As we head out of May and into June, the sun is starting to come out and aside from a bit of rain, it is beginning to feel like summer. While it was a bit too early to don the t-shirts at our latest chamber meeting at the Hastings Centre, we’re looking forward to sometime in the sun and getting involved in some summer activities across the next of few months. If not just for fun, the summer events bring valuable economic and financial benefit to the town, raising our profile even more.
Usually, when you think of festival season, we think of mud and tents, but our trio of organisers have created festivals, that are both closer to home and gladly on solid concrete (except Little Gate Farm Festival, for obvious reasons). Our line-up is made up of three great acts, and offer something for everyone, so following a solid warm-up from our breakfast, we got stuck into what our main speakers had to offer.
St Leonards Festival
29 June 2019
Hastings Chamber members Mandy Curtis and Naomi Robinson of 18 Hours returned to speak about the St Leonard’s Festival.
Run part-time by a diverse team made up of educators, engineers and marketers, 18 Hours is a not-for-profit company that seeks to create events which foster community and impact the world around us be it environmental, social or cultural and find commonalities. This last weekend, they had the Little Gate Big Festival, which is helping the Little Gate Farm charity with both funding and their mission to enable adults and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism fulfil their work potential.
Most of their events are funded by the arts council and local support, which aids their mission to facilitate the cultural growth of our local communities as well as the economic one and ensure that many of their events are free or heavily subsidised.
This year’s edition of the St Leonards festival invites family-friendly entertainment, street art, live bands, a festival market for enterprising businesses as well as an expansive carnival parade in the centre of St Leonards. The local community are coming together to get behind this important event, and they want businesses to get behind this event too, with a festival that is worthy of its residents. To find out more about the festival and other opportunities open for support and sponsorship, visit their website, http://18hours.org.uk/ or email email@example.com to find out more.
Hastings Fringe/Hastings Theatre Festival
Building on the diversity and the inclusivity of talent, Hastings Fringe has been growing year on year . From one venue and 25 acts to eleven venues and nearly four times as many acts, Hastings Fringe was founded to bring a local platform for local performers that wanted to showcase their work on their home turf. This year they will also be introducing the Hastings Theatre Festival, a week’s celebration of the theatrical arts.
Accessible art for the community, these festivals showcase but also allow artists to test their work before going to more prominent festivals such as Edinburgh Fringe and other international festivals. As both events grow, the notoriety of these performers and their talent can only help to serve the initiative that Hastings Fringe and the Hastings Theatre Festival want to achieve, including bringing the best performers nationally and internationally to Hastings audiences.
Funded by a variety of foundations, Arts Council England and the Community fund, both festivals are also supported by sponsorship. Fringe offers artists both a more reasonably priced experience that is passed onto its customers, but the chance to engage with performers in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere, and allowing more works to be performed and give artists the ability to refine their craft.
Both festivals offer the opportunity to sponsor individual events and discount block booking of tickets for many of the acts that are going to grace the town. To find out more, and how your business can work with theirs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website hastingsfringe.co.uk
With seed funding from Hastings Borough Council now at an end, Coastal Currents as we know it was always going to look different. Tina Morris came to chat about not only how Coastal Currents has come through their predicament, but that they were able to galvanise their backers and the community to support this unique art festival that doesn’t just have venues to present art but uses the entire area as a canvas.
Coastal Currents has returned as a financially self-sufficient, independent art festival that continues to draw in an international crowd for the Hastings Area, with the xwork informing visitors as well as the area informing the pieces. Now also covering the entire 1066 region, Coastal Currents has grown into destination marketing for the area, with over 300+ artists exhibiting in other open studios or exhibitions as well as hosting events over the whole month of September.
Fitting into the regeneration of the town as a vibrant cultural and economic place, Coastal Currents aims to increase and nurture partnerships between artists, venues and local businesses with mutual openness, cooperation and collaboration. They are open to collaborative ideas and partnerships with local businesses, so email email@example.com
Hastings is not a boring town, with many festivals and events, we haven’t mentioned, such as Pirate Day, Hastings Comedy Fringe and many more. With an area that consistently surprises, we believe that not everything should be all work and no play, but can also inform our businesses and engage our customers.
Next month, we will be putting the spotlight on three organisations that will show you how good health makes good business; improving productivity, helping turnover and making a profit. Many of us do not know there is a wealth of support available for companies and individuals, and all these services are free. From CPR training for your workforce, health checks for over 50s, and what mental health advice and support services are open to everyone; this is a chamber meeting you and your company would not want to miss.