Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Midsummer Fish Festival returns this weekend

This year marks a welcome return for Hastings’ ever-popular Midsummer Fish Festival following a Covid enforced break. Nick Terdre explores what is on offer.

The Midsummer Fish Festival – which has had to be cancelled the last two years because of Covid – returns to the Stade on Saturday and Sunday with plenty of good food and drink, musical entertainment and cooking master-classes.

“Our fish festivals take place on the Stade open space, in the heart of Hastings Old Town, literally within casting distance of the town’s historic fishing fleet, the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe,” said Cllr Andy Batsford (Lab), in his new role as lead for tourism at Hastings Borough Council.

“Last time we held our Midsummer Fish Festival we were treated to a catch full of great food, drink and live music from 1066 Country, not to mention the glorious sunshine we all basked in! We’re hoping this year will be even better.”

There will be a great selection of food and drink from local restaurants, street vendors, and bakeries, as well as local brewers and wine makers. The local fishing fleet will be showcasing their skills and getting messy with fish printing and there will be free children’s activities taking place in the Stade Hall, says HBC.

The musical entertainment starts on Saturday with an assortment programme from the 46-piece Hastings Sinfonia under the baton of maestro Derek Carden, with founder and artistic director Polo Piatti hovering in the background. Then come Mad Jack’s Morris dancers with full acoustic backing, the Paul Gunn Band, Midnight Coffee and, rounding things off for the day, 60s classics from the Soul Town big band.

Kicking off the music on Sunday will be two familiar faces, (Roger) Carey & (Pete) Prescott, followed by Sister Moosie, the Zachery Dogwood big band, and Entertaining Mr Stone, with Jiggery Pokery bringing the entertainment to a close.

On the cooking front there will be free demonstrations both in the Classroom on the Coast in Stade Hall during the weekend.

“Hastings Fish Ambassador and TV chef, CJ Jackson, will be showing off the local catch with some tasty recipes,” says HBC. “And local legends Tush and Pat Hamilton will show you how to deal with shellfish, while Tush will display his deft filleting skills while teaching you about the local fish species.”

Throughout both days there will also be craft activities for kids in Stade Hall.

For more details, including timings, visit the website.

For those who enjoy a good guzzle to music on the Stade, make a diary date for the Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival on 17 and 18 September.


Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June, 11am to 6pm. Weekend wristbands cost £2 in advance from Hastings Visitor Information Centre, in Station Plaza, or £3 on the gate; under 18s are free.

The Visitor Information Centre is open 10am to 12.30pm and 1.15pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.


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Posted 08:55 Friday, Jun 24, 2022 In: Festivals

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