The music weekend sees Simply Red, Paul Weller, Keane, Van Morrison, Jake Bugg, Wilco and James visit Kent’s Black Deer Festival and Hop Farm

Kent hosts a huge weekend of music with artists such as Simply Red, Paul Weller, Van Morrison, Jake Bugg and James all performing across the county.

From Friday June 17 to Sunday June 19, two iconic venues – the Hop Farm Family Park in Paddock Wood and Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells – will welcome crowds eager to see some of the biggest names in music.

Two major outdoor music events, the Hop Farm Concerts and the Black Deer Festival, take place on the same weekend. Photo: provided by Shepherd Neame

The Hop Farm kicks off its spectacular summer concert series with gigantic headliners from Simply Red, Paul Weller and Keane – and you can find tickets for all three events here.

Simply Red, whose smash hits including Holding Back the Years, Stars and Something Got Me Started, have achieved five UK No. 1 albums, sold over 60 million albums worldwide and sold over a billion views on YouTube.

Simply Red kicks off the first of three concerts at the Hop Farm.  Image: PR sliding doors
Simply Red kicks off the first of three concerts at the Hop Farm. Image: PR sliding doors

After Mick Hucknall and his bandmates, The Jam frontman Paul Weller. The Town Called Malice singer, who formed the Style Council and launched his own solo career, earned him the affectionate nickname ‘The Modfather’ among fans.

To end the weekend at the Hop Farm, Keane, four chart-topping musicians, met at Tonbridge school and will return to Kent to perform hit singles such as Somewhere Only We Know and Everybody’s Changing .

While these three signature shows are taking place, across the county is a celebration of American, country, bluegrass and rock music at the Black Deer Festival.

The Black Deer Festival has been canceled for two years due to the pandemic.  Photo: provided by Shepherd Neame
The Black Deer Festival has been canceled for two years due to the pandemic. Photo: provided by Shepherd Neame

Tickets are still on sale here for the three-day festival, which finally makes its triumphant return this summer with a star-studded lineup.

Over the weekend, indie superstars James, rock band Wilco, legendary musician Van Morrison, singer-songwriter Lightning Bolt Jake Bugg, Irish musician Imelda May and many more will appear.

Music legend Van Morrison will end the Black Deer Festival with the last title.  Photo: submitted
Music legend Van Morrison will end the Black Deer Festival with the last title. Photo: submitted

The Black Deer Festival also offers a number of fun activities, such as live cooking demonstrations, gospel brunch, custom motorcycle displays, adventure playgrounds, tree climbing, music lessons and a zip line.

Fans of local beers, ales and ciders will be delighted to hear that Kentish brewery Shepherd Neame has been named the festival’s official brewery partner.

Shepherd Neame will supply beer and cider for the Black Deer Festival.  Photo: Louise Roberts
Shepherd Neame will supply beer and cider for the Black Deer Festival. Photo: Louise Roberts

There will be a limited edition Black Deer Larger available, as well as cask ales such as Whitstable Bay Pale Ale, Spitfire Amber Ale and Master Brew.

The Bear Island line of beers will also come to life at the Bear Island Silent Disco, where adult festival-goers can dance the night away with Black Deer DJs.

If this busy weekend of sensational summer music isn’t enough for you, we’ve got three more unmissable events to get you on your feet…

Counterfeit 1970s Kings Hall

From the band that brought you the spectacular show Counterfeit Sixties, The Counterfeit Seventies takes audiences through a decade of glam rock, new wave, punk and everything in between. With smash hits like Slade, Sweet, T.Rex, the Bay City Rollers and more, this four-piece band will take a live trip down memory lane. With nostalgic costumes pulled straight from the 70s and video footage from the decade, the Counterfeit Seventies show is the perfect opportunity to relive an iconic era in music.

Counterfeit Seventies is at Kings Hall, Herne Bay on Friday 17th June. Book your tickets online here.

Festability is an inclusive festival for the disability community.  Image: Festability
Festability is an inclusive festival for the disability community. Image: Festability

Festability, Parc Quex

Festability, an inclusive music festival for people with disabilities, returns with a packed program of live music, karaoke and attractions for the whole family. The festival was started in 2018 by three parents of disabled children in Kent and has now grown into a huge one-day event. This year there will be a silent disco, drum lessons, sensory and soft play areas, a play tent and ball pit for adults, as well as a showpiece performance of songs from the greatest showman with acrobatics and dancers.

Festability is at Quex Park, Birchington-on-Sea on Saturday 18th June. Book your tickets online here.

The Elvis performing group Taking Care of Vegas will perform at the Kings Hill Music Festival.  Photo: John Nurden
The Elvis performing group Taking Care of Vegas will perform at the Kings Hill Music Festival. Photo: John Nurden

Kings Hill Music Festival, Spitfire

This small music festival has become an unmissable event for local music lovers. This year Kings Hill Music Festival returns with a lineup of fantastic live bands, such as funky rhythm and blues band Get Carter and party band The Real Deal. Also appearing at the festival are tribute bands Decades Showband, which perform hits over the years, and Taking Care of Vegas, a rock ‘n’ roll tribute to Elvis. Early-bird tickets sold out quickly for this year’s event, but you can still grab a last-minute standard admission ticket.

The Kings Hill Music Festival will take place at Spitfire, near West Malling, on Saturday June 18. Book your tickets online here.

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