Award winning jazz musicians Liane Carroll and Ian Shaw, and poet John Hegley are among the artists appearing at Festival by the Lake on Sunday 24 June, 12-8pm, in the beautiful surroundings of Ashburnham Place, near Battle, East Sussex.

Now in its second year, the event aims to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis and raise funds for local group Hastings Supports Refugees. This year’s event is also the formal launch of Hastings as a Community of Sanctuary, part of the national City of Sanctuary movement that holds the vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all and proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution.

Taking place on the closing day of Refugee Week 2018, Festival by the Lake is a full day of music, food, workshops and more. At the heart of the event is a communal picnic. Eating together is a powerful statement and everyone is invited to bring food, bring friends, make new friends as part of a shared experience.

The lake on the estate will be open for wild swimming and you can take a guided tour of the woodlands and kitchen garden. There will also be children’s activities, creative workshops and a range of talks.

The event has been co-programmed by Hastings-based musician Gwyneth Herbert, who says, “Working with refugee individuals and families from all over the world has made me realise how lucky I am to have a home. And I feel especially lucky that my home is in maverick, historic, song-drenched, carnival-peppered, fire-hilled and rebel-hearted Hastings. This festival is about welcoming the new members of our community in the true spirit of our town – to munch, glug, boogie, giggle… to listen and learn from and celebrate each other’s stories.”

Jazz musician Ian Shaw
PICTURE: Tim Francis

Also on the bill are musicians King Size Slim, Los Twangeros, Samaki Afrobeat, Hannah Atkins and traditional Irish Music from Chan Reid & Hastings CCE.  Local spoken word promoters The Whole Shebang will present four fantastic poets and there will be range of speakers from Syria and the UK.

Tickets are £15 adults, £5 for under 18s and free for under 5s, available from Trinity Wholefoods and the Hastings Tourist Information Centre.

Full details at

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