Top comic heads festival

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Milton's keen: there'll be fun, laughter, music and merriment at the inaugural summer festival

Plans to launch a summer festival in Northiam received a tremendous boost this week when the comedian Milton Jones, who regularly appears on BBC’s Mock the Week, accepted an invitation to do a benefit gig in aid of St Mary’s Church in Northiam.

Rod White, the rector of St Mary’s, and his wife Sarah have known Milton for many years and have watched his rise to fame and stardom with affectionate pride. He always said that he would help raise funds for the church, but even they were surprised, if not delighted, when Milton readily agreed to their invitation to come to Northiam this summer.

The festival is organised by the Northiam Bonfire Society, and will be held on Northiam Playing Fields over the weekend of 21 and 22 June. Keen to promote local talent, Milton requested that local performers provide the support. Step forward Victoria Howarth, accompanied by her jazz and soul quartet from Hastings, who will be appearing together with a local comedian, who is yet to be named.

On Saturday 21 June the festival kicks off with a Family Fun Day on Northiam Playing Fields from 11am. The Fun Day will have something to keep everyone entertained, including a craft fair, fun dog show, small local beer festival and live music, including an Open Mic for anyone wishing to showcase their own talent. In addition there will be standard fair attractions and two specialist plant stands. From 4pm onwards, you will also be able to relax with a drink and carry on enjoying the live bands on into the evening, with day one wrapping up at 9pm.

On Sunday 22 June the field opens at 4pm for anyone wishing to enjoy a “party in the park” atmosphere with their own picnic;  hot beverages and a licensed bar will be available on-site. The evening of laughter and music will start at 6pm and tickets are £20 under cover and £5 open air, available by e-mailing miltonatnorthiam@gmail.com.