Hop Festival History – 1990 to present day

Like any child growing into adulthood, the Hop Festival has developed to express its own personality. A variation on a theme first delivered under the guidance of loving parents.It's no longer a beer festival, morris festival or folk festival. There are stalls but it isn't a street market or food festival. Hosts a fun fair but it isn't a fairground. It's free to enter. And with all of these things, we have come to 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.  

Anne remembers:

"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. 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.


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