The award-winning Black Deer festival returns in June after a three-year hiatus with a star-studded lineup heading to the Eridge Park event in East Sussex.
Indie giants James have just been announced that they will be starring. They will join Van Morrison, Wilco, The Waterboys, Jake Bugg, Imelda May and Drive-By Truckers on “Europe’s premier Americana playground” in June.
James will kick off the party for the event which was last held in 2019 after successive postponements due to the pandemic, completing an impressive three-day lineup.
The much-loved British band, whose career spans a staggering five decades and who have sold over 25 million albums worldwide, will perform their charismatic show at Deer Park.
Other new lineup additions include Orange Goblin, Israel Nash, Amy Helm, Noble Jacks, Blue Rose Code, Josh Okeefe, ASG, William Crighton, Madison Violet, Black Water County, The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Kezia Gill, Powerhouse Gospel Choir, The Outlaw Orchestra, Josiah, The Jonny Halifax Invocation, Black Orchids, Hannah White, Willi Carlisle, Dylan Earl, Eddy Smith & the 507, Franky Perez, Bonnie Montgomery, Misty River, Chris Fox, My Fine Companions, Hayley Ross, The County Affair, Ruby Dew, Jessie Reid and Thomas Jay.
Back for their third year, the Black Deer Songwriter Sessions bring artists together for a Nashville-style “in-the-round” performance you won’t see anywhere else. Other acts confirmed this year for these intimate and unmissable gatherings are Imelda May, Hiss Golden Messenger, Cam and many more.
Another must-have musical offering in the deer park in 2022 will be the first Great Americana Songbook. A house band, fronted by AMA-UK award winner Robert Vincent, will headline Haley’s Bar, the center of the festival party, on Saturday night and will be joined by a range of artists from the Black Deer line-up to interpret a set of American standards. The theme for 2022 is the band’s seminal “The Last Waltz”.
Although still in its infancy, Black Deer has already won a string of awards for its authentic celebration of American culture, featuring some of the biggest acts in the genre. But the festival is more than an appreciation of a musical genre. Black Deer is a celebration of a way of life.
Alongside the music program, the festival has built a strong allegiance with quality fodder, cooking up a storm in their Live Fire Arena through the skills and associates of Grillstock founders Jon Finch and Ben Merrington. Chefs appearing this year include BBC stars Hang Fire, Southern Kitchen’s Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn, Twe12ve Fires cooking hero John Relihan and acclaimed bestselling author Genevieve Taylor.
The hugely popular Black Deer BBQ will also return, alongside the new and highly anticipated Chilli Eating Competition. The famous Gospel Brunch will also make a return – famous for bringing together a congregation on the Sunday of the festival for free food, a community gathering and old-school songs like ‘Amazing Grace’ with the Powerhouse Gospel Choir and very special guests .
The Young Folk Zone, a partnership with non-profit Community Interest Company Woodland Tribe, has been a major attraction for families who have been attending the festival since day one. Promoting the best kind of adventure play, allowing kids to safely use hammers, screws and ropes, youngsters in Black Deer can build the playground of their dreams.
And finally, listen to the grunt of counterculture at The Roadhouse, Black Deer’s heaviest space. Curators Desertscene and Clash Magazine will feature performances from artists as diverse as The Picturebooks and Wildwood Kin on their respective stages, while Black Deer partners Harley-Davidson will also be on hand among custom motorcycles and vintage vehicles, with their revolutionary JumpStart Motorcycle Experience. .
Black Deer co-founders Gill Tee and Deb Shilling said, “Black Deer isn’t just about listening to the music you love, it’s about discovering the music you’ll love and discovering the rich cultural uniqueness that surrounds this popular lifestyle we call Americana.
“The natural ingredients that complete this simple melting pot are all found in Black Deer – from authentic barbecue cooking at the smokehouse and a gospel Sunday brunch just to the thrill of custom motorcycle culture and a connection to nature to inspire young people, the festival is a community gathering for those who like to gather in the countryside…”
Check out the full Black Deer lineup at: blackdeerfestival.com/line-up