Hastings & Rother ‘Music City’

Formally launches on Monday 27th Feb, 1pm – The Palace, 37 White Rock, Hastings

Declaring ourselves a Music City is a statement of intent by the music community, local authorities and others to work together to support and develop the music sector and music economy in Hastings and Rother.

The music sector in Hastings and Rother is a great strength of our rich cultural programme, with a wealth of venues, festivals, musicians and an enthusiastic audience.

The Music Cities model celebrates this activity and offers a roadmap to developing the music economy and placing it at the heart of regeneration in the area.

A Music City, by its simplest definition, is a place with a vibrant music sector. The report that inspired us says,

The essential elements of Music Cities are:

  • Artists and musicians;
  • A thriving music scene;
  • Access to spaces and places;
  • A receptive and engaged audience; and
  • Record labels and other music-related businesses.

We think Hastings and Rother can justifiably lay claim to the title.

Music Month

One of the the first initiatives is the launch of Music Month which runs from 14 February – 17 March 2017 taking us from Valentine’s Day to St Patrick’s Day and encompass some of the area’s best music events including Fat Tuesday and the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

A full list of events taking place across Hastings and Rother during Music Month can be found here

Venues Review

Funded by Arts Council England, a comprehensive review of venues in Hastings and Bexhill, with a focus on venues for live performance and rehearsal, is to be undertaken to identify gaps within the sector and inform future strategy. Initiated by Hastings Borough Council and the Hastings and Rother Cultural Leaders Group; a strategic group bringing together key cultural and public sector partners.

Sound Diplomacy in partnership with the Music Venue Trust, have been commissioned to undertake this work and will identify and produce an assessment of live music opportunities in Hastings and Bexhill focusing on grassroots music venues. They will identify the current number of bars, pubs and restaurants with music, other performance opportunities including theatres and festivals, the number of rehearsal facilities and the amount of live performance opportunities staged per week. The number of jobs, audience demand and licencing conditions associated with current venues will also be assessed.

Venues that show music and live performance, or offer rehearsal space and musicians are all encouraged to complete the survey which you can find here

Consultation meetings – Music Advisory Board

There will be two more general consultation sessions for anyone involved in the music sector and music economy. One will be held at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Thursday 9 March from 5-7pm and the other will be at The Palace on Monday 13 March also from 5-7pm. It will be a chance to have an open discussion of key issues to take forward to develop the music scene in Hastings and Rother, plus an opportunity to put yourself forward to be on the Music Advisory Board for the future.

Please RSVP to culture@hastings.gov.uk so we have an idea of numbers.

Music Cities Steering Group

  • Andy Gunton (The Stinger)
  • Adam Daly (Fat Tuesday)
  • Sally Lampitt (Battle Festival)
  • Stewart Drews (De La Warr Pavilion)
  • Sean Berkeley (St Mary in the Castle)
  • Karen Trimmings (Hastings Pier)
  • Paul Barnett (Chair, Cultural Leaders Group)
  • Melanie Powell (Rother District Council)
  • Polly Gifford & Michael Hambridge (Hastings Borough Council)