Hop Festival History – 1990 to 2014
Like any child growing into adulthood, the Hop Festival has developed to express its own personality, its own variation on a theme first delivered under the guidance of loving parents. It’s no longer a beer festival, a morris festival, a folk music or even a music festival. It has stalls but isn’t a street market or food festival, a fun fair but isn’t a fairground. It’s free to enter, it’s all these things, and we love it.
In 2011, Faversham residents Trevor Payne and Anne Salmon provided a stunning pictorial history of the first 21 years of the festival at our Tourist information centre, the Fleur de Lis in Preston Street. Now its online at our web site.
"Gordon Newton first came up with the idea of the festival. As one of the acknowledged founders of the Sweeps festival in Rochester, he wanted to do something similar in Faversham. After a few years, Faversham Town Council took on running it, and then as it grew Swale Borough Council looked after it. Now of course it's run by volunteers from the very community it grew from."
From Tractors to Amplifiers, Retro to hip and back again, the festival has hopped between nostalgia and leading edge entertainment, involving more and more of the community that hosts it along the way.
Originally it looked to the history of a hopping celebration as it would have been, then it developed to provide entertainment relevant to a visiting hopping family as it would be today. Now it’s striking a balance.
As an internationally renowned local festival we’ll continue to develop that balance, and hope you’ll continue to enjoy it with us year after year.