A triumphant return despite the weather


Times editor Eileen Leahy was soaking up the sun (and rain) with music this weekend…

Black Deer made a triumphant return this weekend despite the challenge of extreme weather conditions.

The first day of the award-winning festival saw record-breaking temperatures and glorious sunshine playing second fiddle to the impressive array of acts who took to the festival’s many stages to entertain thousands of people who came to enjoy three days of good music, delicious food as well as activities for children, all inspired by American culture.

They included Irish rocker Imelda May, acoustic troubadour Jake Bugg and legendary indie dance troupe James.

On Saturday, however, heavy rain forced organizers to end the event around 10:15 p.m., just as the Waterboys were performing on the main stage.

Thankfully, on the final day the rain was a distant memory as the sun shone again and hundreds more arrived to see legendary rocker Van Morrison take to the stage playing a medley of his most big hits such as Brown Eyed Girl and Have I Told You Lately. . Black Deer 2022 was a welcome return to the Tunbridge Wells music scene.

Americana event kicks off a busy summer

Although there are doubts whether Local & Live will take place this year, the return of Black Deer is just one of many events planned for this summer which will see a busy entertainment schedule for residents of Tunbridge Wells during the warmer months.

Next week (Saturday June 25) will see the return of perhaps the wackiest event in town, the Soapbox Stars Kart Race, where dozens of “sourced” soapbox karts will race down a track at Dunorlan Park in name of charity (tickets: twsoapboxrace.com)


The Hop Farm at Beltring near Paddock Wood kicked off its summer season last week with concerts by 80s legends Simply Red on Friday June 17, followed by concerts by former Jam frontman Paul Weller on June 18 as well as the alternative rock band Keane in June. 19.

Mark Harrison, promoter of LPH Concerts & Events who organize the concerts, said: “What an incredible weekend it has been. We are delighted to have brought three of Britain’s biggest acts to The Hop Farm along with Simply Red and Paul Weller, and a very special show from Keane’s hometown.


“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we want to thank the artists, staff and team, The Hop Farm for welcoming us here, and to everyone who bought a ticket – we couldn’t have made it without you.”

Next month, Westlife (July 1) will take to the outdoor venue with musical stalwarts Michael Ball and Alfie Boe (July 2) (tickets and info: thehopfarm.co.uk).

Pub in the park (pubintheparkuk.com/tunbridge-wells) also returns July 8-10 when celebrity chefs Tom Kerridge and Simon Rimmer will be joined at Dunorlan Park by Supergrass, Professor Green, Melanie C, The Feeling, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, ASWAD and Luck & Neat.

The TW Fringe is also back (July 4-17). Now in its second year, the Edinburgh-inspired event will bring music, dance, spoken word and more into a jam-packed 12-day festival.


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