Pub in the Park festival no longer ‘viable’ for town organisers say

Organisers of Pub in the Park announced last Friday (November 10), that it would not be bringing the ‘good food and grooves’ festival back to the town, deeming it to be ‘not viable’ for 2024.

When the Times contacted the event’s press team on Tuesday (November 14) the newspaper was told that the three-day event – which was started by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge in his town of Marlow Buckinghamshire in 2017 – would not be returning to the town’s Dunorlan Park. The popular summer food and drink festival was first launched in Tunbridge Wells in 2018.

Pub in the Park organisers told the Times: “We loved hosting Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells, but regrettably it isn’t viable to continue, and therefore we’re focusing on building four of the best events we can in 2024, using learnings from the ten-event tour last year. We appreciate that may be disappointing news but hope you’ll be able to come to your new nearest Pub in the Park event.”

The organisers failed to comment on whether there is a chance for Tunbridge Wells to return to the annual Pub in the Park calendar sometime in the future.

The new format hasn’t only impacted Tunbridge Wells as previous venues such as Wimbledon, Bath, Leamington Spa and Brighton have also been chopped from the foodie event’s schedule.

In last week’s press statement Pub in the Park said that they had decided to replace their regional touring format – which last year boasted 10 different venues – in favour of creating four ‘bigger and better’ festivals. These will take place over the summer months in Marlow, Chiswick, Reigate and St Albans.

The popular event was created by the Michelin-starred Kerridge to ‘celebrate everything there is to love about the glorious British pub’ such as delicious local food and drink, live music, and the opportunity for people to have a great time with their friends and family.

Over the past five years, Pub in the Park has featured cooking demos from some of the best celebrity chefs including James Martin and Matt Tebbutt, pop-up kitchens from the likes of the Tanner Brothers at the Kentish Hare and performances by musical artists such as Craig David, McFly and the Grammy-nominated Sister Sledge. When the Times interviewed Tom Kerridge ahead of him coming here with the event in 2018 he said: “We’re so excited about it, we can’t wait to come to Tunbridge Wells.”

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