Inside View

Inside View

This month our music columnist, Paul Dunton looks at how the small things can make a big difference when it comes to planning a successful festival.

By the time you read this, the sun will be setting on this year’s Local & Live festival. Next month I’ll be writing about all the exciting things that happened over the four day event, but for now, before I head off for a nap and to play some golf, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who continually works hard to ensure that Local & Live can come back year after year.

The festival could not happen without the help of all our amazing volunteers, who always work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the event running smoothly. They are all individuals from the local community who give up their time over the weekend to help our cause. In our festival brochure we have a credit and thanks section to list everyone who has contributed in their different ways – I must, however, award a special vote of thanks to all of musicians who performed and all the Local & Live Angels, all of our various sponsors and the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, The Friends of Calverley Grounds and our media partners, The Times of Tunbridge Wells and SO magazine for all their support and assistance.

It is an all year round project, and there’s no rest for the wicked, as it’ll soon be time to start planning next year’s Local & Live event – looking at what worked, what worked even better and how we can bring even more music and entertainment to Tunbridge Wells in 2016. Last year was, to a degree, an experiment to see if we could create a mini version of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over the weekend, and this year we built on that, adding new venues and new artists – I hope you had the chance to see some of the amazing talent on offer.

Last year also saw us move to the Calverley Grounds. On reflection, the difference with Calverley Grounds over The Pantiles is that it offers much needed space required to host the event effectively, now that it has grown to its considerable size. The atmosphere is also different. Because of the setting, I think Local & Live now has a more laid back relaxed festival feel, in part down to the little touches, such as having a face painter, an ice cream bus and the acoustic stage.

If you fancy another taste of the festival, I strongly recommend attending our next few Local & Live Sessions, which are on September 19, October 17 and Nov 28 featuring a total of six cracking Local & Live acts fresh from this year’s festival. All of them will be will be strutting their stuff in the beautiful setting of Trinity Theatre. Details at