Black Deer Festival in Kent blends a mix of rock and Americana

Festival Review

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Black Deer Festival 2023. Photo by Paul Clampin.

By Paul Clampin, Rock At Night London

Live Review: Black Deer Festival 2023-Kent, England-June 14th-16th, 2023

The Black Deer Festival, held in 2023, was a memorable celebration of Americana and country music. With a stunning lineup of talented artists, the festival created an immersive experience for music lovers and enthusiasts alike. The picturesque surroundings of Eridge Park in Kent, England, provided a perfect backdrop for the event.

One of the highlights of the festival was the diverse range of artists who graced the stages. From established legends to emerging talents, Black Deer Festival offered a comprehensive lineup that catered to various tastes within the Americana, country & blues music genres.

Steve Earle. Black Deer Festival 2023. Photo by Paul Clampin.

One of the standout performances came from the legendary Steve Earle, who brought his signature blend of storytelling and raw energy to the stage.  Earle captivated the audience and reminded everyone why he is considered a true icon of Americana music.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Black Deer Festival 2023. Photo by Paul Clampin.

Another standout act was Nathaniel Ratecliff, whose powerful vocals and driving band left a lasting impression. His performance was filled with emotion and authenticity, connecting with the crowd.

The festival also provided a platform for emerging artists to shine. Rising stars like CMAT choose stage presence and strong vocals were captivating . Not to be overlooked was Kyshona who’s powerful stories need to be heard and Drake White, who is always  crowd pleaser with his brand of country.  For those that love the blues Joanne Shaw Taylor played hard with her road tested band to take the roof off. She’s come on quite a journey since her first album, White Sugar, and is without doubt one of the best guitarists playing these days.

As a crowd pleaser, The Pretenders rolled through their set and were are smooth as a well oiled machine can be. Even though the weather broke, one banger after another left the crowd wanting more. Chrissie Hynde’s voice gutted through the pouring rain.

In addition to the outstanding musical performances, Black Deer Festival offered a range of activities and attractions for attendees. From workshops and storytelling sessions to artisan food and drink stalls, the festival created a vibrant and immersive environment that celebrated the rich culture of Americana.

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. Black Deer Festival 2023. Photo by Paul Clampin.

The organisers also deserve praise for their attention to detail and commitment to creating a sustainable event. The festival implemented eco-friendly initiatives and promoted a sense of environmental responsibility, making it a truly conscientious gathering.

If there was one minor criticism, it would be that the festival schedule occasionally caused conflicts between performances, forcing attendees to make difficult choices between artists they wanted to see. However, this is a common challenge for multi-stage festivals, and overall, the organisers did an excellent job of curating a diverse and engaging lineup.

Black Deer Festival 2023 was an exceptional event that celebrated the best of Americana and country music. With an impressive lineup, breathtaking performances, and a vibrant atmosphere, the festival left a lasting impression on both die-hard fans and newcomers to the genre. Whether you’re a devoted Americana enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable music experience.






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