Live music and Madness as Hastings Pier set for official opening

Suggs, from Madness, nailing the last plank on Hastings Pier in March. SUS-160322-142743001
Suggs, from Madness, nailing the last plank on Hastings Pier in March. SUS-160322-142743001

Hastings Pier officially opens tomorrow (Saturday) with a full line-up of entertainment.

The grand opening kicks off at 10am with Hastings Big Choir but there will be no general admission as tickets have already sold out.

There will also be speeches by Stuart McLeod, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, MP Amber Rudd, councillor Peter Chowney, council leader, John Lovering, chairman of Hastings Pier Charity, and mayor Judy Rogers,

At 11am the declaration of the official opening will be marked by the mayor.

Afterwards DJ Gypsy John and the Cinque Ports will be performing tap dance, balboa, lindy hop and jive.

Cheap Thrills is presenting Bonkers Bingo with prizes for the winner, including a three or four-day family holiday for up to eight people in a luxury caravan at Combe Haven.

Other bands performing include The Ukelele Brothers, Memphis Flyers, the Joe Strummer Foundation and Bosco Rogers.

At 3pm, The Ballroom all-Stars, made up of Chris Gentry, Johnny Mason, Colin Bell and Mick O’Dowd – the original Hastings Pier Ballroom DJs from the 1960s – are playing a selection of hits from back in the day.

At 4.15pm, there is the air guitar contest and Pete Townsend Piñata, where people will have the chance to bash sweets out of Pete’s speaker with a guitar. Age restrictions apply.

Throughout the day there will also be roaming entertainment and pop-ups.

From 11am to 2pm and 3pm to 6pm, face painting is available for younger visitors.

From noon to 2pm and 3pm to 5pm, roaming street magic with Michael Drinkwater and Justin Saul is on offer.

Sambalanco is playing Afro-Brazilian carnival rhythms from 3.30pm to 4.15pm, with Madness in concert from 7pm. There will be no general admission to the pier on Saturday as the entire day is ticketed and all tickets have now been taken up. The pier will be open for business as usual at 10am on Sunday.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at 2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.