Christmas is now a distant memory and spring is still some way over the hill. It’s still chilly, but the people of Hastings and St Leonards have something to look forward to with the approach of the annual Hastings Fat Tuesday Festival!
This is the fourth year of the New Orleans Mardi Gras themed event and it promises to be bigger and better than ever – with music, umbrella parades, food and drink events all included over the festival period running from Friday 8th to Tuesday 12th of February.
Dressing up in true Mardi Gras fashion is the order of the day – masks, face paint, fancy dress or colourful clothes – anything goes really.
Fat Tuesday has become one of Hastings most anticipated annual events. Attracting people from far and wide and recruiting enthusiastic volunteers whose valiant efforts raise awareness and also money for local charities.
Hastings Fat Tuesday has evolved over previous years into 2013′s five day programme of events, running from Friday 8th through till Tuesday 12 February.
Hastings Fat Tuesday aims to provide something for everyone. From a tongue in cheek “Cardi Gras” Cake Sale organised by the local Women’s Institute, “Unplugged” music sessions in various local bars and restaurants, an Afro/Caribbean Party Night, a Grande Mardi Gras Ball and a colourful Umbrella Parade through the Town Centre which finishes with more live music and a street BBQ at the America Ground.
All of this builds up to the main event of Hastings Fat Tuesday itself, which this year falls on the 12th of February. This year 8 local venues squeeze in 16 bands, who each play 20 minutes sets in 3 of the venues. So each venue hosts 6 gigs between 8pm and at 11/11.30pm. This is then followed by the now legendary After Show Party at the Brass Monkey, with another great live act and DJ’s running through till 3AM.
The musical mayhem is built throughout the evening as those 16 bands criss-cross the town to get to their next gig. On the way passing groups of people moving onto their next venue to catch the band of their choice.
This year is set to be bigger and better than ever with more events, more locations, more bands and three incredibly exciting performances from a very special mystery guest!
Full details of all events including an online ticket office and information on other “fringe” events planned for the festival period can be found on the festival website: www.hastingsfatuesday.co.uk Info can also be found on the Pierless Music Gig Guide, including the full line up for the main Fat Tuesday gigs.
To see what’s in store, take a look at this video of the 2011 event:
Traditionally occurring on Shrove Tuesday, “Fat Tuesday” (English for Mardi Gras) is a day of serious partying in some parts of the world, as people let their hair down before observing the restrictions of Lent which starts on the following day, Ash Wednesday.
As with many early spring and Easter customs Mardi Gras has ancient roots, including the pagan Roman customs of Lupercalia and Saturnalia. Tied into the lunar calendar, the date marks the turning of the year from winter to spring – another reason to celebrate.
I’ll see you there.
(Written using the official Fat Tuesday press release)