Published: 17:00, 29 April 2021
| Updated: 12:15, 30 April 2021
Award-winning songwriter Jake Bugg has joined the line-up for a music festival set to be one of the first to be staged in the country after restrictions are due to be eased in June.
Jake joins music legends Robert Plant and Van Morrison on the bill for the Black Deer Festival, which will be held at Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells from Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27 - days after Step 4 of the Government's roadmap is due to come into force.
The event, with big name music acts over several stages alongside authentic Americana, Southern-inspired food and drink and forest school style children’s activities, will be one of the UK's first major music events.
Co-founders Gill Tee and Deborah Shilling said: "The UK live music industry has been hit hard and we feel it is so important to support our artists, their teams and the wider festival community at the earliest opportunity.
"We’re very excited to be able to deliver one hell of a (safe!) summer party."
Jake said: “This will be the first gig for me and the band since March 2020. We just can’t wait to get out and play for everyone. It can’t come soon enough."
Rock legend Robert Plant, who will perform on the Sunday with Saving Grace, said: "This looks like a great bill. I've worked alongside most of these people in recent times... over here or over there... there's power and beauty. Looking forward to it."
Ticketholders can also look forward to Belfast Cowboy Van Morrison playing on the Sunday, Irish roots superstar singer and songwriter Imelda May on the Friday and Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls.
Also confirmed for the line-up are The Cuban Brothers, The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican, Luke Jackson, Hayley Ross, Ruby Dew, James Kirby, Dull Knife, Eddy Smith and the 507, Hobo and the Hippies, Rattlesnake Hearts and David Mumford.
Returning to the main stage this year will be the Black Deer Songwriter Sessions - an opportunity to see top flight artists together on stage talking in depth about their music and revealing what has inspired their songwriting - which will include performances from Frank Turner, Imelda May and Irish Mythen.
Taking place across multiple stages, the event also features live fire cooking, Americana-inspired lifestyle and custom motorcycle culture and is a family staycation destination.
Frank Turner said of performing on the opening night: "I am excited beyond words to be getting back into the live saddle again, playing with my band to a real audience - after the year we've had, it's an incredible feeling. It feels good to kick off with an independent festival as well."
The event is also inviting 1,500 NHS and key workers to apply for free tickets.
WIN a pair of adult weekend camping tickets by entering our competition here.
To get tickets from £69, go to blackdeerfestival.seetickets.com