Local & Live soaks up the sunshine as biggest free music festival lives up to its billing
28th August 2019
What a Bank Holiday weekend! Great music, plenty of food and drink plus temperatures hitting 90F [32C] all helped to make it a memorable Local & Live festival.
The town’s biggest free music event lived up to its billing with more than 100 acts attracting some 20,000 people across six sites from the Friday evening to late Monday night.
The venues were Calverley Grounds, The Forum, The Bedford, Cassidy’s, The Royal Oak and Spa Hotel.
Food choices over the weekend ranged from Indian to Thai to vegan and everything in between with beer tents and bars nearby to quench the thirst.
It was all so different to last year when heavy rain almost made the festival a washout.
Organiser Paul Dunton said: “This time round we had four days of glorious weather along with some fantastic local bands that helped make it the best so far.
“It was good to be back in Calverley Grounds, which is perfect for us, and we intend to keep the festival going.”
This year was the 14th staging of the festival and the first time Local & Live operated under charity status.
“Being a registered charity definitely made a difference this time round,” said Mr Dunton. “It made it more appealing for businesses to get involved and we were also able to apply for grants.”
The festival costs about £50,000 to stage with the bulk of the money being spent on staging, PA systems, security and marshals plus insurance.
The festival is designed to ‘showcase the leading original soloists and bands from the local area’. All the acts were invited to play and charged no fee, although some made money from royalties and selling their CDs.
The four-day free festival was made possible with help from the Borough Council and Tunbridge Wells Together who between them donated £6,650. Local businesses also played a big part, particularly A H Partnership, Helios Homeopathy, Berkeley Homes and DJM Music.
The media sponsor was Times Local Newspapers.