Bumper turnout for Hastings’ beer and music festival

A BUMPER crowd of more than 10,000 people helped raise an estimated £40,000 plus for charity at this year’s Hastings Beer and Music Festival.

And revellers downed more than 20,000 pints and 2,000 Pimms over the three days - served up from Europe’s longest bar under the giant marquee in Alexandra Park.

The annual event got underway with around 1,500 patriotic picnicers attending the Battle of Hastings Proms.

Led by Roger Wilcock and his BIG Choir - which rehearsed for just six weeks - the evening was a celebration of traditional Last Night of the Proms style pomp, but included an orchestral version of the Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody and a hugely impressive rendition of the ever-popular Nessun Dorma, which was so well-received, the choir was cajoled into an immediate repeat.

And the fun continued throughout the weekend, with local jazz legend Liane Carroll stealing the show on Friday and a host of bands keeping the crowd rocking on the Saturday night.

A family afternoon on the Saturday was also a success, with more than 1,500 people spending the afternoon in the sun.

Phil Astell, Hastings Beer and Music Festival (HBMF) chairman was delighted with the levels of support the Rotay Club organisers had received.

He said: “This year’s HBMF was our most successful festival in years.

“We sold almost 12,000 pints of ale, and more than 6,000 pints of lager.

“Roger Wilcock and his BIG Choir delivered a magnificent performance on Thursday evening and the artists who played across our three sessions were absolutely fantastic - particularly our headliners Liane Carroll on Friday, Beve and the Beatroots on Saturday afternoon, and 1066 Rockitmen on Saturday evening.”

And he also paid tribute to the tireless team of 150 volunteers who gave up their time to make sure the event ran smoothly.

He said: “We owe a big thank you to our volunteers, without which HBMF would not be possible.

“From the organising committee, to our backstage volunteers, from the bar staff, to the door staff and marshalls - everyone donated their time willingly to make the festival a huge success.”