MUST DO: Free big name DJs at Dreamland Margate

Expect the likes of Sister Bliss, Dave Rowntree, Tim Burgess, Dub free cult film screenings

Dreamland Mark II. Photo: PR

A 90-minute hop from St Pancras, Margate’s classic theme park has had a few teething problems re-establishing itself since its relaunch two years ago.

As you’re probably aware, it’s back open again this summer after a spruce-up, the emphasis now on an overall ‘experience’, rather than the old-fashioned charms of its rides.

So you can sip on oversized cocktails while watching the 1920s Scenic Railway at the Slide Bar, or climb up to the Tree Top bar to neck a glass of wine and listen to DJ sets (more of which below).

Chocka: the crowds at the Demon Dayz festival in June. Photo: SE

There’s also streetfood, a fun retro rollerdisco and a boardwalk with new views over the antique menagerie cages and arcades.

The crowning glory, however? A massive live stage, which is where the park is really chucking its weight.

Back in June we went to one of the first big festivals, Demon Days with Gorillaz. It was a corker, the only downside being long waits for food and, inevitably, the rides.

But don’t let that put you off. Over the remaining weeks of summer there’s a packed and impressive schedule of gigs, DJ sessions and movie screenings – including Blur’s Dave Rowntree, Tim Burgess from Charlatans, the Lost Boys and Norman Jay – which, quite brilliantly, are all free.

And first off is the annual Margate Pride tomorrow, which sees 90s electronica titans Faithless DJing all afternoon plus a (paid-for) after party in the evening.

Dreamland: Our Pick of Summer Highlights

Blue-sky evening: waiting for Gorillaz to come on. Photo: SE

12 Aug
Sunset Sessions: Faithless & Sister Bliss DJ set
Cockles and Muscles Margate Pride After Party (£10)

13 Aug
Battles of the bands

19 Aug
Sunset Sessions: Norman Jay MBE, Ghostpoet and Tasty Lopez

23 Aug
Happy Feet: dance festival

26 Aug
Lost Boys film screening

27 Aug
Dirty Dancing film screening

1 Sept
Sunset Sessions: Dub Pistols

2 Sept
Sunset Sessions: Dave Rowntree v Tim Burgess

All events are free – for more info on timings and to book tickets head here. For a fuller guide to Margate, including where to stay, see our recent feature here. Southeastern trains run from St Pancras to Margate and take 90 mins.

Like the Kent Coast? Read about underrated Deal here. Like Kent? Discover where to stay in Minster and Egerton.