In New Orleans and Rio they call it Mardi Gras, in Venice it’s known as Carnivale – but Hastings has ‘Fat Tuesday’… that’s English for Mardi Gras for you non-French speakers.

This year the festival is elated to be welcoming UK Britpop trio Dodgy as the headliner.

Best known for their chart hits ‘Staying Out for the Summer’ and ‘Good Enough’, Dodgy are currently touring the UK and Hastings can’t wait to welcome them to town on the last day of festivities.

Traditionally occurring on Shrove Tuesday, which is the last day before Ash Wednesday, ‘Fat Tuesday’ is a chance for people to let their hair down before (in theory) observing the restrictions of Lent.

Hastings’ much-loved festival borrows heavily from the New Orleans take on Mardi Gras, combining the enjoyment of good music with a flair for dressing up and partying.

Both are things Hastings excels at – it hasn’t become known as a Music City for nothing

From its conception in 2009, Hastings Fat Tuesday has become the largest Mardi Gras celebration in the UK, benefiting and drawing from the incredibly diverse and well-developed music scene locally. It has quickly become one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the town’s cultural calendar.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

Fat Friday 24TH FEBRUARY

Kicking off festivities for Fat Tuesday 2017 there will be a special performance from this year’s ‘Festival Featured Act’ – Marie White and her band at The Albion.

Reminiscent of Tracey Chapman and Macy Grey, her voice will leave you spell-bound by its versatility and range. With a poetic song-writing style that alternates between emotive and tear-inducing to irresistibly dancey.

She’s had airplay from BBC Kent and picked up support slots with Barbara Dickensen as well as having gigged extensively across the South East.

Marie will be playing 10 sets across the festival in 2017 and this is a great chance to see her perform her full show.

Fringe events featuring live music from local favourites will be taking place across the town.

Unplugged Saturday 25TH FEBRUARY

Food, drink, 200 gigs, good times. Ingredients that combine to make this event a highlight of the festival for many.

Bars and restaurants of Hastings Old Town come alive for an afternoon of acoustic music, as 40 acts play 15-minute sets at participating venues.

Unplugged Saturday truly showcases the eclectic nature of the music scene in Hastings, and this event may not have the frenetic pace of The Fat Tuesday Tour, but it does indeed pack a punch in terms of musical diversity.

Expect everything from acoustic rock to Irish folk, acapella, blues, brass, shanties, and world music. If an act impresses you and 15 minutes just isn’t enough, by all means up sticks and follow them to the next venue.

Alternatively, eat, drink and be merry as the musicians come to you (best to book at participating restaurants if you plan to eat).

Thee Sunday Sonics 26TH FEBRUARY

A one-day celebration of avant garde electronic music in the Trinity Triangle. Hastings & St Leonards has long been an established melting pot of visual art, music, film and performance. Here we present a supreme selection of International visual and sonic innovators in the America Ground.

Off Axis 26TH FEBRUARY

A Sunday live showcase from some of the best unsigned bands from across the country – all on the brink of greatness.

Curated by The Stinger magazine, Off Axis, ACM and The Joe Strummer Foundation.

This is an opportunity for developing acts to promote themselves to a wider audience and for agents to discover new talent.

Shows take place in Flairz, Brass Monkey, Union Bar (AKA The Tubman/The Tub), and The Carlisle

The Off Axis after party will take place at Hastings’ legendary music venue The Fountain (Queen’s Road, Hastings) featuring Hastings Folk Punk soon-to-be-legends, Maltilda’s Scoundrels.

The Umbrella Parade 26TH FEBRUARY

Lead by the much-loved Second Line Band, the Umbrella Parade is fun for all the family – an explosion of colour and fun that marches with wild abandon from The Stade to The Palace.

UnConvention 27TH FEBRUARY

A one-day music conference aimed at the grass roots of the industry. Featuring panellist conversations with presenters from BBC Introducing The South as well as workshops about the future of the music industry. This is a chance to get some top tips and join discussions about how to get into and succeed in music business.

Fat Tuesday 28TH FEBRUARY

The main event: a night of fancy dress, fabulous feathers, beads, masks and music!

Twelve venues host ‘The Fat Tuesday Tour’, where 24 bands play three 20-minute sets in different venues.

The Fat Tuesday After show party will follow in true festival style, with WE-ARE-Z at the Brass Monkey.

“Put Talking Heads, Queen, The Mighty Boosh, and a bit of French fizz into a beautiful big blender of chaos and you’ll end up with something like We-Are-Z”

Hold on to your hats… Expect colour, expect eccentricity and expect to discover your new favourite sounds.

This is one festival you must experience for yourself!

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