EMMA HARWOOD

As home to a vast array of talented musicians and with a reputation for its rich and diverse arts and music scene, it is hardly surprising that the first half of 2018 promises a glittering calendar of live shows and events across the town.

Undoubtedly, the now famous and flamboyant five-day Mardi Gras celebration, Hastings Fat Tuesday Music Festival is one of the jewels. With over 100 emerging and established bands and artists from across the UK and beyond performing in multiple venues throughout the Old Town, and partnership from BBC Introducing and The Joe Strummer Foundation, this year’s event promises to be as exhilarating as ever. Highlights will include folk punk group Skinny Lister at St Mary in the Castle on 9th February as well as many more surprises.

For lovers of folk and acoustic music The Lantern Society Candlelit Acoustic Club, hosted by stunning folk duo Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, takes place at The Printworks, Claremont, on the first Thursday of every month and attracts an eclectic array of talented songwriters and artists. Celebrating its first anniversary this month, it is the sister club of one originally established by the couple in Farringdon pub The Betsey Trotwood in 2007, which has become a hub for multi -million selling and fledgling artists alike.

Sunday 8th April sees musicians of all genres from choirs to rock bands come together to celebrate and perform the music of Britain’s favourite mop-topped foursome to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Now in its 19th year,  Beatles Day 2018  organised by Hastings musician Pete Prescott – has already raised a staggering £250,000, with often ingenious interpretations of a vast catalogue of material guaranteed to transport audiences through the entire emotional spectrum.

Live jazz and blues will be the order of the three-day Hastings Winkle Club Jazz and Blues Festival at The Stade Open Space, Rock-a-Nore, from 1st – 3rd June featuring many well-known acts and a Sunday jazz breakfast.

Of course, in keeping with Hastings’ reputation as a thriving music town, regular highlights also include the internationally acclaimed jazz singer Liane Carroll performing each Wednesday in her favourite local, Porter’s Wine Bar, High Street, Old Town, the weekly Tuesday Folk Sessions at The Stag Inn, All Saints Street, and Frat Cave, held at The Royal Standard, East Street where lovers of 60s surf music can let their hair down to some of the best acts from the UK and beyond on the first Saturday of every month –free of charge. Happy 2018!

For more info: hastingsfattuesday.co.uk, thelanternsociety.co.uk, hastingsbeatlesday.org.uk, hastingsjazzandbluesfest.com, porterswinebar.com, staghastings.co.uk, royalstandardhastings.co.uk

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