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Black Deer Festival announces second wave

by Ben Harding. Published Thu 08 Mar 2018 12:08, last updated: 09/03/18
Lineup announcement for Black Deer Festival 2018
Lineup announcement for Black Deer Festival 2018

After the blistering first announcement for the UK’s newest favourite Americana & Country festival, Black Deer Festival are proud to reveal yet another wave of stunning acts. Joining Iron & Wine, Passenger, Ward Thomas and double Grammy and AMA UK award winner Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit in a UK festival exclusive, we can announce the additions of Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Campbell, Sam Palladio, The Webb Sisters and Bob Harris’ Emerging Artist winners Wandering Hearts to the phenomenal line-up.

Set over three days in the stunning natural outdoor location of Eridge Park, Britain’s oldest deer park located on the Kent/East Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells and just a mere 50 minutes outside of London, the Black Deer Festival is set to bring Americana and Country music and the way of life to the UK. Authentic good times coupled with a family friendly vibe aim to make this new festival one not to be missed.

It’s safe to say the line-up has been meeting industry wide approval and with the newly announced acts added to the bill, visitors are guaranteed to be treated to a genuine display of Americana and Country music set over 5 stages, exquisite smokehouse cooking and Southern hospitality, as well as a curated marketplace of artisans and makers, custom motorcycle culture and outdoor adventures for the kids and families to be spirited away for a very enjoyable long weekend.

Appealing to an eclectic mix of people of all ages, Black Deer is not only a music lover’s festival but also a place where people can come to meet, make new acquaintances and immerse themselves in a variety of counter cultures that are inclusive, not exclusive. It’s about bringing people together, being part of a community, sharing stories and leave feeling like something really special has just happened.

With country royalty in her blood, Ashley Campbell continues her legendary father’s country singing legacy. The talented keyboardist and harmony vocalist will bring a mixture of contemporary Americana, rootsy folk and country pop to the Black Deer stage. She said of her recently released album; The Lonely One, which she co-wrote with her brother, how it “explores different types of being alone, which I don’t necessarily see as a bad thing, more of a sign of independence”. Ashley embraces the melodic similarities between her and her father but still distinguishes herself as a talented frontwoman in her own right.

Golden Globe award winner and two-time award winner Kiefer Sutherland’s journey in the music industry started after a collaboration with a friend ended in the release of his 2016 album Down In A Hole. The album tracks come from his personal experiences and are said to be “the closest thing I’ve ever had to a journal or diary”. He’s made impressive moves in his acting career so it will be no surprise to see him excel on the music stage.

Encompassing all things country, Cornish born Sam Palladio of award winning musical drama, Nashville fame joins the Black Deer line-up. Loved for his Nashville role as Gunnar Scott and for last year’s hit duet with Una Healy; ‘Stay My Love’, Sam is set to bring his romantic ballads packed with emotion to Kent this summer.

For nearly two decades Wade Bowen continues to make himself known on the international stage. Born and raised in Waco, Texas, Bowen started his career in the band West 84. He once toyed with the idea of leaving the music industry altogether, instead he decided to step out on his own, self-releasing his 2002 debut album Try Not To Listen. Hailed as the next Chris Stapleton, the New York Times have described his effortless songwriting style as graceful, lauding his ability to bring “feeling from his small vocal gestures”. His new album Solid Ground, released earlier this year, features fellow Texans Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall - as he approaches his 20th anniversary as a musician, Black Deer can’t wait to welcome him to the festival this June.

Wade Bowen says:

“Touring the UK over the last couple of years has taught me that there are no more appreciative and attentive music fans on the planet. I can’t wait to get back and be a part of the inaugural Black Deer Festival as a performer and a spectator of such a wonderfully curated event.”

Three-time JUNO award-winning group The Sheepdogs are also set to join the line-up. Their commitment to traditional rock’n’roll has helped them perfect their vintage rock sound. Influenced by the likes of Allman Brothers, Kinks, Stones and Neil Young, it’s clear that their goal to make “killer albums that people want to listen to” has been fulfilled, with Kid Rock saying “they’re exactly where rock’n’roll should be”.

London Folk-American group The Wandering Hearts have moved off with ease from their first online demo. The group who immediately sparked interest for their songs ‘Today is Ours’ and ‘Sunshine’ were signed to Decca within a month of their demo release. The group debuted their single last year, have recently released their first ever album Wild Silence and picked up the coveted ‘Bob Harris Emerging Artist’ award at the UK Americana Awards 2018.

Bluegrassed Americanas, Whiskey Shivers are not only ready for their role in Pitch Perfect 3 but they are set to perform at Black Deer Festival. Known for their cheerful essence and infectious sound have been praised by the Washington post, L.A Weekly and The Rolling Stone, and have been pushing the boundaries of traditional bluegrass music. Their sound has been called “frenetic bluegrass” with a “punk spirit”. You won’t want to miss their stringed instruments at rapid speed.

Birmingham band Broken Witt Rebels will be bringing their blend of soul, blues and rock to Black Deer this year. The band who were influenced by Fleetwood Mac debuted their self-named first album last year and have re-mastered their old album to sit desirably alongside their recent recordings.

Broken Witt Rebels say:

"We’re thrilled to be on the bill for the very first Black Deer Festival along with incredible artists like Jason Isbell and Iron & Wine. We understand it’s not just about the music, but good food, great beer and bikes too; it’s going to be fuckin great.”

Bedfordshire born Danni Nicholls has been largely influenced by American folk, rock and country from a young age, which paid off for her following taking home the ‘Album Of The Year’ award from The Americana Association in 2017 and performing a string of sold out headline shows. Black Deer can’t wait to see what she brings to the fields this year.

The ordained Rev Sekou is not only an author, theologian and filmmaker but can now add musician to his already impressive resume. The noted activist had his album Deep Bone-Marrow-Level Conviction celebrated by AFROPUNK, with single ‘We Comin’ which combines a beautiful mix of Arkansas Blues and gospel with Memphis soul labelled as the anthem for the modern civil rights movement.

Kent-based international award winners The Webb Sisters are set to make an impact with their expressive voices and mesmerising harmonies. The multi-instrumentalists drew inspiration from the traditional folk and pop roots of Britain and the United States, and will be charming the Black Deer audience with their string instruments.

Hailed for having a voice like a young Tom Waits, Jarrod Dickenson has the incredible talent of telling a story through his music. The Waco born singer-songwriter has taken to the Glastonbury and Larmer Green festival stages supporting legendary artists such as Don Mclean, The Waterboys and Bonnie Raitt. The Smokey-toned Texan’s album The Lonesome Traveller and his EP Songs From Willow St., has earned himself a formidable following with the likes of BBC radio hosts Dermot O’Leary, Cerys Matthews and Huey Morgan.

Jarrod Dickenson says:

“I can't wait to play Black Deer Festival. The lineup is truly a "who's who" in current Americana and Roots music, and to be sharing a bill with these incredible artists is both humbling and exciting. We can't wait to get there and bring our own brand of rock-and-roll to beautiful Eridge Park.”

Australian singer-songwriter Stu Larsen also joins the Black Deer line-up with his breezy, folk-pop agenda and a great element of wanderlust. Larson’s LP, produced by Rosenberg, launched him on an unending tour with shows in North America, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This included hit ‘Thirteen Sad Farewells’ which generated eleven and a half million streams.

With his new album Still Feel Lucky set to be released this year, native Texan Ben Danaher is one not to miss. His raw lyrics and delicate instrumentation will delight the Black Deer crowd as he elegantly mixes elements of country, blues and Americana.

Alongside the emotive line-up will be the introduction of LIVE FIRE – a concept area 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. Their expertise and collaboration for Black Deer will be bringing authentic American roadside smokehouse cooking and southern hospitality to keep visitors excited, entertained 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 demos from the a variety of top chefs.

The not-to-be-missed Black Deer Cookout Competition will be hosted by none other than professional pit-master DR. BBQ, flying in from the USA especially for this event - more details on the competition to follow.

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. 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.


Adult Weekend Tier 1 Tickets on sale now from £115, Junior (6-17 year olds) from £45 and 0-5 year olds go free (with 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.

Prices to increase (Tier 2) from 12 midday on Sunday 11th March

Day tickets will be available once the full line-up has been announced, scheduled end of March. After Tier 2 we will have one last level which will be ‘Final Price.’

For details on tickets visit https://blackdeerfestival.com/tickets/.



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