As in previous years, most events are free and take place in the pubs and cafés around the Old Town of Hastings.
Apart from numerous gigs throughout the whole six days of the event, the Festival also includes two major concerts, which both take place in St Mary In The Castle.
Saturday 7th May sees Show Of Hands (Steve Knightley and Phil Beer) playing the seafront venue. Show Of Hands are widely acknowledged as being the finest acoustic roots duo in England, and were described by Peter Gabriel as “one of the great English bands”. Tickets are £21.50 and £24.50.
In the same venue on Sunday night (8th) will be an augmented line-up of Peter Knight’s Gigspanner, who are joined by very special guests Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. This will be the first opportunity to see the “big band” in Hastings, led by the legendary fiddle player Peter Knight, who played with Steeleye Span up until 2013. Tickets for this gig are £17.
Both of these gigs start at 7.30pm.
On the afternoon (3pm) of Saturday 7th May, St Clements Church plays host to a concert with The United Folk Orchestra, combining two long established English Folk Orchestras, Yardarm and Sussex, and creating the unique experience of more than 40 musicians coming together to play music from around the world.
Instruments being played include guitars, mandolins, bouzouki, fiddles, accordions, melodeons, concertinas, recorders, flutes, whistles, bodhrans and cellos. Tickets are £3 on the door.
The Electric Palace Cinema, in the High Street in Hastings, are participating again this year with a showing of the film “The Ambiguity of David Thomas Broughton” on Friday 8th May at 8pm. The film is a musical documentary following the creative process of one of the UK’s most enigmatic musicians and performers. Tickets are £7.
As in past years, a number of the Hastings Old Town pubs that regularly put on music, have booked the Folk and acoustic acts that they like to hear. These free events will cover many aspects of the “Folk” genre.
Printed programmes, with details of all events, are now available in venues across the Old Town. This information can also be viewed via the Hastings Folk Fest website.
Hastings Folk Fest is a very welcome addition to the ever growing calendar of events and festivals taking place during the year in Hastings. And coming along hot on the heels of the wonderful Jack In The Green festivities, which is a nice warm up, it’s another great way to herald the start of summer.
We never need much of an excuse to eat, drink and be merry in this town, but the Hastings Folk Fest is as good an excuse as anyone could need to sample some excellent local music, and maybe just the odd tipple too.