The UK’s largest Mardi Gras festival (Fat Tuesday is the direct translation from the French) truly comes of age and promises to be bigger and better than ever before in 2015, with new events and venues added to the programme.
New Orleans Mardi Gras is legendary, a riot of colour and carnival atmosphere; Hastings Fat Tuesday is hot on its heels with hundreds of hours of live music across many genres from rock to folk to trad jazz, and plenty of opportunity for elaborate and outrageous costumery.
Artists of national and international repute, as well as unsigned and local acts will be taking to stages all over town. At the time of going to
press, some of the confirmed acts are Bosco Rogers, Skinny Lister, and Vince Ray, with more announcements to follow.
In previous years the likes of Skunk Anansie, James Hunter, Liane Carroll, and The Ruts DC, along with many other award-winning acts have performed.
Always with music at its heart, Fat Tuesday features events for young and old, something for those who want to chill out, dress up, or dance ‘til they drop (or all three).
The centrepiece of the festival is Fat Tuesday itself -February 17th – when 21 Hastings venues host 67 gigs. Other favourites such as the Umbrella Parade and Preservation Sunday are back as well.
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A SHORT HISTORY
The festival began in 2009 when musician Bob Tipler teamed up with events producer Adam Daly with the aim of creating the largest Mardi Gras celebration in the UK, both having long recognised the fact that Hastings had an incredibly diverse and well-developed music scene. The rest is history, and Hastings Fat Tuesday has gone from strength to strength to become one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the town’s cultural calendar.
Following a signal to mark the start of the festival, things really hot up from 8.15pm at Pissarro’s with the Fat Tuesday Second Line, they are joined by Dr Savage. Catch the band at The General Havelock at 9pm, then from 10pm at the Jenny Lind (69 High Street), where you can also get down The Cajun Dawgs.
An Event for people that don’t like to party too hard. There will be tea, there will be cake, there will be sensible music.
A chilled afternoon of music, over 200 gigs spread over tons of venues between 1pm and 6pm.
The Grande Mardi Gras Ball is about theatre and spectacle as much as music, so expect eye-catching costumes and colourful characters aplenty.
For the first time attendees will be given a ballot paper on arrival, to vote for the Mardi Gras Monarch, in an alternative and outrageous “Miss World” style contest.
A hugely popular event is a feature of Hastings Fat Tuesday, and with floats, marching bands and plenty of audience participation, the Umbrella Parade has it all.
In essence it is a trad jazz and beer festival, a family event held in association with the 1066 Jazz Club, and the perfect follow-up to the Umbrella Parade.
New for Fat Tuesday 2015, a mystery tour of sound, film and performance, focusing on experimental electronic music, and culminating in a live extravaganza at a secret location.
Supporting new and upcoming artists is what Off Axis is all about, and this event will feature 12 bands from across the UK. The system works by connecting artists and allowing them to host one another at gigs in their respective hometowns.
Another new event for Fat Tuesday 2015 and a first for Hastings, this two-day music industry seminar and trade fair aims to bring like-minded people together to discuss how artists can develop successful, sustainable careers in the modern music industry. more detail
- Building a Career in the Music Industry
- How to be a ‘professional’ musician
- Modern Music Strategies
- Local Scenes – Making It Happen
- The importance of the music video
The jewel in the crown of the festival, the Fat Tuesday Tour really packs a punch.
There are 19 acts on the bill, not forgetting the 10 fringe venues which are hosting a mini tour of their own.
All in all this adds up to 48 hours of free live music over the course of the evening.
Practical Strategies for success in the modern music industry
Live Life to the Full
Thank you for the Music – the art of songwriting
Ace Master Class
On the main tour circuit, this year there will be live music and DJs at 10 fringe venues;
The Fat Tuesday after party is now infamous, and deservedly so, and this year we have gone bigger and better with not one but two venues.
High-calibre guest musicians and DJs will ensure the festival goes out on a high – prepare to dance yourself into the small hours!