Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Friday 28 June 2019

2019 Wrap-Up: Black Deer Festival Celebrated A Second Sun Soaked Americana Music & Culture Weekend

Firmly establishing itself as the best destination for all things Americana and Country in its debut year, Black Deer Festival's return to Eridge Park, Kent, last weekend was nothing short of a success. 
Credit James Kay

Almost ten-thousand fans and families enjoyed three days of musical programming with equally impressive production across six stages as well as an unrivalled cultural experience featuring authentic southern food and drink, cinematic re imaginings and hands on experiences for young folk - all blessed by a climate enviable by the deep south itself.

Co-founders Gill Tee and Deborah Shiling said:

"It has been magical to see everyone having a great time in Eridge Park, walking around the crowd and chatting to people has reaffirmed how inclusive the Americana community is, there was a whole lot of love, kindness and respect for one another out there.

"We've been humbled by everyone's support and the stories from the folk who joined us at the awe-inspiring inaugural Gospel Brunch on Sunday morning were unforgettable .. "

Welcomed by beautiful sunshine, revellers flocked to Eridge Park on Friday, eager to experience the Americana vibe. 

Haley's Bar hosted the first toe-tapping texan two-step dance lesson, serving as a warm-up to the musical delights of punk-folk balladeer William Crighton, blues-rock youngbloods Ferris & Sylvester and rising starlet Emily Mae Winters who saw in the afternoon's Americana offerings. 

Stand out performances came from true originators; the godfather of UK Americana Ethan Johns, master of the blues Watermelon Slim and country superstar Kris Kristofferson treated crowds to unforgettable sets in the Deer Park. 

Black Deer's Main Stage arena opened up on Saturday, as more and more visitors arrived at Eridge Park. 

Boasting a backdrop of rolling hills and golden sunsets, stand out sets included the youthful rebel spirit of rising actress and singer Jessie Buckley, outlaw country punk Justin Townes Earl, The Staves and Saturday's headliner Band of Horses.

Raising the roof on the final day, Sunday morning kicked off with a harmonious Gospel Brunch hosted by the Grammy-award winning Mike Farris and the Powerhouse Gospel Choir in the Live Fire arena. 

With vocals soaring across the park, Irish Mythen made her main stage debut following her two storming sets earlier in the weekend ahead of highly anticipated performances from fellow Canadians in The Dead South

Blues favourite Jerron Blind Boy Paxton drew an incredible crowd on The Ridge stage as did Billy Bragg when he dropped into the Under The Apple Tree songwriting sessions ahead of his main stage appearance. 

With his lap steel accompaniment, the maverick songwriter even gave his English folk songs a country music twist for the occasion. 

Headlining the Main Stage, country duo The Shires kept revellers entertained with a colourful medley of their chart topping hits, whilst The Mavericks closed The Ridge with an all out Latin rockabilly party.

Super early bird tickets are on sale from now - with Black Deer Festival returning to Eridge Park for on 19th - 21th June 2020. CLICK HERE for details.

by: Mike Cobley


Abigoliah Schamaun's almost figured it all out. A former yoga instructor with surprisingly squishy thighs who identifies as heteronormative disguised as a luscious lady lover, Abigoliah grew up in the conservative corn-belt of mid-West America to become an unabashedly liberal London based comic. 

Brighton-based singer-songwriter Hayley Ross is an outlier, a one-off, a self-starter and quiet disruptor who refuses to be pinned down. 

Having been described as the missing link between Joy Division and Pendulum, London-based Pumarosa are a band opening their doors of perception on to pastures new.

Brighton Gin has teamed up with Brighton based artist Hizze Fletcher to create a label to recognise the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which mark the birth of the Gay Liberation Movement (GLM). 

The Alzheimer's Society has called on MPs across the South East to support a dedicated Dementia Fund to end the 'financial punishment' faced by people living with dementia

Taking a break from her day job in Vermont indie folk trio Mountain Man, Molly Sarlé's new solo direction sees her making lush, widescreen folk pop with a warm West Coast feel; a direction recently revealed in new track, This Close:

In Emily Brontë's classic novel, romance and passion are accompanied by revenge, ghosts and death — it is definitely not just a love story between Cathy and Heathcliff.
Credit Tom Woollard

Two of the UK's most innovative theatre companies, Gecko and Mind the Gap, have announced a co-production called A Little Space, which will visit The Old Market in Brighton, this December.

One Eyed Jacks was Spear of Destiny's second release on the major label Epic Records. For many original fans this is the band's seminal album.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd