For the seventh year running, Canterbury will be taken over by the annual City Sound Project, a festival aimed at highlighting local talent and the city itself.
The City Sound Project will be hosting a range of events throughout May. The first, CSP In The Park, is being held in the Dane John Gardens this weekend and is free to enter. Mr McCaskill said “We’ll have headline acts, walking theatre, poetry, workshops, makers markets, street food court and loads more.”
“It’s set to be the biggest event of it’s type within the city walls, ever!”
The Marlowe Theatre is also taking part in the project, hosting Gabrielle Aplin on Sunday 6 May. Ms Aplin has released chart-topping songs internationally, and her cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “The Power of Love” was used for John Lewis’ 2012 Christmas advert.
The climax of festivities will come on Sunday 27 May with a paid-for, multi-venue music festival. Attendees with a wristband can go to any of the events on the day, which will take place all over the city. 15 sites ranging from parks, businesses and historic buildings will play host to headliners including Artful Dodger, Ms Banks and Wretch 32.
Festival director Blake McCaskill hopes to highlight one the city’s unique selling points: its heritage. With venues such as The Westgate Towers, Westgate Hall and the Greyfriars gardens, Mr McCaskill said “you have a set of really unique venues that you just don’t get everywhere. They’re very special and the festival gives us a chance to really show off Canterbury’s heritage.”
Local musician Luke Jackson is set to play at The Marlowe Studio with his trio, returning from tours in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. He praised the music scene in Canterbury, saying there are “lots of fantastic venues to play and a lot of opportunities for upcoming musicians all over Kent to get out and play live.”
Mr Jackson, who was nominated for two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2013, said “It is always nice to play hometown shows and it is especially nice to be involved in things going on musically in Canterbury. Being included in local events gives a nice sense of community.”
Remembering the first City Sound Project in 2012, Mr McCaskill said “we took over a handful of venues with 6 headline acts, on a cold, wet Sunday”. Seven years on and things couldn’t be more different, with thousands of people, over 200 acts and good weather expected to be in attendance.