Happy Thursday!



22nd, 23rd, 24th June 2018

Already boasting a remarkable lineup featuring the very best Americana & Country acts from around the world, Black Deer Festival are delighted to reveal that Sarah Darling, Jess and The Bandits, Robert Vincent, Steak, O&O, Noble Jacks, Jay Scott, Ilona, Tally Spear and Katy Hurt will join the likes of headliners Iron & Wine and Passenger, as well as Ward Thomas, double Grammy and AMA UK award winner Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Campbell and many more stunning names for the festival’s inaugural year.
Black Deer Festival is an independent festival headed up by two women Promoters with years of experience in the festival industry and is set to take place in the wonderous natural outdoor location of Eridge Park, Britain’s oldest deer park located on the Kent/East Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells - just a mere 50 minutes outside of London. In an exuberant showcase of Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres, Black Deer Festival will immerse attendees in the alternative lifestyle with authentic Americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom motorcycle showcases and rooted storytellings from cultural pioneers, cementing itself as the UK’s newest favourite Americana & country festival and one not to be missed.
Winning over the American public as a top-three finalist on E! Entertainment Television’s The Entertainer, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Sarah Darling embodies the fundamentals of country music as her distinctively svelte vocals takes her sound soaring to another plain. Achieving critical acclaim from notable Country music stars such as Brad Paisley, Darling has released several masterful albums featuring notable singles such as ‘Jack Of Hearts’, ‘Where Cowboys Ridge’ and the breath taking ‘Home To Me’, which became her first single to debut on U.S Billboard chart. Following this success, Sarah Darling has performed live on major US television programs such as Conan, Fox & Friends, and ABC’s The Bachelor - to name a few.  Darling’s self-coined Dream Country sound is destined to captivate listeners and take them on a whimsical ride back to Nashville when she appears at Black Deer Festival.
Storming both the United Kingdom and the United States, Jess and The Bandits are a well-recognised force in country music - notably winning Best Video at the British Country Music Awards for their mischievous video ‘My Name Is Trouble’. Citing Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Glen Campbell as musical influences, flame-haired Texas native Jessica Clemmons has led her group of virtuoso bandits to stages all over the world, and in June they are set to touch down in Eridge Park for an upbeat and animated live show.
Lauded by Radio 2’s country tastemaker Bob Harris as ‘the real deal’, Robert Vincent epitomises the all-encompassing spirit of Americana. Vincent, hailing from the sleepy British coastal town of Crosby but now based in Liverpool, gained notoriety due to his brilliantly melancholic fusion of country and blues, paired with honest lyricism. Known for extensive touring, the unsuspecting americana visionary won Album Of The Year with his sophomore release ‘I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins’  at the UK Americana Awards this year and closed the special reboot of the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test Live: For One Night Only with a stunning live performance that he is sure to emulate at this year’s Black Deer Festival.
Set to transform Eridge Park from UK countryside into a vast Californian desert landscape are London riffslingers Steak, who will be bringing their doom-lauded hard rock to Black Deer Festival this June with a more stripped back set in our Roadhouse. The raucous rock mob earnt the respect of audiences around the UK following their thundering tour supporting John Garcia of Kyuss fame, Steak are an unmissable act for those needing a dose of heavy over the Americana weekender.
Following their first encounter at Paul McCartney’s prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), Colorado-native, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Obadiah Jones, and Israeli vocalist, Orian Peled formed O&O and have since travelled the globe in pursuit of musical success. Describing their sound as Fleetwood Mac meets The Civil Wars, the duo are set to showcase their intimate and americana-tinged harmonies when they take to the Black Deer Festival stage.
Jay Scott is set to satisfy the Black Deer audience as he delivers his personal and enthralling blend of indie and americana, which caught the attention of both Sony and Warner Music respectively.
Also joining the Black Deer Festival line-up and proving the universal appeal of americana music is Bulgarian-born ILONA, known for her powerful country-pop performances featuring dulcet vocals. Her musical career has seen her jam with Ed Sheeran, support Dire Straits’ John Illsley, Newton Faulkner and Black Deer Festival headliner Passenger as well as finishing a residency at the majestic Downtown Grand in Las Vegas - she is set to take 2018 by storm following months of song-writing between London and Nashville.
Following a relentless touring schedule, Noble Jacks have drawn impressive crowds all across the UK with their high-energy rhythms and alt-rock sensibilities. Set to cause a storm at Black Deer Festival, Noble Jacks are among the many acts not to be missed!
Acoustic singer-songwriter Tally Spear takes inspiration from musical icons such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young, allowing her to create unique folk-pop stories from her time in London’s Greenwich Village. Armed with a revolutionary musical style, the 22-year-old is set to turn heads at Black Deer Festival in June.
Katy Hurt is stirring up a storm in 2018 and will be doing the same at Black Deer, with a highly anticipated EP on the way, produced by renown musician Murray Pulver. 2017 saw Katy at over 100+ shows, impressing fans with the honest lyrical content of country and raucous vocals of southern rock. Radio 2’s Paul Sexton described her as “One of the most exciting prospects on the burgeoning country scene, a vivacious and magnetic performer…Check her out whilst you can still get to the front row”.
Sarah Darling says; “I’m absolutely over the moon to be playing the first Black Deer Festival with some of my favorite artists! It’s going to be a magical weekend!” 
Jess And The Bandits say; “The UK festival scene is so vibrant and unique. There’s no other country in the world that does it the way you guys do! That is why we are so excited about the concept behind Black Deer, and absolutely thrilled to be a part of it. The lineup is incredible, and I know it’s going to be a weekend to remember. See y’all there!”
Robert Vincent says; "I'm excited to be a part of the great line up for Black Deer Festival, especially after seeing the mix of peers and friends. Black Deer looks to be showing the way in Americana & country festivals, and it's an absolute pleasure to be involved."
Ilona says; "I am thrilled to be playing at the first ever Black Deer Festival. It's going to be an amazing experience performing as part of this very special weekend."
Tally Spear says; “So thrilled to be a part of Black Deer festival this year, playing alongside such a strong line up and celebrating the genre of music that has inspired me since day one!” Noble Jacks; "We're so excited to be playing Black Deer Festival this year! It's an incredible line up, with loads of our favourite artists! We can't wait!"
Iron & Wine
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit (UK Festival Exclusive)
Ward Thomas
Eric Bibb
Striking Matches
John Moreland
Kiefer Sutherland
Ashley Campbell
Sam Palladio
The Webb Sisters
Stu Larsen
CC Smugglers
The Sheepdogs
The Wandering Hearts
The Picturebooks
Rev Sekou
Wildwood Kin
Elles Bailey
Sonia Leigh
Wade Bowen
The Americans
Juanita Stein
Broken Witt Rebels
Jarrod Dickenson
William the Conqueror
Bennett Wilson Poole
Danni Nicholls
Whiskey Shivers
Darren Eedens and the Slim Pickin’s
Ben Danaher
Alexander McKay
Steve Young

 Alongside the emotive line-up will be the introduction of the LIVE FIRE Arena – a carefully curated area bringing the best in outdoor cooking and lifestyle, with expert demonstrations all wrapped up around great southern style food, drink and hospitality.
The concept area has been developed especially for Black Deer by the pioneers of the American BBQ scene in the UK since 2010 and creators of the original BBQ and music festival drawing 20,000 revellers in all things meat, music and mayhem. Here’s introducing best-selling cookbook authors, food writers and founders of Grillstock, Jon Finch and Ben Merrington whose expertise and collaboration for Black Deer will be putting authentic American roadside smokehouse cooking right on the map to keep visitors entertained, inspired and most of all wholly satisfied.
 Focused on outdoor cooking and lifestyle, LIVE FIRE will offer the finest selection of southern style street food traders in the UK alongside interactive lifestyle demos and the not-to-be-missed Black Deer Cookout Competition.
Food & Lifestyle Demo Stage
Bringing a big portion of personality to the demo stage will be US barbeque expert Dr. BBQ. Compered by the professional pitmaster, The Live Fire Lifestyle Stage will offer a series of 45-minute cooking and lifestyle mater-classes taking place throughout each day of the festival from the best outdoor chefs, pitmasters, butchers, woodsman and craftsmen. With plenty more to follow, the line-up so far includes (a full announcement will be available soon with bios, photos and demo details):
 Neil Rankin - Chef Owner, Temper Restaurants - A true master of all things smoke, fire and meat
 Matt Burgess - Chef Director, Caravan Restaurants - Matt’s food is at the forefront of revolutionising free cooking
Romy Gill MBE - British/Indian chef and cookery teacher - British/Indian chef, restaurateur, cookery teacher and food writer
 Steve West - Master Butcher - London-based artisan butcher
 Nick Weston - Hunter Gatherer Cook - Foraging, Game butchery and fire cookery guru
 Mark Parr - 'Lord Logs' of the London Log Co - Leading light on all things wood & charcoal
 Jon Finch & Ben Merrington - Grillstock Founders & cookbook authors - Pioneers of the UK BBQ scene since 2010
Ray 'Dr.BBQ' Lampe - BBQ Hall of Famer, Godfather of BBQ - US BBQ pitmaster, author and television personality
Tom Herbert - Master Baker - One half of the Fabulous Baker Brothers, Chef and cookbook author

Black Deer Cookout Competition
Hosted on the Live Fire Stage by US barbeque expert Dr. BBQ ‘Cookout’ is an action packed, fast paced, fire and smoke-filled BBQ cooking competition. Each day sees four teams pitched against each other in three different live-fire cooking challenges. The team with the most points at the end of the weekend gets crowned Black Deer Cookout ‘Grand Champion’.
The oak framed ‘Travelling Barn’ forms the hub of the Live Fire area at Black Deer. Large communal tables will allow visitors comfort and space to meet up, kick back and enjoy their food and drink whilst taking in the atmosphere around.
Smokin’ Food & Drink
A hand-picked collection of the finest southern-style street food traders in the UK will be the heart of the arena. Everything from low ‘n’ slow pit BBQ, custom smokers and large joints of meat roasted over live fires through to great deep south comfort and soul food.
Whilst there’s a big emphasis on meat, veggies out there won’t be disappointed either
Live Fire Music
Once the lifestyle demos and competitions are over for the day, the entertainment continues in the form of live blues, slide guitarists and DJ sets situated amongst the firepits and bourbon shack. Relax back, tap your toe and share a story.
As an advocate of Americana, the music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, it is important to Black Deer and the people behind it to be genuine and bring together the great and the good to compliment the sounds.
One such person to add their personality to this project has been Andrew Almond of Bolt London. Founded in 2013, Bolt is a premium brand motivated by motorcycles and the counterculture around them; it’s Andrew’s taste and focus that has seen him become a key protagonist within the scene. Alongside the brand apparel and accessories, it is the hardware at the centre of what he does, building custom motorcycles, specialising in the classics and offering mechanics workshops to keep the love affair ongoing.
It is collaborating with like-minded people that will make this festival stand apart and with Andrew Almond bringing his own creative and ambitions to Eridge Park for Black Deer, the motorcyclist community can be rest assured it is solely with them in mind.
“As I do with all things Bolt - it’ll be done right, with those people that are committed to the scene. Bringing together the culture of motorcycling in all its forms - the music, machines, style, craft and art in one encompassing immersive experience.”  
 Another dedicated area will be The Marketplace, where we’ll be championing artisans and makers. We’re excited to announce that heading up this handmade part of our land will be Deverells Co. Born from Darn and Dusted, the hand-sewn textile repair company started by Luke Deverell, Deverells Co (video intro) is a husband and wife duo purveying a carefully curated selection of one-off, rare and authentic pieces with a focus on American vintage and handcrafted items.  Expect a showcase of the best vintage dealers, artisans and makers from all over.
Luke is passionate about the need to keep on doing things in a traditional way - a belief we passionately share with him.
Watch the video here.
The dedication to the music, culture and community means that every detail of the festival is carefully considered and curated to ensure its success.   
One such aspect is the collaboration with Supajam Education in Music and Media (SEMM), a multi-award winning educational provider set up by David Court and Nick Stilwell. The college supports young people aged 16 and over with an interest in music. It supports some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young adults with over 50% of the students attending having received an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP).
The school plans a life journey like no other supporting young people, many of whom have never achieved a qualification, who want to forge a career in the music industry. They gain English and Maths Functional Skills and  G.C.S.E. qualifications and music diplomas alongside life skills in subjects within the industry via experienced tutors. With a long-term goal to secure future employment in the music industry, they currently have a 93% music diploma pass rate which is testament to the dedication and ambition of these students.
Black Deer co-founder Gill Tee is a Trustee of SupaJam and has been working with the students as a mentor for the last four years. With an extensive portfolio in the music industry, she along with her team, share their experiences working closely to support the students and the school by offering employment opportunities beyond the classroom on many of their events.
The Black Deer Festival has provided a unique platform for a customised programme of sessions working with the festival event team and forming their 2017/18 curriculum.  The team are mentoring the kids in all the necessary disciplines leading up to the festival with a programme of lectures, workshops and talks from some of the most respected and experienced people in the business.  This programme will educate the Supajam students and provide the relevant experience enabling them to curate, budget, stage manage, book artists (Black Deer have provided a budget), run a technical production schedule including sound and lighting and manage the artist accreditation.  Many of the students possess their own incredible talent so expect to see performances from the students along with Q&A’s with artists hosted by the kids.
“This is an unbelievable and potentially life changing opportunity for these talented students to put their skills to the test and show the Black Deer community what I know they’re capable of.” – Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd), Supajam Mentor
After a trip to Nashville last year, Gill and her business partner Debs were introduced to American singer songwriter Sonia Leigh.  Having introduced their plans for Black Deer and working with SupaJam, Sonia attended the school of her own accord and held a workshop for the students on the back of her recent UK tour. Prior to the festival in June she has decided to visit the school again, flying out a week early to support the students in the run up to the festival in a special programme of workshops. Watch the below Sonia’s visit to the SupaJam school - watch it here.
There’s no doubt this will be an incredible journey and learning experience for all involved and the fruits of everyone’s dedication will be seen live and in action at the 300 capacity Supajam stage. Watch this space!
We’re giving some of the UK’s freshest Americana & country talent a chance to shine, on stage and under the skies of Black Deer Festival.
In partnership with SupaJam and the Tunbridge Wells Forum, we’re on a mission to unearth the very best budding new Americana & country acts, right here in the UK - giving them a unique platform to showcase their talent to the world. 
Our search began at 8am on Friday 16th March 2018, inviting musicians to send in their two best YouTube video performances. Once all entries are in (by midnight on 13th April), the judges will get to work whittling down all the entries to leave just five of the very best.
These five acts will then be invited to play at the iconic Tunbridge Wells Forum. Where, based on their performance on the night, they’ll be awarded a stage slot at the Black Deer Festival 2018.
Think you’ve got what it takes to join the likes of Iron & Wine, Passenger, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, and Ward Thomas at this year’s Black Deer Festival? Then you best have a look at the full entry details, below…

Good luck.

Entry Details:
-        Competition for UK based singer songwriters and musicians who channel the spirit of Americana and traditional country including roots, folk, blues, bluegrass, rock to alt-country.
-        For a chance to play, email links to your two best YouTube tracks showcasing your talent along with a brief bio and any additional social media pages to (you will receive full terms and conditions to verify).  
-        Entry begins 8.00am Friday 16th March and all submissions need to be in by midnight on Friday 13th April – lucky for some.
-        You will be contacted by SupaJam / Black Deer via e-mail if you are successful and you will need to be available to play at The Black Deer Forum event on Thursday 10th May 2018 and be available to play at the festival between 22nd – 24th June 2018.

  • Only music submitted by email to the address will be considered an entry, not by any other submission channel.
  • All submissions need to be in by midnight on Friday 13th April, any submitted after this date will excluded.
  • You must be available to play both dates – 10th May 2018 at the TW Forum and at the Black Deer Festival between 22nd – 24th June 2018.
  • Winners will be contacted by a representative of SupaJam / Black Deer and details of winners announced via our (SupaJam / Black Deer / The Forum) websites and social media channels as appropriate shortly after.
  • It is the responsibility of the winners to make their own travel arrangements to and from the festival for the agreed load in / stage times given.
  • As winners of the competition you agree to provide any relevant information and imagery as required by artists for profile pieces to be shared with media / press contacts for festival features and where possible be available on a pre-agreed set date / time for any media interviews.  
  • Full terms and conditions will be sent through once each entry has been received.
Black Deer are very excited to have the wonderful world of Woodland Tribe keeping our Young Folk busy at this year’s debut festival. Alongside the music, the culture and the Live Fire smokehouse cooking we want the kids to feel just as important and encouraged to take in the sense of adventure and community that surrounds them.
As the name suggests Woodland Tribe, a not-for-profit CIC (Community Interest Company), promote the best kind of adventure play, allowing children of all ages to safely use hammers, saws, drills, nails, screws, rope, netting and a huge quantity of wood to build the playground of their dreams, under adult supervision.
Over the three days of the festival, the kids will become architects, builders and collaborators as they assemble their own natural wood fort or den. It will bring together a sense of community as the kids work together and their efforts take shape over the whole of the Black Deer Festival.
Not only will this be a large-scale piece of original artwork by the end, it will be a functional outdoor play area during the festival, one that will keep the kids coming back for more with a great sense of achievement at learning new, practical life skills.

The entire experience will bring together a passionate set of subcultures, 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 force behind Black Deer are no strangers to the festival world - having 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 Americana artists including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eagles, Van Morrison, Patti Smith and Mumford and Sons .
Black Deer will be using a cashless RFID system on site for ease, security and convenience of festival goers. You will be able to upload money directly to your wristband at either the booths on site or online and any money left over will be refunded to you. You will receive your wristband when you arrive on site and exchange your ticket. (please see terms and conditions below)*
Gill Tee - Promoter; “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. 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 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.”
Deborah Shilling - Promoter; “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. From real Americana & 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.”
Tier 1 Tickets have now sold out
Tier 2 Tickets - limited number on sale now
Adult weekend including camping £150
Junior (6-17) weekend including camping £65
Disabled (accessible) Weekend including camping £150
Child 0-5 Free but must secure a ticket

Adult weekend excluding camping £125
Junior (6-17) weekend excluding camping £45
Disabled (accessible) including weekend £125
Child 0-5 Free but must secure a ticket
Group offers available - buy 3 adult tickets, get a 4th free, and payment plans with deposits from as little as £19.99 are also available.

Early Bird Day Tickets - limited number on sale now
Adult Friday Ticket £35
Junior (6-17) Friday Ticket £13
Child (0-5) Friday Ticket Free
Adult Saturday / Sunday Ticket £45
Junior (6-17) Saturday / Sunday Ticket £16
Child (0-5) Saturday / Sunday Ticket Free
After Tier 2 we will have one last level which will be ‘Final Price.’

For details on tickets click here.
Camping and Fancy Camping options are now available to book - for details click here
*Cashless payments - T & Cs:
Valid Tickets will be exchanged for Wristbands on entry into the Festival. Wristbands cannot be issued until the day / date as stated on the Ticket and are only issued directly to the Ticket Holder on production of photographic ID (driver’s licence or passport). It is not possible to collect Wristbands on behalf of other people and all Wristbands must be placed and secured on the individual’s wrist directly by our staff. Your Wristband will be invalidated if any part of it is removed, detached, altered or defaced. Wristbands will not be reissued or replaced regardless of whether you still have your Ticket.
Ticket Holders must retain their Tickets and/or Wristbands at all times whilst within the Venue and Tickets and/or Wristbands must be produced for inspection upon our request and/or the request of any Authorised Person. Failure to do so may result in the Ticket Holder being ejected from the Venue without refund or compensation.