Ashford's music and arts venue

Revelation is Ashford's music and arts venue, delivered by the St Mary's Arts Trust. Since 2011, we have worked hard to establish a centre of excellence for the arts in the town. We now embark upon stage 2 of our mission to be a beacon for the arts, to which Ashford's growing community can come together and experience high quality performance and exhibition.

News

Chapel Down get curious about rising talent at Revelation Revelation are delighted to announce a new partnership with Chapel Down. Based in Tenterden, Chapel Down is England's leading wine producer and one of the UK's most exciting drinks companies. They supply their outstanding wines and Curious beers and cider to some of England’s greatest venues and events such as The Donmar, The Royal Opera House, The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races and Ascot racecourse as well as many of the very best local pubs, bars and restaurants.

Revelation will be serving these amazing local sparkling and still wines and the sensational Curious beers and cider in the new Chapel Down bar from mid-September.

"Revelation is a unique venue that has the ability to surprise and delight. It serves up amazing music and entertainment to a town that will be soon enhanced by our new Curious brewery. We are thrilled to be involved in the renaissance of the town and to support its vibrant arts and music scene.”
Frazer Thompson, CEO Chapel Down.

Chapel Down will host two of Revelation’s upcoming Curious-minded music events, This Is The Kit on the 20th September and Blair Dunlop on the 3rd November. Both are unique acts with a growing audience and are experts at what they do.

This Is The Kit is a shape shifting entity consisting of Kate Stables and a cast of carefully hand-plucked friends ranging from a duo to an electric five-piece, Kate was born in England and is based in Paris, though the heart of this musical community remains in Bristol. Electronic soul pioneer Barbarossa will be supporting.

Chapel Down will also support rising star and musical storyteller Blair Dunlop, performing new material from his upcoming album on 'The 4 Walls' tour. Dubbed as a 'cult hero' by Clash Music, Blair will be joined by special guest Brooke Sharkey, featured in The Guardian's Future 50.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chapel Down to Revelation. It’s a perfect match, an award winning venue, hosting an award winning brand, offering the very best to our audiences”
Debra McGee, Manager at Revelation.
Revelation Wins at Kent Creative Awards 2017 Revelation were named 'Cultural Venue of the Year' at Kent Creative Awards 2017. Organised by Kent Creative and hosted at the Ashford School, the Kent Creative Awards celebrates the arts and culture in Kent and aspires to encourage to individuals and organisations who make a worthwhile contribution to the artistic and cultural life of Kent.

On winning the awards, Debra McGee, Manager at Revelation, explained that 'it is an amazing achievement for Revelation. The Kent Creative Awards help us raise our profile with our peers and inspire our team”.
Local Artist Ambassadors Join the Revelation Team! We are delighted that three great supporters of the arts in Ashford have agreed to become ambassadors for Revelation Angels.

GERALD DICKENS, actor, producer (and recent Revelation performer) said: "Revelation is one of the most remarkable arts centres you are ever likely to come across. The magnificent ancient architecture and the modern stage lighting create an unrivaled atmosphere that is sure to enhance any performance, be it musical or theatrical. But the venue is only half of the story, and the dedicated, talented professional team who have brought Revelation to a wider audience deserve all of the support that they can get."

CLLR. JESSAMY BLANFORD, Ashford Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure, Environment and Heritage said: "Revelation, based in the heart of Ashford, is a remarkable venue for a range of musical, dance, and spoken performances to entertain all ages. I have enjoyed many shows and I am proud to be an ambassador for the trust."

NEIL BURTON, founding Angel and Director at Airfield Design said: "I believe passionately in music and the arts in Ashford. It used to be a bit of a cultural desert, but Revelation has created a vibrant venue where people can see great artists in a really intimate setting."

DAVE MCKEAN, iconic graphic artist said: 'It seems completely appropriate that Ashford's church, St Mary's, should have developed into an extraordinary music venue, an oasis where we can come together to witness world class communicators in an intimate and inspiring place - somewhere to engage, laugh, feel and think.’

We welcome all four ambassadors to Revelation and cannot wait to work with them further to continue on our mission to be a beacon for the arts.
Cate Le Bon Returns to Revelation Psych-folk Welsh musician Cate Le Bon returns to Revelation for the first time since her 2014 performance this December. Now off the back of her whirlwind tour of Australia and Europe, she will be promoting her fourth studio album ‘Crab Day’, released by Drag City in April.

Creative Programmer Anna Moulson said: 'Her performances are beguiling and creative. She has toured extensively since her last exclusive festival warm up at Revelation in 2014 and cemented herself as a modern day cult heroine. She has managed to develop a unique sound that appeals both to the mainstream and edgier music fans.'
Volunteer evening highlights upcoming opportunities at Revelation. Find out how you can take part! Revelation is excited to be holding a volunteer open evening on Thursday 13th October from 5.30pm-7.30pm. We will be holding this event at The Creative Collective at 16 Park Mall, Ashford TN24 8RY, so come along and find out what upcoming opportunities are in store for the rest of the season!
Wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be provided. To RSVP or find out more, contact kate@revelationstmarys.co.uk.
Kent and Dunkerque re-unite for 'Dancing on Armistice Day' Following the shocking events in Paris on 13 November 2015, a performance of multi-generational Anglo-French new show ‘Dancing on Armistice Day’ planned for the next day in Dunkerque had to be cancelled.

On Saturday 23 January, the 200 performers from Kent and Dunkerque will be re-united for a special performance at the Salle de la Concorde, Dunkerque, in a cross-channel spirit of collaboration and creativity.

Media access: the final rehearsal in UK will be Sunday 17 January, 2.30-5.30pm, and media access can be arranged for recording and interviews with the performers and creative team.

Please contact Charlotte Burke, Revelation St Mary’s, 07548 679199 to arrange access.

Dancing on Armistice Day

“It’s the eleventh hour. On an island floating in the sleeve of sea that separates two warring kingdoms, the people and their leaders meet to hammer out a fragile peace.”

Newly created by BAFTA-nominated writer Martin Riley and Kent-based composer David Burridge, this cross-channel musical drama tells the story of children caught up in the conflict of World War I. Epic, intimate and ultimately hopeful, it involves 200 children, actors, choirs and musicians from Kent and Dunkerque, and our very own Revelation Strings. Prepare for a rousing, moving and unforgettable experience...
Great live music in Ashford There are so many extraordinary artists we’re bringing to Ashford this year. We’re on the verge of announcing a flurry of new acts, so watch this space!

Fireside concerts return, with their trademark warmth & crackle of extraordinary music by inspiring musicians. St Mary’s lends itself to intimate, pared-back gigs by some of the biggest names on the touring music circuit, and we’re teaming them up with ‘Made in Kent’ support artists too.

The Big Reveal unlocks creativity with school workshops and access to world class musicians for Ashford’s young people. Revelation will also be out and about on the Bandstand once more, enlivening the town centre with tunes to make you smile and dance.
Royal Opera House - Links In Autumn 2014 Revelation St Mary’s was selected for the Royal Opera House Links programme, a skills-sharing and capacity-building initiative to enhance the sustainability and impact of arts organisations across the nation.

Chosen from hundreds of other applicants across the UK, we feel privileged to continue our partnership with such an established and world renowned company.
Strike Productions strike again! On 4th December CoCo and the Butterfields performed to an ecstatic crowd at Revelation in aid of Demelza Hospice Care for Children (charity no 1039651). The event was an amazing success and raised £1,500 for the charity.
The performance was single-handedly organised by 16-year-old Charlotte Churm of Ashford who has gone from strength-to-strength in expanding her promotion company ‘Strike Productions’, which encourages live music, supports local artists and raises funds and awareness for local charities.
Prestigious grant awarded Revelation has been awarded the prestigious, UK-wide Beyond Borders grant from the PRSF to commission a new music and story-telling show for children called Tommy Foggo - Superhero.

It's from the award-winning team behind Death's Cabaret - A Love Story - multi-award winning composer, Stephen Deazley, BAFTA-nominated writer, Martin Riley and 'virtuoso of the arts' (The Times), Matthew Sharp.

Tommy Foggo - Superhero will premiere Summer 2015 and tour the UK.
Revelation St Mary's is 4! Wednesday 22 July 2015 marks 4 years since the first concert given by St Mary’s Arts Trust in the newly re-ordered St Mary’s Ashford, and we’re going to celebrate!
We’ve welcomed more than 9,000 people to St Mary’s during that time, as well as over 550 artists to perform, and more than 1,000 young people have been involved in our education and community work in just the last year. Our volunteers have been the backbone of the organisation, committing more than 1,000 hours of friendly and efficient service to events each year.
Our events now reach out beyond the walls of St Mary’s to bring you astounding music on the Bandstand each summer Saturday and during Ashford Farmer’s Markets on the first Sunday of each month, and next season marks the first Revelation-commissioned show touring the UK ‘Tommy Foggo Superhero’.
We are enormously grateful to our artists, audiences, volunteers, Trustees, staff and supporters – including Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council and Arts Council England – and here’s to an inspiring future!
Drum roll please... The Royal Town Planning Institute has awarded the re-ordering of St Mary’s a prestigious RTPI prize for "Best Planning for the Natural and Built Heritage" for the South East region. We will now be a National finalist in this select biannual award!

A huge well done to everyone involved, it is truly deserved and something we should be very proud of.
Funding Success! Thanks to significant support from Ashford Borough Council, Arts Council England and Kent County Council, we have been able to appoint two Create Directors! Festival Director Matthew Sharp, and programmer Anna Moulson are the ideal pair to help raise our game and they bring a wealth of experience, creativity and connections to the roles in complimentary ways. We are Award Winners! We are proud to announce we have won the prestigious East Kent People’s Award less than two years after we opened our arts programme to the public. The annual award recognises a cultural organisation in East Kent which demonstrates engagement with its local community, popularity across the region and continuing efforts in developing existing and new audiences. We were nominated and voted for by you – so thanks and see you again soon!