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X-Factor and BGT stars storm the Dartford Festival

10:21 22 July 2011

Dartford festival

Dartford festival

Archant

Thirty thousand revellers ignored the downpours at the weekend to watch a host of Brit-ain’s Got Talent stars entertain crowds at the Dartford Festival.

Twelve-year-old singing ­sensation Ronan Parke, who came second in the last series, keyboard and organ player Jean Martyn, guitarist Michael Collings and group New Bounce all appeared from the hit ITV show at the weekend.

They were joined by X-Factor runner-ups Gareth Gates and Andy Abraham.

Visitor Kelly Stoneham, 19, said: “The weather wasn’t great but its still well worth going.

Britain’s Got Talent and the X-Factor are massive shows and for the Dartford Festival to ­attract acts which are such a hit across the country is great news. I went both days and loved every minute.”

It was the fourth consecutive year acts from the show, where the winner gets to perform at the Royal Variety Performance, have taken to the stage.

Previous appearances have included performing cat owner Kate & Gin, martial arts duo Strike and the hilarious Greek father and son dancers known as Stavros Flatley.

Speaking ahead of his performance at the festival where he has performed before, former binman Andy Abraham said: “Playing an open air gig you are a bit at the mercy of the weather. I have played in glorious sunshine and in the pouring rain.”

A Dartford Borough Council spokesman said: “It was bucketing it down on Saturday and brollies was the order of the day for many who did brave the weather. Sunday was a lot better and the crowds really turned out to make it another successful year.”

Entertainment away from the main stage included dance, sports and youth zones hosting a range of activities. Nearby Fairfield Pool held scuba-diving trial sessions and local community groups held promotional stalls at the exhibition marquee. In the Skate Park, YMCA Thames Gateway ran their popular BMX jam and skate jam.

See this week’s Reporter for more.

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