Medway in Flames FAQs

Where and when is the event taking place?

The event takes place on Saturday, 17 June at Chatham Maritime along Leviathan Way and in various areas around Dockside Outlet Centre and the Ship and Trades pub. The day’s events begin at 2pm. The main Medway in Flames show starts at around 9.45pm.

There will be 4 entertainment zones:

Funfair zone - The funfair is in The Historic Dockyard Chatham, alongside Leviathan Way. It will open on Thursday, 15 and Friday, 16 June from 5pm-9pm, when all rides will be £1per person per ride. On Saturday, 17June the funfair will open from 2pm-11pm and standard ride prices will apply. Those who wish to park their vehicle in the dockyard’s car park, close to the funfair will be charged £5. Other free parking is available – parking questions answered below.

Folk stage zone – This will be in the area surrounding the Ship and Trades pub, by the large metal cage known as the Machine Shed. Folk bands will be playing from 2pm until 11.10pm. The bands all have connections with the River Medway. Some have worked and lived on the Medway and others have written songs about the river. The Dutch band Scheepsfolk ('ships folk') have written and recorded an album about the 1667 Dutch invasion of the Medway.

Rock and blues stage zone - This will be outside the Dockside Outlet Centre in the area by the junction with Dock Head Road, just down from the main entrance to the shopping centre. Bands will be playing from 2pm until 11.10pm. The bands cross a range of styles including swing, skiffle, blues, rock and reggae, performed by groups who play festivals and stages and are good at interacting with crowds.

Bandstand and have-a-go water activities zone – This will be in the area by river basin 2, across the road from the Ship and Trade pub. It will be an area for easy listening bandstand music, running from 2pm until 3.15pm.

There will also be free have-a-go water activities on offer in the basin from 2pm-5pm, such as canoeing and displays from the giant but adorable Newfoundland water rescue dogs.

River entertainment - River entertainment will begin at 5.30pm with a sail past of iconic vessels. This will be followed by Jet Ski displays, army displays and more. You can view this by standing along the river wall at Leviathan Way. The main show will start after dark, at around 9.45pm.

Where should I stand to get a good view for the evening show?

Prime viewing for the main Medway in Flames show, which starts at around 9.45pm, will be along the river wall area at Leviathan way, in the viewing zones either side of the Copper Rivet Distillery. People standing in other entertainment zones will be able to watch the event live on big screens. Everyone will be able to see the fireworks high in the sky, no matter which zone they’re in, as will people across the surrounding Medway area. You can also watch the show live on a smartphone or tablet as it will be all be streamed online.

You will not be able to view the show from Upnor – the waterfront by Upnor will be cordoned off.

Are there toilets on site?

Toilets will be available in each zone

Is there a bike park on site?

Yes, within the funfair zone

How much are tickets?

This is a free, non-ticketed event

I have young children, can I reserve a place at the front so they can see?

A first come first service system will be in place. People standing in the entertainment zones away from the main viewing area will be able to watch the event live on big screens within the funfair zone, folk zone or rock and blues zone. You can also watch the show live on a smartphone or tablet as it will be all be streamed online.

Is there an area suitable for wheelchair users?

Yes. Wheelchair users are welcome to watch the river entertainment which starts at 5.30pm and the main show later in the evening, from a platform next to the Copper Rivet Distillery. There is limited space however, so places will be available on a first come first serve basis. Please speak to a steward by the distillery to gain access.

I’m a carer of a wheelchair user, can I be with them on the platform?

Yes. Carers are welcome to join the person they care for on the viewing platform. Due to limited space, we must limit this to one carer per wheelchair user on the platform.

Can I bring my dog?

The event is not suitable for pets because it will be very busy and fireworks feature heavily in the main show.

Can I bring food, drinks and alcoholic drinks?

While there will be a range of food and drink on sale from a number of stalls, you are welcome to bring your own. Please drink responsibly, this is a family event.

Can I bring my boat along and watch from the river?

Unauthorised vessels will not be allowed access to the water in the immediate viewing zone.

What time will the fireworks start and end?

The fireworks are set to start at around 10.10pm and will last for roughly ten minutes. Times may vary slightly.

Where can I park my car?

Free shuttle bus service:

  • from 1pm from Chatham bus station – park in any public car park in Chatham (standard parking charges apply) and jump on a free shuttle bus at the station
  • the last bus will leave Chatham bus station at 9.30pm
  • the final bus back to the station will leave the event at midnight
  • buses will run frequently and the journey to and from the event will be around five minutes, dependent on traffic

Free park and ride service:

  • from 1pm from Great Lines Heritage Park, Gillingham
  • the entrance will be from Marlborough Road and major routes across Medway will be sign posted directing crowds to follow the galleon signs to the park and ride site
  • buses will run frequently
  • the last bus will leave the Great Lines Heritage Park at 9.30pm
  • the final bus will leave the event at 11.45pm.

Free parking at the nearby universities:

  • from 4pm in the universities’ car parks off of the Dock Road/Maritime Way roundabout, Chatham. This is approximately a five minute walk away from the main the event
  • anyone parking here will need to exit by 11.30pm.

Free parking at Dockside Outlet Centre:

  • open as usual during the Medway in Flames event
  • vehicles leaving at around 10pm may be delayed for a short time to allow for crowds to move off of the site.

Will there be any road closures?

  • Dock Head Road will be closed to general traffic from 1pm
  • there will be access for bus services and residents only
  • permits will be issued to residents to give them access
  • Dock Road will be closed from 9.45pm for a short time to allow for crowds to leave the site once the main event ends.

I’m a disabled Blue Badge holder, where can I park?

Blue Badge holder parking will be within the Dockside Outlet Centre car park and the Great Lines Heritage Park. Spaces are limited. Please note, vehicles leaving this car park at around 10pm may be delayed for a short time to allow for crowds to move off of the site.

I’m a St Mary’s Island resident, how can you assure me our community won’t be disturbed by this?

There will be a large number of people in the area on Saturday, 17 June and our events team who are very experienced in running large festivals, together with the police, will be on site to ensure the smooth and safe running of the event.

How can I find out more?

Follow @Enjoy_Medway on Instagram – use #BoM350 when posting your Battle of Medway and Medway in Flames photos on Instagram.

Follow @Medway_Council on Twitter and join the conversation with #BoM350

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