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Black Deer Festival near Tunbridge Wells in pictures

By Angela Cole

Thousands enjoyed laidback festival vibes with an Americana flavour for the second Black Deer Festival.

The event, which had increased its capacity to 10,000 after its inaugural year's success last year, saw thousands pitch tents and enjoy the music in the sunshine at Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells.

The three-day festival was a celebration of Americana and country, combining music, food and Americana culture.

It had six music stages as well as food stalls and merchandise, and was family-friendly with plenty of little ones enjoying the shows too.

The first night saw movie star Kris Kristofferson took to the stage with The Strangers the day before his 83rd birthday.

Together they put on a show that rolled back the years.

Following them were the John Butler Trio, pulling in the crowds with a set ranging from euphoric indie country folk to nu-funk-bluegrass, and headlining the night was Hayseed Dixie, playing classic rock songs on country instruments.

The Saturday saw Wild Rose star Jessie Buckley performing country hits live for the first time, Wandering Hearts and, rounding off the night South Carolina-based Band of Horses.

Also playing on the Ridge stage on Saturday were the Magic Numbers and Fantastic Negrito.

Maidstone band The Lowly Strung kicked off the entertainment on the Supajam Stage on Sunday with a barnstorming set of their unique brand of high charged Americana-bluegrass and folk.

The half hour set was too short for fans and the band alike but it was a welcome quickfire shot in the arm of adrenaline for anyone that needed waking up after two heavy days of festival fun. The band - consisting of brothers Toby, James and Johnny Starks, alongside Malcolm Peet and Jon Fuller - last year released their acclaimed NO TOMFOOLERY debut album.

The final day also saw Billy Bragg, an icon of stripped-back storytelling and political activism and singer of punk-charged songs, taking to the stage.

The weekend was rounded off with headliners The Shires.

Britain's leading country act - Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes - have fans on both sides of the Atlantic and are now based in Nashville.

Read more: All the latest music news across Kent

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