I want to create a well-rounded and balanced venue

I want to create a well-rounded and balanced venue

What is the name of your new project and where is it?

It’s called ‘The Inside’ and it’s a community space that will be located right at the heart of Calverley Grounds in Tunbridge Wells. The project will see a complete refurbishment of the building that was previously the bowling green pavilion, just on the periphery of the children’s playground area.

What is your vision for The Inside?

To create a community concept space, where people can come together in the daytime. We will be running the space as a coffee house but it will also be a hub for activities such as yoga, holistic interventions, life coaching, acupuncture, reiki, music, arts and crafts, youth groups, poetry and much more!

Can you tell us a little bit more about the musical aspect of this new space?

I want to create a well-rounded and balanced venue but I also want to offer something different. I feel The Inside could be an ideal space for all sorts of performances, both informal and mini concerts. I think it would lend itself well to live lounge style showcases and open mic events.

‘We will be running the space as a coffee house but it will also be a hub for activities such as yoga reiki, music, arts and crafts’

When it comes to children, I feel that there isn’t really a great deal on offer for them to immerse themselves in a relaxed and fun musical environment. So I would like to create a platform for children to explore their music tastes and development, trying different instruments and performing in groups and individually.

Can you tell us about your involvement in the local music scene?

I have worked with the Local & Live music festival over the past three years, running an onsite pop-up of my arts and crafts business Freckles & Fire. While adults are enjoying the music, I teach children creative and craft activities such as foam clay modelling, weaving, crochet, knitting, jewellery making, and a whole heap more to get those young creative spirits bubbling!

How will The Inside help to promote upcoming bands and singers?

I would like to stream different local musical artists every week, so we can play their songs and create further awareness and interest about what is going on within the local music scene.

Do you have a favourite local band?

It has to be Noble Jacks! My kids are completely obsessed with them too! We first saw them at Elderflower Fields Festival a few years ago and then at Local & Live when they headlined.

Our morning routine often involves listening to their song The Blacksmith Stomp, which definitely helps get us all going in the morning!

When do you plant to launch The Inside?

We’re hoping it will be towards the middle of November – the official opening date will be announced on our website shortly. Everyone is welcome and of course it’s free to attend! We would like the local community to come and see what we have to offer and how they can become involved. Adult pop choir Vox Pop will be performing some songs alongside a number of other activities including storytelling and arts and crafts. Visitors will also have the chance to learn about some of the workshops we will be running at The Inside, such as how to use and benefit most from aromatherapy oils.

The lowdown on Laura Parker

Laura worked in marketing and branding before becoming a mother of two children – which she describes as the ‘removal of life as I once knew it’. Here she explains how her company Freckles & Fire came to be…

“If I am brutally honest with myself, a stay-at-home mummy life was just not for me. I love my monkeys but I love them more when I have had a bit of ‘me time’. So after much procrastination (I’m VERY good at that!) Freckles & Fire was born in 2015. In terms of child development stages I probably should be just about walking by now!

“The next few years were amazing – I mean really amazing – and I learnt a whole heap. As well as holding adult workshops, after school and school holiday clubs, I was honoured to be invited to do a number of events including some creative workshops at some awesome children’s birthdays. I did a super hen-do and a couple of 40th birthday celebrations, but the icing on the cake was when I started a festival journey that would change me, the business – and my family’s outlook on camping!”

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