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Hundreds set to descend on woodland festival of music, sex and craft workshops in Tunbridge Wells

By David Gazet

Residents have expressed their worry after discovering hundreds of people are due to descend on woodland near their homes for a provocative festival in Tunbridge Wells.

Around 250 people are attending Flamefest, which kicks off in Brokes Wood in High Brooms tomorrow, offering an 'adult play area' staffed by dominatrixes, and a variety of workshops. 

Throughout the weekend there will be sets by top DJs and performances from sword swallowers, fire and story tellers.

A screenshot from Flamefest's website

A screenshot from Flamefest's website

Tickets, which include a luxury tent for two people, cost up to £600, including workshops on everything from erotic writing to pilates.

The organisers' website says:"Join us in an exploration of outstanding natural beauty less than an hour from London.

"Get back to nature and rediscover your wild side with DJs, live music, extreme performances, movie nights, daytime workshops, ridiculous games, an adult play area and steamy outdoor hot tubs."

Residents took to Facebook to express their concern about the event, which is taking place on private land. 

Cllr Dianne Hills

Cllr Dianne Hills

Cllr Dianne Hill, who represents Southborough and High Brooms ward, said the borough council would not have been consulted about the festival as organisers secured temporary event notice from the licensing partnership in Sevenoaks.

“Nobody has opposed it because nobody knew it was going on,” she said.

“I have had quite a lot of comments and complaints about this festival. It is not the right sort of thing we want going on in a residential area.

“Nobody has opposed it because nobody knew it was going on” - Cllr Dianne Hill

Helen Smedley, the event manager, said no sex would be visible to the public and all noise would be strictly controlled.

She said the event was making a huge effort to be environmentally friendly, including the use of biodegradable glasses, while a collection would be held for a local wildlife shelter. 

She said: “It is a very, very small and private event really. We have strict rules on sex and nudity outside one tent which is completely blacked out.

“We are really concerned about the residents and making sure this passes with as little difficulty for them as possible.

“There are three different communities I am bringing together. One is the people who love their music, another is the conscious people who care about the environment. The third is the kink community as well.”

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