Music festival in Calverley Grounds, Tunbridge Wells.

Local & Live is go for 2023

The organisers of Local & Live are excited to announce that it will be back again for 2023. The free music festival will return to Calverley Grounds over the August bank holiday weekend, 25th to 28th.

We are very pleased to welcome Maxipay Accounting Services back as headline sponsors for a second year. Their involvement last year was greatly appreciated and the relationship has been an invaluable contribution to the festival. ‘As a locally based business employing many people from the local area, we are very pleased to be able to support such a valuable community event helping to make Tunbridge Wells a better place for our staff and for the whole community.’ said Simon Bailey, the company’s managing director.

Started by local music luminary, Paul Dunton, Local & Live was first held on the bandstand in the Pantiles in 2006 and has since grown to become the biggest annual event in the town. Dunton observed that, ‘It’s been so rewarding to see Local & Live become an established fixture on the annual calendar. Every year we see more and more people returning to the event and more artists wanting to appear on the bill.’ Last year, thousands of festival goers enjoyed the free festival over the four days of ideal weather.

Local & Live is dedicated to showcasing and developing genuine music talent of all ages and styles, long may that continue!

Roger Daltrey CBE

Once again the event will be centred on the main stage in Calverley Grounds taking advantage of the natural amphitheatre in the park. It will be bolstered by a food village offering produce from exclusively local traders. In addition to providing summer entertainment for Tunbridge Wells residents, it draws crowds from a much wider area, stimulating trade for businesses in the town centre.

Any event organised by Paul Dunton guarantees fantastic live music. Paul is dedicated to showcasing and developing local talent.

Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells

A characteristic feature of Local & Live is the artists are drawn from the local music community playing their own compositions, unlike most festivals who rely on high profile national performers. This gives visitors the chance to experience the talent on the their own doorstep. For the artists it provides an opportunity to experience playing in front of a substantial crowd, often their biggest audience, and to have their own work heard.

In recent years, Local & Live has been praised for its breadth of appeal with a family friendly environment in the afternoons morphing into an energetic festival experience in the evenings. Around 60 artists perform during the four-day festival, most on the main stage in the park and the others at The Forum and The Sussex Arms.

Paul Dunton has done so much for independent artists. Local & Live is just brilliant

Joan Armatrading

Facts about Local & Live

  • First run in 2006 as part of the town’s 400-year celebration.
  • Branded Local & Live for 2007.
  • Took place on the bandstand in the Pantiles.
  • Outgrew the venue and relocated to Calverley Grounds in 2014.
  • Biggest annual event in Tunbridge Wells.
  • Attracts an audience of thousands each year.
  • Draws people in from a large surrounding area.
  • Includes exclusively local traders providing food and drink.
  • Held over four days on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
  • Brings life and commerce to the town centre in the midst of the summer holiday slump.
  • Costs close to £60,000 each year to hold the event.
  • Almost entirely funded by sponsorship and fundraising by the organisers.

Photos: © Copyright Nigel Martin