Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Award winning composer, Gwyneth Herbert performs at Stade Saturdays this weekend (Saturday 24th June).

Cllr Kim Forward, the council’s lead member for Regeneration and Culture said:

“Following on from last weekend’s fantastic funky bike band LaDinamo and Liane Carrol’s virtuoso performance in the Hastings Jazz and Blues Festival, this week’s Stade Saturdays features another spectacular musical performance by our own internationally renowned singer/songwriter Gwyneth Herbert.

“This weekend’s concert by Gwyneth is going to be another highlight as she’s freshly returned to Hastings from a triumphant gig last Wednesday in Hanoi, Vietnam”.

“Gwyneth is a talented composer, lyricist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. She has released six critically-acclaimed albums and toured across the world, sharing stages with artists such as Boy George and Amy Winehouse so we’re very excited to have her perform in Hastings. Gwyneth’s performance will start at 7.30pm on Saturday.

“Stade Saturdays is a series of free performances run by Hastings Borough Council that takes place from June to October on the Stade Open Space, just next to the Jerwood Gallery in the Old Town. Now in its sixth year, the ever popular summer series shows no sign of letting up on its quirky mix of oddball street circus and musical excellence, with forthcoming shows from the likes of Skinny Lister and the hit of the 2016 season, Cirque du Platzak.”

For further details see https://www.visit1066country.com/whats-on/stade-saturdays


Now in its second year, the 1066 Cycling Festival is a FREE two day festival celebrating everything cycling. The festival will run over the weekend of 17 and 18 June at two venues in Hastings and Bexhill.

Organised by Hastings Borough Council’s Active Hastings team and Active Rother at Rother District Council, the event will showcase some fantastic cycling events, demonstrations and family fun activities.1066 Cycling Festival

On both days visitors can see Savage Skills Stunt team, Rollapaluza, have a go balance and adapted bikes provided by ESCC, bike decorating with Treasure Tots and have your bike MOT’d by Handsome Bicycles. Pav Bryan Cycle Coaching and Nutritional Fit will also be on hand.

On Saturday 17 June, the festival runs from 11am to 3pm at the Stade Open Space, Hastings. At The Source Park there will be 15 minute demos at 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm and adapted and balance bikes will be in The  Multi Use Games Area (near crazy golf). LaDinamo Funky bike band play along Hastings’ seafront, Play Hastings will be running arts and crafts at the Stade Open Space and from 7pm Bike Bomb races will take place in Bottle Alley (next to the Pier). For keen cyclists, Handsome Bicycles have organised Hastings first Sportive – Historic Half Hundred; a 50 mile ride taking in the best of views of 1066 country. There will also be Bikeability taster sessions provided by CycleSafe, plus local rides.

The fun continues on Sunday 18 June at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill from 11am to 3pm with events including LaDinamo Funky bike band playing  along  Bexhill seafront, The Brompton Challenge, Cycle Jumble sale, Molton Bike display, BBQ provide by Bexhill Lions club and local rides; Bexhill/Hastings Greenway Circular cycle ride led by 1066 Cycle club, Local Modern Vintage ride around Bexhill led by Classic Cycle Club and 1066 Coastal Cultural Trail Ride and Picnic led by Bexhill Wheelers.

For more information and to view the full festival programme visit www.visit1066country.com/cyclingfestival or call Eugenie on 01424 451051


Cinema on the Pier will be returning on Friday May 26th with a showing of the 1980’s sci-fi classic Back to the Future.

This is the first of three weekends of film favourites under the stars where you can not only watch the film but also enjoy a wide range of delicious food and drink on offer throughout the evening.

Doors open at 8.15pm with the film starting at 9pm (dependant on sunset)

The list of films being shown over the next few months are as follows:

Weekend 1
  • Fri 26th May – Back to the Future
  • Sat 27th May – Titanic
  • Sun 28th May – Mamma Mia
Weekend 2
  • Thu 15th June – Pirates of the Caribbean, The Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Fri 16th June – The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Sat 17th June – Top Gun
Weekend 3
  • Thu 20th July – Jurassic Park
  • Fri 21st July – Quadrophenia
  • Sat 22nd July – Grease

There is a variety of ticket options available here


Hastings enjoyed another great May Day bank holiday, as the unlikely mix of Morris dancers and motorbikes packed the town.

Kevin Boorman, Hastings Borough Council’s marketing manager, explained :- “Both the revived ‘Jack in the Green’ festival of Morris dancing and the annual motorbike mass ride to Hastings have become firm favourites in our event calendar. Whilst other places may say that the May Day bank holiday hasn’t really caught on, that certainly can’t be said here, as Morris dancers and motorcyclists fill the whole town.

“This year of course the bank holiday actually fell on May 1st, which meant that there were far more Morris dancers and spectators ‘dancing at dawn’ on our West Hill this morning.

“We opened our West Hill lift – a 126 year old funicular railway – at 0430 this morning, and it was great to see dozens of Morris dancers and spectators taking advantage of the early morning lift.

“And although rain fell during the Jack in the Green procession this morning, the threatened thunderstorm held off all afternoon, and an estimated 5 000 spectators on the West Hill enjoyed the spectacle of different Morris sides dancing against the dramatic backdrop of a rough English Channel.

“The Jack in the Green Festival is organised by a group of volunteers, and we are very grateful to them for what they do to put on one of our most popular, and unusual, events. We are well known for being quirky and different, and today showed why!’

Hastings Pier have just announced the first bands that will be performing on the pier for the first Beano on the Sea weekend in September.Beano by the sea

Presented by Baggymod and taking you back to the 90’s –  a time when Radio 1 spoke your language, when the charts mattered featuring tune after tune and you could watch decent bands on the telly.

Three days of good vibrations out in the fresh air of the English Channel featuring some of the biggest names from an era of positivity and Cool Britannia all on one stage.

The Bluestones, Reef, Cast, Dodgy, Space and The Supernaturals are the first bands confirmed with more artists and attractions to be announced.

General release tickets will go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 8th March via the Website here.


Hastings and Rother have been declared a Music City at a formal launch on Monday (27 February) at The Palace, Hastings as part of the UnConvention; a one day music conference featuring panellist conversations with BBC Introducing the South and workshops about the future of the music industry.

Celebrating and acknowledging the many varied venues and hundreds of local musicians and the fact that Hastings has been voted first for musicality in the UK, it’s an obvious decision for Hastings and Rother to make.Music City Announcement Feb 2017 IMG_3531

“As the council’s lead member for culture, the local music scene is top of my priorities but it’s very important to me personally too; as a teenager I remember spending hours enjoying live music at venues across the area and I continue to do so as often as possible”, said Cllr Dawn Poole.

“I really believe that it’s one of the most accessible art forms and with the unequalled music talent across Hastings and Rother we’re lucky enough to have quality music events spilling out of venues most weekends of the year.

“I’m really proud that together we are now a Music City and look forward to seeing what the future holds. Congratulations must go to everyone that has made this happen”.

The Music City idea was introduced by Andy Gunton of The Stinger magazine who made the official announcement at the UnConvention this week. He explained:

“The Hastings Fat Tuesday team and I have felt for some time that the music scene in Hastings & Rother and its cultural and economic value deserved to be recognised. When I first heard about the Music Cities idea, I knew it was the right way to go. This area punches well above its weight with regard to the quality and amount of music happening every day of the week.

“We’re very lucky to have two local councils working with us to promote, nurture, support and celebrate the amazing local music scene we have. They should be congratulated for being so open to the Music City idea, and for helping us get to this stage. I’m looking forward to what the musical future holds for Hastings and Rother as a Music City – I fully expect it to be a very exciting time.”

Cllr Sally Ann Hart, Rother District Council’s member for culture and tourism commented:

“Music has an important social role in that it’s part of our everyday life and enjoyment. Music is not only important for the ‘feel good’ factor it brings to us individually, but also in the bringing of people together.

“The contribution of the music industry to our national economy is considerable. It is fantastic that Hastings and Rother will benefit both socially and economically from this initiative.”

2016 was one of the best years ever for tourism in Hastings, as it marked the 950th anniversary of the battle that has made it the most famous town in the world.

Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for marketing at Hastings Borough Council, explained :- “Tourism is vital for Hastings :- it supports over 5 000 jobs in the town, and generates over £266m for the local economy.

“I am very grateful to our marketing team at the council who work so hard to promote the area. They have recently been congratulated by independent experts Blue Sail as providing ‘some of the best tourism PR in the country’, as well as for their captivating copywriting.

“2016 was particularly busy thanks to the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and the ROOT1066 festival of contemporary arts. Our PR helped make sure these events captured the imagination of local, national and international audiences and will benefit Hastings for years to come.

“We regularly host visits to Hastings from journalists and travel bloggers, as we find this is more cost effective and has more of an impact than traditional advertising. Many journalists comment that they really enjoy their time in Hastings and add that the variety to be found further afield in 1066 Country makes Hastings very attractive for visitors.IMG_1951

“Extensive UK coverage of Hastings as a tourism destination in the quality and tabloid press included The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Sunday Mirror, and The Times. We were covered in many overseas publications too, especially in Belgium and The Netherlands where we are extremely popular. And we’ve just struck a deal with EasyJet to publicise the town in their on-board magazine, bringing Hastings to a potential audience of four million passengers.

“Our events posters can be found throughout the year on Southeastern station platforms, thanks to our close working relationship with the train operating company.

“We are represented at travel shows in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, and in January we attended a travel show in the Netherlands which had over 100 000 visitors. Being able to provide our brochures in Dutch was an important selling point for visitors to our stand.

“We send out monthly e-newsletters to our database of over 38 000 people, and have nearly 12 000 followers on Facebook and Twitter. And our website visit1066country.com had an average of 45 000 unique visitors per month in 2016.

“No wonder tourism is booming here in Hastings!

“We’re very grateful to all of the tourism businesses and event organisers who make Hastings such a great place to visit. And we are always happy to talk to businesses wanting us to help promote what they have to offer to visitors, they should contact us at visit1066country@hastings.gov.uk

Music Month, an initiative set up by organisations across 1066 country that have come together to support and develop the vibrant music sector in Hastings and Rother, starts this week with over 150 events taking place.

Running from Valentine’s Day (14 February) to St Patrick’s Day (17 March) it will encompass some of the area’s best music events from larger venues, to the many pubs and bars that are the heart of the local grassroots music scene.

Hastings and Rother have been declared a Music City and the formal launch of this idea will take place on Monday 27 February at The Palace, Hastings as part of the UnConvention; a one day music conference featuring panellist conversations with BBC Introducing the South and workshops about the future of the music industry.

A major element of Music Month features the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (HIPCC). Now in its 13th year, HIPCC brings world class musicians to Hastings to compete for the coveted winning title but this year there is more. Local pianists have the chance to get involved and play on a grand piano in probably the most obscure of venues; the world’s largest underground skate park, The Source. Pianists can book a slot to play at The Source on 14 February while local skaters and BMXers enjoy the thrill of their ride.

Hastings Fat Tuesday runs from Friday 24 February to the main event on Tuesday 28 February, Fat Tuesday; a night of fancy dress, fabulous feathers, beads, masks and music. Twelve venues host The Fat Tuesday Tour where 24 bands play 20 minute sets in 3 venues and headlining this year is UK Britpop trio, Dodgy best known for their chart hits ‘Staying Out for the Summer’ and ‘Good Enough’.music_month (5)

The area has a proven record for attracting top names and Bexhill welcomes Simon Green aka Bonobo to the De La Warr Pavilion on 4 March to launch his new album, Migration. This electronic masterpiece is Bonobo’s sixth album.

De La Warr Pavilion director of external relations, Sally Ann Lycett commented: 

“The De La Warr Pavilion, heralded by its audiences as one of the best music venues on the south coast, is proud to be part of Music  Month – an exciting initiative linking music professionals and music lovers across 1066 Country. With a capacity of 1500 (standing) and up to 1000 (seated) we are part of the rich and varied mix of music venues in Hastings and Rother – including festivals in Battle and Rye- and are perfectly placed to be the go-to venue outside London for top music artists such as Bonobo who actively seek venues of character and intimacy to reach their audiences. Coming up later in the year – Tom Chaplin, Maximo Park and Alexis Taylor.”

Full Music Month event listing can be found at:  visit1066country.com/musicmonth


People came together in Hastings on Sunday (5 February) at Priory Meadow shopping centre to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rooster.

The event was opened with the dance of the lion followed by the dance of the dragon performed by students from Buckswood School and the Hastings Chinese Association provided entertainment throughout the day including singing, dancing and a martial arts demonstration.

“Hastings now has a well-documented reputation for the many varied and exciting events it puts on every year, many of which reflect the increasing cultural diversity of the town.  The Chinese celebration of New Year is now firmly on this calendar” said Cllr Peter Chowney, who opened the programme of festivities.

“The Hastings Chinese Association work very hard to organise this event with fantastic traditional performances and displays which all demonstrate the rich culture our town has to offer. It was a pleasure to join the Chinese community and share their special celebrations in this way. We have such a vibrant multicultural population – one Hastings, many voices and we are very

Through projects such as Jerwood Gallery, Stade Open Space, Source BMX Park and the Pier, Hastings is visibly redefining itself as a creative, attractive and exciting place to live, work and invest.

Through culture-led regeneration over the past 10-15 years Hastings and Bexhill has seen impressive transformation and now Hastings Borough Council wishes to build and enhance the role of culture, arts and heritage for the long-term future.

Rapid change and growth of cultural activity in this area has identified gaps in knowledge of the cultural sector and infrastructure which Hastings Borough Council and the Hastings and Rother Cultural Leaders Group; a strategic group bringing together key cultural and public sector partners, wish to address. Funded by Arts Council England, this will include commissioning a comprehensive review of venues in Hastings and Bexhill, with a focus on venues for live performance.

“We are really proud of the fact that Hastings has been recognised as having ‘culture at its heart’ and we want to develop opportunities further to sustain this for the future. Working with Sound Diplomacy in partnership with the Music Venue Trust, we will identify and produce an assessment of live music opportunities in Hastings and Bexhill focusing on grassroots music venues” said Cllr Dawn Poole, the council’s lead member for culture and leisure.

She added: “We are asking venues to get involved and tell us what they have to offer. We want to identify the current number of bars, pubs and restaurants with music, other performance opportunities including theatres and festivals, the number of rehearsal facilities and the amount of live performance opportunities staged per week. The number of jobs, audience demand and licencing conditions associated with current venues will also be assessed”.

Shain Shapiro from Sound Diplomacy commented: “We’re thrilled to be working with Music Venue Trust on this venue review for the council. There’s an amazing amount of talent in the area and it’s impressive that the council is so forward thinking in realising the cultural and economic opportunities that music can bring to the area.  We look forward to getting stuck in.”

Venues that show music and live performance and musicians are all encouraged to complete the survey. To find out more or to be sent the survey, email culture@hastings.gov.uk.