Hastings Beer and Music Festival
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Hastings Beer and Music Festival is a two-day event, formerly three, which takes place at The Oval, Hastings. It is managed by a committee made up of members of the local Round Table. These people pull together experience from a whole range of professional positions to make the event happen.
The Hastings Beer Festival started in 1981 and was the vision of former Hastings Round Table Member John Butters and the former landlord of the Queen's Head in Icklesham, Martin Harris. They joined forces to create this now annual event.
What started out as a small charity raising event offering a unique selection of ales has now become a major event for Hastings and the surrounding areas with that same focus of voluntary work and 100% of the money raised being donated to local causes.
In 1998 the event became the Hastings Beer and Music Festival.
The size of the event has increased a lot over the years and this has resulted in a new concept to the way in which the event is organised and operated. As well as voluntary work offered by Round Table members past and present, their wives, the support of the Lions Club and many other charitable organisations in the area this event continues to provide a great form of entertainment for the town and maximise the amount of money generated for local charities.
In 2005, Hastings Beer and Music Festival upped the ante, with Keane, a local band from nearby Battle performing at the event. This proved a great opportunity and raised a lot of money for the primary beneficiary - St. Michaels Hospice. Following the success of this format, the team at Hastings Beer and Music Festival opted for yet another big name headline act. Status Quo graced the stages as part of their 'the party ain't over yet...' tour in 2006 - supported by local band Zucchini.
After a slightly smaller event of tribute and local acts in 2007, the event was cancelled due to lack of funding following a bad turnout to the 2007 event owing to the bad weather. However, after much Public support and outcry, mainly through Facebook, the committee re-formed and put together a "Back to Roots" event with big local bands all playing for free over two days. This was a huge success, with the town pulling together for the event under a huge marquee despite the glorious sunshine. Keane also performed at the 2012 festival.
In 2017, the HBMF committee decided that the event had out grown its home in Alexandra Park and, after 35 years, were going to move it to a new venue at The Oval Playing Fields on Bohemia Road in Hastings.
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