Tehillah Commission on Monday
Local and Live 2008
Tunbridge Wells provided a far from muddy alternative to Reading festival over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.
The birth of Local and Live
The festival, based at the Pantiles bandstand, was chiefly organised by Kent based musician and professional golfer Paul Dunton. He conceived the idea in 2006.
Paul Dunton compered the event
“It officially started three years ago with an event called Bandstand/400 to mark the town’s landmark year. We had about 22 local bands and a little bit of sponsorship. It lasted two days. After that we got more sponsorship and I decided on the name Local and Live.
“Last year we had 37 acts over three days and this year I decided to add the Friday evening. It’s given me a clear idea of how many acts that we can stage.”
The third Local and Live has been a clear success for the Local and Live organisation, as large crowds gathered to enjoy performances by over fifty acts over the three and a half day event.
A free event
As Local and Live is a non profit event, all of the acts that appeared offered their services unpaid as did a notably large number of volunteers.
Joshua Stroud, a 20 year old student and musician from Tunbridge Wells decided, along with his mother Jane, to volunteer over the weekend due to his belief in the local music scene.
“It is quite difficult to get gigs. Anything you can have to showcase your music is fantastic. Here you have a passing trade. People come, hear the music and think ‘this is interesting.”
Some of the acts featured over the weekend included those championed by presenter and producer Phil Harrison on the BBC Radio Kent show Kent’s Unsigned. These acts included headlining acts The Rox, The Original Sinners and Sevenscore who each performed last on Friday, Saturday and Monday respectively.
Nick Stephens appeared with his band
Paul Dunton, himself a seasoned performer favoured by Kent’s Unsigned, performed on Saturday and Monday.
A suitable dedication
The event was also a fitting tribute to sound engineer and musician Ollie Nicholls, whose life ended suddenly earlier this year. Nicholls was integral to the setting up of Local and Live predecessor ‘An Evening with Paul Dunton and Guests.’ He also operated the sound single-handedly at Local and Live 2007. The Local and Live musicians tent will therefore be named after him at future festivals.
“Ollie was a true gentleman with a great sense of humour and he touched the lives of so many people and his memory will live on forever. The Local & Live 2008 compilation CD will feature tracks from his debut solo Album.” Dunton says.
Sponsorship and donation
Both the Local and Live compilation CD and the festival’s accompanying programme were given distributed without charge at the event, although donations were encouraged. The audience was also invited throughout the weekend to become a ‘Local and Live Angel’ by donating 20 pounds towards next year’s event in return for a tee shirt and a dedication both onstage and in the following year’s programme.
A variety of ages took to the stage
As well as donations, the festival relies heavily on sponsorship and through bigger sponsors this year, was able to raise the budget of the festival to around £7,500. Last year the festival made a loss. If the festival makes any kind of profit this year, it will be put towards the 2009 event.
High praise and high hopes
Alan Bullock, of sponsors Insafe believes that Paul Dunton deserves much of the credit for Local and Live.
“Without Paul, Local and Live Music Festival would not exist. It is Paul’s idea, vision, passion, incredible drive, skill and good old fashioned hard work that makes it happen.”
Although Paul Dunton believes that the festival has reached it’s full capacity with 52 acts, he, as well as many others, is convinced that Local and Live will make a triumphant return in 2009.
last updated: 26/08/2008 at 13:35