Some 21,000 people are expected to come to Dunorlan Park this weekend for what promises to be the town’s biggest outdoor event; the Pub in the Park ‘festival for foodies’.
Organisers have been working with County Hall on traffic management plans to ensure there are no snarl ups with people being urged to use buses and taxis to reach the site.
Temperatures of 26c (78f) are forecast for this weekend as the hot weather runs into next week.
Pub in the Park is the brainchild of Michelin star chef Tom Kerridge with the idea being to celebrate the best of British cuisine, combined with live music, top quality shopping and other festival fun.
Bands and musicians on the line-up include: Razorlight, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Billy Ocean.
Meanwhile celebrity chefs such as Paul Ainsworth, Angela Hartnett and Tom Kerridge himself will be showing off their culinary skills, in addition to pop-up pubs representing a variety of local venues.
Such is the popularity of the weekend that organisers, Brand Events, split each day into two sessions to avoid overcrowding. There will be a total of five sessions over the course of the event, starting on Friday evening.
Kent County Council, which has authority over highways, will be placing cones along Pembury Road, which borders Dunorlan, stating ‘no parking’.
There are no parking spaces at Dunorlan Park itself although organisers state parking will be available within a ’12 minute walk’.
The Chair of Hawkenbury Village Association Dean Kenward has praised some of the measures taken to mitigate local congestion including plans to temporarily convert the narrow Hall’s Hole Road into a one way road.
The provision of a bus service between the park and mainline station alongside the creation of a new taxi rank were also a ‘good ideas’ he said.
‘One would hope that the number of cars being driven to Pub in the Park would be a minimum, as you would expect people to be drinking at such an event,’ said Mr Kenward.
Sherwood Cllr Frank Williams said: ‘Hall’s Hole Road is a nightmare. It is sensible to have a one way system. It will increase town congestion, but it will make it easier to drive away.’
The following statement has been released by Brand Events:
Pub in the Park is run in sessions to greatly reduce the impact to the area and the road network. As a result, there will be no more than 3,500 people per session on site.
Pub in the Park are working closely with Kent County Council highways department and analysing all of the ticketing data in order to manage traffic around site.
Our data has indicated that over half of our customers are coming from Tunbridge Wells and will be walking to the festival and a large majority of other customers have indicated that they will be using public transport. For all of those who have indicated that they will drive, there is no parking available at Dunorlan Park therefore we have advised that there will be two large carparks available with the closest being just a twelve minute walk from site. We will also have a traffic management team that will monitor the surrounding area during the event.
In addition, details of public car parking and transport options have been sent to all customers ahead of the festival.