Paul Dunton

NEXT MONTH, THE FORUM TURNS 25, AND PAUL DUNTON IS CELEBRATING WITH THEM…

Phil Avey

January 14th 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the iconic Tunbridge Wells Forum. At 5pm on January 13 1993 the carpet was still being laid down by Jason Dormon and co-founders Mark Dayvd, Peter Hoare and Michael Oyarzabal. The launch was opened by Joey Fat and Fore Heads & A Fish Tank.

In 2013 The Forum was nationally recognised by NME Magazine with the best small venue award. In 2014 The Forum set up The Music Venue Trust to help advise other venues all around the UK by sharing experiences and giving them valuable knowledge about how to run a successful music venue for the long term, avoiding pitfalls and challenges.
There are now well over 320 venues who are members. It is a remarkable achievement that The Forum continues to punch above its weight as a small music venue attracting many renowned bands from across the world, in addition to supporting grass roots local bands which it has done since its inception. Just some of the iconic acts to have played The Forum include Muse, Oasis, Coldplay, Feeder, Bombay Bicycle Club, Greenday, Mumford and Sons, Ellie Golding, The Stereophonics, Slaves, Avocado Soup and many more.

2018 will be a year of celebrations for The Forum and fans can expect a wealth of world class performers; in an exciting development for local up and coming bands there is the forthcoming relaunch of  The Stable, which is a dedicated original bands night offering the acts the chance to perform but also to develop opportunities within the industry, including support slots and networking with promoters, venues and agents.

Forum owner and co-founder Jason Dormon gives his thoughts on the achievement of The Forum making 25 years.
“We have been here through the rise of two and a half decades of bands. Literally thousands of musicians have performed on this stage (and the old stage too). We have seen many of the biggest acts in the UK and worldwide cut their teeth and learn their craft in this room and we have seen many of them come back to us to experience that Tunbridge Wells love… and we look forward to the next 25 years with just as much excitement. Each year, we usually take the month of January to celebrate our birthday but since this is a big one, we are going to have an almighty YEAR long party. There are so many artists that want to come back (or get involved for the first time) and be part of the celebrations – and to be honest, one month simply isn’t going to suffice. Come and join us as the forum ventures into adulthood!

“We’ve had some trials and tribulations along the way, but we are indeed still here and with the teachings of every year passed and the hurdles conquered, the rewards get greater. The wonderful, the passionate, the music fans we meet, the artists, their first gig, their last and everything in between. Energy cannot be destroyed and exists in many forms and we can create and curate a better positive world full of wonderful art together. So stay tuned for a year of shows to celebrate a quarter of a century of the Tunbridge Wells Forum. We cannot wait for the party to start.”