Flamefest sex festival: Man dies and woman found unconscious at Tunbridge Wells campsite

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A man has died and a woman was airlifted to hospital after being found unconscious at a campsite hosting a sex festival in Kent.

Police and paramedics were called to the campsite in Powder Mill Lane, Tunbridge Wells, just after 6am on Tuesday.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene and his death is being treated as “unexplained”, police said.

The woman received medical treatment before being airlifted to hospital.

Specialist critical care paramedics, a hazardous area response team and an air ambulance were scrambled to the scene, South East Coast Ambulance Service said. 

A man died and a woman was rushed to hospital at the Flamefest ‘sex rave’ in Kent

The weekend festival, featuring an S&M dungeon and an “adult play area” staffed by dominatrixes, had caused uproar.

Featuring DJs, live music and entertainment, the Flamefest website said the festival was created to bring together “the purest, most hedonistic elements of the party scene, from kinksters to ravers”.

Around 250 people paid up to £600 to stay in luxury teepees and boutique tents and organisers had to draft in extra security to stop gatecrashers

The festival also promised DJs, circus performers, and workshops on everything from erotic writing and spanking to nipple tassel-making and “foot worship”. 

Witnesses reported seeing five police cars and two ambulances at the site today, where a clean-up operation had been underway following the festival.

Kent Police said they were investigating the unexplained death but did not give further details about where the couple were found.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Kent Police is making enquiries to establish the circumstances surrounding an unexplained death in Tunbridge Wells.

“Officers were called by South East Coast Ambulance Service at 6.14am on Tuesday August 22 to a medical incident at a campsite in Powder Mill Lane, Tunbridge Wells.

“Patrols and ambulance crews went to the scene where a man was pronounced dead.

“The death is being treated as unexplained at this stage.

“In addition, an unconscious woman received medical treatment and was taken to a local hospital by air ambulance.”

The festival was at the centre of a row after local residents complained that they had not been consulted ahead of the event. 

Councillor Dianne Hill, who represents the Southborough and High Brooms wards in the area, said she had received many complaints.

She said that there were concerns over where all the coaches carrying people to the festival would park.

Last week, Ms Hill told Kent Live: “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?

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

But festival organiser Helen Smedley said that the event was private and sex would not be on show to the public.

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

Last night, she tweeted that the event has passed “pretty smoothly and totally magically”.


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