THERE were five days of fun, frolics and fantastic live music last week as Hastings partied - mardi gras style.
This year’s Fat Tuesday had been expanded to encompass films and family events leading up to the night itself which saw 24 acts in 14 venues from St Leonards to the Old Town.
More than 150 people, including Amber Rudd MP and Mayor Kim Forward went to the launch party on Friday where the 1978 New Orleans documentary Always for Pleasure was shown. On Saturday The Roomz in St Leonards was packed for the Bohemia Club Samedi Gras family day, while there was standing room only at The Carlisle for the South by South East (SXSE) battle of the band competition. On Sunday, the Radiator Arts team headed a weird and wonderful umbrella parade from the town centre to George Street, joined by trad jazz favourites the Jazz Caverners.
For the main event, there were masks and decorations to add to the carnival atmosphere and hundreds of people turned out for the evening’s entertainment featuring Liane Carroll, Blair, Steve Furst and a whole host more.
Bob Tipler, who organised the event with Adam Daly told the Observer: “It’s been incredible. Things had been building up across the five days and just sort of exploded on Tuesday and the atmosphere was electric. Everywhere was we went pubs weer packed and there were some amazing outfits on display.
“I think we have set up a platform for future years, we think we can grow all the events individually and hopefully it will go from strength to strength.
“It’s about everyone chipping in from the musicians, the venues, our graphic designer John Clube, the sound people and venue managers, Dan Matthews who ran SXSE, arts groups, the council and the police. We would like to thank them all and everyone who turned out - Hastings is really good at things like this and we are staking a claim to become the Uk’s mardi gras hotspot. Nobody else can do it quite like Hastings can.”
All the money raised on the night goes to St Michael’s Hospice and the total should be known next week.