The Rats Bay Shindig! 5th and 6th April.

The Rats Bay Shindig! 5th and 6th April.

The Rats Bay Shindig, Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th April 2014

A new family friendly extravaganza is taking place on the first weekend of the Easter Holidays. On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th April the area surrounding Sun Pier in Chatham will come alive with a large celebration of arts and culture.

Between 11am and 5pm each day the weekend is host to variety of special art events and festivities. In the past 2 years the Medway art scene has seen a massive boom of activity and there is certainly a lot to celebrate in the west end of Chatham.

Overlooking the pier, Sun Pier House is opening the doors to the new Sun Pier Gallery and Tearoom for the first time. Launching with a large exhibition of work by the 15 resident artists; ‘Presenting, Sun Pier House’ incorporates a variety of art, craft and fashion. With panoramic river views the 2nd floor Gallery and Tearoom is set to become a scenic retreat in the busy town centre.

The weekend witnesses the launch of the first charter boat trips in a generation from the newly refurbished Sun Pier, with the Sailing Barge Edith May and Jetstream Tours providing unique River experiences for all ages.
The weekend will also mark the inaugural Sun Pier Arts Market, a new outdoor market that is set to take place regularly throughout the year. Stallholders will be offering a variety of work to buy, food to sample, activities to try and classic carnival games for all the family.

The Rats Bay Shindig has been instigated by the managers of new creative venue Sun Pier House, with the intention to bring some much needed life back to the west end of Chatham High Street. Over the course of the two days there is a full spectrum of entertainment on offer. Including; art workshops, live music performances, river trips, dance classes, exhibitions, history tours, evening functions and a Sunday night cult film screening.

A weekend not to be missed!

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– Sun Pier House CIC,, is a creative hub, providing artist studios, shared office space, function rooms, workshops, classes, large public gallery and tearoom.
– The first Sun Pier House Gallery exhibition opens officially on Friday 4th April with an evening reception, 6:30pm – 9pm. The Deputy Mayor and local MP Tracey Crouch will be attending to welcome the new facility. Local folk singer, Sally Ironmonger is booked to perform between 7pm and 8:30pm.
– Sun Pier is owned and managed by Medway Council, the pontoon refurbishment has been taking place throughout the winter 2013/2014
– The Mayor of Medway is attending on Sunday 6th, at 10am to officially launch the river trips and will be sailing aboard the Edith May – spaces are available for members of the press but are limited and must be booked in advance.
– The Sailing Barge Edith May, trades as the Edith May Trading Company and is owned by Geoff Gransden, of Upchurch.
– Jetstream Tours, is a new company set up by Richard Bain, a fully qualified Boat Master from Higham.
– ‘Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs’ will be playing the first music gig at Sun Pier House on Saturday night. Tickets will be available to buy through the Sun Pier House website.