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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 July 2006, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
SpaFest launch concert cancelled
The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells
Free performances will take place at the bandstand in The Pantiles
A concert starring Craig David which would have launched a festival marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of Tunbridge Wells has been called off.

It follows concerns from the Town Forum about potential noise and traffic nuisance from the SpaFest open air concert at the Lower Cricket Pitch.

The 21 July concert will now be held on 9 September with a new line-up at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood, Kent.

A free community concert planned for 22 July has also been switched.

"The move was made to address community concerns about the impact of the concerts," said a spokesman for SpaFest.

We are pleased to continue to bring a fantastic festival to the town in a way that is sensitive to the concerns of the local residents
Ian Bowden

He said the new venue could cater for greater capacity crowds, with good access and parking.

People who have already bought tickets for the Craig David concert can claim a full refund.

Tickets are nearly sold out for the community concert, which features Kent artists including The Varlies, Thomas Bromley and Nicky Moore.

The arts festival was due to run from 21 July to 6 August at 11 venues and sites but ticket sales for some events have been poor.

'Hugely positive'

Several have been cancelled but concerts starring cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and singer Katherine Jenkins are going ahead.

The Town Forum said there was a feeling Tunbridge Wells had been "railroaded" over the festival and that it would set a precedent for future events.

Announcing the changes, SpaFest managing director Ian Bowden, said: "SpaFest is a hugely positive event for Tunbridge Wells.

"We are pleased to continue to bring a fantastic festival to the town in a way that is sensitive to the concerns of the local residents."

The festival will now finish on 10 September with Terry Wogan's Summer Proms, also at the Hop Farm.


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