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Country’s Black Deer numbers growing

Festival
14 February 2020

AMERICANA AND country music festival Black Deer has been extended to a third day this year.

Attendance at the inaugural event in 2018 was 3,000, the following year that rose to 10,000 and organisers expect 17,000 at the forthcoming 19 to 21 June event.

“We have hit the ground running with Black Deer,” says festival co-founder Deborah Shilling. “We thought that if we started a grassroots festival and tried to grow it, it would take too long given the saturation of the festival market.

“So we had to come in with strong investment, high production values and real attention to detail. We made a loss in year one, but the festival is really gathering momentum.”

Run by Black Deer Live, which won promoter of the year at the UK Festival Awards, the event was co-founded by Gill Tee and Shilling, who also run festival production company Entertee and sister company Entertee Hire.

Black Deer takes place at Eridge Park, Kent, which is privately owned by Christopher Nevill the Marquess of Abergavenny, and is licensed for 30,000 people.

“The park has great room for growth and there are lots of different and interesting areas we can use,” says Shilling. “This year we are repositioning the main stage in order to create a larger capacity space in front of it.”

With around 8,000 campers expected this year, Shilling says the camping area is also being extended. As well as general camping, it will include a range of pre-pitched tents, live-in vehicles and a Fancy Camping area with a dedicated lounge and 24-hour concierge service.

Among acts playing the six-stage festival this year are Saving Grace (featuring Robert Plant and Suzi Dian). Wilco, The Waterboys, The Dead South, Courtney Marie Andrews and The Felice Brothers.

Weekend tickets are priced £151.

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