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Entertee launches new UK Americana fest, Black Deer

UK event production outfit Entertee Events has announced the launch of Black Deer, a new “celebration of all things Americana and country” set to debut at Eridge Park, near Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex, this June.

Headliners for the new event, set to take place from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 June, are Iron & Wine, Passenger and Jason Isbell and his band the 400 Unit, with Ward Thomas, Eric Bibb and John Moreland also on the bill and more to be announced soon.

Complementing the music line-up will be “an array of authentic Americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom bike showcases [and] storytellings from cultural pioneers”, say promoters, bringing “an authentic, roots-style line up to the UK”.

Kent-based Entertree is co-founded by Gill Tee, who was festival director for Vince Power’s Hop Farm and also produced four editions of Party in the Park for Capital Radio. She says, “having been in the music industry for many years, producing events for other people”, she is “proud to finally take a giant step to having a festival of my own”.

“That’s what Black Deer is all about – bringing passionate, like-minded people together through authentic good times”

“Set in a beautiful part of the world that I know and love, with a genre of music that holds so many memories for me, is really exciting, as well as extremely challenging,” she comments. “I hope that Black Deer can bring to a wider audience all the love and warmth that I feel about about our festival. All the characters who make up our wider team have the same ethos. We are all working together to ensure that anyone who steps foot into the world of Black Deer will want to come back for many years in the future.”

Deborah Shilling, Black Deer co-promoter and Entertee’s other co-founder, adds: “Black Deer is the coming together of all the things I love and value in life. Things that all have one thing in common: authenticity. From real Americana and country music to honest, wholesome food and drink and the raw beauty of the great outdoors, where the experience of being a mum to two young boys has allowed me to be part of designing a natural playground full of family fun and adventure.

“But more [than that], I love that feeling of being part of a community. And that’s what Black Deer is all about for me – bringing passionate, like-minded people together through authentic good times.”

Adult weekend tickets, priced at £115 (tier one), are on sale now from


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LeeFest becomes Neverworld from 2018

The organisers of UK festival LeeFest – which began life in 2006 as a party in the garden of the family home of teenager Lee Denny, and grew to a 5,000-capacity event in the ten years since – have announced Neverworld, a new festival for 2018.

Replacing LeeFest (subtitled ‘The Neverland’ in 2016 and 2017), Neverworld will debut next August on the former LeeFest site at John Darlings Farm in Kent. Described as a “step up from a traditional festival”, the event will be divided across three “realms”, with all festivalgoers encouraged to join one of three tribes – the Pirates, the Mermaids or the Lost Boys – and take place across 11 stages.

Musically, Neverworld will continue to be programmed by the team behind LeeFest, which has helped launched the careers of many formerly emerging artists, such as London Grammar, Years & Years and Bastille, although the focus will be on creating “fully fledged immersive worlds” for festivals. Capacity will be limited to 5,000 ticket holders and 250 artists.

“Instead of just a festival, we want to build a whole new world for our community to thrive in”

“The story of LeeFest and its origins in my back garden all those years ago was the seed for something incredible, but it’s time for the next chapter,” comments Denny. “When we started this crazy adventure we did so by pushing personal boundaries and creating something awesome for our friends. However, now the story is much bigger than us.

“As the LeeFest community has snowballed, so have our ambitions. Instead of just a festival, we want to build a whole new world for our community to thrive in – a world that encourages growth and creativity. Discover your inner pirate, mermaid or Lost Boy. Welcome to Neverworld – a place you never have to grow old.”

Neverworld 2018 will take place on 2–5 August. Tickets are available now from


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Dreamland continues live revival with new events

Independent punk and ska event Undercover Festival – it of pissing-off-the-NRA fame – is to relocate to Dreamland Margate for 2017, bringing the theme park’s slate of confirmed music festivals to four this year.

Undercover joins Margate Wonderland, a spin-off of east London hipster festival Hackney Wonderland; Hipsville Seaside-a-Go! Go!, which presents the “wildest rock’n’roll and soul sounds of the 1960s and beyond”; and Gorillaz’ Goldenvoice-promoted Demon Dayz Festival on Dreamland’s 2017 festival calendar, as the Victorian seaside resort bids to recapture former glories by positioning itself as major touring and festival destination for the east of England.

By the Sea, which took place at Dreamland in 2015 and 2016, has not yet announced any dates for 2017, although the festival is promoting a solo show by Slaves in July.

Dreamland, which dates from 1880, was once one of Britain’s best-loved amusement parks, but closed in 2003 after a long period of decline as seaside holidays fell out of favour. It was compulsorily purchased by Thanet District Council in 2013 and reopened two years later, bringing together “lovingly restored vintage rides set against a backdrop of art installations, adventurous street food, unique bars and an eclectic programme of live events”.

“We believe we’ve captured something truly special with this newly imagined incarnation of Dreamland”

Housing its live events offering are the original Hall by the Sea – a 2,000-capacity venue that played host to mod greats including The Who and The Rolling Stones – and a new 15,000-cap. venue, which will debut with Demon Dayz on 10 June and which Dreamland says “sees us put Margate back on the music venue map”.

Jennie Double, Dreamland Margate’s commercial director, says she “cannot wait to unveil the new park to locals and visitors alike. By combining contemporary food and culture with authentic vintage rides and the uniquely British heritage that only we can offer, we believe we’ve captured something truly special with this newly imagined incarnation of Dreamland.”

Undercover Festival 2017, which runs from 8 to 9 September, will feature performances by Tom Robinson, Geno Washington, Doctor and the Medics, Jilted John, UK, Ruts DC and Angelic Upstarts. Its promoter, Undercover Promotions’ Mick Moriarty, says the new venue will provide “an experience that defies all other conventions and festival templates. Not only do we have a cracking alternative line-up, but festivalgoers can experience many retro rides and amusements. Plus, it is once again held undercover –  ie not outdoors – so if it’s peeing down come September it’s not a problem and your beer won’t get diluted.”

Speaking about Demon Dayz, Mags Revell, vice-president of live music at Goldenvoice/AEG Presents, told Music Week in March: “We have been planning the all-new Demon Dayz Festival, which sold out in 10 minutes, for some time, and Dreamland Margate is the ultimate venue for Gorillaz to make their long awaited return to the stage.  The location and the backdrop of the amusement park will be the perfect playground for the full festival line-up.”


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