By Julia Jones
Music has been at the heart of Folkestone for centuries. It runs deep. Music is in the DNA of the town. The Victorians built spectacular venues here to absorb it, soldiers enjoyed it with a cup of tea and cake before boarding warships and King Edward VII danced to it at The Grand Hotel (on Europe’s first sprung dancefloor).
Folkestone has long attracted legendary musicians from Yehudi Menuhin to Jimi Hendrix and the scene continues to thrive. So in January 2017 we decided to launch a project called Folkestone Music Town. Bringing together local musicians, venue owners, the Town & District Councils, businesses and music fans together into a team to replicate the work of great Music Cities such as London and New Orleans and create the world’s first Music Town. Creating a formal collaborative plan to nurture and harness music for positive returns. The body of neuroscience research regarding the positive impact of music on the brain is vast. Music is quite simply a vital part of being human.
On BBC Music Day (September 26th) Folkestone will be announced as the first town in the world to develop a formal plan to value, support and nurture music in the community. Music will be recognized as an asset of value, contributing to economic development, tourism and health and wellbeing. Music will be championed as a vital part of life here from cradle to grave. The town will celebrate its music talent and music scenes and encourage residents, businesses and visitors to enjoy as much music as they can every day – through singing, dancing, attending gigs, learning instruments, composing, listening etc. Because music makes life better.