RNLI Hastings Beach Concert

2013 will be the 25th year of the Hastings Beach Concert. In that time it has raised tens of thousands of pounds for the RNLI.

From small beginnings, it has become a major event in the Hastings calendar. It is also a very popular gig – bands love playing at Beach Concert.

So, we just put up a stage, hook it up to some electricity, and off we go then?

Afraid not – there is a load of work involved and it takes a whole team of people, several months, to ensure that it all happens.

Firstly, we need permission from Hastings Borough Council (HBC), the Foreshore Trust, and the Fishermen’s Protection Society. We also need to consult with the Old Town Residents Association.

We need a Public Entertainment Licence from HBC and to satisfy the appropriate authorities, an Event Management Plan and a Risk Assessment.

We need to discuss the event with the Police to ascertain whether they have any concerns.

Critically, we need insurance as well. You cannot do public events, on public land, without third party insurance.

We also need to ensure that there is First Aid cover throughout the event and we need Professional Security to patrol the crowd during the event and to provide overnight security, because the equipment is left in-situ. We have our own marshals as well and these also need to be briefed.

Most importantly, we need to get electricity onto the site. Beach Concert uses a supply from the Angling Club and another from the RNLI Lifeboat House. We cannot surface-run electric cables though. So, we either bury these in pipes under the shingle, or take them at high level on scaffold tepees.

Posters need to be designed and printed.

Event details have to be given to the Hastings Old Town Carnival Committee for their programme and to local newspaper and radio stations.

The bar needs to be officially licensed and we need a DPS (Designated Premises Holder) to be responsible for the bar. This requires discussion, because the beer needs to be cooled and at the very least, the bar will need to be covered by a gazebo.

The stage consists of two of Dave French’s tautliners. But, these need to be boarded-over, covered with a tarpaulin (to make the stage waterproof), dressed and lit.

A big enough PA has to be hired.

A ramp has to be built to get band equipment and performers up onto the stage.

The bands themselves have to be booked and a schedule put together. Performer’s stage requirements need to be relayed to the sound engineer.

We need barriers for front of the stage and to secure the rear stage compound.

We need three skips and a large supply of rubbish bags!

And cable ties. Thousands of cable ties!

Beach vendors have to be organised as well, including a merchandising stand.

Not least, we need to get equipment and bands on and off the beach.

The Stade has access controlled barriers and we need fobs from either the Angling Club or HBC for those.

The process of getting a regular stream of bands and equipment through traffic, onto the beach and arrange for them to park, needs to be managed.

We only allow twenty minutes between bands. So, band change-overs, getting drums and back-line off and on stage and doing sound tests are very frenetic periods.

Meanwhile out in the crowd, we need marshals and collectors.

And after the event, when everyone is tired and just wants to go home, we have to dismantle it all….

Easy isn’t it?

It gets harder and harder every year to put on Beach Concert. At the moment we really need two things, sponsorship and helpers.

It costs about £4,000, every year, to hold Beach Concert. The biggest items of expenditure being PA hire, security, insurance and first aid.

Most of our corporate sponsors have dropped away with the recession and we are now seriously struggling for funds. Any new sponsors, or corporate sponsors, would be greatly appreciated.

If we don’t get new sponsors, the long term future of Beach Concert is in serious doubt.

We also need helpers.

We have lots of helpers over the weekend of Beach Concert itself. But, the Organising Committee is now down to three active people and two of those are looking to move on. We therefore need new Committee members, preferably people who are computer literate, because most stuff is done via desktop these days.

Anyone interested should email Tony Streeter at: t.streeter702@btinternet.com

We understand from the Hastings Old Town Carnival Committee that the 2013 Beach Concert weekend is likely to be on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August.

Provisional band line-up, subject to the bands still being available, is: Blair –  Soul Express & The Blues Brothers Show – 90% Proof – Blackdown – The Vindickers - Rhythm Section – Fabulous Red Diesel – Rockshack – King Bathmat – Under The Covers – Dub N’ Tuff All-Stars and Irie Method.

Tony Streeter

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4 comments on “RNLI Hastings Beach Concert

  1. Tony May on said:

    Reading this blog fills me with both admiration for all those involved with organising the event and despair at how ridiculously over complicated/regulated and administrative the world has become in 2012. I would go as far as to say that if something is not done to return humanity to a more ‘common sense’ approach in future there simply won’t be any community events/fund raisers for anyone to enjoy!

    The people of Hastings (and it has to be said especially the old towners) are an amazing, fun loving and dedicated lot but it seems from this post that even they are coming to the end of their tether and who could blame them? In my opinion it is time the law was changed to make the current culture of sue, sue, sue redundant. If not, communities face a future of rarely having the need to go out of their front doors because festivals like The Beach Concert will either no longer exist or exist only as a live stream online…

    WELL DONE Tony and the team and THANKS.

    • One of the reasons i asked Tony to write this post was to highlight just how much work goes into putting on an event like this. Even i was surprised by what it takes.
      I don’t think it’s all down to the dreaded Health & Safety though, although that certainly complicates matters somewhat. It’s just the pure logistics of putting on an event like this & all those little things that most of us take for granted when we attend such events.
      Hopefully Tony’s post will inspire some new blood onto the Beach Concert committee.

  2. jake buckton on said:

    i’m sorry that the concert is having problems ,but all i can do is play there,i’m in a band and i’m booked to play ,but you have not put the name up of my band on your list,,,the main reason is that i have always supported this cause and played at the do once before,but also we are playing for a bit of publicity for ourselves,i know you guys have much to organise and things get missed,but would it be possible to put my bands name on the line up please as we have a small following and a new band name may also bring more interest from the public,kind rgds,jake,ps my band is called”Wakin’Snakes”cheers,see you there.

    • Andy on said:

      This post is about the 2013 Beach Concerts, not this years!
      Wakin’ Snakes are included in the line up in the post about the 2014 Beach Concerts.

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