Community NewsThe Oval Bandstand

Festival of Cats 2022

Written by Helen Pitman, co-creator of Festival of Cats.

This March come and enjoy the second Festival of Cats with a series of exhibitions, workshops, and events in and around Margate. This feline themed festival started from a love of T. S. Eliot’s book of poetry, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, and much like the book, the festival celebrates the psychology, sociology, and whimsy of cats.

The 2022 Festival of Cats starts with the opening of the main exhibition (25th to 27th March, 11am-5pm) at The Margate School where over 250 works of art were submitted from across the UK, and even some from overseas. Works include paintings, prints, sculptures, tapestry, illustrations, film, and much more! The exhibition is free and open to the public (no need to book).

The Cat Inside – Curator’s Tour (26th March, 11am-12 noon) is a free guided tour of our flagship exhibition at The Margate School where you’ll hear about how artists T. S. Eliot and Louis Wain inspired the festival and get to know some of the artworks in more detail.

New to the festival we have a Cat Mask Marbling Workshop where kids can make their own cat masks (26th March, 10am-12 noon). Join the fabulous artist Natascha Maksimovic for this free event at The Oval Bandstand where you’ll make your own marbled cat mask to take home and keep!

The Palace Cinema is delighted to be taking part in this year’s Festival of Cats and will be hosting the very first Caturday film screening (26th March, 4pm). Come and watch The Electrical Life of Louis Wain and join Charlotte Wilde, the professional trainer and supplier of cats for the film, for a Q&A.

The Arts Club is hosting a very queer cat cabaret featuring drag performances, costume competitions and a catwalk. The Pussies Cabaret (26th March, 8pm) will feature performances from Shelly Grotto, Casey Sea, Cesar Jentley, Andrés-Éslowly, Pamela Handmeyourson and Tivoli Lady Gardens.

Festival creators Helen Pitman and Jemma Channing have been overwhelmed with the response and invite everyone to come and enjoy a celebration of our feline friends.

The Festival of Cats is supported with funding from Kent County Council and the Margate Charter Trustees.

For festival tickets visit