Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Grime Ramshacklicious

Grime, presented by Ramshacklicious theatre company.

Stade Saturdays are back!

In spite of rumours to the contrary, Stade Saturdays are back this summer, starting this Saturday with the Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival.  Lauris Morgan-Griffiths talked to council leader Jeremy Birch about what exactly is the state of Hastings’ summer Saturdays.

First of all, Stade Saturdays are back and secure for two years up to 2016 when the intention is to have a bonanza of a national festival celebrating the 950th  anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. And for that the Council are appointing a cultural coordinator to oversee and fundraise for the Hastings cultural and arts programme over the next few years.

La Ballade de Bergerac Lost in Translation

La Ballade de Bergerac, with Lost in Translation.

Secondly, Stade Saturdays were launched in 2012 with a budget of £300,000; a two-year commitment from the Arts Council at £150,000 per year, matched by Hastings Borough Council. That made it possible to kick-start each year’s programme with a major multi-cultural, acrobatic event; the Pi-leau in 2012 and As the World Tipped in 2013.

As council leader Jeremy Birch commented, “We have created a tradition in Stade Saturdays and now there is an expectation of music, culture and fun, for locals and visitors alike.  And it’s free.”

The Arts Council grant is no longer available and councils everywhere are strapped for cash due to  the government’s spending cuts.  However, Hastings Borough Council have put money aside for cultural activities and so Stade Saturdays continue with a somewhat reduced budget of £40,000.

Michael Hambridge, arts and cultural development officer, had his hands tied somewhat. However, with diminished funding he was forced to be innovative and creative in order to devise a mixed and varied programme which celebrated local talent as well as acts from further afield.

“The programme has something for everyone, there’s a good mix of unplugged music, new circus and performance, all playing outside in Hastings Old Town,” Michael says. “Stade Saturdays has attracted visitors here, particularly with its featured events, visitors who discover, stay and spend time and money in Hastings.”

Demon Barbers

Demon Barbers.

In ‘the most musical borough in the UK,’ music features heavily – from local groups, up-and-coming groups and well-known groups from elsewhere, including flavours of France and Cuba. Gilded Hand, the international buskers fair which made its debut in Stade Saturdays last year, will be back, featuring buskers from across the UK (9 August).

Our French neighbours feature this Saturday, 21 June, with singer-songwriter Louis Aguilar, together with the Crocodile Tears, presenting his mix of retro-rock and Euro romance, while on 28 June circus act Lost in Translation describe an adventurous reach for the moon in La Ballade de Bergerac.

With descriptive names like Bare Knuckle Parade (5 July), the Demon Barbers (13 September) and Perhaps Contraption (27 September), not to mention Afro-Cuban band Grupo Lokito (4 October), you know you’ll be in for fun evenings of music and dance.

Recklesss sleepers

Recklesss Sleepers.

Pour into the mix Grime by Ramshacklicious theatre company, a story of a dysfunctional family told with idiosyncratic circus skills, anarchic music, comedy and physical theatre (16 August), and a dance piece of a sort from Reckless Sleepers, as a group of women accompany themselves to the sound of saws as they physically wreak vengeance on their chairs (30 August).

People can volunteer to create an innovative performance in Eight Foot Square to produce something in, well, an eight-foot-square space – the size of the net huts (30 August).

Add in Knit a Coat for a Boat (29 July-10 August) provided by local knitters and the play Get up and Tie Your Fingers (31 July and 1 August) that has been following the migration of the herring fleet down the east coast to Hastings, the Seafood and Wine Festival (20 and 21 September), Hastings Old Town Carnival (26 July-3 August) and the Classic Car Show (11 and 12 October) and there you have this year’s Stade Saturdays programme of entertainment.

Jeremy Birch adds, “If people go down to the Stade and discover a different type of performance than what they would normally go to see, then Stade Saturdays has done what it set out to do.” It only needs the sun to shine and … job done.


Stade Open Space Midsummer Fish Fest: Saturday 21 June, 11am-10pm, and Sunday June 22, 11 am-5pm, at Stade Open Space, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings Old Town, TN34 3FJ.

Stade Saturdays: Every Saturday from 21 June to 18 October, mostly starting at 7.30pm, at the Stade Open Space.


Posted 11:32 Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 In: Performance

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

Leave a comment

Also in: Performance

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

  • Subscribe to HOT