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8th November 2017

The UK’s largest Mardi Gras celebration Hastings Fat Tuesday returns for its ninth year in February 2018, and is now accepting applications to perform from musicians across all genres.

Growing year on year, the five-day festival brings a wealth of local, national and international music talent and music fans alike to Hastings, with past headliners including Dodgy, The Membranes, and Skunk Anansie. Partners for 2018 include BBC Introducing and Joe Strummer Foundation.

Hastings Fat Tuesday, which runs from 9 to 13 February 2018, is now open to applications from solo artists or bands from Hastings and further afield, to perform at two key events, which between them attracted an audience of 10,000 in 2017:

Unplugged Saturday (10 February) - a hugely popular acoustic afternoon in Hastings Old Town, with 200 performances from 12-7pm.

Fat Tuesday Tour (13 February) - the climax of the festival with 24 of the best emerging and established bands touring Hastings Old Town venues, performing three 20-minute sets each.

Applications should be made online here, and the deadline is Friday 1 December at 9pm. Applicants will be asked to provide a bio, information about recent gigs, and links to their music.

Hastings Fat Tuesday, started in 2009 by local musician Bob Tipler and event producer Adam Daly, has become one of the towns most anticipated events.

Bob Tipler said “Hastings Fat Tuesday is back, bigger than ever before. Hastings is a town that really knows how to party, embracing the spirit of Mardi Gras - good music and good times. We want to bring the best of new music to Hastings and encourage performers from near and far to get in touch.”

As well as Unplugged Saturday and the Fat Tuesday Tour, on the Hastings Fat Tuesday programme are the Umbrella Parade, Fat Tuesday Grand Masked Ball, UnConvention a day-long music industry event with diverse panellists, and Off Axis an unsigned band showcase.

Hastings four-piece indie band Alibi, selected to perform at Off Axis in 2017, have gone on to receive national attention.

Maxi Williams of Alibi said “We had such a good time! But more than that, it really helped to open doors for us, and move us on. Since then, we have played a BBC Introducing South Live Lounge, played a BBC Introducing South Showcase in Hastings, we've done a radio interview with BBC Radio 1, and played on the BBC Introducing stage at the Reading and Leeds festivals. Hastings is a great place for music and we are so proud to be part of it.”