Sex festival comes to sleepy Tunbridge Wells... but locals aren’t in the mood

Sex festival comes to sleepy Tunbridge Wells... but locals aren’t in the mood
Hundreds of ravers are flocking to a sex festival in the Kent town of Tunbridge Wells. But the kinky event has caused outrage among locals.

Flamefest, which will run from Friday to Sunday, offers an “adult playground” and an outdoor S&M dungeon where people will be in the “safe hands” of dominatrices.

The festival website reads: “Our outdoor dungeon is discreetly secluded, furnished with fetish play equipment and monitored by our friendly assistants.

“Explore pain, experience pleasure and fulfil your fantasies on this mystical site, where witches’ covens have met for centuries.”

People can also pay £600 (US$770) entry for a “completely blacked out” tent where they can indulge in sexual and nude activities.

The festival, however, has been greeted with opposition by locals, who say they had not been consulted in advance of the event.

Councillor Diane Hill, who represents the Southborough and High Brooms ward, said she has received complaints from locals.

“I’m no prude but this is the wrong place for this sort of thing.

“It’s a residential area. A big worry is they say there will be coaches coming down – where are they going to park?” Hill told Kent Live.

“People are obviously going to be concerned about the noise. I have contacted [Tunbridge Wells borough commander] Dave Pate so the police are aware.”

She added that the event did not need the council’s approval because it was being run on a temporary license.

But festival organizer Helen Smedley seemed to allay concerns over Flamefest, which she said is a private event where there will be no public display of sexual activities.

“It’ll involve music, workshops, getting at one with nature,” she said.

“We’ve got guests coming from all over Kent. We’ve had someone fly in from Romania and Australia.

“We allow people the safe place to have sex, we’re monitors, just to make sure everyone’s safe.

“There’s nothing that happens in view, on site. People go off to their tents to meet like-minded people.”