Black Deer Festival Highlights 2024


The story of the Black Deer Festival 2024, where music, camaraderie, and adventure converged under the open skies of Kent.

Chapter 1: Harmonious Beginnings

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Photo: Caitlin Mogridge

The sun peeked over the rolling hills, casting a golden hue on the sprawling festival grounds. Tents dotted the landscape like colorful mushrooms, each housing eager souls ready to immerse themselves in Americana and country melodies. The air buzzed with anticipation as festival-goers streamed in, their boots kicking up dust, their hearts tuned to the rhythm of possibility.

Chapter 2: The Main Stage Saga

The main stage stood like an ancient oak, its massive speakers reaching for the heavens. And there they were—the headliners. Joe Bonamassa, guitar slung low, fingers dancing across the strings like wildfire. Sheryl Crow, her voice weathered yet timeless, singing tales of love and heartache. And then, the enigma himself—Rufus Wainwright, perched at the piano, serenading the crowd with haunting ballads. The night sky became their canvas, painted with notes that echoed through the ages.

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Joe Bonamassa. Photo: George Harrison

Between headliners, the stage pulsed with life. Seasick Steve growled his blues, his guitar worn and scarred. The Shires harmonized like old friends, and Damian Lewis belted out tunes that surprised us all. And who could forget Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal, their voices intertwining like ivy on a trellis?

Chapter 3: Beyond the Music

But the festival was more than melodies. It was a sensory feast. Smoke from grills wafted through the air, teasing hungry stomachs. The livefire stage crackled with flames, revealing culinary wonders—a symphony of ribs, brisket, and cornbread.

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Game and Flames BBQ. Photo

And oh, the eating competitions! Faces smeared with sauce, eyes wide with determination, contestants devoured their way to glory.


For the daring, there was the mechanical bull—a beast of steel and fury. Riders clung on, cowboy hats flying, as the crowd cheered. Axe throwing, too—an ancient skill revived for modern thrill-seekers. And the rides—oh, the rides! Twisting, spinning, laughter echoing against the hills.

Chapter 4: Whispers of Nostalgia

Vintage clothing pop-ups beckoned. Festival-goers sifted through racks of denim, fringe, and cowboy boots.

Vera Black. Photo

Some emerged transformed—channeling Johnny Cash or Dolly Parton. And at the Sarum Metal Country stall, ink met skin. Tattoos bloomed—a permanent souvenir of a fleeting moment.

Chapter 5: Stages Unseen

Beyond the main stage, hidden gems awaited. The Ridge Stage, nestled among trees, hosted rising stars. Dylan Gossett strummed his acoustic, his voice raw and honest. Twinnie danced, her energy infectious. Jalen Ngonda, soulful and magnetic, held the crowd in thrall. And others—Alyssa Bonagura, Bess Atwell, and Jarrod Dickenson—wove their stories into the fabric of the festival.

Jalen Ngonda. Photo Caitlin Mogridge

The Cafe Nero Stage woke with the sun, lulled by moonlight. From folk troubadours to indie darlings, it pulsed with life. And the Supajam Stage—a crossroads of genres—drew crowds like moths to flame. Meanwhile, Haley’s Bar kept the vibes alive, serving liquid courage to weary dancers.

Chapter 6: The Echo of Feedback

Yet, no festival is flawless. Facebook murmured with suggestions. Campers wondered why the nearest toilet block felt galaxies away. Vegetarians yearned for more adventurous fare—salads, falafel, and exotic spices. Drinks, priced like rare elixirs, left wallets lighter. The Gospel Brunch, once a choir-led celebration, now lacked its soul-stirring chorus. And Rufus Wainwright’s piano finale on Sunday? A whispered debate—artistry or misstep?

Celtic and British Folk fans mourned. The Talisk spirit waned, replaced by identikit Americana imports. Phone signals vanished, leaving posts stranded in digital limbo. Layout woes bled sounds into the Supajam area, a clash of worlds.

Epilogue: Notes Carried by the Wind

The Shires. Photo George Harrison

As the festival closed, hearts full and boots caked in Kentish mud, memories lingered. Kezia, JJ Grey, Ferris & Sylvester, and the Stone Jets—their music became constellations etched in our souls. We vowed to return, to chase melodies across green fields, to dance under star-studded nights. Early Bird Reservations are now available at

And so, the Black Deer Festival 2024 has faded into legend, its echoes carried by the wind, promising reunion and new tales.

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