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Fairport Convention - 50th anniversary version.

Fairport Convention – the 50th anniversary version.

Fairport celebrate their 50th at Folk Fest

One of the major music events of the year is upon us – Hastings Folk Fest, six days of all kinds of folk at various venues around town, with Fairport Convention as the headline act. The organisers explain what lies in store.

Now in its fourth year, the Hastings Folk Fest again brings together a wide variety of events under the general heading of ‘folk’, many of them free.

Gary Blakeley.

Garry Blakeley.

Starting on Tuesday 2 May, the day after the Jack In The Green procession, local venues and promoters have followed the folk theme to present a mix of music, covering traditional music and song sessions, singer/songwriters, and acoustic and electric bands, including Equatorial Group, Garry Blakeley Band, Los Twangueros, Pocketsize, Titus, United Stoats of America, Stone Junction, Rik Van Den Bosch, The Captain’s Beard, Jason McNiff, Milton Hide and Jamie Smart.

The headline event is on Saturday 6th when Spyboy has Fairport Convention playing at St Mary in the Castle (this is a paid event). The band are celebrating their 50th birthday since they were co-founded back in 1967 by Simon Nicol and Ashley Hutchings.

Equatorial Group.

Equatorial Group.

Since then such distinguished musicians as Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, Iain Matthews and Dave Swarbrick have all done their bit over the years. The band is now in the safe hands of Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Ric Sanders, Chris Leslie and the superb percussionist, Gerry Conway.

Accolades galore

Fairport Convention are recipients of the coveted BBC Lifetime Achievement Award and their seminal album Liege & Lief was recently voted Best Folk Album of All Time.

The Lantern Society have a special festival event at the Printworks on Thursday 4th, and the Electric Palace have arranged a number of films especially for the festival. The Café Tour is again taking place – Glashin and Rattlebag will be playing and singing in a number of Old Town cafes, raising money for St Michael’s Hospice.



Unusually, the last day of the festival happens to be the first Sunday of May, which means that Hastings May Queen Pageant and Garland Competition is included in the festival this year. This has its own programme of entertainment and takes place at the bandstand in Alexandra Park.

Festival events will take place at 11 venues: the Albion, Crown, Dolphin, Electric Palace, First In Last Out, Jenny Lind, Plough, Printworks, St Mary in the Castle, Stag and Ye Olde Pump House.

Printed programmes are now available in the venues and Hastings Tourist Information Centre (Muriel Matters House, 2 Breeds Place, tel 01424 451111) or can be viewed online at the festival web site.

For more information visit Hastings Folk Fest website or Facebook page.




Posted 10:41 Saturday, Apr 29, 2017 In: Music & Sound

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