THE 10,000-capacity Black Deer festival will be hosting a battle of the bands for acts of the ‘roots-based’ persuasion vying to join a line-up including Passenger, Iron & Wine and Jason Isbell.
The acts, says industry veteran Gill Tee of EnterTee, will be picked by judges to represent a balance of men and women making music that sits well on the bill and within the right genres, regardless of their current standing within the music world. Held in Eridge Deer Park, Sussex, the festival takes place from 22-24 June.
“We want to see all roots-based artistes, signed or unsigned – we don’t judge acts on the team they have around them or how far into their careers they are – what matters to us is talent,” she says.
“Black Deer specifically showcases Americana, country, folk, blues, bluegrass, etc, so we’re not taking any indie bands.”
Tee, who has previously directed events including Hop Farm (53,000) and Party in the Park (65,000), says that the debut of EnterTee’s own festival is one she that she has high but realistic hopes for.
“The festival site has a licence for 30,000 people on site, but we’ve set our sights at 10,000,” she says.
“If we get to that figure we’ll be very happy, as this is our first year and we are realistic. “We’re a totally independent festival and believe in doing things properly, growing a loyal fanbase organically so people come every year.”
Acts selected by the judging panel will perform in a showcase in the Forum, Tundridge Wells.