A global fusion of music in St Leonards

Osadia Hair Art
Osadia Hair Art

ST LEONARDS Festival returns to Warrior Square and Kings Road next month with a vibrant and diverse programme of entertainment.

This year’s festival kicks off on Friday, July 11 when accordion player, Steve Le Squeeze and talented West End singer, Rachel McCarron, will pop-up in central St Leonards venues singing seaside songs.

The popular free family event on Saturday, July 12 features a lively street market, global food court, street theatre and live music.

The main stage in Warrior Gardens is programmed by up-and-coming young producers from Xtrax, who have booked an exciting line-up of local and national acts, including headliner Misha B, local band The Tabs, Just Jhoom Bollywood Dancers and ATT, an award-winning dance crew. They will be joined by The Piercings, The Silver Tones, The Dub Generals, The A Capella Bellas and the Bourne Valley Male Voice Choir among others.

A seafront parade at 3pm will be led by Musafir from Rajasthan, with an ‘ethnic and spiritual’ fusion of Gypsy, Hindu and Muslim sounds, along with local drumming groups Dende, Sambalanco and Section 5.

In Warrior Gardens there will also be live theatre from the highly respected FANSHEN, plus ‘bonkers’ bingo, pirate play area, storytelling and a medley of stalls in the family and nature zones.

The highlight of this year’s festival is a new ticketed classical day on Sunday, July 13. For The Opera Garden Party, audiences are encouraged to dress up, bring a picnic and relax as Warrior Gardens fills with five hours of live music. Featuring Barefoot Opera, Opera South East, Soprano Suzy Appleyard and Baritone George Humphries, the programme includes classic arias, duets, chorus numbers and all-time opera favourites from Carmen, The Beggars Opera, The Pearl Fishers and more.

Party-goers will be wowed by breath-taking live opera-themed performances from Osadia Hair Art, flying in to St Leonards from Barcelona to transform willing spectators into walking sculptures.

The Opera Garden Party is £12 and free for under 16s. Tickets are available online at www.18hours.org.uk, from SHOP, Moose’s Kitchen, Who’s Wearing What and the Hastings Tourist Information Centre.