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.
“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.”