From legends like Tom Jones and Nile Rodgers to jam-packed music festivals, this summer is shaping up to be one to remember.
If you’re struggling to choose whether you want to celebrate the Good Times with Chic or rock out with The Pretenders, we’ve got a definitive ranking of Kent’s summer concerts and festivals to help you decide.
And don’t worry, we’ve got a whole list of all the concerts mentioned at the bottom so you won’t miss a minute of music this summer.
There are some huge names coming to Kent this summer, and with that comes some huge record sales.
Some of the artists from this century have some decent numbers under their belts but, when it comes down to the rankings, they don't stand a chance against the golden oldies from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.
Topping the list is Nile Rodgers, who has racked up record sales of more than 500 million worldwide. He has worked as not only a vocalist but also a musician and producer on some huge tracks including Le Freak by Chic, Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Like a Virgin by Madonna, so it’s no wonder his hit count is so high.
He is followed by Tom Jones, who is performing at Dreamland in July, and Deep Purple's Glenn Hughes who will headline Maid of Stone Festival, as the only other artists to creep into the hundred millions. The Kool and the Gang, who are appearing at the Soundcrash Funk and Soul Weekender, and UB40 round off the list.
TOP 5 BY SALES
Nile Rodgers (over 500 million)
Tom Jones (over 100 million)
Deep Purple (over 100 million)
Kool and the Gang (over 70 million)
UB40 (over 70 million)
When some of Kent’s outdoor venues sprawl out over acres of countryside, it seems unfair to compare them to some of the more limited venues in the area. However, indoor or outdoor, big or small, there are plenty of venues in the county that can hold their own against the likes of the O2 and Wembley Arena.
Black Deer Festival, which is hosted within the impressive 981 acres of Eridge Park, has a capacity of 40,000 and easily makes the top of the list. However, Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells, where the annual Pub in the Park is held, isn’t too far behind, having welcomed approximately 17,000 visitors in the past. Both Mote Park, which hosts the series of Park Live events in Maidstone, and Dreamland in Margate have also both racked up crowds of around 15,000 in the past.
TOP 5 BY CAPACITY
Eridge Park,Tunbridge Wells (approx. 40,000)
Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells (approx. 17,000)
Dreamland, Margate (approx. 15,000)
Mote Park (approx. 15,000)
Rochester Castle (approx. 4,200)
The price of everything is going up these days and, let’s face it, tickets to see big name artists haven’t been cheap for a long time.
While the cost of this summer’s concerts aren’t quite as eye-watering as the likes of Glastonbury Festival, fans are still looking at a pretty penny when it comes to buying
The priciest festival on our list is Black Deer Festival, which is hardly a surprise given that it’s one of the county’s biggest live events. It’s only a few quid more expensive, however, than Pub in the Park, a relatively recent addition to the county boasting names such as McFly and Sister Sledge.
Maid of Stone, which makes its debut in Mote Park, Maidstone this July, is asking people to fork out £120 for a weekend ticket but, with no previous years to go by, it’s yet to be seen whether people will be happy to spend their hard-earned money on a brand new event.
TOP 5 BY TICKET COST
Black Deer Festival (£70 for one day, £180 for the weekend)
Pub in the Park (£55.55 for an evening ticket, £169 for the weekend)
A New Day Festival (£47 for one day, £125 for the weekend)
Maid of Stone Festival (£49.50 for one day, £120 for the weekend)
The Soundcrash Funk and Soul Weekender (£49.50 for one day, £99.50 for the weekend)
NUMBER OF ARTISTS
We’ve worked out which summer concerts are going to cost you the most, but value for money is a whole different matter. Some tickets give you access to just one main headline act and perhaps one or two support bands, while others include a multi-day line-up and several stages of artists to choose from.
After crunching the numbers, it seems that Revival in the Park, taking place in Mote Park this July, gives fans the best bang for their buck. The ‘90s and '00s house, garage and pop festival has announced 49 artists so far, and a weekend ticket costs £49.50 - working out at less than £1 per artist, if you want to look at it that way. Black Deer Festival gets another mention, having announced 39 artists so far, and tribute festival Rock the Mote comes in third place with 36 artists. The final two events that make our top five are rock festivals A New Day Festival at Mount Ephraim and Maid of Stone Festival.
However, if we’re taking a less mathematical approach to value, some might argue that paying that higher Black Deer price tag for bands such as The Pretenders and Bonnie Raitt is worth it compared to a line-up of tribute bands or more niche artists - it’s really just a question of personal taste.
TOP 5 BY BANDS
Revival in the Park (56 artists)
Black Deer Festival (39 artists, with more to be announced)
Rock the Mote (36 artists)
A New Day Festival (32 artists)
Maid of Stone (27 artists, with more to be announced)
After adding up the scores from each of this summer's biggest live music events, it looks as though Black Deer Festival comes out on top.
It makes the grade when it comes to capacity, price and the number of artists and, while it might not have the biggest-selling bands on its line-up, rock, blues and Americana fans can't argue with names like Bonnie Raitt, The Pretenders and Nathaniel Rateliff.
Regardless of which event tops our list, one thing's for sure; Kent's music fans certainly won't be short of incredible live concerts this summer.
KENT'S SUMMER OF MUSIC
Fill your calendar with this year's summer concerts and festivals...
A New Day Festival, near Faversham
Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 20
Black Deer Festival at Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells
Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18
Margate Summer Series at Dreamland, Margate
Placebo on Friday, June 9
Will Young on Friday, June 23
Bastille on Saturday, July 1
McFly on Friday, July 7
N-Dubz on Saturday, July 8
The Human League on Friday, July 21
Tom Jones on Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28
Primal Scream on Saturday, August 5
Olly Murs on Friday, August 25
Hacienda Classical on Saturday, August 26
The Streets on Friday, September 8
UB40 ft. Ali Campbell on Saturday, September 30
Park Live at Mote Park, Maidstone
Summer Love Festival on Saturday, May 27
We Love the 80s on Friday, June 2
Revival in the Park on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15
Maid of Stone Festival on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23
Rock the Mote on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6
Party in the Park
Saturday, July 1
Pub in the Park at Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells
Friday, July 7 to Sunday, July 9
Rochester Castle Concerts
Nile Rodgers and Chic on Thursday, July 6
Soft Cell on Friday, July 7
Fat Freddy's Drop on Saturday, July 8
Sugababes on Sunday, July 9
The Soundcrash Funk and Soul Weekender at Dreamland, Margate
Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4