A lot has been going on behind the scenes at The Forum, as we head towards the end of 2016. During this year The Forum has been attending meetings with other venues and organisations within Tunbridge Wells, to see how we can all work together, for the benefit of everyone. We have already seen part of this, where The Museum and Art Gallery had an exhibition based on the sister pub – The Sussex Arms – and Unfest music and poetry moved into The Art Gallery for a lunchtime.
The latest collaboration is between the Forum and The Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds. Working with the staff from The Assembly Hall, there will be four evenings of music in the café/bar area of the Ice Rink. There’s a mix of established artists, for example Cyrano were one of the acts in The Forum ‘Stable’ evenings in the early 2000s, and new artists, such as Havelock who performed at one of the summer Sunday Sessions at The Forum.
The Winter Sessions are free to enter, but you can go along and pay to skate as well! Every Thursday evening from 24th November to 15th December, there will be three acts a night from 7pm – 9pm – see tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com for full details.
The Forum also had several meetings with Vinyl Revolution, before they opened their pop-up vinyl shop in Camden Road. As well as selling old and new vinyl, the shop has a range of exclusive music based merchandise. They also have a Forum display stand, selling both Forum merchandise and Unlabel records. They have an excellent website vinyl-revolution.co.uk and the shop has long opening hours, so try to give both of those a visit! There are lots of ideas for Christmas presents, and late night shopping might also mean you catch a bit of free live music.
Meanwhile The Forum has a wide range of Christmas and New Year shows. There are spoken word evenings, live music, and some DJ/party nights. Things were getting so busy there are two NYE parties – live music with Local & Live Electric on Friday 30th, and the very popular Boogie Night DJs on Saturday 31st December. Into 2017, and plans are being made for The Forum’s 24th birthday at the end of January, and favourites Kast Off Kinks and John Otway are already booked to return in the spring.
In January I am organising a show at The Forum, to raise awareness of The Mayor’s charity – Beat. Four acts are booked to play, with a very mellow tone to the evening, and The Mayor will be there to explain what Beat is all about. You can check their website www.b-eat.co.uk
For anyone who was following news at the beginning of the year, the disabled toilet is now installed. The next work, as a Community Interest Company, is to improve backstage facilities further. The Forum also has some ideas for additional collaborations in 2017, and has many private bookings for parties and weddings already in the diary.
Tickets for all events, and details on making a booking, available from twforum.co.uk
Article for December Tunbridge Wells Town Crier.
Since writing, the first Winter Session has been on:
It proved to be a well attended evening, and everyone loved the log cabin effect of the bar area. The Forum toilets are also getting glowing reviews: