Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Are you young and disenfranchised? Then come and Rock the Vote!

Music, comedy, poetry, fun and food – and electoral registration

Ready to vote to decide the country’s next Parliament and government? Come and get in the mood at Rock the Vote, a day of live music, poetry, comedy, performance and food – and help with getting yourself registered on the electoral roll if you need it. The event is the brainchild of local community organiser Sam Kinch.

rock the vote 2Set across three stages, this all-day free event comes one day before voter registration cutoff for the 2017 general election, one of the most important elections in living memory.

Local musicians, comedians, poets and creatives will be gathering at the Printworks in Hastings on 21 May from 12 noon to 12 midnight for a jam-packed day of fun and performance with the aim of encouraging people to register to vote in the upcoming General Election, in what is being billed as the single biggest music event of the year outside of Hastings’ now infamous Fat Tuesday Festival.



30 plus local musical acts

The line-up so far includes over 30 of Hastings’ most popular local musicians, as well as a number of international stars, who are all playing voluntarily in support of a good cause, with new acts adding themselves to the lineup daily.

Among them are King Size Slim, otherwise known as Toby Barelli, who was awarded the prestigious prize of best emerging blues artist of the year in 2015 at the British Blues Awards, and who regularly gets airtime on BBC Radio 6.

Also on the bill are up and coming local progressive soulsters Someone Anyone who have regularly been featured on BBC Introducing the South and have built up quite a following locally among younger music lovers.

The event is aimed primarily at younger people, but the line-up has expanded to offer something to people of all backgrounds and ages, and with pop-up food stalls being opened in the alleyway beside the building, it’s expected that the free event will be attended by upwards of 500 people.

Young flock to register

Inspiration for the day came from local community organiser Sam Kinch. “I work part time at the venue and was heading out to a shift two days after the announcement by Mrs May, and I read an article saying that 100,000 young people had registered to vote the day after,” he said.

“I felt like it’s hugely important, with the situation we’re in right now, for everyone to have a voice and to have their say, as it’s the last chance to do so for five years and these five years are due to change the course of our country economically and politically in ways we can’t yet imagine.

“I put the shout out locally and the response from the local creative community has been amazing, with local bar staff and sound technicians offering to work for free, as well as so many amazing artists offering to play for free. I’d like to thank them all so much for joining in on this.”


Non partisan event

The organisers are keen to keep the event strictly non-partisan, with the aim of bringing people together from all political backgrounds to enjoy the day and to make sure they are registered to vote and are making an informed decision.

In the interest of balance the organisers have invited all local prospective parliamentary candidates and local political groups who are standing a candidate to attend the event and to make their case directly to the electorate.

Helpers will be on hand throughout the day with iPads to help people register to vote, to register for postal voting if they’d prefer, and to offer people more information about the process for voting on 8 June.

Rock the Vote 12 noon to 12 midnight, Sunday 21 May. The Printworks, 14 Claremont, Hastings TN34 1HE. Admission free.

For up-to-date information visit the Facebook event page.

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Posted 14:47 Monday, May 15, 2017 In: Election 2017

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