Music to your ears

Music to your ears

It’s been a roller coaster year for Local & Live but with the recent announcement of a headline sponsor, the four-day music festival is back in Tunbridge Wells this August Bank Holiday weekend!

We were all set to pull the plug on it but at the very last minute local business Maxipay Accounting Services signed up to be headline sponsor for this year’s event. To say we were relieved is an understatement and we couldn’t be more grateful as they are providing a vital lifeline for the festival’s finances, which coupled with valuable contributions from The BID at Royal Tunbridge Wells Together, donations from the public, numerous local business sponsorships and a contribution from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, all adds up to the fantastic news that Local & Live can still go ahead! 

The free music festival, now in its 17th year, is a regular annual fixture in the town’s cultural calendar. Local & Live has become a popular weekend for picnicking in the park, attracting all generations – from young families to the more senior music fans. It features the cream of the local area’s original musical talent and artists already confirmed include Marie White, The Ackerleys, David Migden & The Twisted Roots, Cyrano, Mike Wilton Band and many more! 

The event begins on the evening of Friday August 26 at 5pm and mainly 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 on Sunday ( 12noon to 10pm). The Forum will be hosting afterparties every night after the music finishes in Calverley Grounds, inviting an array of local bands until late each night. To accompany the music in Calverley Grounds, there will be two main bars ran by The Forum and The George Pub and a selection of local food traders including Fine Grind, Crumbs & Treacle, Naked & Ready Foods, Sankey’s, Food Comes First, Alice’s Ices, Rascals Pizzas, Delaneys Crepes and Pancakes and Mother Bhumi Organic Vegan. All the traders will be serving an array of wonderful foods to suit everyone’s tastes. The bank holiday Monday is known as ‘Fringe Day’ and we will soon be announcing numerous venues across the town that will be putting on live music acts as part of the festival so keep an eye out for this!

As the festival has grown in both reputation and size, it also draws visitors from the length and breadth of the UK and Europe. Local & Live brings together a collective audience in the region of 15,000 people to enjoy the music and a relaxed family friendly festival atmosphere over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Iconic Rock legend, Roger Daltrey CBE of The Who is a long-term supporter of the festival and commented: “Local & Live is a fantastic platform for independent, original music in Kent and Sussex, long may it continue!” 

Thanks for all your support and interest and roll on Calverley Grounds!  You can find us at  @localandlive on Facebook and Instagram and @Local_and_Live on twitter and the festival website is

I look forward to seeing you at the festival! 


So why is funding for the festival so vital?

As a free event, Local & Live’s intention is solely to cover its costs.  Myself and all the other trustees of the Local & Live Charity give our time to organise and run the event for free, for all of us,  it is genuinely a labour of love. There are substantial costs which we cannot avoid and just some the major costs include the festival main stage complete with full PA and all the necessary sound equipment, barriers, lighting, generators, sound and lighting engineers amounts to around £25,000. One of the legal requirements includes having a specific number of professional security staff on duty during the set-up day and then for the entire run of the festival including overnight on each day and on site for the clear down day. This security bill is likely to be close to £15,000. The insurance bill for the event is around £4,000 and other costs include Porta loo hire: £3000; PRS licence £1500; medical team £2500; marquee hire £2000; rubbish bins and collection: £2000 plus many other running costs to add on before we even look at marketing and merchandise!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing if you have any sponsorship enquiries or ideas, we would love to hear from you. 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 £50.  Our crowdfund page is available at live2022

THE STAGE IS SET: Who’s performing at Local & Live in 2022

Friday promises to be a rockin’ affair with All the Above and Mike Wilton Band also on the bill. Dull Knife are renowned for their inspiring grunge laden rock songs and have been described as Royal Blood meets The White Stripes and they will certainly rock Calverley Grounds to its knees!

Saturday kicks off with music from 12noon all the way through to 10pm. Local four- piece Suncharmer top the bill with Two Weeks in Nashville as their main support. Both acts recently performed at Pub in The Park supporting the likes of Faithless and Supergrass and are renowned for their high energy, infectious riff laden indie pop/rock style and will undoubtedly bring day two to a climactic finish.

Sunday sees Noble Jacks headlining Sunday night at Calverley Grounds. The popular local group led by front man Will Page have been wowing crowds across the UK and beyond with their raucous foot stomping alt-folk music and they stole the show at the recent Black Deer Festival with an incredible performance on the main stage. With music again starting at midday Sunday offers an array of superb local acts including the likes of Steffan James, The Ackerleys, Marie White, The Orange Circus and more – all paving the way for The Noble Jacks to strut their stuff! 


Paul Dunton

Music Editor

Follow Paul  @PaulDuntonmusic

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