Why this fantastic new festival is music to our ears


Our resident music guru Paul Dunton reveals the line-up for the much-anticipated Walled Garden Music Festival, which takes place at Tonbridge Castle over the weekends of September 9-10 and 16-17, and features some very famous names…


This September, a fantastic new music festival is coming to Tonbridge. The Walled Garden Music Festival is the brainchild of music promoter Mel Fordham and takes place on the idyllic lawns of Tonbridge Castle.

The family-friendly festival runs over two separate weekends: September 9-10 and 16 -17, with an absolutely superb line-up of world-class musical talent including Feeder, The Feeling, Jethro Tull, Levellers, Bjorn Again, Starsailor, Nik Kershaw, Ian Prowse, Mostly Autumn, Lifesigns, Miles Hunt and many more.

Mel is also a very keen supporter of local music and I’m delighted to announce that four acts from the Local & Live Festival roster have been awarded the coveted opening support slots. They include The Ackerleys, Two Weeks In Nashville, Steffan James and my own group, The Paul Dunton Orchestra.

Originally held in Brightling Park in Battle, this is the first year the event will be taking place on our doorstep.

“Tonbridge Castle has been on my radar for some time,” explains Mel. “It is a beautiful venue and really ticks many boxes in terms of its prominent location, nearby railway station, larger capacity, easy access, good parking and hotels. I was delighted to secure the venue for the two weekends this coming September and we now plan to run it as an annual event.”

Mel believes that The Walled Garden Festival will offer something for most music fans and adds that each day will offer a different musical genre.

“The Festival opens on Saturday September 9 with the Levellers headlining the Folk Rock Day while Sunday 10 sees the legendary Jethro Tull headlining the Prog Rock Day.”

The following weekend again features established names in music. Saturday September 16 will be a 90s and Noughties Day with Feeder, The Feeling and Starsailor all performing. The festival finishes on Sunday September 17 with a brilliant 70s and 80s Day, seeing the likes of Nik Kershaw, Go West, Heaven 17 and Bjorn Again filling the castle grounds with their famous back catalogue of songs.

Festivalgoers will be able to bring their own food and folding chairs, but no alcohol as there will be a fully stocked bar on site, selling a wide range of drinks. There will be plenty of hot food stalls too.

“Doors open at 1.30pm and the music finishes at 10.45pm on both Saturdays and 10.30pm on the two Sundays,” explains Mel. “Ticket sales are already ahead of projected figures thanks to the quality of the bands performing. I want people to really enjoy our event and come away from The Walled Garden Festival absolutely blown away.

“We will guarantee a tremendous occasion for those attending.”

Tickets can be purchased online at: walledgardenmusicfestival.com


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