Category Archives: events

Ashford Fringe Festival Starts This Weekend!

Are you ready to fringe? Comedy Night on Saturday the 28th at Ashford Arts Centre. Get yourself down here to check out Jordan Craig, freddie Main, Scarlett Dobson and Stuart Hosmer-Wright will be headlining the night.

Comedy Night Scarlett Dobson

COMEDY NIGHT at Ashford Arts Centre is Free! We want you to come see what it’s like here in our fantabulous arts centre. BYOB and come for the laughs.

Hosted by hilariously funny Jack Greaves .

Arts and Local Government Leaders Meeting Today

Rhonda Merrick, Founder and Creative Director of Kent Arts Television Film Music (KATFM), will deliver a speech and guide the Mayor of Ashford, several Councillors and other invited guests and Kent officials on a brief tour of Ashford Arts Centre this afternoon, as local leaders assemble to learn more about what may be the ideal business model for the future of arts groups in the wake of Sir Peter Bazalgette’s speech earlier this week in which he revealed local councils will have their Arts funding cut in half over the next four years.

Tune in and listen as to the speech as Merrick celebrates the centres first year in the property in Ashford town centre, just off the High Street. The speech will be broadcast live, but there will be no live images of the visitors in the room. Instead, online visitors will see a pre-recorded presentation as they listen to the discussion and tour.

Click here to listen to Sir Peter Bazalgette’s speech in its entirety.  The event was hosted by the Arts Council England and the New Local Government Network.

Ashford Arts Centre has evolved from start-up to growth. and expresses gratitude to the proactive help the project received for Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council as it moves from start-up to growth.

Local government and the arts: the future

Local government leaders are coming to visit Ashford Arts Centre this week. They're coming to see what we've achieved and what needs to be done. We have also approached corporations engaged in inward investment in Ashford with a view to sponsorships and partnerships so the Arts and Culture community will continue to thrive in the town centre alongside exciting new commercial ventures.

Local government and the future of Arts and Culture

The Arts Council England and a group of local councils and large businesses, called The New Local Government, will be streaming a speech by Sir Peter Bazalgette about local authority support for art and culture on Wednesday the 13th of April from 10:30AM.  If you’re interested, this is the link to watch the speech delivered live.

We are particularly interested in this speech as the only practical support and financial support KATFM has received to date has been from local government leaders. The Arts Council is a fantastic national programme for the Arts, but it seems too big and too far away for a tiny not-for-profit group like ours to reach. Nothing compares to the ability to pop round for a cup of tea and a chat about how our local leaders can help our Arts project survive and grow.


It’s with pride and great joy that we can look back and say this was an idea that a group of working musicians, dancers, film makers, writers and other creatives started with zero funding and managed to hang on to our first anniversary in the Ashford Arts Centre. How odd then, to come across an article about local government and its future role in supporting Arts and Culture, when several elected officials will be coming this week to tour our centre, watch a brief movie made in-house about the evolution of the project and have an informal discussion, over tea and coffee, about how Ashford Borough and Kent County Council  AND the Mayor, may be able to help us continue to grow from strength to strength, but this time, with proactive support from local government.

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After reading about the inward investment of the Big 8 companies in Ashford, I saw an opportunity to bring business and local government together in order to make Ashford town centre a more attractive place for families to visit. We have already outgrown our little centre and I hope to move into the Ashford People’s Theatre, similar to the one in Camden. There are a few possible sites for this to happen.

We don’t need anything fancy, just a village hall in the town centre.

After celebrating how far we’ve come with so little, we’ll share our vision for the future here in Ashford town centre. Ashford is Fantastic!

Be sure to tweet your thoughts on the speech. If you’re working in the Arts, this should concern you, because it concerns you.




PRS and PPL To Speak At Ashford Fringe Festival

Ever wonder how royalties are paid for your music? If you write your own songs and play them at your gigs or record music, you need to come to a FREE event On Thursday the 2nd of June when representatives from PPL and PRS in London gather at Ashford Arts Centre to meet, listen and talk with Kent musicians.

Bloodstone Blue

Seating is limited, to reserve your place you need to register. There will be a jam-session which is being filmed and recorded. After invited musicians have performed a song, the panel will discuss how that band or singer/songwriter might earn a better living as a musician with a bit of tweaking. Simple things such as reporting your gigs to PRS, to pitching your music properly to radio stations to understanding how royalties are paid for radio play to how KATFM can help you get access to small quantities of professional looking CD’s whenever you need them. You can come along on the night, but it would help with refreshments if we know you’re coming! If we get loads and loads of bookings, we might need to move the event out of the tiny theatre. So… Please send a quick message to

dave bailey

Sound recordings are not just for musicians, comics need them too! Be sure to get yourself to Comedy Night during Ashford Fringe Festival and for the warm-up on March 18th with Dave Bailey headlining. Dave is supported by:

Janet Garner
Ravi Holy
Si Deaves
Jack Lock
Delboy Maliki

Comedy Night is hosted by Matt Hoss, PhD of Comedy student

gig antic podcast









There will be music people, radio people and all sorts of people at Ashford Arts Centre on Thursday the 2nd of June. Make sure you get yourself there that night if you are or want to be a musician.

Ashford Fringe Festival

Get ready!


The Ashford Fringe Festival returns 28May2016 to 5June2016.

There will be music, poetry and spoken word evening, movie night a music festival with a HUGE surprise. Stay tuned. Last year, we were The Brilliant Book Festival and we ran in conjunction with Artigras. This year, Ashford Fringe Festival has a new name and will run for an entire week.

Bloodstone Blue, Rhonda and The Great Unknown and Move Over Dali are confirmed to play!

Matt Hoss is presenting our comedy night.

We’ll have a “Highlights from Live in the Living Room’ evening.

To find out about performing, send an email to

For sponsorship/donation information contact









First Annual Christmas Concert at KATFM

The first annual Christmas concert at KATFM took place on Sunday the 13th of December 2016. There was robust carol singing, Jessica Taylor sang ‘Light a candle’ a song about remembering people at Christmas, there was all sorts of lively and lovely music, laughter, conversation, food,  readings from 11 year old Benjamin Taylor ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ and the Christmas Story from St. Matthew shared by Paster Francis of The Potter’s House Ashford. Rhonda Merrick was music director, Ritchie Swann accompanist. Jessica played guitar. It was mellow and fun.

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The KATFM Christmas Concert was mainly a time for people who visit our centre to come together and wish each other a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Roll on 2016! We have a brand new tradition. From now on, KATFM will host a Christmas concert on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas at 3:00 pm.  Please mark your calendar for the 18th of December 2016 to join us next year. Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved with future events hosted by KATFM. Special thanks to The Potter’s House Ashford, a church group which meets every Sunday in the building, for co-hosting this event.

christmas concert reception

Happy Christmas!