Get ready to party in the park


Now in its second year, Tom Kerridge’s ‘good food and grooves’ festival Pub in the Park once again boasts an incredible line-up of internationally renowned chefs and top music stars when it pitches up at Dunorlan Park on the weekend 
of July 12-14. After last year’s inaugural event which was a huge success, this year’s festival promises to reach even greater heights. 

The music line-up is quite something with Rick Astley headlining the Friday evening and KT Tunstall also on the bill. Saturday afternoon is headlined by Soul II Soul with Alice Jemima as the main support, while Saturday evening sees Basement Jaxx and Stereo Mcs rocking proceedings. Sunday will be brought to a climactic finish courtesy of Will Young, Gabrielle and The Bluetones who’ll all be taking to the stage after an opening set from the superb Natalie Williams and The Soul Family.

But it’s not just world renowned acts appearing at this year’s Pub in the Park. I am delighted to announce that three Local & Live acts, all from Tunbridge Wells, have also been chosen to perform at the event. I will be performing with my eponymous orchestra on Friday night before KT Tunstall and Rick Astley, and on Saturday afternoon, local singer-songwriter Jack Burns will be on just before Alice Jemima and Soul II Soul. Ramping up the grooves on Saturday night will be popular local four-piece Suncharmer (below) who headlined the Local & Live music festival last year and will be opening for Stereo Mcs and Basement Jaxx.

Jack Burns told me: “Pub in the Park will be my highest profile gig to date. I cannot wait to share the stage with so many iconic music stars, I have butterflies already!” And Suncharmer front man Paul Crisp commented: “We are so pumped about playing Pub in the Park! The main stage is incredible and features a world-class line-up so for us to be invited by Local & Live to play is a real honour and privilege!”

For all three of our acts it is an incredible opportunity to open for such esteemed musicians on a professional festival stage in front of thousands of people in our home town. As an independent musician myself, I can say that we all feel very elated and fortunate to have been invited to play. These are the type of gigs you dream about and nothing is more motivating then knowing you have a world-class act following your performance. So, before I head off to rehearse I wanted to say a huge thank you to Tom Kerridge and all his team. I think it’s a wonderful thing that local bands and the Local & Live brand will be represented at Pub in the Park. See you there!

Find out more about the festival at

Five minutes with Mark Morriss

One of the bands playing at Pub in the Park is The Bluetones (above), fronted by Tunbridge Wells-based Mark Morriss. We ask him what he’s looking forward to about playing to a home crowd

So Mark, how did you get involved with Pub in the Park?

In quite a roundabout way, as it happens! My friend and music impresario Paul Dunton had been approached by the Pub in the Park folk to provide some local acts to play on the bill at the Tunbridge Wells event. It turns out that there was still a slot to be filled on some of the other shows too, so Paul very kindly floated the idea of them approaching The Bluetones, and voilà, here we are. It’s safe to say I owe him a drink!

Have you played any of the previous ones that have taken place so far this summer?

The Tunbridge Wells event will be the fourth Pub in the Park we’ll have played this year. At this point in time we’ve played two already, one in Marlow and one in Knutsford, with Bath on Sunday June 23.

Are you doing a Bluetones greatest hits set?

It’s what I like to call The Bluetones ‘tribute band set’. In other words we’ll be playing all the numbers that a decent tribute act would play: the audience will hear all our big gun hits.

Have you got any new material to showcase?

Not yet. I’m not sure this would be the right environment. People tend to prefer to hear something a little more familiar at these occasions, so we’ll be toeing the party line – if you pardon the pun.

Who are you looking forward to seeing there?

It’s a shame we’re not playing the Saturday, when Suncharmer and Soul II Soul will be doing their thing. I’d have enjoyed that . . .

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