*We went along for the day with a press pass on behalf of Festival Kidz*
What a treat Black Deer Festival was! This festival celebrating country music and all things Americana is in its second year and takes place at Eridge Park in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. The festival ran across the weekend with the option to camp - we went along to sample it for a day on the Saturday but as soon as we'd arrived we knew this was going to be great.
Parking was in a huge field, we then wandered down hill towards the entrance where we picked up our wristbands. The festival is cashless, meaning you have to top up your wristband at a kiosk or online and you pay for everything by having your wristband scanned. Topping up was easy, you could choose an amount and pay cash or card. Any money not used will get refunded back to your account.
I am a huge fan of skulls, antlers, rustic old tins and classic cars so arriving and heading straight to look at the motorbikes and cars was very cool indeed. When we got married I really wanted to either arrive in a turquoise or mint green Chevrolet and they had both here!
Overall, the festival is fairly small in area compared to others we have been to but there was so much to see and do!
There were plenty of food vendors in Airstreams, trucks and vans with lots of choices available. All the food smelt so good especially the barbecues where there were huge beef ribs grilling. There were also lots of cooking demonstrations throughout the day.
Age wise, it was very mixed, lots of the older generation who had clearly come to enjoy the music, plenty of cowboy hats everywhere, families who had all come together with their kids and grand kids, it had a really nice vibe.
The market area was amazing, Vera Black from Camden with their hats and feather accessories, vintage clothing, cactuses, bohemian style stalls, cowboy boots, I was in my element here. Spending wise, you could end up spending a lot, I let the kids choose something for £5 each but there is so much temptation.
There were activities to try including axe throwing, lasso, horse shoe chucking and a rodeo horse (the bucking bronco was £5). Scattered everywhere are bars, you will get a reusable cup the first time you buy a drink which will then get refilled.
The music here is full on country with some big headliners like The Mavericks - but all of it had such a great, happy vibe. One of the stages was inside a huge circus tent the main stage was very popular with a huge crowd.
For the kids there is a Young Folk area this also has a marquee with a stage inside, there were dressing up clothes, crafts, panning for gold, a piano and a drumming workshop. Then there were other paid activities such a s tree climbing and some art and craft tents where you could do screen printing and sewing. The Woodland Tribe were in the middle along with their zip line too.
The camping area looked lovely and clean, nice and close to everything that's going on. The toilets were also very clean.
We wish we could have stayed longer - I hope these pictures give you a little insight into what to expect - all I can say is we loved our time there and would absolutely love to camp there next year.