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PREVIEW: Black Deer Festival 2024

When: 14th June – 16th June 2024

Where: Eridge Park, Kent, England

Ah, the peak of the Great British Summertime, that must mean it’s time for Black Deer Festival again. The last two years have brought an early close on the Saturday night in 2022 due to safety issues caused by an incoming lightning storm, and 2023 saw a torrential downpour on the Sunday to dampen the closing day. Still, the music was excellent and propelled the festival punters through even the wettest summer day.

2024 sees a selection of FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVE headliners in blues axeman Joe Bonamassa (Friday) and idiosyncratic singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright (Sunday) sandwiching the Queen of folk-rock, and non-exclusive, Sheryl Crow (Saturday). It’s a bold set of headliners and they’re supported by a motley crew of Americana (and adjacent) acts that cover the US and Canada, and a large swathe of the UK’s best artists in that space as well.


The opening day highlights are sure to include Brighton’s Bess Atwell, whose recent album Light Sleeper is one of 2024’s best so far, and Australia’s Courtney Barnett‘s jangling guitars and close-to-spoken-word lyrical delivery are always a treat in the live environment, bringing an immediacy that you can’t replicate on record. Waco’s Jarrod Dickenson will bring his calming country stylings to Kent, before the freewheeling spirit of BC Camplight delivers what will surely be one of the highlights of the day.


Sheryl Crow‘s decades of hits will be a perfect fit for a Saturday night. Leading into her headline set is an interesting mix of the ethereal folk of Villagers and the scuzzy blues-rock of perennial festival favourite Seasick Steve. Representing the UK and sure to be highlights are Ferris & Sylvester, delivering their foot-stomping folk-rock, and Twinnie‘s more commercial take on country-pop.

The sort of exciting roots artists that Black Deer are known for are also being represented, with Dylan Leblanc bringing his excellent Coyote record to the UK. Lizzie No is an exciting performer who comes to the UK for the first time in a long while, and the terrific double act of Brennen Leigh and Joshua Hedley, bringing their traditional country styles to Eridge Park, along with an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre; there’s a reason Hedley’s known as Mr Jukebox.


Ah, Sunday. The final day, the last hurrah of a festival. Ahead of Rufus Wainwright‘s headline slot is a mix of the familiar (Ward Thomas returning again, Kezia Gill coming back to the scene of her 2023 triumph), and the not so. The Latin-inspired Hermanos Gutiérrez are playing a UK festival exclusive set which will be intriguing to segue into Wainwright, while The Staves arrive on the back of their finest album yet for what should be a stunning set. US country-popper Alyssa Bonagura will bring some mainstream USA to the festival and Americana singer-songwriter Kristina Murray heads up the intriguing Western AF line-up. Most excitingly, though, is true country royalty in the form of Rosanne Cash, with her wingman Jon Levanthal. Cash’s decades’ worth of country songs and huge talent will light up the skies of Black Deer.

Tickets are still available from the Black Deer website.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.