The Sussex Arms (Tunbridge Wells) presents:

Forum Basement: UNFEST 2018

+ All the Above + Black Gabanza + Paul Cheese

Entry Requirements: 16+


Some Footage of Unfest 2017 courtesy of Velmo Media


Unfest is an annual local music and arts fringe festival for Royal Tunbridge Wells and the South East region.


Unfest is held every Spring Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May. In 2018 it will be held on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th May, Monday 28th May.


The festival centres around TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM on Fonthill and its sister pubs on the Pantiles, The Ragged Trousers and The Sussex Arms.

In 2014 we were delighted to be joined by several affiliated venues. 2018 venues will be announced soon.


The festival is curated by the volunteers who work year round at The Forum. It aims to showcase the town’s independent spirit: its music venue, it’s businesses, its music and art - with four days of free entry to see the best of what is being created and hosted in Tunbridge Wells.

Unfest is named for, and curated by Unlabel – the Forum-based independent record label founded in 1996 to highlight the town’s flourishing underground music scene, and which has gone on to work with bands throughout the UK and beyond.


Unfest is a largely free, not-for-profit festival (another reason for the ‘un’). It is made possible by organisers giving their time for free, musicians playing for free, and venues providing their space for free.


Website (launching soon): The Forum listings:

In 2017 we launched a free phone app for the festival with details of all the acts performing and listings of who was playing when and where. Within the app we piloted a new geo-based music platform called 'Geojuking’ that allows app users to stream music based on their location during the festival.

Excellent Unfest videos from Francesca Daisy Hill showing everything Unfest from music to wildlife: Unfest 2012 Unfest 2011 (Shot on a Braun Nizo 561 macro super 8!)

Line Up

Forum Basement: UNFEST 2018


All The Above are a dynamic 5 man Alt Grunge Metal band from Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent. Combining Heavy grooves, Sung/shouted vocal, Helmet/RATM style riffing with a vehement post-hardcore precision.

Welcome to the inner workings of some unusual people. Black Gabanza is a 5 piece band hailing from various parts of the South East and Kent. With a heady mix of the dark, imaginative and twisted; A penchant for whipping up swampy, driving riffs, sublime melodies and sliding so deep in-the-pocket that they could be gasping for air, drowning in their own loose change, wrinkled receipts and lonely fuzzy ‘mint with the hole’. Black Gabanza are inspired and influenced by bands/artists such as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Grinderman, Queens Of The Stone Age, Rival Sons and Tom Waits amongst others and are chomping at the bit to show the world the songs that they’ve been crafting in a cabin hidden in the depths of the Kent countryside


How far would you go to record an album? The first solo album from 4th Wall front man Paul Cheese offers a unique sound, featuring live recordings from across Britain, taken during a 2000-mile bike ride….Paul is currently finishing off his second album that was written and recorded on 4000 mile journey across Europe....

Although he is an experienced recording artist and accomplished studio engineer, Paul came to this realization recently when on a snow boarding holiday in the Alps. He tried recording a track 7000ft up a mountain and was blown away by the way it sounded. ‘It’s the way voices and instruments bounce back at you and how you feed that in the way you perform. Also it’s not just the sound of the space, but the feeling it creates. You can get everything in the studio but you can’t press a button called soul. Some locations can be uplifting and that influences the sound you make. When you have a big grin, it changes the shape of your voice.’

Fired by this discovery, he embarked on a 2000-mile cycle ride to the four furthest points of the British mainland. Taking a miniature-recording studio with him, Paul made recordings at locations he encountered along the way and the best of these found their way onto his new album …Just for the Record.

Listening back to the final mix Paul is totally convinced it was the way to go. ‘Listening to the performances again takes me right back to the places they were recorded because I captured the feeling that was there at the time. It’s made my album a very special collection of songs and it was the experience of a lifetime. I met so many great people along the way who were so supportive. I want to thank them all because they helped make it happen.’

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