Updated: Aug 17, 2021
We’re thrilled that the High Tide festival is back this year and are proud to confirm the Diamond Jubilee Gardens as one of the host sites for the event on September 26th.
High Tide 2021 will again be a brilliant day of top-quality musical entertainment spread over an expanded 10 performance areas. It will include nationally known artists like The Desmond Dekker Band feat. Delroy Williams, Binker Golding, Stick In The Wheel, Deschanel Gordon and Salad as well showcasing young artists curated by The Basement Door youth charity.
The Diamond Jubilee Gardens, created in 2012, of which the Trust owns the lease, has regularly hosted music events in the past including The Big Gig, Brass on the Grass and the youth music 'umbrella' group Powerjam and Trustees are delighted to welcome events back in the coming months.
High Tide is the brainchild of Phil Penman and Kevin Jones , who together run the successful Eel Pie Records on Church Street.
We asked Kevin how it all came about.
“Phil and I had been talking about opening a record shop for a while. I describe it as starting as a 4-pint conversation. We'd be a few drinks in and frequently got on how we missed the joy of going to record shops. We eventually decided we should do something about it and open our own and Eel Pie Records was born. Another strand of this 4-pint conversation was putting on a festival. And having got Eel Pie Records up and running, we thought we'd have a crack at making the festival dream a reality. With the amazing support of hundreds of local residents and businesses, the dream came true in 2019 when High Tide happened.”
The inaugural festival was a huge success and far surpassed what the duo had initially expected.
“It surpassed our wildest dreams,” Kevin says.
“We felt it was important to have a focus on new music and young artists alongside more established performers. Our guiding principle was to reignite the spirit of Eel Pie Island in its heyday – so not rehashing the music but make it more about harnessing the energy of the Eel Pie Island scene around the hotel. We felt it was a risk because most live music in Twickenham seemed to be focused on the 60s sound and we didn't know if people would enjoy our attempt to bring new music to town. We needn't have worried. People loved it and said in their droves how brilliant it was to have new music and young bands playing at High Tide. That was very gratifying.”
So what can people expect this year?
“An expanded festival featuring 50% more stages and artists,” Kevin explains.
“With increased support from local people and businesses, we've been able to book bigger names. We have a new stage on Diamond Jubilee Gardens (pictured left hosting a recent music event) which will feature jazz music all day including some nationally known artists including Binker Golding and Deschanel Gordon. The Errol Linton Band is returning to open High Tide on the main stage and we also have the winner of the Basement Door battle of the bands - Down With The Stereotype.
"A personal highlight will be seeing Stick In The Wheel who produced the Eel Pie Records album of the year in 2020. We have an amazing lineup on our Americana stage at CTZN Brew house on York Street, a raft of hugely talented spoken word artists at Brewery Market and once again, we have the cream of young local bands on the Basement Door stage. Alongside some high-quality street food and drinks, High Tide 2021 is a must!”
The Jazz Stage on the Diamond Jubilee Gardens is being programmed by Off the Rails, the team who will be opening a new monthly jazz club in Richmond at One Kew Road in September, featuring young, contemporary artists, and with headliner Deschanel Gordon a former BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year (2020), this stage is not to be missed!
High Tide, which is free to the public, is fundraising to cover the costs of staging the event. You can read more information and donate here.