Tonbridge Calling puts emphasis on diversity in music, food and society

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

THIS year’s Tonbridge Calling music festival will feature a wide variety of artists, a broader range of food offerings – and an opportunity to try out circus skills.

The one-day extravaganza at the Racecourse sportsground on Saturday August 4 will feature Wyatt Riot, Kung Fu Slipper, Petty Thieves, Tram Beat and Salsadelic.

The event will run from midday to 7.30pm, and the proceeds will go towards supporting local charities and worthy causes.

Tonbridge Calling is a free event which started in 2016 ‘with the emphasis very much on the collective strength of like-minded folk pooling their spare time, energies and talent’.

Having evolved in the wake of the divisive referendum campaign and the rise in hate incidents, it aims to promote tolerance, diversity and inclusivity.

Mark Hood, one of the organisers, said: ‘The referendum set people against each other and some friends were shocked to find themselves being abused in our town.

‘We decided to counter this by bringing people together. The whole idea was to take the negativity and turn it in a positive direction.’

He added: ‘We have a fantastically diverse range of music to treat the ears of revellers attending this year’s Tonbridge Calling.

‘And this year we are proud to welcome our Kinetic Circus area, where young and old alike will be able to try their hands at a whole range of circus skills.’

Returning this year are festival favourites Anaconda Bellydance, an award-winning, troupe who specialise in Egyptian, Bollywood, Romany and tribal dance, and samba drumming group Pengenista Drummers.

Among the refreshment options are Sulston’s Kitchen, Tonbridge Old Fire Station’s bar and barbecue, Sukoo Sukoo Indian Kitchen, pizza makers Holistic Biscuit, Kay’s Kitchen and South Tonbridge Women’s Institute for tea and cakes – home-baked donations are welcome.

Last year’s festival raised £600, which was split between four local charities: Nourish Community Foodbank, Tonbridge Welcomes Refugees, The School Bus Project – which aims to protect the right to education for refugees and vulnerable migrants across Europe – and the homeless charity Porchlight.

For more information about Tonbridge Calling, visit or email

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