riverside One Studios – Rehearsal Recording and Gig Space – Chatham

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Started by Nucleus Arts in conjunction with Jamie Johnson, Riverside One Studios is a new music project in Chatham, Kent.

Jamie Johnson is a local singer/songwriter from Gillingham, Kent who appeared on national TV as Kylie Minogue’s finalist on The Voice in 2014.

Jamie’s experience has inspired him to help aspiring musicians. Their plan is to try to help anyone who has a passion for music and wishes to find the next step to building a career in the music industry or just some friendly advice on what they can do to improve. 

Many of you may remember the Riverside One building as the council venue on Dock Road, next to the bus station. A really great location as you can see it from the new bus station and it’s only a 5 minute walk from the train station.

The idea behind the studios is to have a place where anyone can come together to write, rehearse and record music. We are also able to offer teaching, mentoring and other sessions that support budding musicians in Medway.

Riverside One has 1 small rehearsal/writing room, 1 large recording/rehearsal/performance space and 1 main control studio room with the facilities to record a single or an album. 

 

 

Riverside One Studiosalso works with people who may be at risk of social exclusion as part their “Art Inclusive” programme. This currently involves a joint project with The Princes Trust, where together they are offering young people in unemployment the opportunity to learn more about making music and the music industry. Contact Nucleus Arts to find out more.

Riverside One are also able to offer music lessons including guitar and singing lessons through various partners.

Room Hire:

Main Rehearsal Room – 4 Hours £40 Or £13 Per Hour

Small Rehearsal/Writing Rooms – 4 Hours £30 Or £11 Per Hour

Recording:

Full day – 8 hours £200

Half day – 4 hours £120

Recording – £30 per hour

Ep package – 2 full days of recording £380

Live Music Event Hire: From £15ph

If you would like to donate towards the studios it is never too late….. Please visit the following ‘go fund me’ page :

www.gofundme.com/riversideonestudio

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FREE music events in Medway from the School of Music & Fine Art

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The University of Kent at Medway’s School of Music & Fine Art offers a range of FREE music events, ranging from masterclasses, concerts and talks, in the wonderfully atmospheric Chatham Historic Dockyard, where the School is based.

On Tuesday November 10th in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space at Chatham Historic Dockyard, SMFA students studying band and ensemble playing are performing a lunchtime concert from 12 noon to 1pm. Everyone welcome.  And there will be another lunchtime concert on Tuesday December 15th.

Friday 13th  November in the Galvanising Workshop Israeli composer, performer and improviser Guy Harries will lead a two-hour Technology in Performance Masterclass from 3-5pm demonstrating his method and techniques in utilising technology in live performance.

On Wednesday December 9th, the Galvanising Workshop is the venue for a Christmas Concert at 7.30pm – students perform music from a range of traditions. The jazz improvisation ensemble and choir feature works by Juan Tizol, Duke Ellington and Joe Harriott.  The Contemporary Music Ensemble, Chamber Choir and Multi-Keyboard Ensemble present music to both challenge and delight the audience.

And on Thursday December 17th at Cargo Bar, Liberty Quays from 8pm – 11pm,  bands from the School of Music & Fine Art perform sets of original material and covers.  These are exciting evenings with a fantastic atmosphere and always draw a crowd!

All of these events are FREE but please do book through mfareception@kent.ac.uk  and check out the website for regular updates at  https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/  

PHOTO CREDIT: Stacey Cooper

Medway’s Creative Spaces

Medway is lucky enough to have multiple arts spaces that each have something unique to offer. If you would like to book a days tour (for a small donation to the Creatabot project) please contact Natasha on natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Nucleus Arts

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Nucleus Arts is the Award Winning flagship arts organisation founded by the Halpern Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was the brainchild of the late Hilary Halpern and it was his dream to promote the Arts in Medway and Kent. Nucleus Arts has become the cultural and creative heart of Kent & Medway over the past 12 years and focuses on affordability, accessibility and excellence in the Arts. They run multiple workshops, events and training programmes.

The main centre is at 272 High Street, Chatham, where the gallery, conference room and main artists studios are based. The artists open studios are held here every 1st Saturday of the month for all to attend for free.

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Nucleus Arts also have creative studio space in Military Road, Chatham, Rochester High Street (which also includes retail space) and Lower Stone Street, Maidstone. All spaces have a lovely cafe managed by Cafe Nucleus.

Nucleus Arts are working in collaboration with multiple local charities on their Arts Inclusive programme to make sure the arts can be accessible to all.

Sun Pier House

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This Community Interest Company was formed in 2012 to support and promote the best of Medway’s talent, providing a base for established and start-up businesses in the creative sector.

Within the building, there is a large exhibition gallery, tea room, events space, hire rooms, artist studios, open plan creative office space with hot desk facilities, all enjoying a glorious panoramic view of the River Medway.

Sun Pier House CIC actively promotes the businesses working within Medway’s creative community, encouraging them to grow and develop to their full potential. Sun Pier House is right next to Sun Pier, Medway Street, Chatham.

POP Creative Space

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POP is an abandoned shop turned into a Creative space in the heart of Chatham, Medway. The shop has been funded by EU and Recreate and hosts various free events and exhibitions throughout the year. POP is at 64 – 66 High Street, Chatham.

Unravel and Unwind

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Unravel and Unwind are working to develop a “country cottage” style craft drop in centre for crafters of all abilities, ages, background and culture where they can come and craft while they socialise-practice-teach-learn.

Their aim is to create a friendly open environment,”a crafting home from home” ) where local crafters & families can practice, learn, teach and sell their crafts. A place where skills can be shared and new ideas encouraging community engagement, increasing social well-being, removing isolation and possibly mentoring transitions into employment. They are based at Intra Arts, 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Intra Arts

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INTRA is a Medway based arts venue, hosting creative events, classes, activities and studios, and offering one of the best collections in Kent of specialist arts equipment accessible to the general public – especially specialist printing equipment.

The not for profit company Intra Arts Ltd. was formed in 2014 when they took on the former Spemco building in Rochester High Street. This Art Deco fronted, Victorian building is much loved in the historic area of ‘Chatham Intra’. Their aim is to provide an arts programme, creative opportunities and education in a space that welcomes people of all ages, abilities and circumstances. They are based at 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know: Rochester Literature Festival 2014

September 25th – October 5th 2014

The Rochester Literature Festival is proud to present its second annual festival, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know.

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We’re delighted to be opening this year with an hilarious and heart-warming one woman show with actress Sunny Ormonde – the outrageous Lilian Bellamy from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, the world’s longest running soap.

Over the course of the next ten days, we’ll be joined by as-seen-on-tv-off-his-trolley comic genius Phil Kay, master of freeform performance and storytelling, and notorious Australian, Trenton Oldfield – who served six months at her Majesty’s Pleasure for disrupting the 2012 Boat Race in a protest against elitism.

We will be hosting two wonderful authors who’ll fascinate you with insights and anecdotes from their latest books: Angela Buckley introduces us to The Real Sherlock Holmes – Detective Jerome Caminada, whose methodologies mimicked Conan Doyle’s genius, and Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, who will discuss the impact of reality on fiction. While No One Was Watching is set against the backdrop of the Kennedy assassination and the abduction of a young girl from the grassy knoll on that fateful day.

For families to enjoy together, we have Assassin, featuring the fantastic Joe Craig reading extracts from his Jimmy Coates series – part boy, part weapon, totally deadly – which will be interpreted with music by Alice composer, Jacob Bride, and exciting young street dance group CYC. Awesome Keeper of the Realms trilogy author, Marcus Alexander, who is Charlie’s Keeper, will entertain and inspire you with his delightfully wicked fantasy adventure series – get your read on!

Our interactive story game this year is Murder in the Crypt and will feature some of your favourite detectives. In addition, we’re holding a Cafe Crawl, where you can sample music, poetry, storytelling and more, in the company of, amongst others, former Canterbury Laureate Dan Simpson. Bookmark’d is a chance to buy books, swap books or just listen to books, read aloud by their authors.

Our Night at the Theatre will this year be held in conjunction with Chatham Grammar School for Boys and be presented by award winning 17% playwrights, Sam Fentiman-Hall, Sarah Hehir and Maggie Drury. The Spirit of My Dream is inspired by Byron’s poem The Dream and features new plays with a somewhat fantastical theme.

An exhibition curated by ME4Writers especially for the festival, An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics, has channelled Byron to produce work inspiring madness, badness and dangerousness in the hearts of artists. A live reading will bring the visual carnage to life!

Byron’s Teapot will be our finale – a mad mix of the unusual and quirky, featuring The James Worse Public Address Method, JP Lovecraft, Dylan Oscar Rowe and Brides of Rain.

Tickets are available here.

We look forward to welcoming you to our exciting – and only slightly scary – second full length festival!

To read full details, download a copy the 2014 programme and buy tickets, please visit rochesterlitfest.com.

If you have any enquiries regarding any of the events or festival in general, please email rochesterlitfest@gmail.com or telephone 07904 643770.

The Rochester Literature Festival (RLF) was formed in May 2011 as an information sharer, and held its inaugural event, The Garden Poetry Party in July 2012.

The first main festival, Other Worlds, Other Voices took place in October 2013.

The RLF is a voluntary group and currently receives no public funding, relying solely on the generosity of its performers, audiences, personal donations and in kind help.

The Programme Details

An Evening with Sunny Ormonde

Thursday, 25th September, 7pm – 10pm

Lords Wood Sports and Social Club

£10

Café Crawl

Saturday, 27th September, 1pm-5pm

La Toretta, Tiny Tims, Café 172 (Dot Café), Bruno’s Bakes. Rochester High Street

Free

The Queen versus Trenton Oldfield: A Prison Diary

Saturday, 27th September, 7pm – 10pm

Sun Pier House, Chatham

£6

Bookmark’d

Sunday, 28th September, 12noon – 4pm

Guildhall Museum, Rochester

Free

Marcus Alexander: Who is Charlie’s Keeper?

Sunday, 28th September, 2pm – 3.30pm

Woodlands Academy, Gillingham

£3

The Real Sherlock Holmes: Angela Buckley

Monday, 29th September, 6.30pm – 9pm

Café 172 (Dot Café), Rochester

£4.00

While No-one Was Watching: Debz Hobbs-Wyatt

Wednesday, 1st October, 6.30pm – 9pm

Café Nucleus, Chatham

£4

An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics Live

Thursday, 2nd October, 7.30pm

Rochester Library

Free

Exhibition: Friday 26/9 to Saturday 25/10 Free, normal opening hours.

Phil Kay: Wholly Viable

Friday, 3rd October, 8.00pm – 11.30pm (includes support)

The Billabong Club, Rochester

£7

Murder in the Crypt

Saturday, 4th October, 10am – 4pm

Bishopscourt, Rochester

Ticket price £3

A Night at the Theatre: The Spirit of my Dream

Saturday, 4th October, 7pm – 10pm

Chatham Grammar School for Boys

£5

Assassin

Sunday, 5th October, 2pm -5pm

Lords Wood Sports and Social Club

Tickets from £3. Family tickets available.

Byron’s Teapot

Sunday, 5th October, 7.30pm – 11pm

Lords Wood Sports and Social Club

£5

The Travelling Talesman pitching in Rochester

The Rochester Literature Festival will play host to the Travelling Talesman at the Good Intent, John Street, Rochester on Friday, May 9th.

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The Travelling Talesman has toured the country from Penzance to York, for feasts, festivals and fun since the early nineties.

You might guess from his name that The Travelling Talesman is a storyteller who enjoys taking his stories to new places. With twenty years experience telling myths, legends and folktales, last year he was nominated for “Outstanding Male” in the British Awards For Storytelling Excellence.

Expect a fun evening of gripping yarns as The Talesman recounts stories of Norse Gods, Celtic mysteries, clever girls and Dragon Slayers, medieval mayhem, giants, goblins and Halloween horrors. Originally specialising in Northern European tales, his stories are now drawn from all over the world.

Entry is free and doors open at 7pm. However, donations to cover costs would be welcomed and can be made via the Eventbrite page here.

To find out more about the Travelling Talesman, please visit his website here.

For information on other Rochester Literature Festival events, including their 2014 festival ‘Mad Bad & Dangerous to Know’ please visit www.rochesterlitfest.com or call 07904 643770.

Seasonally Effected – Creative Open-Mic Events – Medway

Seasonally Effected is a Rochester based open-mic night for creative and cultural exploration.  It features a diverse mix of performances including poetry, short film, comedy, short stories, original music, plays and a variety of experimental content that is less easy to define.  Usually happening at the lovely and cosy Dot Cafe on Rochester High Street, it is advisable to arrive early to guarantee a seat.  The first events for this year are planned for the 29th January and 19th February and will run 7-9pm.

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This year they are looking for performers who are up for more of a challenge. Organisers are suggesting people try something completely different from their usual practice, for example poets do a painting, singer-song writers perform some stand up, film makers experiment with flower arranging and storytellers sing a song.

The event is free to attend and there is no pressure to perform.  However, if you are interested in booking a 10 minute spot to share something you have created, whether that be film, poem, song, art, idea or other form of expression, contact them on: seasonallyeffected@gmail.com

Make a Website In A Night – 8th July 2013 – Rochester

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Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://websiteinanight-efbevent.eventbrite.co.uk/

In one evening Natasha Steer will help you create a simple website and show you the basics of how to maintain it.

There are just a few things you will need –

A laptop

Images for the website

Your bio details for the “About” page

Your email address details

Details of the domain name you own – OR if you do not yet own a domain name (ie www.yournamehere.co.uk) then please purchase beforehand or bring a debit card/Paypal details on the night so that we can go through this process step by step. 1&1 internet are really good – you shouldn’t have to pay more that £10.

Any questions just email natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Location – 161 High Street, Rochester (coFWD)

Time – 7pm to 10pm

Please note: Our venue is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to participate in an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.

The Rochester Film Society – The Great Gatsby – May 23rd

The Rochester Film Society presents – The Great Gatsby – at the earlier time of 7.20pm, Thursday 23rd May, at the Odeon Chatham image

Post screening discussion hosted by film writer and programmer Nick Walker.

Students can attend any Thursday night screening on a 2 for 1 offer if they present a valid student card when purchasing their tickets. Making one ticket just £3.25!

Find us on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/rochesterfilmsociety

A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Writers: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire |

Rochester Film Society – Black Narcissus – Rochester Cathedral

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The Rochester Film Society invites you to a special screening in the beautiful surroundings of Rochester Cathedral – Black Narcissus – Friday 17th May.

Film introduction by festival programmer and film writer Nick Walker

£8 per adult (concessions £7)
Doors open at 7pm
Introduction at 7.30pm
Film Starts at 7.40pm

A complimentary drink will be available before the screening

To book:
01634 810074
or email development@rochestercathedral.org

Director: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

Cast: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Flora Robson

Synopsis: After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension – both with the natives and also within their own group – as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.

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Rochester Film Society – To The Wonder – Thursday 16th 7.45pm

 

 

 

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This week at the Rochester Film Societies regular Thursday night screening at the Odeon Chatham. Terrence Maliks’ latest film – To the Wonder –

Tickets available through the Odeon website or on the night at the cinema box office.

All students presenting a current student card for any Rochester Film Society screening at the Chatham Odeon can take advantage of the special ticket offer to receive 2 for 1 tickets on the concession rate, which makes the price £3.25!

Film introduction and post-screening discussion over a drink, hosted by festival programmer and film writer Nick Walker

Director: Terrence Malick

Cast: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams. Javier Bardem

Synopsis: After visiting Mont Saint-Michel, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane.

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Rochester Film Society Screening – Stoker – 9th May 2013

The Rochester Film Society invite you to their screening of – Stoker – this Thursday 9th May 7.45pm at the Odeon Chatham.

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Film introduction and post-screening discussion over a drink, hosted by festival programmer and film writer Nick Walker

Director: Chan-wook Park [Oldboy]

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode

Synopsis: After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Soldering Workshop – 26th April 2013 – Rochester

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Creatabot have organised a beginners soldering workshop for those wanting to learn the handy skill. Soldering is useful for any creative, from artists to geeks, and it is hoped that the workshop will benefit people with various relevant projects.

The workshop will be held on Friday the 26th April 2013 at 161 High Street, Rochester from 10am to 3.30 pm. Tea and coffee will be provided but please bring lunch. The workshop attendees will be taught by Colin Turner, and the event will be hosted by Natasha Steer from Creatabot.

Places are VERY  limited so please book quickly!

BOOK HERE: http://solderingworkshopcofwd.eventbrite.com

Area:    Kent     South East     Rochester

Special Cineworld Wreck It Ralph Screening And Gaming Tournament – 8th February 2013 – Rochester

Special Cineworld Wreck It Ralph Screening And Gaming Tournament - 8th February 2013 - Rochester

Cineworld are holding a special showing of Wreck it Ralph on Friday 8th Feb 2013 , and after the screening of the film they are holding a Street Fighter 4 tournament for the audience on their giant screen!

The film itself starts at 8.20pm with the gaming following on at around 10.30pm until late. It will consist of winner stays on, with whoever has stayed on the longest will win lots of Wreck it Ralph prizes and an invitation to come back for their own private late night gaming session, which is worth £125 for a two hour session.

Click the image to book!

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Creatabot Conversations: Music – 25th July 2012 – Rochester

What turned out to be an invite to a few people to come to coFWD to see the space has turned into something much more interesting. There are now a number of people coming to coFWD on Wednesday to have a look at the space – and they all have one thing in common – making music. 

Having spoken to various people recently about possibilities and needs in Kent, Medway is quickly becoming a place bubbling with inspiration and like minds who want to create and collaborate. 

If you would love to meet other musical creatives and discuss where there are needs and also help others find out about things they maybe didn’t know, then we would love to see you Wednesday: to indeed see coFWD but also to have a nice relaxed (emphasis on RELAXED) afternoon to chat about creativity, collaboration and ideas.

We would love there to be a wide mix of people attend such as:

Songwriters
Singers
Musicians
Photographers
Gig organisers
Music Video Producers
Record Labels
Social Media peeps
Web designers
Illustrators

Place – 161 Rochester High Street – ME1 1EH

Time – 3.00pm until 5.00pm

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/296198113812612/

For more details email: natasha@creatabot.co.uk

#creatabotconversations

Please note, our venue (http://coFWD.org/) is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to attend an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.”

This reason for the above is two fold:

1. by law we (coFWD/161/CreativeMedwayCiC) are required to make any ‘publicly promoted’ events or activity accessible to all and failure to be ‘accessible’ or not provide advanced notice of building/space accessibility limitations will likely land us in trouble.

2. it is very important that all of our events are measured for capacity and that we know who is coming to or has been through our doors, this is important for safety and security, and it also means the person running such activities can easily update participants of any changes or additional correspondence.

Area: South East

Working For An Indie Record Label – Part 4: Making Sense Of Social Media – By Luke Crook

So, one of THE most important parts of being successful either as a band, a label or even a brand is how you connect with your fan base and demographic. Despite what people say, there are pretty much 2 major ways of getting in touch with your fan base to let them know what’s happening, Facebook & Twitter. Most of the courses I end up on are either about Social Media full stop, or have a massive section dedicated to it.

It’s all about social media. You can’t get away from it, try as you might. The problem is, both the main social media platforms operate completely differently so different strategies are needed. Twitter never changes. 140 unadulterated characters of text to use and abuse as best you can, tag people in it and share that Instagram photo of your dog with your sunglasses on (don’t deny it, we’ve all thought about it). Facebook allows you to present music, videos, photos, competitions and all sorts of lovely things internally (you don’t have to leave Facebook to see them), but the buggers keep changing the format every 4 months, and by the time you’ve worked it out, they sweep the rug out from under you and change it all. Not to mention all their restrictions on advertising inside the website. Don’t put anything in your bands cover photo that tells someone where to buy a product. Facebook will take your page down without telling you. By all means say its out or available though! They do however have some insanely good (albeit slightly 1984/Orwellian) marketing devices. We’ll get to that later.

There are, of course, other ways of engaging your fans. That lovely website you spent £4k on development and that amazing feature that no-one else has done yet for example. The problem is, you’ll find it very quickly becomes a holding page for you to link to from your Facebook/Twitter account (We were actually talking about this in the office after I wrote this). However, it is an amazing way to archive your work and keep things neatly organized in a way that other places don’t. A good example is your gig list. Myspace makes it looks ugly in my opinion and that puts people off reading it. Keep it on your website, drive a bit of traffic that way and lay it out in a way you would like to see it. It’s your website after all!

Also, lets not forget the newsletter. Now this is still pretty effective, just don’t ever look at the stats, they’ll depress you. If memory serves, the average for people opening the email sits at about 9% and the average people that actually click a link in your newsletter is about 2/3%. Most good newsletter systems will give you a link to your newsletter too, so you can share it around to people to read in their browser. Some will even allow you to link up your Facebook or Twitter (Starting to see a trend here yet?) so you can spread the word further. Completely customisable from layout to content, its yours to design and make.

Now the major advantage of Facebook is the marketing aspect. No other social media does it as well, so if you’re looking to make some money and sell some product, its the place to be. Their marketing ability is spectacular, if not slightly bloody scary. The beauty of it is, is that you can spend as little as you like on it. £5, see how it does. If it does well, pump some more money in. If it doesn’t, you’ve only spent a fiver. You can tailor it to a fine point too. Target people that like similar pages. Show the punter that their friend likes that page too. The scariest aspect of it though, is the way you can target advertise through keywords. There’s a little text box in the Ad’s section where you can tap in keywords that, if people mention it in their status, relevant Adverts will start appearing in their news feed. “Oh fudge, I broke my bike chain” will soon become a little square box on the right hand ad feed saying “Cheap bike repairs in Chatham”. Incredibly clever, but a bit creepy at the same time. (It’s worth mentioning that you can turn all of this off, but it’s a bit of a ball ache (surprise surprise). It’s your privacy, think about it.)

So there’s a bit of an intro into Social Media. You might notice its heavily Facebook based, but that’s where you have to most control over what you can do. Twitter is much more to the point, so it’s fairly straightforward. Facebook is where you’ll make money from driving sales.

Oh, a few final things in this whirlwind social media ride, which were in fact my point in writing a blog on the topic.

There’s a technique that has various names but I’ll call it The Rule Of Thirds here. It’s very simple, and will prevent you losing followers and likes (although its rather difficult to mass unlike things on Facebook. Another advantage…). Don’t constantly spam your demographic with messages to buy your wares. People will quickly grow tired of this, especially Twitter followers (Twitter followers are much less forgiving than Facebook Followers. They tend to be a lot savvier and will drop you like a stone). So the trick is to make roughly every third message a marketing one. Buy the album, get my tour tickets, blah. Every third is also a minimum. I try and go for every five or six personally. Don’t forget to reward either. Free tracks or posters or a personal video of the band saying “HI WERE ON TOUR!!!!!  *cough*to support our new album*cough*” work very well, people love them, and are technically marketing without shoving it in the consumers face. Also, keep it relevant and not stream of consciousness type barrage of messages.

Which leads me into my final point. Keep it personal. If it sounds like you are directly talking to that fan, they’ll like it more. Now, for a label or a brand I can appreciate that might be a bit tricky, but for an artist its imperative. Make it first person. I can’t stress this enough. You do NOT want to make it sound like someone is writing your tweets for you. Don’t con your fans. One of them will work out that you can’t have tweeted that, because you were either onstage or being interviewed live. They are much smarter than you think. If it is someone else doing it for you/them, set up a little system that lets the fan know when its you and with its you’re assistant (E.g. Tom Cruise. His Tweets end TC, his teams end TCHQ…I think. You get the point.).

So there you go. A quick, scatterbrained take on social media. Feel free to leave any questions below and I’ll try and dig the answer out of my seminar notes! I’ll come back later with another article about social media thats a bit more targeted, but this should (hopefully) get you moving in the right direction.

By Luke Crook

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland    South East                South West    Wales   West Midlands

Working For An Indie Record Label – Part 3 : Pitching To A Record Label

So, we’ve covered a few bits about the thought process that goes into getting a record onto iTunes and into shops and also sourcing and producing artwork for the release.

Next up, I want to touch on Press Releases and Biographies. Record labels receive bucket loads of these together with a CD attached. Some are good. Some are ok. Some are downright awful!

Now, for those of you that don’t know, a Press Release is a piece of paper that contains a brief overview of the release you are trying to push out to media or radio or labels. Every release we do at the label has a press release to go with it, telling whoever reads it about the release, collaborators, interesting facts and angles, and also a little bit about the band too. Traditionally these are usually written up by the Print (Magazines/Newspapers) PR company you have on board to work the release. Throw a photo in if you like and you’re sorted.

A Biography is just that. A history of the band or act written by someone else. A page long should suffice, but obviously it all depends on how long the subjects of it have been going. Be honest, big yourself up and try and get someone outside of the band to write it. An impartial biography reads much better than a fan boy one.

Of course, if you’re signed to a label or management, then you don’t really need to worry about this, as someone else will be writing all these up for you. However, if like most of the examples I receive you’re unsigned and doing it yourselves, here are a few pointers for you, from what I’ve seen.

Press Releases/Biog

  • Keep them to the point. By all means, shout to the heavens about your achievements; you’ve got every right. Just don’t waffle. Lots of indie labels run small crews, so a 4 page copy about your band is not a smart move. Keep the meat of your text somewhere on your website or Facebook page where someone can find it, and make your press release interesting so people want to find out more.
  • Appearance and presentation. Humans make first impressions on another person in under a second or something ridiculous like that. Same theory applies when you submit your info to a label. I have received a press release written in crayon (by what appeared to be a 4 year old) on lined Winnie The Pooh paper (I think) with cut outs of the bands photos thrown in for good measure. Arty, yes. Easy to read, No. By all means be inventive and creative. You want to stand out. Just don’t make it difficult to read. The best one I have seen had a brief hand written hello, press release, a biography and upcoming gig dates with a sticker, a CD and some badges.
  • If you can afford to or you think it might help, throw in a few gig tickets. Personally, I will always try to at least make it to the show if someone sends some tickets through the post to us about their band. I’m a musician, and tickets are income. So if they’re prepared to lose £12 and send a few tickets through, I personally am more likely to go and watch. It’s a nice gesture.
  • Emails. We live in a digital age. However, here are a few tips for you guys sending links about over email…
    • DON’T ATTACH YOUR MUSIC FILES TO THE EMAIL! Trying to download 45.3MB of attachments is not only annoying; it slows down receiving the rest of your emails. Link to your Soundcloud/Band Camp/Myspace.
    • Write a bit more than “Hey, listen to my band. Thanks, J. Bloggs”. Throw a bit of your bio in, leave a few links to music and gigs and videos. Don’t drown the email with words, but give us some assets.
    • This is an important one. Don’t, for love of all that is good and tasty in the world, paste 300 email addresses into your “To:” or “CC:” section. Use BCC, A.K.A. Blind Copy. It sends the email to everyone, but the recipients don’t see the 299 other labels you’ve sent your band to. Personalization is key here. Talk to us directly, not a blanket “Hi guys…”.

I hope this helps you guys out when it comes to trying to pimp your band out to labels or management. I will leave you with one, final piece of advice.

Know what label you are sending music to. Sunday Best are traditionally Leftfield, Hip-Hop, Dance, and Indie with bands like Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Dub Pistols, Max Sedgley, and Beardyman. For example, the death metal band who sent me a CD of music for our consideration, I enjoyed. Next time though, send it to Earache or Nuclear Blast, you might get a better response. KNOW YOUR TARGET!

By Luke Crook

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland    South East               South West    Wales   West Midlands  

Working For An Indie Record Label – Part 2 – By Luke Crook

Hello again!

So, the last article was a bit of a ramble aimed at some of the tech/admin steps you go through at a label to take a release from X tracks on a CD-R or Pendrive and getting it out to digital and physical retailers worldwide.

This time, lets talk about something that’s a little more…well, creative!

Artwork.

Next to the music itself, artwork is in my opinion the next more important part of a release. Before streaming music became so incredibly popular, all you had to go on was if you’d heard it on the radio and how awesome the front cover looked!

So, where do you start?

Well, first things first, you need an idea. Whilst it might sound stupid, you can waste a lot of time if you don’t have some direction, because more often than not, the music is more or less done before the artwork starts, and no-one wants to rush. Following that, you need a designer to put it all together. This can take some time too, so make sure you’re looking out for one. Check out other CD designs you like, artwork, even book covers. Students are good, as they are cheap! Friends are even better! Discussions about whether you can gloss finish, matte finish, pantones/fluros (neon colours), metallic effects, how many pages you want in your booklet/inlay, how you want your digipack to fold and open will follow that. Lots of fun!

Then, once you’ve got a designer working on your great idea, you need to work out formats. CD/Limited Edition CD/LP/Digital/Magical Unicorn Edition.

Now, on the surface, a pack shot (Album Cover) is a pack shot, but format changes everything. CD’s are fairly straight forward and versatile. If it’s a jewel case, your inlay/booklet doubles up as your pack shot! Yaaay! All you need after that is your artwork for under the tray (where the CD slots) and artwork for the back of the case, which more often than not has the track listing. Digipacks are slightly different, because it’s all printed onto one piece of card and then folded. It can be gatefold, 2 fold, 3 fold (Rammsteins latest release opened out 5 ways if memory serves!). You need to remember where the slot for your inlay (if you have one) is going if you have one too!

Now, before I go any further, I’ve forgotten to mention one of the most important aspects of artwork. Label Copy. Label copy is essential the bible for the release. It’s a document containing everything about the album/single. Catalogue number, artist, title, track listing, publishers, copyright and publishing rights, collaborators, thank yous, websites and loads more. Most of this will go into your booklet and back cover for legal and information reasons.

Great, that’s the CD covered. Oh…what about the LP? No booklet there (Unless you’re feeling fancy!). So, you’ve not got to go back and ask your designer very nicely if he/she can do you a whole new template. Front and back sleeve (And center if it’s a gatefold) and stickers for the vinyl. This leads me back to my point about making sure you know all your formats before you go to design, otherwise you’ll: A. Irritate your designer or B. End up having to pay more for another format design. LP’s tend to have a far more stripped down label copy on them, purely for the sake of space.

Digitally, its pretty simple. Just a packshot. Bliss. Through iTunes you can also get a digital booklet to go with it if you want, as an added extra.

All of that, when all most people will ever see is the pack shot, when they walk past it in the shops or scroll past online. That’s your one chance to catch their attention and get them interested. The rest, that’s their reward for picking it up.

Always run it past your artist for approval. They don’t need to see it at every stage, just when there is a significant change or update.

Oh, and don’t forget to proof read it. Lots!

by Luke Crook

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland   South East    South West    Wales   West Midlands  

Garden Poetry Party – Launch of Rochester Literature Festival – 22nd July 2012 – Rochester – Kent

A brand new festival for Rochester will launch in July under the banner of the Rochester Literature Festival.

With the inaugural Festival planned to coincide with National Poetry Day in October 2013, a number of fringe events will take place beforehand, the first of which is The Garden Poetry Party, on Sunday 22nd July, at Eastgate House Gardens.

Celebrated Medway Poet Bill Lewis will be joined by storyteller and founding RLF (Rochester Literature Festival) member Philip Kane, The James Worse Public Address Method and singer songwriters Abigail Zeiring-Delmado and Didi Bergman. Comperes for the afternoon will be stand up comics CO Jones and Mat Wills.

Among the entertainment will be at least one open mic session and a children’s creative corner, with more activities available for visitors to join in with.The event will take place between 12 noon and 4pm and there will be refreshments available to buy, courtesy of Dot Cafe, Sonya’s Cupcakes and The Cocktail Club.

Should it rain, the event will be held inside Eastgate House itself. A Medway Archive exhibition entitled ‘Metal Men of Medway’ is taking place inside at the same time, which looks at the stories of the art and memorials of Medway’s streets.

A number of book and craft stalls will also be in the garden. Enquiries on how to secure one can be made to rochesterlitfest@gmail.com

Promotions Director Jaye Nolan outlined the aims of the festival: “The Rochester Literature Festival wishes to bring writers, performers, directors, producers and film makers together, anyone, in fact, whose work has creative writing at its heart.

We’ll be looking for challenges and events, and the chance to collaborate with likeminded folk.

Rochester has a fantastic reputation for festivals incorporating dance, music and art, and, of course, our most celebrated author, Charles Dickens. We’re sure he would approve of a dedicated literature festival, especially one that will bring Medway’s huge variety of writers, old and new, to the fore.”

To keep up to date with all the news from the Rochester Literature Festival, visit their website here http://rochesterlitfest.com/ follow them on Twitter @RochLitFest  and like their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RochesterLiteratureFestival

Area: South East

A Medway Vision 6 – Elusive Images

Rochester is beautiful.  We all know that.  The historical buildings, the river scene; it’s all been photographed and painted so many times and rightly so.  There is a photographer in Medway, going by the name of Obee, who continues this tradition but adds a new twist.  Obee’s images have a traditional feel but, by using a variety of techniques such as time lapse, creates a more surreal look, making those images that we have all seen so many times suddenly feel more mysterious and elusive.

And yet Obee still makes the pictures fun and easy to enjoy.  Obee explains that he decided to quickly document the Medway towns “my goal was to set a day three times a month where I would take my bicycle and camera out and archive towns and events recommended by friends. By 2010 I had amassed a small archive of Medway and surrounding Kent and found I had developed an avid following by the local community, so much so that I started to publish a weekly blog of my fun adventures and where I was heading to next to keep people up to date”

Previous to this Obee started out in 2004 photographing unsigned bands in the London metal/rock scene.  He soon discovered the 

potential of Photoshop and began to manipulate the raw images.  Obee then began to take advantage of the myspace band promotion movement by providing visuals such as online banners, EPs, Tshirts, flyers, gig photography and album covers.  Early 2008 Obee left London and moved to Medway, where he began to meet other artists found what OI too have noticed; a growing hive of creative activity and a varied music scene.  Obee soon developed his very own ‘Medway Vision’.  No doubt inspired by the beauty and interesting features of the area Obee decided to concentrate, so far at least, on landscape shots.  He explains “I wanted to try and get some good old fashioned photography back into my portfolio and capture some of Medway purely for its grand history.”

His style is warm yet haunting at times.  Obee explains “photography of landscapes are currently my signature style with full clear broad colourful spectrums pushing vivid imaging to the max. Another technique I define my works with is infrared and time delay, a skill that was more used on pre-digital cameras. To allow 6 minute exposures with only the furthest end of the light spectrum can produce some of the most haunting images. Human traffic vanishes into a thick fog leaving just the buildings and the camera as witness.”

Obee seems to believe in the ‘Medway Vision’ I have been noticing, this desire to create, this special creative time we seem to live in.  His attitude to his work is refreshing, honest and modest too, “I have a firm belief art is by no means hard if you are genuinely open and passionate about your environment and those you share it with.”  Seeing Obee’s work, those views we are all so familiar with but shot in a different way, is like seeing yourself in a mirror but with a new suit on.  You know it’s you but it looks fresher, more relevant for the 21st Century.

The goal of Obee is to keep shooting events and places in Medway and he hopes that there is a possibility of an exhibition of his work.  If that happens and you want to see Medway with fresh eyes then you will want to be first in the queue.

For more information visit:  obi3380.wordpress.com

Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker

www.themoontheeye.co.uk


Area – South East

Fashion On Trial – Presentation and Discussion -19th April – Rochester


FASHION ON TRIAL is all set for Thursday 19th April. It will be held at the Good Intent pub, John Street, Rochester, from 8pm (in the back bar, accessed via the garden). Come and join Medway Mutiny in the middle of London Alternative Fashion Week, for an evening of discussion and entertainment on the theme of…you guessed it…fashion. We’ll be talking about clothes, brands and nudity; plus there’s comedy, music and storytelling. Including, of course, the ever popular speed debating. And it’s free!

We’ll be hearing from Marta Patlewicz and Abigail Ziering-Dalmedo (fresh from taking part in Alternative Fashion Week herself) about the downside of the fashion industry. Kevin Elam makes the case for nudity. Sam Hall talks about tattoos, and there will be a rant against retro-ism.  Abigail will also be contributing on the musical side. There will be stand-up comedy from CO Jones and Mat Wills; and storytelling from Philip Kane.

Most importantly though, FASHION ON TRIAL is all about opening up a space for discussion and debate, a place where your voice can be heard.  So come along and take part in the most exciting forum in Medway.  Everyone who came to Love On Trial, in February, agreed they’d had a brilliant evening.  And hopefully we’ll get even better at this as we progress!

FASHION ON TRIAL is organised and hosted by Medway Mutiny, a loose collective formed in broad sympathy with the Occupy movement.  Newcomers are welcome to get involved with the collective, and with planning or participating in the On Trial events – just let us know that you’re interested.  If you have something that you’d like to promote at On Trial evenings – whether it’s an event or a cause – and have material (eg flyers) that you’d like to distribute – please turn up as early as possible so that your material can be included in our Goodie Bags, which everyone can take away with them at the end of the evening.

Look out for the next event after this, too.  MONARCHY ON TRIAL is due on Thursday 21st June – a good antidote to the Jubilee festival of sycophancy and forelock-tugging!  Keep an eye on the blog at http://medwaymutiny.wordpress.com for news and updates.

You can also contact Medway Mutiny direct by emailing medwaymutiny@btinternet.com.

Area – South East and London

Kent Filmmaker Enters 48 Hour Film Challenge

Kent filmmaker Mdhamiri Nkemi is entering the Sci-Fi London 48 hour film challenge. Mdhamiri will be filming this weekend – but he will only receive the brief for the film Saturday morning and have 48 hours to script, film, edit and deliver his piece. All the brief will contain is a title, details of props to be included and a line of dialogue.

A number of locations are allowing Mdhamiri to film at their businesses but the crew would appreciate the addition of any more shooting locations including offices, shops, studios or spaceships. If you would be willing to help please email energy333air@yahoo.co.uk

The competition, which is part of the London sci-fi film festival, will give filmmakers the opportunity to have their film screened at the festival and the winner will get a development deal with Vertigo films.

So far Mdhamiri would like to thank the Golden Chippy in Strood and the coworking space @coFWD in Rochester High Street for their help.

To follow the progress over the weekend use  #SFL48HR on Twitter and you can find Mdhamiri on Twitter.

For more information about the 48 hour film challenge please see http://www.sci-fi-london.com/48-hour-film-challenge

Area- South East

Celebrate Medway’s Creativity On 23rd June 2012

Medway is the centre of a flourishing creative community and on June 23rd the Nucleus arts centre in Chatham welcomes everyone to join them in the celebration of their 10th anniversary. The day of celebrations will run from 11am to 11pm throughout the town centre and will include a mixture of exhibitions, open artist studios, street performers and live music.

The Nucleus arts centre in Chatham, which resides next to the Trafalgar centre on the high street, opened its doors to a variety of artists in June 2002. Since then over 400 creatives have used the valuable work space to produce their work as well as exhibit to the local community.

10 years ago local sculptor Hilary Halpern found there was a limited amount of creative working space available in the Medway area. After speaking to local artists it was established that there was a great demand for such a place and this evidence was taken to Medway council and the arts council. These authorities gave the go ahead and Hilary found 272a/b in Chatham High Street which was the perfect building for the concept. Previously used for a number of businesses including a health food restaurant, bakery and even a builders yard, Hilary and his daughter developed the building into artist studios and exhibition space. A month after opening the Nucleus cafe was opened at the same site which added a social and community dimension to the studios.

Since then Nucleus has extended its studios in Chatham and also runs a shop in Rochester and Maidstone. In the future Nucleus want to hold more workshops and educational projects which can support more people within the community. They are also planning to involve themselves more in media such as You Tube and hope to soon have an online store for their artists.

See you on the 23rd of June for the anniversary celebrations!

About The Day

On the stage at the art centre there will be local bands playing for you for free until 8pm. They have a fantastic Stones tribute band, a Jazz band, Acoustic and Folk bands and alternative rock to keep you entertained throughout the day. They also have comedian Nigel Adams and book readings from Wolf Howard and Jim Hill at the Centre. There will be arts and craft stalls along their driveway and portraiture/cartoon drawings as well as face painting and Henna/glitter tattoos for the children.

The Rochester Coffee Company will have food and drink to keep you refreshed including an outside bar and a scrumptious BBQ!! 😎

Along the High Street at various times there will be performances by Circus Street Performers Jugglez and Street Theatre too.

In the Central Theatre between 1pm-4pm they will have the Kent County Choirs and Musicians, Walk Tall Theatre Group, Force 10 and dance groups Dance Alley and Medina Belly Dancers. All of these acts will be performing for you and the whole of this event is FREE.

Finally, upstairs in the Pentagon there will be theatre and dance acts from the Central Theatre performing for you between 1.30-4.30pm.

Here is a slideshow of how the Nucleus art centre has developed over the last 10years.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Area – South East

ME1 – 28th July 2012 – Rochester – Kent

July 28th sees the launch of Music Event One, an exciting new music event to be held in the spectacular grounds of Rochester Castle. Music Event One are proud to announce that this years inaugural event will be headlined by the legendary Public Image LtdPiL top a main stage line up that mixes iconic artists with new and up and coming talent, all enclosed by the historic castle walls, in the gaze of it’s magnificent Keep. Joining PiL are heroes of alternative music The Wedding Present, hometown psyche-pop favourites Theatre Royal and hotly tipped alternative hip-hop act Kids Unique.

Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential bands of all timePiL’s music and vision earned them 5 UK Top 20 Singles (including ‘Public ImageThis Is Not a Love Song’ and ‘Rise’) and 5 UK Top 20 Albums. With a shifting line-up and unique sound John Lydon guided the band from their debut album ‘First Issue’ in 1978 through to 1992’s ‘That What Is Not’, before a 17 year hiatus.  John then resurrected PiL in 2009 playing live worldwide. Now after 20 years yet another new and unique chapter is set to unfold in the shape of new PiL material as they confirm that their first new album in 20 years ‘This Is PiL’ will bereleased on May 28thPiL have seemingly returned as relevant as ever, of a recent live performance The Times commented “This was an evening of uncompromising art music, worthy of the total concentration of the audience.”

Joining PiL on the main stage will be The Wedding Present, one of the most influential and successful of Britain’s truly alternative bands. Led by David Gedge, the bands stubborn refusal to play the record industry’s game has seen them notch up an impressive 18 Top 40 hit singles and a heap of critical praise along the way.  In the words of John Peel “The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Era. You may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong!” In 2012 the band added further to this great canon of songs with the release of acclaimed new album ‘Valentina’.

Taking to the stage before The Wedding Present will be two bands signed to Rochester’s very own independent record label The Preservation Society PresentsTheatre Royal and Kids Unique.  Rochester’s Theatre Royawill release their 2nd album this summer, featuring more music that ‘heads straight for the melodic jugular’ –Artrocker whilst the articulate hip-hip of main stage openersKids Unique is fast finding fans from XFM to Q TV.

As well as a main stage in the castle grounds, Medway Event One will incorporate a fringe festival of live music in venues throughout Rochester. The fringe will feature a variety of acts both new and established, details of which are soon to be announced.

On July 28th the whole of Rochester will be filled with live music from big named acts to unheralded treasures and getting there could not be easier. Rochester Castle is situated just 5 minutes from two train stations (Strood and Rochester), with high-speed rail services making travel from London and the surrounding area of Kent swift and convenient.

Tickets priced £26 will go on sale May 4th  and will be available through Ticketmaster, the Medway Council Box Office and Rochester Visitors Information Centre. Tickets paid for in cash from Rochester Visitors Information Centre will not be subject to a booking fee.

www.musiceventone.co.uk

Rochester Castle
Castle Hill
Rochester
Kent
ME1 1SW

#musiceventone

www.pilofficial.com

‘by arrangement with Solo’

Album ‘This is PiL’ out May 28

Area – South East

From Aphra Behn to the Angry Young Women – Talk By Sam Hall – 8th March 2012 – Rochester

 From Aphra Behn to the angry young women: A top ten of the UK’s women playwrights for International Women’s Day. From Aphra Behn, the first British woman to make a living from writing, to today’s new wave of angry young female playwrights, are women finally breaking through the theatre’s glass ceiling, or have they always been there? A talk given by Sam Hall, playwright and founder of 17Percent, an organisation to support female playwrights.
Thursday 8th March 7.30pm at Rochester library. 
Book your FREE place by calling Rochester Library 01634 337411 
Area – South East

Save The Date – Creative Minds Meeting Like Minds – Saturday 14th July 2012 – Strood – Kent

Creative minds: meeting like minds. Interested in art and creativity? Come and mingle with like-minded individuals and share coffee and ideas. Open to all artists if you’re a beginner or someone more advanced. Artists, writers, dancers, actors, musicians or creative crafters. Who knows who you could meet?

Strood library 10am – 12.30 Saturday 14th July.

To book a place call 01634 335890 or email strood.library@medway.gov.uk 

Area: South East

False Realties – Exhibition by Christina Lai at UCA Gallery – Chatham – August to December 2011

Discover the curious world of False Realities, Christina Lai’s ceramics and mixed media art at UCA gallery near scenic historic Rochester, Kent. Having recently exhibited at New Designers in London, Christina’s work will featured in the newly opened gallery, along with artists of diverse mediums (painting, printing, sculpture, digital art, photography, fashion and textiles) from campuses of University for the Creative Arts.  Continue reading