One of Maidstone’s most popular annual events is returning to Whatman Park this May, with the Proms in the Park 2018 concert providing residents and visitors to the area the opportunity to join in the musical celebrations on a glorious spring day.
Scheduled for Saturday 26 May, the Proms in the Park event offers an entire afternoon of entertainment that is perfect for families and fans of live music. Younger audience members will be delighted at the return of Boogie Monsters and the ever popular Punch and Judy Show. With performances by the Hazlitt Youth Theatre and a programme of renowned classical and big band works by Maidstone Wind Symphony, the event will showcase the very best of Maidstone in a relaxed and enjoyable day.
Arranged in conjunction with Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) and the Hazlitt Theatre, Proms in the Park starts mid-afternoon and finishes in the early evening, enabling visitors with young families to enjoy the performances without the worry of a late evening.
This year, for the first time, Proms in the Park will be ticketed with a small fee of £7 for adults (£5 if booked before 30 April 2018), while children under 16 are free of charge. The fee has been introduced following an overall reduction in Council funding for MBC-run events as part of budget savings.
Laura Dickson, Visitor Economy Development Manager for MBC said:
“Proms in the Park is an incredibly popular event, welcoming audiences of up to 2,000 people each year. The revenue raised through ticket sales will be vital in supporting the event and ensuring it can continue in future years.”
“The schedule for this year’s Proms promises to offer something for everyone,” said Michelle Woodland, Marketing Manager at the Hazlitt Theatre.
“We’re proud to be working alongside Maidstone Borough Council and Maidstone Wind Symphony to put on this event for all ages. With the Hazlitt Youth Theatre also taking to the stage, we’re certain it will be a great day’s entertainment, with a magnificent community spirit.”
More details of Proms in the Park 2018 will follow in the coming weeks, while promotion on social media will be supported with the use of the hashtag #Proms2018. Follow today to keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments.
If you have any questions about the event, these may be answered in our FAQ below.
MBC currently supports two events per year both financially and with officer time: Proms in the Park and the multi-cultural Food Festival, Shemomedjamo.
A reduction of £30,000 was agreed in 2016-17 as a budget saving over 3 years. Core funding for events is being reduced by £10,000 per year for 3 years from 2017-18. By 2020-21 the MBC funding of these events will be zero.
On 29 November 2016, the Heritage, Culture & Leisure Committee agreed to continue supporting Proms in the Park but to look for alternative funding to reduce the Council’s contribution and delay the decision on the introduction of ticketing for 12 months. For Proms in the Park to continue in 2018 and beyond, a new funding model had to be introduced.
Market research was carried out amongst audience members at the 2016 event and most felt an entry fee of £5 - £10 per person was acceptable. The Heritage, Culture & Leisure Committee then set the price for tickets for 2018 at a maximum of £7, with children under 16 remaining free of charge.
Early bird tickets, priced at £5 each, are available until 30 April 2018.
Tickets can be purchased from the Hazlitt Theatre box office on 01622 758611 or online at www.hazlitttheatre.com.
Since Proms in the Park is an open-air event, attendance can vary depending on the weather. Approximately 1,800 – 2,000 people attended the event in 2017.
Parkwood Leisure, who run the Hazlitt Theatre, provide event management as part of their contract with MBC. MBC provide staff resource for planning and marketing the event.
Currently the event does not have a sponsor. The event would require some development to become a viable proposition for sponsors and MBC would be happy to talk to any businesses interested.
The gates will open from 3pm for picnics with entertainment starting shortly after that. Maidstone Wind Symphony will be on stage from 6pm.
The event will finish around 8pm.
BBQs are not permitted at this event.
No, the park will be closed to the public from 2pm. Walkers will be able to pass through via the river path only.
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