Hundreds turned out in the glorious sunshine for the second year of Tonbridge Calling Festival on Saturday 12 August. The free, unticketed  event was set within an open park and seamlessly run by a team of 40 volunteers. It was set up last year with the vision of bringing a message of  unity to the town and strengthening community spirit. A diverse array of sounds, rythyms and culinary delights was provided for all.

Pengenista Drummers (Laura Chesson)

Pengenista Drummers Open Tonbridge Calling (Laura Chesson)

The energetic Penge community samba reggae band Pengenista Drummers woke up the town with their vibrant Brazilian Bahia rhythms as they marched along the river to the main festival stage.

Pengenista Drummers (Laura Chesson)

Pengenista Drummers (Laura Chesson)

The festival opened with Petits Bijoux playing on the main stage, a French Chanson duet. French-born singer, France charmed the audience with her thoughtful, expressive repertoire which was reminiscent of that found in quaint Parisian cafes. Joining her was the talented accordion player, Christine in what was their first official gig together.

Petits Bijoux (Laura Chesson)

Petits Bijoux (Laura Chesson)

Petits Bijoux (Laura Chesson)

Musical ‘mixologist’ trio, The Violet Jive were next up with a heady, colourful cocktail of covers and originals. Festival-goers were treated to an hour of exotic swing, rock ‘n’ roll and latino rhythms whilst they soaked up long-awaited August sun.

The Violet Jive (Laura Chesson)

The Violet Jive (Laura Chesson)

The Violet Jive (Laura Chesson)

The Violet Jive (Laura Chesson)

The Violet Jive (Laura Chesson)

The Violet Jive (Laura Chesson)

Broadstairs based Hobo and the Hippies got feet stomping, toes tapping and the crowd swaying with their cheeky original tunes filled with catchy melodic harmonies and an unforgettable dose of nonchalant pirate swagger.

Hobo and the Hippies (Laura Chesson)

Hobo and the Hippies (Laura Chesson)

Hobo and the Hippies (Laura Chesson)

Hobo and the Hippies (Laura Chesson)

Hips were swinging by mid-afternoon to the wild, infectious mix of Latin covers and original tunes from seven-piece ‘Salsa dura’ band, Salsadelic from Tunbridge Wells.

Salsadelic (Laura Chesson)

Salsadelic (Laura Chesson)

Salsadelic (Laura Chesson)

Salsadelic (Laura Chesson)

Lazlo Baby, a four-piece band hailing from Eastern Stockport closed the festival and got revellers up dancing with their exuberant mix of high energy Balkan feel folksy ska numbers.

Lazlo Baby (Laura Chesson)

Lazlo Baby (Laura Chesson)

Revellers dancing as Lazlo Baby headlined the festival (Laura Chesson)

Revellers dancing as Lazlo Baby headlined the festival (Laura Chesson)

Lazlo Baby (Laura Chesson)

Lazlo Baby (Laura Chesson)

The day was a huge success with something for everyone thanks to the support from local organisations, businesses, entertainers, musicians and food vendors. As the festival gains momentum and firmly places itself into the town’s social calendar, plans are already underway for next year.

Photo Story by Laura Chesson at Tonbridge Calling, Racecourse Park, August 12th 2017

Live: Y Not Festival 2017