Frock up Friday had a modest start. In fact it began because Bev Francis and Susan Simms “just like dressing up”. As Bev said in an article in HIP last year: “When Susan wasn’t being her alter-ego blues singer Sister Suzie, Friday nights became the night to dress up and get ready for the weekend. Getting ready for the weekend and choosing outfits became a bit of tradition between us.”

That urge to dress up sparked a global community after Bev and Susan started the Facebook group, which at the last count included 14,000 members. It quickly became a support network, helping people get through lockdown by dressing up and feeling good, a place where people could feel safe about dressing up and being themselves. 

We’ve already had Frock up Friday ‘the book’; now Hastings is to host the first ever Frock up Friday Festival! On the weekend of 3rd to 5th September, the town will fill with hundreds of ‘frocked up’ festival goers, attending events throughout the town, with major ones at St Mary in the Castle.

The festival will give Frockers the chance to get together and celebrate, with a mixture of fashion, music and dancing. Hastings is the place where this all started and a town that loves to dress up and party, so it’s the perfect place to host this dress-up festival of fun. 

Highlights of the festival will be a fashion show on Friday 3rd and a ball on Saturday, both at St Mary in the Castle. The many free events throughout the town, include music at The Stade, a procession of frockers, market stalls and a ‘Frocking Trail’ of the shops and bars that have supported Frock Up Friday.

The amazing success of the group was achieved by creating a community of shared values: zero negativity in the group, non-judgemental, freethinking attitudes and positive attitudes toward body confidence, gender, age and styles. As it says on the website, this has “allowed members’ self-confidence to bloom beyond recognition” and “lives have been transformed”. 

As a result, Frock up Friday has already sparked enormous interest with interviews on BBC radio and TV and articles about it throughout the world. So make sure you go down in history as part of this unique event. 

Full details of the festival programme and tickets can be found at frockupfriday.com


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