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Guide to JAM on the Marsh

About the festival

How many festivals can boast 14 medieval venues, a steam railway and a desert as their backdrop? For 11 days each July Kent’s own multi-arts festival, just 1 hour from central London, takes place in the unique landscape of Romney Marsh, stretching 15 miles from Hythe to Dungeness. Traversing this much-loved terrain, the festival invites its audience to get up close to world-class performers and events, including music, theatre, sculpture, art and poetry. There is something very special about experiencing great performance in small, intimate spaces. An ancient church with a few hundred people compared with a faceless hall and a few thousand.

Changeling Theatre opens the festival with its brand new, hysterical and irreverent production of Oscar Wilde’s ever popular The Importance of Being Earnest. This bold, imaginative and magical open air theatre company returns to the heart of New Romney, where the church and town become the play’s sets.

Music has been at the heart of every festival since 2014, and this year is no different. Concerts come thick and fast, featuring some world-famous names; think VOCES8; Lucy Crowe and James Gilchrist performing Walton’s Façade; Michael Collins with the London Mozart Players giving the world premiere of Judith Bingham’s Clarinet Concerto; the Holst Singers evoking the Romney Marsh; let the London Tango Quintet get the toes tapping.

6 free exhibitions including a Mosaics Trail capturing the history and character of each of the 14 Marsh churches, Angela C Smith’s breath-taking stone sculptures in the transept of St. Leonard’s Church, Hythe or John Ballard’s fabulous abstract oils filling St George’s, Ivychurch.

Where is it?

The festival takes place on Romney Marsh in the beautiful, rural countryside of Kent, hugging the south coast, just 1 hour from London.

How to get there?

By car: 15 minutes from the Ashford junction of the M20.

By train: The closest station is Ashford International, accessible from London & Europe.

What can tourists visit nearby?

Ride the famous Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway to the UK’s only desert at Dungeness, visit Port Lympne Safari Park, see the largest collection of skulls in the UK at St Leonard’s Church Hythe, kite-surf at Greatstone, wave at the French coast as you walk or cycle the (10km) sea wall, marvel at the stars in the biggest sky. Enjoy rural walks and beautiful landscape.  There’s plenty to do when you’re not submerged in the festival.

Why visit the festival?

JAM on the Marsh is a brilliant and vibrant multi arts festival in one of the most breath-taking and beautifully preserved locations, with some of the best beaches in the UK on the doorstep. JAM on the Marsh is a unique opportunity to get up close to world class artists and performances in the festival’s intimate medieval churches.

Local accommodation

There is a wide-range of accommodation available in the area, but it is a popular tourist destination, so we recommend booking well in advance!

Food & drink

All venues hosting events are within 15 minutes of such hostelries. The towns of Hythe, New Romney, Lydd and Rye have many restaurants and pubs. We do recommend booking restaurants in advance, as the Kent coast is a popular tourist destination.

Dress code

JAM on the Marsh has a casual dress code. We would recommend coming prepared for all eventualities as the weather can quickly change hour by hour, day by day. 

                                 For more information click here to visit the website of JAM on the Marsh

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