Soul Train is back on track with all that jazz

    TWO important events in the Tunbridge Wells cultural calendar have been saved after an agreement was forged between disgruntled residents and a local promoter.

    The Pantiles will now be allowed to stage one musical event per week, with an extra gig permitted during summer bank holidays.

    Jazz on The Pantiles, a weekly concert on Thursday nights in the summer, is celebrating its 10th year and attracts thousands of people.

    Soul Train parties on Saturday nights started three years ago and have provided a more raucous alternative seven times a year.

    Both were under threat after the Residents Association asked the borough council  for a full review of the licensing agreement because of late night noise and drunkenness.

    Under the new arrangement The Pantiles Bandstand Event Company, which promotes the programmes, can choose which event to stage.

    It means jazz has been saved, with Soul Train being staged on two bank holiday weekends – though there is provision to hold the latter instead of the jazz.

    Speaking for residents Ralph Lloyd-Roberts said: “We are happy that this 11th hour agreement has been reached.

    “We are also grateful that in the meantime the organisers have clearly made efforts to try to minimise the disruption to residents.”

    Julian Leith-Griffiths, who manages the Event Company, said: “We came to a really excellent mutual compromise. I understand the concerns of residents and we had to do what was fair for them. They were helpful, and pretty much in favour of the jazz. Peace breaks out.”