A new creative wellbeing festival will be transforming Castle Hill in Ebbsfleet on Saturday 17 July with high energy performances including giant lip-syncing puppets.

Packed full of free workshops for people to try and performances to enjoy, Cloud9 Festival, aims to bring communities together, to rebuild connection to one another as we are released from lockdown.

A flyer for the event This is Cloud9 Festival’s first year and takes place at the village green and tennis courts at Castle Hill, close to Cherry Orchard School in Ebbsfleet and runs from 12noon until 6pm.

Free workshops on offer to the public include, salsa dancing, hula hooping classes with Charlene the Hoola Queen, circus skills, a capoeira class and Reggaeaerobics, plus craft workshops including macrame-making, to name just a few.

Performances on the day include:

  • Puppets with Guts’ giant lip-syncing lip puppets who sing and give speeches,
  • DJ Conrad Lee who will be DJ-ing from artist Sadie Hennessey’s gold ice cream van which recently featured as part of Estuary Festival in Gravesend,
  • Rollerskater-dancers UniqueFlow
  • Live performances from local actor and singer Harrison Pettman
  • South London Samba

The event will be hosted by Ditzy Ritzy, a larger-than-life compere who brings a sprinkle of sparkle everywhere she goes with street art performances by Granny Turismo, the world’s first – and only! – Shopping Trolley Dance Display Team!

Produced by Ruby Baker and Jane Packham and presented by The Grand Healthy Living Centre, Cloud9 Festival has offered free creative classes across Swanscombe, Northfleet and Ebbsfleet since April.

A youth hip-hop classes with choreographer and dancer from Flawless, a community choir project led by MOBO Award Winner Volney Morgan and a creative writing project and school craft workshops with local artist Amy West and an online weekend of virtual classes have all taken place with hundred of people joining in the activities.

Ruby Baker, Cloud9 producer said, “Lockdown last year was the driving force for us in creating Cloud9. We spent hours on the phone talking about the need for fun, for collective experiences and the importance of community and creativity. Making people smile was top of the agenda.”

“We’re so pleased to be able to bring that idea to life with support of so many local partners. Festival day will be a day to remember with some incredible performers from both the local area and further afield as well as lots of different workshops and classes for people to try their hand at.”

Running alongside the festival is a public art project called Words As Windows, which has had more than 200 people get involved by submitting a sentence of positivity. A selection have been chosen to become public art and will be installed in the windows of local organisations and businesses across Swanscombe, Northfleet and Ebbsfleet.

Cloud9 Festival is produced by POP and Social Storytellers. It has been commissioned by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and Creative Estuary. It has received funding from Arts Council England and is presented by The Grand Healthy Living Centre in Gravesend.

The festival will be run outdoors and in-line with all Government rules and social distancing will take place on site during the event.