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Undercover and Demon Dayz are among the festivals that Dreamland Margate hopes can turn the rejuvenated seaside town into a touring staple
By Jon Chapple on 10 Apr 2017
Independent punk and ska event Undercover Festival – it of pissing-off-the-NRA fame – is to relocate to Dreamland Margate for 2017, bringing the theme park’s slate of confirmed music festivals to four this year.
Undercover joins Margate Wonderland, a spin-off of east London hipster festival Hackney Wonderland; Hipsville Seaside-a-Go! Go!, which presents the “wildest rock’n’roll and soul sounds of the 1960s and beyond”; and Gorillaz’ Goldenvoice-promoted Demon Dayz Festival on Dreamland’s 2017 festival calendar, as the Victorian seaside resort bids to recapture former glories by positioning itself as major touring and festival destination for the east of England.
By the Sea, which took place at Dreamland in 2015 and 2016, has not yet announced any dates for 2017, although the festival is promoting a solo show by Slaves in July.
Dreamland, which dates from 1880, was once one of Britain’s best-loved amusement parks, but closed in 2003 after a long period of decline as seaside holidays fell out of favour. It was compulsorily purchased by Thanet District Council in 2013 and reopened two years later, bringing together “lovingly restored vintage rides set against a backdrop of art installations, adventurous street food, unique bars and an eclectic programme of live events”.
“We believe we’ve captured something truly special with this newly imagined incarnation of Dreamland”
Housing its live events offering are the original Hall by the Sea – a 2,000-capacity venue that played host to mod greats including The Who and The Rolling Stones – and a new 15,000-cap. venue, which will debut with Demon Dayz on 10 June and which Dreamland says “sees us put Margate back on the music venue map”.
Jennie Double, Dreamland Margate’s commercial director, says she “cannot wait to unveil the new park to locals and visitors alike. By combining contemporary food and culture with authentic vintage rides and the uniquely British heritage that only we can offer, we believe we’ve captured something truly special with this newly imagined incarnation of Dreamland.”
Undercover Festival 2017, which runs from 8 to 9 September, will feature performances by Tom Robinson, Geno Washington, Doctor and the Medics, Jilted John, UK, Ruts DC and Angelic Upstarts. Its promoter, Undercover Promotions’ Mick Moriarty, says the new venue will provide “an experience that defies all other conventions and festival templates. Not only do we have a cracking alternative line-up, but festivalgoers can experience many retro rides and amusements. Plus, it is once again held undercover – ie not outdoors – so if it’s peeing down come September it’s not a problem and your beer won’t get diluted.”
Speaking about Demon Dayz, Mags Revell, vice-president of live music at Goldenvoice/AEG Presents, told Music Week in March: “We have been planning the all-new Demon Dayz Festival, which sold out in 10 minutes, for some time, and Dreamland Margate is the ultimate venue for Gorillaz to make their long awaited return to the stage. The location and the backdrop of the amusement park will be the perfect playground for the full festival line-up.”
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