The Forum

Add The Forum to your Itinerary

Music Hall

The Forum, Royal Tunbridge Wells - famous live music event for concerts


The Common
Royal Tunbridge Wells


Tel: 08712 777101

Music Hall

From spring water dispensary to nationally acclaimed live music venue in Royal Tunbridge Wells!

Just over the road from the historic Pantiles is one of the few buildings permitted to exist on The Common, and one with an interesting history.

The Forum, Music and Arts Centre, sits on “Fonthill” which is rumoured to be the site of the cottage occupied by Mrs Humphreys, who served Lord North with a glass of chalybeate water as he rode through the area in 1606. In fact, look closely by the main road and you will see an ancient spring and cold bath, both now protected by railings.

Originally a forge, this business expanded to include coach and carriage works. Space was also lent to the Town Fire Corporation. The family cottage extended into a boarding house.

The current building on this site was built in 1939, opening in late May, just months before World War Two. It replaced several old buildings that had evolved over two hundred years.

Within living memory people do recall visiting the 'Fonthill Restroom' as it was after The Funfair on The Common, or to wash hands after blackberrying, and for a time in the 1980s the building was let out and used as a Brass Rubbing Centre. 

It was empty in 1993, when a group of school friends took it on. Having already hosted live music gigs around the area in assorted halls, pubs and hotels for five years “The Rumble Club” was looking for a permanent home.

Fonthill has served them well for the past 25 years! A basic conversion in a fortnight changed the restroom into a grassroots music venue. Since then The Forum has played host to a wide range of acts, from music to comedy, theatre, film and art, as well as meetings, parties and weddings.

With a total capacity of 250 it has been on the touring circuit for many acts in their early days - Green Day, Oasis, Coldplay, Biffy Clyro and Adele are among the thousands who have played here.

Access to quality music has encouraged many locals to take up playing instruments and form bands – amongst those gaining success are Everything Everything, Slaves and Lady Bird.

The venue continues to attract national praise, and acts - just in 2018 shows for the Silver Anniversary have included Pale Waves, Frank Turner, Spring King and Ash.

As well as shows at the venue, Forum staff and volunteers are involved in many other events around Tunbridge Wells. The most significant is the annual arts and music fringe festival UNFEST - based at The Forum but including pop ups around the town. Expect art, theatre, spoken word and a wide range of music in unexpected places depending on the curators, every late May Bank Holiday weekend!

The spirit of UNFEST carries on during the summer, with The Forum open most Sunday afternoons for music, food and pop up activities. These free afternoons are a good introduction to the venue, running from late May until Heritage Open Days in September.

The Forum also helps outside producers, for example in 2018 Forum staff assisted Blackdeer Festival to introduce local elements to their Americana Festival, the start of a long term working relationship.

2017 saw Tunbridge Wells host its first ever PRIDE march, and The Forum became the base for the day’s activities, just one of many community events the venue supports.

The Forum is one of the coolest places to visit in Tunbridge Wells, as testified to by our young blogger, Ben.  

Opening Times

See Website (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)
See Website (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)

Search What's Nearby

Product Type
Within miles

Search Again?

Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

What's Nearby

  1. One Warwick Park Hotel

    Luxurious hotel near the Pantiles.

    0.07 miles away
  2. The Tunbridge Wells Hotel

    Hotel accommodation

    0.06 miles away
  3. Sawmill Cottage

    0.07 miles away
  1. Ford Cottage

    Two Self Catering Units

    0.2 miles away
  2. Smith & Western

    American themed restaurant with rooms.

    0.25 miles away
  3. Mount Edgcumbe - Rooms

    6 luxury bedrooms in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Breakfast available.

    0.28 miles away
  4. Broadwater

    Broadwater is a tastefully presented Georgian style establishment and is ideal if you…

    0.37 miles away
  5. Hotel du Vin & Bistro

    Lovingly converted from a Grade II - listed mansion, Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells is one…

    0.51 miles away
  6. Royal Wells Hotel

    The Royal Wells hotel offers 27 bedrooms each individually furnished with a mix of…

    0.53 miles away
  7. Russell Hotel

    Located in the heart of the town centre, this elegant Victorian hotel overlooks the…

    0.54 miles away
  8. Brick House - Not yet re-opened

    Elegant Edwardian house in the centre of town in a Conservation Area.

    0.56 miles away
  9. The Spa Hotel

    The Spa Hotel is an elegant country mansion just a 10-minute walk from Tunbridge Wells…

    0.58 miles away
  10. Hazelwood House

    Family home situated in a quiet location in a private road within walking distance of…

    0.69 miles away
  11. Flying Horse Cottage

    A rural retreat with superb views perched on a ridge in an area of outstanding natural…

    1.61 miles away
  12. Salomons Estate

    47 rooms within the magnificent grounds of Salomons Estate, a short drive from the heart…

    1.86 miles away
  13. Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel

    Set in the heart of Kent, Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel provides a stunning location for…

    2.67 miles away
Previous Next

Search Again?

Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Now featuring traveller reviews from TripAdvisor.