Indie bible the NME today voted the Tunbridge Wells Forum as Britain’s Best Small music venue. The judging panel for the award included singer Frank Turner, Reading and Leeds Festivals main man Melvin Benn and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. To celebrate the award Enter Shikari will be playing a special show at the venue on 5th June.
The Forum won ahead of a final shortlist from venues around the country including the Bristol Thekla, the Stoke Sugarmill, the Norwich Arts Centre and the Belfast Limelight. Outgoing NME editor Krissi Murison said the Tunbridge venue’s “excellent booking policy, esteemed national reputation and undeniable passion for music shone through”.
In a statement, Mary Davyd and Jason Dormon, who co-founded the venue said: “We are delighted to have received this award on behalf of all the people that have put so much of their own time and effort into making The Forum what it is over the last twenty years. We’d like to thank all the musicians that have played, whether they were Oasis, Coldplay, Hildamay or While She Sleeps, and all the people that have supported the venue, from those who just bought a ticket to the people who put the paint on the walls. The Forum will be 20 years old in January 2013. The intention has always been to create a space for people to be able to hear the music they love on their own doorsteps. We hope this national recognition for the town reminds everybody locally just what an incredible asset The Forum has been and can continue to be if local people and organisations support it – it’s your venue, use it don’t lose it.”