Town set to enjoy new folk festival following May Day celebrations

A NEW music festival, hard on the heels of the annual May Day Jack in the Green celebrations on Monday, May 5, is set to hit the Old Town this year.

The town will enjoy the first ever Hastings Folk Fest, a celebration of local musical talent which is taking place across several pubs, bars, and other venues in the Old Town.

The five-day event, which will feature a variety of artists including Barbara Dickson, Garry Blakeley and Buick 6, will kick off on Tuesday, May 6, finishing on Saturday, May 10.

Organised by Paul Dengate, wife Jo, daughter Hettie and Alan Griffiths from the Stag Inn,the festival will include free entry to most events.

Paul, an experienced musician, said: “This was about going around to the various venues where acoustic folk events already happen throughout the year and encouraging them to get involved and we’ve been coordinating and publicising the event.

“After the Jack and in the Green Festival last year, there was talk in the Stag about why it doesn’t go on for longer and the whole idea was to extend it. There is a lot that goes on with music, particularly at the moment and I think folk is gaining a lot interest.”

The festival is another welcome addition to an already vibrant and diverse music scene in the town. Just earlier this year a study conducted by Goldsmiths, University of London and BBC Lab UK. revealed that the Hastings is one of the most musically sophisticated towns in the UK.

The festival has also received support from local volunteers, including Cathy Simpson who designed the logo and David Woolf who set up the website.

Paul added: “I am sure there will be benefits to businesses as it will attract many people to the town. It will also help bands and generate more interest in folk music. It’s a great opportunity, most of the events are free and people can try different things. We are trying ideas out and we’ve got a whole mixture of things in there that people can see. They can try one thing and then on go to another event. There’s going to be something there for everybody.

“We believe that this our first year is a good start to a festival that will grow in future years.” For more information an please visit: or