Hastings Fat Tuesday Music Festival will once again deliver five days of music, mayhem and Mardi Gras across Hastings and St Leonards this February 17-21. The five day town wide celebration will present over 350 free gigs, gatherings, parties and parades alongside ticketed events, with internationally acclaimed artists from across the globe appearing alongside a wealth of local bands.
Tickets are already on sale for LE GRAND MARDI GRAS BALL (17 Feb) at the White Rock Theatre; a full-on night of fancy dress, fabulous feathers, beads and masks embracing the spirit of New Orleans. Dance the night away with the revolutionary genre bashing Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, headliners Oh My God! It’s The Church and local female DJ collective Mixfits DJs (featuring Lemur Beats). Pick up a ticket HERE.
Earlier the same day the UNCONVENTION one day grassroots music conference takes place at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association, with panellists from across the music industry sharing their experiences and identifying some of the challenges for artists in the Modern Era. This year’s panellists include Will Hodgkinson (The Times), John Kennedy (Radio X) Julie Weir (Music for Nations/Sony), Tom Burris (Kid Kapichi management) and many more. £5 tickets for the whole day available HERE.
The ever popular Saturday UNPLUGGED TOUR (18 Feb) hosts more than 300 free gigs at pubs, bars, cafes and shops across Hastings Old Town and central St Leonards featuring a wealth of musicians and singers from all genres – folk meets punk meets pop, rock and sea shanties! Saturday night is topped off by UNDER THE RADAR, an evening of emerging talent at the Brass on Saturday night featuring festival darlings Buddah Triangle and Office for Personal Development. And for all things electronic and experimental our SONICS team has curated a weekend of DJ’s and live music at the Pig featuring Wheel Up, Borough Council, Ruby Colley and more.
The highlight for Sunday is the FAMILY UMBRELLA PARADE and PRESERVATION SUNDAY where festival-goers gather together and the rivalry of the second line brass bands comes to a head in a dramatic play-off at the White Rock Theatre. Take the opportunity to decorate your umbrellas ahead of the Parade at one of four free community workshops, and attend the free ‘Frock Up Market Place’ at the Observer Building to find the perfect outfit and accessories for the Mardi Gras Ball.
The five days of festival revelry culminate in FAT TUESDAY itself, (21 Feb) a free night of music across Hastings Old Town that has been the launch pad for stars of the future such as Nova Twins, Green Tea Peng and Kid Kapichi. This year watch out for rising stars Ciel, Hot Wax and Congratulations.
Tuesday also plays host to the REGGAE ROOM Party, at The East Hastings Sea Angling Association featuring a host of guest selectors on the decks and singers on the boards until 1am. And to ensure the festival goes out on a high, the infamous AFTER PARTY at The Brass featuring high-calibre live music from renowned Hot Drop plus late night DJs.Tickets HERE
Live acts include:
OH MY GOD! IT’S THE CHURCH // MR WILSON’S SECOND LINERS
CIEL // BUDDHA TRIANGLE // FUNKE AND THE TWO TONE BABY
DANNY GEORGE WILSON BAND // HOTWAX // ETHAN JOHNS
MESSAGE FROM THE RAVENS // SISTER SUZIE // MATT JAMES (GENE)
MIXFITS FEATURING LEMUR BEATS (DJS) // DOHL DRUMMERS
WHEEL UP COLLECTIVE // BOROUGH COUNCIL // RUBY COLLEY
CONGRATULATIONS // ALAN TYLER // JENNY LEAMAN // & MANY MANY MORE!
This year’s festival rounds up an important year for the organisation which became a community interest company in 2022 and continued to establish programmes for young people as well as deliver a range of live music events. The festival will again see the young participants of the ‘Fat Tuesday Club’ take to the stage during the Unplugged Tour, see the first outing of the HFT Youth Second Line Band during the Sunday Parade, led by renowned trumpeter Robbie Robson, supported by Create. And, a first for 2023, the newly formed HFT Youth Curatorial Panel has worked alongside the HFT programming team to curate the Unplugged and Tuesday tours ensuring that the Festival reflects a diverse range of artists across all genres. With thanks to our funders Youth Music and Arts Council England.