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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.