Crowdfunding campaign to ensure Local & Live Music Festival returns

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The organiser of Local & Live Music Festival said he needs more donations from the public if the free event is to return this summer.

Paul Dunton is hoping the festival, one of the biggest in Tunbridge Wells, will again welcome around 20,000 across four days from August 24 to 27.

Local & Live showcases unsigned local talent with a the main stage inside Calverley Grounds and features in other venues, including The Forum, The Royal Oak Pub and Cassidy’s Sports Bar. On Bank Holiday Monday it will be held at The Spa Hotel.

But organisers face a race against time to gather the £40,000 needed and have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise £10,000 towards that.

If the money is not raised, deposit and insurance costs may not be met and could force organisers to scale back or even cancel.

Mr Dunton, a familiar face on the Tunbridge Wells music scene, said: ‘Everything is in place and we have funding. Now Local & Live needs your support.

‘Even if someone puts in just £5 it would be a massive help.

‘Sponsorships and grant funding has been difficult to obtain and that could be down to the financial climate.

‘We are always looking at ideas to try and raise money for the event and we are reaching out to the community to see if they can help.’

At the time of writing, more than £1,500 had been pledged on crowdfunding website GoFundMe. Sponsorships, advertising banners on the park’s big screen and stage and other grants are likely to meet the remaining £30,000.

Mr Dunton said he is determined the event, which started in 2005 and outgrew its former base on The Pantiles in 2014, should stay free.

Musicians are not paid and crew members volunteer, but staging, lighting, security, insurance, licencing and medical expenses all contribute to the costs.

‘There are so many costs you can’t avoid and we are just looking to cover the essential bills,’ continues Mr Dunton, who performs as part of The Paul Dunton Orchestra.

‘I want it to be free to enter and we are not going to put a fence around Calverley Grounds. The beauty is that it is free and organic local music. It brings so much to the local economy as people have come in to watch from all over the world.’

Other capital has come in for Local & Live through their fundraising ‘Sessions’ concerts, which are held several times over the year at Trinity Theatre.

While musicians are not given a fee they have stood to benefit through the sale of their merchandise at the event.

There is also an official single available to download to raise money. The Paul Dunton Orchestra has recorded and made a music video for Give Me a Reason, which is released on August 10 and available to pre-order now on iTunes.

To donate or find out more information, visit:

For opportunities to advertise on the big screen across the weekend for as little as £50, email:

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