Raising the game for the music programme, the above will be supported by more than 100 artists and bands across three stages, including the Live and Local Arena.
This family-friendly event – which takes place on September 9 and 10 – will be mixing all that was good from the previous 30 years of Hops and Harvest, with some fabulous new festival venues and entertainment. There will be the usual picking, the Kentish Ales and Cider Tent, country life community activities and Kentish traditions, the Pearly Kings and Queens, The Farm Yard and Cuddle Corner all nicely co-habiting with The Bohemian Woods, Wish Upon A Star, Hipshaker in the Village Hall; workshops, debates and spoken word in The School House and fantastical story-telling in The Granary.
The Hops and Harvest Boutique Festival – held at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, near Maidstone – will feature performances from top bands, an extended schedule of activities, as well as hop-pocking, local ales and other Kentish traditions.
Kent Life’s General Manager Natalie Cox said: “With an impressive music line-up, fantastic locally-produced ales and plenty of activities for the children during the day, there really is something for everyone at The Hops and Harvest Boutique Festival. We really mean it, this is not your average weekend in the country – it’s an amazing one!”
Starsailor (Saturday) burst onto the scene with hit single Fever – being named Britain’s Best New Band in the process – before reaching number two in the UK Album Chart with Silence Is Easy. Starsailor reformed in 2014 and have supported the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Killers and U2.
Starsailor have announced their brand new album All This Life, set for both physical and digital release on September 1 via Cooking Vinyl. The triumphant lead track ‘Listen To Your Heart’ is now available to stream here.
‘Listen To Your Heart’ is the stellar opening track from the album. Lead singer and guitarist James Walsh describes it as “an energetic, emotional song. I think in doing what we do, you have to be emotion and instinct lead. If every decision was sensible, practical and mulled over, we’d never have done anything or get anywhere. It’s not always easy, so you have to keep reminding yourself.”
Newton Faulkner (Sunday) topped the album chart with his debut LP Hand Built By Robots. Since then, he has adopted a style of music which has a greater emphasis on beats and texture which is perfect for festival slots. In the process, he has amassed a loyal following and shed his iconic dreadlocks.
Toploader (Sunday), most famous for their rendition of Dancing in the Moonlight, have sold millions of records and amassed a series of Top 20 hits since they formed in 1997. With a new album out this year, and plenty of older hits, the band will live up to their reputation of being a crowd-pleasing act.
A series of local up-and-coming musicians are also set to wow the crowds at the Hops and Harvest Boutique Festival in Kent.
The Peaks, a group of 17-year-old school friends from Canterbury, were invited to perform on the influential Croissant Neuf Bandstand stage at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. They have made a real impression with their high-energy, upbeat indie rock music and are tipped for great things by many in the industry.
Another act familiar with Glastonbury to be playing at the Hops and Harvest Boutique Festival is Ben Russell and The Charmers, who have toured the world with their feel-good reggae sound which fuses European and Australasian styles. Fronted by Ben Russell, the band has received rave reviews on their travels, as well as praise from BBC Radio1Xtra presenter David Rodigan.
Wake Up Leo is no stranger to playing big shows, having shared the same stage as Reef, Reverent and The Makers and The Frattellis. The band promises huge choruses and fragile refrains, as well as a fusion of guitar and synth ahead of the release of new EP Devolution.
And if you fancy hearing some of your favourite songs, Contraband will be performing a wide range of songs from different genres – from Pink and Lily Allen to The Killers and Fleetwood Mac. The five-piece guarantees a sing-along for everyone – just as they have for the past 30 years.
Also taking to the stage are popular festival performers The Unknown, the creative genre-blending, loop pedalling Ralph Taylor, care-free alt-folk country band Hobo and The Hippies, Bromley-based James Hodder and his fusion of folk and American influences with bittersweet stories and country melodies, as well as up-and-coming singer-songwriters Wren, Steve Hewitt and Aid Lewis.
Other support acts announced are:
Bang Bang Romeo – www.facebook.com/bbromeo
The Wholls – www.facebook.com/thewholls
Up Down Go Machine – www.facebook.com/updowngomachine
Vambo – www.facebook.com/vamboofficial
Duke of Wolves – www.facebook.com/dukeofwolves
The Hops and Harvest Boutique will be open from midday to midnight on both days (live performances finish at 11pm).
Limited parking is available on site, but visitors are strongly encouraged to make use of a shuttle bus service operating from Maidstone East and West train stations, as well as the town centre, on the weekend of the festival. Kent Life Heritage Farm Park is in Lock Lane, Sandling, near Maidstone, just off junction 6 of the M20 or only an hour by train from London.
For ticket information, visit www.hopsandharvest.co.uk/tickets
Festivals Guide: This event is part of our Festivals 2017 guide
Address: Kent Life Museum in KENT