You can’t throw a pebble in Hastings and St Leonards without hitting a festival – in fact most articles in this supplement contain details on at least one. Here is a quick round up of those which don’t fit neatly into an art form:

For young and amateur performers, Hastings Musical Festival gets going from 22 February to 17 March. Participants are judged to a high standard in classical music, rock, dance and speech and drama. Changes are on the horizon as the festival has just appointed its first chief executive, Helen Winning, so watch this space.

Then welcome summer with Jack in the Green, 4 to 7 May. This festival is currently in development and promises the usual extensive programme of music and Morris dancing. It culminates in the wild costumed parade up to the West Hill on Bank Holiday Monday. The dancing up of the dawn on Tuesday 1 May rounds off the festival with a touch of magic.

The Stade Saturdays programme of free music and performance will kick off in June and run weekly until October. Now in its seventh year, expect big summer concerts, circus and dance. Hastings Borough Council’s partnership is set to continue with the international touring initiative, Coasters, promising fabulous family friendly spectacle. The programme will be confirmed in spring.

Next up is Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival, from 13 to 17 June. In its third year, this festival is expanding again – On the Rocks and The Palace will be helping the eight old town venues of previous festivals host an outlandish 150 comedy shows over these 5 days.

The Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival is back for a fifth year on 23 and 24 June on the Stade Open Space. This festival celebrates the town’s excellent fishery as well as other local produce, with over 30 different traders, cooking demonstrations from top local chefs, and non-stop live music and entertainment.

St Leonards Festival returns in 2018 on Saturday 30 June, 12 noon – 10pm with a theme of St Leonards Ascending. The free family community festival in Warrior Square celebrates the most culturally diverse population for 40 miles with bands, entertainments and a parade, plus the ever-popular street market in Kings Road. It’s back with the 18 Hours team, who worked on the first ever St Leonards Festival in 2006. Anyone interested in taking part in the festival as a stallholder, performer, volunteer, sponsor or supporter should email [email protected]

And then no matter what you are, no matter who you are, on Sunday 15 July you will be a pirate … but more on that later in the year.

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