Venue Guide: Tunbridge Wells Forum

"25 years in a toilet" - Mark Davyd Co-Founder. Tunbridge Wells Forum is a beacon of hope for grassroots, live music venues in the UK.

Tunbridge Wells Forum is an independent live music venue that has been putting on epic events and stellar shows since 1993. The Forum celebrates its 25th birthday in January – an amazing achievement for a small music venue in the current state of the music industry.

This great venue has been a fixture of the live music scene in Kent for a quarter of a century. Tunbridge Wells Forum won the prestigious NME Best Small Venue Award in 2012 … if you haven’t been yet – what are you playing at?


‘The Forum’ Live Music Venue, The Common, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8YU

Telephone Number
08712 777101 

Brief History
The late 80’s/early 90’s saw an increased interest in the music scene in Kent. There weren’t many places to house live music events, performances or the hundreds of fans that came with them.

Michael Oyarzabal, Peter Hoare, Jason Dormon, and Mark Davyd. Were very aware of this issue and were successfully putting on shows without any venue to do so consistently. In 1993 they opened The Forum as a new music venue in a building which was previously a public toilet. They’ve been adapting with the times and putting on amazing gigs ever since.

How many people does it hold?

Who has played there?
They’ve built up quite an impressive list of venue alumni over the past 25 years. Here are just a few of the artists that have played gigs at Tunbridge Wells Forum: 

Adele, Biffy Clyro, Coldplay, Foals, Green Day, Muse, Oasis, Royal Blood – if you were lucky enough to be at any of those shows you’ve done VERY well.

Have there been any “I was there” moments? 
So many unbelievable shows at this venue, there’s been quite a few memorable gigs that only a handful of people can say “I was there”. A relatively recent example of this is the skyrocketing popularity of Royal Blood. They are one of the best live bands in the UK and have been packing out festival main stages all over the world this summer.

Here they are playing Tunbridge Wells Forum in 2014 in front of 250 people:

How do I get there?
You’ll find the Forum at the bottom end of town on Fonthill Common, opposite the King Charles The Martyr Church. It is only a five-minute walk from Tunbridge Wells rail station, which has frequent direct connections in and out of London.

Where should I eat?
The Ragged Trousers Bar & Brasserie offer excellent brasserie style food in a casual dining environment AND it’s right across the road from The Forum … result!

Where can I stay?
Air BnB … safe.

Ticketweb Tip: 
To celebrate The Forum’s 25th birthday the owners have assured everyone that big things are coming in 2018. Our advice is to stay up to date with The Forum’s announcements and get to as many shows as you can!

WE MADE IT. 25 YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG. >>>>>>>>>>>>> 2018 marks a very special landmark for our little venue on the hill. The Forum will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. We have been here through the rise of two and a half decades of bands. Literally thousands of musicians have performed on this stage (and the old stage too). We have seen many of the biggest acts in the UK and worldwide cut their teeth and learn their craft in this room and we have seen many of them come back to us to experience that Tunbridge Wells love….and we look forward to the next 25 years with just as much excitement. Each year, we usually take the month of January to celebrate our birthday but since this is a big one… we are going to have an almighty YEAR long party. There are so many artists that want to come back (or get involved for the first time) and be part of the celebrations…and to be honest, one month simply isn’t going to suffice. So stay tuned for a year of shows to celebrate a quarter of a century of the Tunbridge Wells Forum. We cannot wait for the party to start. First two shows get announced this week so stay tuned. We are also happy to say that our friends at Gretsch wanted to get on board and help us with the festivities. Big love to them for their support. What would also be lovely is to hear about your memories of the venue. Simply share this post with a story or experience you have with The Forum. We really love hearing about this. Sure its great when Johhny or Jenny Rockstar comes and sings one of their little tunes..but we equally love hearing about you. So tell us a story. This is your venue too. See you down the common. Lots of love THE FORUM 1993 – 2018

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Where can you carry on the party?

If you’ve still got fuel in the tank after the gig, we’d recommend ZeeBar or MooMoo Clubrooms for a bit of a boogie before bed.

Check out the upcoming shows in Tunbridge Wells Forum and get tickets right here:

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