The UK’s Black Deer Festival Gearing Up For Inaugural Event

16/04/2018

Since the initial announcement in 2017 of the UK’s roots-based Black Deer Music Festival (set for Friday June 22 – Sunday June 24), and the recent announcement of the festival’s musical lineup, including an appearance by award winning artist Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit in their only UK festival appearance of 2018, the festival has only grown in stature and level of excitement created amongst music fans all over the world.

What sets Black Deer apart from other festivals is its fierce dedication to showcasing indie roots music and creating an associated lifestyle event to boot.  The weekend of music will celebrate Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres, as well as singer-songwriters and storytellers  (see current lineup on attached poster).

The diverse and extensive lineup of this independent festival has been specially selected for the inaugural and first of its kind music and lifestyle weekend event. Additionally, each element of the festival’s environment has been carefully considered and created to complement the music and evoke a very specific sense of lifestyle, and all taking place in one of the most pristine and bucolic parts of the United Kingdom -- Eridge Park. Located in Royal Tunbridge Wells on the Kent/East Sussex border and a mere 50 minutes from London, the 3000-acre private estate is the oldest deer park in the country. Concertgoers will no doubt have an opportunity to see the wild deer roaming throughout the festival site.

Black Deer will create a festival environment that will immerse attendees in this roots alternative lifestyle, rustling up a stunning variety of classic food and drink to take revelers deep into the heartlands of all things Americana, including specialty beverages and barbecues. Long a symbol of the alternative lifestyle, the motorcycle will be well-represented by London’s Bolt Motorcycles, whose founder Andrew Almond will curate an area of Black Deer, bringing together the rich history and diverse subcultures that have surrounded the ultimate symbol of counter culture - the motorcycle.  Other areas of the festival will be dedicated to artisans showcasing their handcrafted wares as well as a section for the kids that includes outdoor adventures, cinema, Ukulele lessons and even the opportunity to perform on a stage created for budding juniors.

Attendees may choose to sleep onsite in a variety of villages, offering accommodations from the pitch your own tent village to the Gypsy Bowtop Caravan Village to the Fancy Camping Village.  Every detail has been considered and will be available, including lockers and phone charging stations, onsite medical personnel, food and drink and plenty of showers and toilets.

According to the Black Deer Festival founders, the entire experience will bring together a passionate set of subcultures and create a community of like-minded people, spanning generations who follow the music but who also subscribe to an authentic way of life.

The driving forces behind Black Deer are women Gill Tee and Deborah Shilling of Entertee, two successful UK concert promoters. No strangers to the festival world, Tee and Shilling have produced and directed some of the most loved shows in the UK, including the Hop Farm Festival and Hyde Park’s Party In The Park. Entertee have produced festivals featuring some of the world’s greatest artists including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Prince, Eagles, Van Morrison, Patti Smith and Mumford and Sons.

“Having been in the music industry for many years, producing events for other people, I am proud to finally take a giant step to having a festival of my own” said Tee. “ Set in a beautiful part of the world, that I know and love, with a genre of music that holds so many memories for me, is really exciting as well as extremely challenging. I hope that Black Deer can bring to a wider audience all the love and warmth that I feel about our festival. All the characters who make up our wider team have the same ethos. We are all working together to ensure that anyone who steps foot into the world of Black Deer will want to come back for many years in the future.”

“Black Deer is the coming together of all the things I love and value in life. Things that all have one thing in common – authenticity,” Shilling noted. “From real Americana and Country music, honest wholesome food & drink, to the raw beauty of the great outdoors – where the experience of being a mum to two young boys has allowed me to be part of designing a natural playground full of family fun and adventure. But more so, I love that feeling of being part of a community. And that’s what Black Deer is all about for me – bringing passionate like-minded people together through authentic good times.”

This family-friendly event encourages people of all ages to completely immerse themselves in all aspects of this culture celebrated by millions on either side of the Atlantic and delivering an authentic, Roots-style line up to the UK.

Additionally, Black Deer has teamed up with Supajam Education in Music and Media (SEMM), a multi-award winning educational provider that supports disadvantaged and vulnerable young people aged 16 plus who have special education needs. SEMM was set up by David Court and Nick Stillwell. The promoters of Black Deer have supported Supajam for many years by offering employment opportunities to the students on many of their events. Black Deer Festival has become the main focus of the 2017/2018 educational curriculum, having given SEMM their own stage at the festival to manage, book and curate. The festival team will be supporting and working closely with these students all year. Artist Sonia Leigh, who is set to perform at Black Deer this year, has also been working with the kids involved with Supajam.

"This is an unbelievable and potentially life changing opportunity for these talented students to put their skills to the test and to show the Black Deer community what I know they’re capable of,” said Guy Pratt/Pink Floyd and Supajam Mentor.

For all the essential information on the Black Deer Festival, including the announced line-up and ticket info, please visit: www.blackdeerfestival.com

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