Local & Live is back – this Bank Holiday weekend!

Nusrat Ghani

Thousands of music fans are expected to flock to Tunbridge Wells this Bank Holiday weekend as the town’s free music festival returns after a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic.

The 16th Local & Live kicks off this Friday night (August 27) and continues throughout the weekend until Bank Holiday Monday (August 30).

The weather is predicted to remain sunny all weekend, and music fans are due to be entertained by hundreds of live acts in various venues in the town, including on the purpose-built main stage in Calverley Grounds.

Last year, the free music festival went online only due to the impact of the Covid crisis. Now it has returned, and organiser Paul Dunton said the Bank Holiday festival is set to bring in up to 15,000 visitors this weekend.

Here, Paul reveals the line-up to the Times & SO Magazine

Paul Dunton

By Paul Dunton, Event Organiser
Email: hello@localandlive.org

After a Covid-enforced hiatus, Local & Live is back in Tunbridge Wells this August Bank Holiday weekend.

The free music festival, now in its 16th year, is a regular annual fixture in the town’s cultural calendar, attracting thousands of music fans over the four-day event.

Local & Live has become a popular weekend for picnicking in the park thanks to the food, drink and additional entertainment on offer, attracting all generations from young families to the more senior music fans.

In terms of the music, the festival features the cream of the region’s original musical talent.

Artists already confirmed include headliners The Orange Circus Band, Wake Up Leo and Marie White.

The Orange Circus Band


Wake Up Leo


Marie White

Other renowned local acts include The Steffan James Band, The Ackerleys, Cyrano, The Act, Rob Picazo, The Charlie Rivers Band, Dull Knife, Infrared, Harry Whitty, Zoe The Story Teller, The Frampton Sisters, The Breretons, Wild Horse, Mike Wilton, David Mumford and many more!

There really is something for everyone to enjoy on this year’s bill.

Local & Live 2021 begins on the evening of Friday August 27 at 5pm and focuses on a purpose-built stage in Calverley Grounds, the beautiful Decimus Burton-designed park in the town centre.

The music continues in the park through Saturday (12noon till 10pm) and Sunday (12noon to 9pm).

In addition to the live entertainment there will be two bars run by The Forum and The George Pub. Plus foodies will be treated to a selection of treats served up by local food traders, including Sankey’s, Raj Pavillion, Food Comes First, Alice’s Ices, Rascals Pizzas, Delaney’s Crepes and Pancakes and Mother Bhumi Organic Vegan.

And Rumy’s wonderfully vibrant and colourful face painting will once again be in full force for mums, dads and of course kids!

As well as running a bar, The Forum will be hosting after-parties at its iconic venue on The Common every night after the music finishes in Calverley Grounds. It will welcome an array of local bands until late, and will be the main focus of the festival on Bank Holiday Monday – or Fringe Day, as we are calling it.

Other fringe venues are The Black Horse Pub (Camden Road), The Royal Oak Pub and Cassidy’s Bar.

As Local & Live has grown in both reputation and size over the years, it now draws visitors from the length and breadth of the UK and Europe, bringing together a collective audience in the region of 10,000-15,000.

“Local & Live is an essential hub for uniting musicians and fans of all generations and genres” – Mark Morriss

Local resident and frontman of The Bluetones, Mark Morriss, recently gave his official take on the festival. He said: “Local & Live has established itself as an essential hub for uniting musicians and fans of all generations and genres in the area of Tunbridge Wells. We are so lucky to have it.”

“Local & Live is a fantastic platform for independent, original music” – Roger Daltrey

Iconic Rock legend, Roger Daltrey, CBE, of The Who, is a long-term supporter of the festival and has also prasied the event. He said: “Local & Live is a fantastic platform for independent, original music in Kent & Sussex, long may it continue.”

Local & Live is an official charity, one of its main goals each year is to put on the festival for the local community to enjoy. But as you can imagine, it is costly to put on, which is why funding for the festival is so vital.

As a free event its intention is solely to cover the substantial costs which we cannot avoid, and which run to many thousands of pounds. Myself and all the other trustees give our time to organise and run the event for free, and so for all of us it truly is a labour of love.

So if you can help us we’d really appreciate it…


Any individual or business can advertise on our giant screen positioned next to the stage in Calverley Grounds, it’s a great way to support the festival with ads starting at just £40.

Our crowdfund page is available at justgiving.com/localandlivemusic

If you have any sponsorship enquiries or ideas, we would love to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing: fundraising@localandlive.org

Thanks for all your support and interest, and roll on Calverley Grounds!

Paul Dunton
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulDuntonmusic
For the latest information on Local & Live, see localandlive.org

Follow Local & Live on social media

Instagram: @localandlive

Twitter: @Local_and_Live

Facebook: @localandlive 

Or follow the hashtag #localandlive



Don’t miss your free, eight-page pull-out and keep official guide to the free music festival – including full daily listings and artist interviews – in the print edition of the Times of Tunbridge Wells, out now.


Main Festival Photo, Top Paul Dunton Photo, Stage Photo & Crowd Photos: © Nigel Martin 
Bottom Paul Dunton Photo: © Sarah Bond

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