The Stinger – Issue 6

It doesn’t seem possible, but The Stinger is celebrating a year in print with the publishing of its 6th Issue, which hit the streets at the weekend. Happy birthday to them.

As you can see from this cover image, you can’t miss it!

Apart from the now usual features and news items, this bumper 64 page birthday edition contains a full programme to this years Fat Tuesday festivities in Hastings and St Leonards, between 13-17th February.

There are a few new events planned for this year, as well as all the old favourites. So check out The Stinger and also have a look at the official Hastings Fat Tuesday website for more details and updates: http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/2015/

Let the good times roll.

Hastings Fat Tuesday 2014

It’s very nearly time for another one of those highlights of the Hastings year, Fat Tuesday.

It all kicks off tomorrow, Friday 28th, and details of events across the whole five days can be found on the official website: http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/2014/

There is plenty to enjoy over the course of the celebrations, but one of the best aspects of Hastings Fat Tuesday is the opportunity it gives for local original musicians to showcase their talents to a wider audience. Fat Tuesday brings visitors from far and wide to Hastings. After all, everyone likes a party don’t they?

So, I thought I’d highlight some of the events, within the five days of celebrations, that help to showcase that original musical talent.

Friday evening brings the official Launch Party at The Jenny Lind, with The Cajun Dawgs sharing their authentic Cajun and Zydeco sounds, straight from the deep south of the UK.

There’s just time to catch your breath, and shake off that hangover, before The Unplugged Tour on Saturday afternoon between 1 and 6pm. 30 acts, performing 150 gigs, across several venues in Hastings Old Town.

This is only the second year of The Unplugged Tour, but it’s one of the events that I’m looking forward to the most. Many of our best local acts will be performing acoustic versions of their songs, quite possibly for the first time. So it’s a great opportunity to see those bands in a different light and often out of their comfort zone too.

Sunday afternoon see’s the return of SXSE at The Union Bar: https://www.facebook.com/events/261077317383850/

This showcase features 8 local bands aiming to claim the final slot on Tuesday nights Fat Tuesday Tour. I’m lucky enough to be one of the judges for this and it promises to be a great afternoon.

Monday gives you a chance to catch your breath a little with Slim Monday at the Brass Monkey. Performing on the night will be the appropriately named King Size Slim, and if he’s anywhere near as good as the last time I saw him play, this is another gig not to be missed.

Tuesday evening brings us to the highlight and climax of the whole Hastings Fat Tuesday celebrations with the Fat Tuesday Tour itself. 8 venues, and 16 bands playing 3 gigs each.

2013 set a benchmark with Skunk Anansie playing to excited crowds at the Dragon Bar, Lord Nelson and The Carlisle. So, 2014 has a lot to live up to, but I’ve no doubt that the levels of excitement and quality of music will be just as good.

See the official Fat Tuesday programme within the first issue of The Stinger magazine for full details of all the events.

Overall, Hastings Fat Tuesday 2014 will feature over 250 performances, by 65 artists, across 25 different venues. Now that’s quite some party!

And possibly the best thing about all the events I’ve mentioned here, is that they’re all absolutely free.

We’ve never really needed an excuse to party in Hastings, but if one was ever needed, Fat Tuesday is a far better one than most.

Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday everyone. See you there.

Fat Tuesday

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)