Hastings Beer and Music Festival is a three-day event organised by Hastings Round Table. It is the biggest social event in the area, with stunning sea views from it’s elevated venue, The Oval. The event is entirely staffed by volunteers, and as such every single penny (over £1m to date) raised goes to local good causes.
With a massive selection available in the Real Ale tent, as well as lager, local ciders and wines, high quality local food, and the best local musicians, we’ve grown a reputation as the best beer and music festival in the South East!
The Battle of Hastings Proms kicks the festival off on the Thursday evening. Conducted by Roger Wilcock, Medway Towns Band supported by the Hastings BIG Choir will be playing some of your “last night of the proms” favorites. Flags, bunting, and Pimms will be abound. Get there early if you’re bringing dining table and buffet!
Next, comes the start of the local band fest, the Friday night. Historically a quieter night than the Saturday, the bands can sometimes be easier to enjoy without the queues at the bar. That said, keep your eyes peeled as we do plan on making both nights an equal musical feast.
Then there’s Family Day- the Saturday daytime (from 12:00 to 16:00). This is only £X to get in and has lots to keep the whole family entertained. Attractions over the years have included bouncy castles, stage shows by local schools, stalls by local Scout groups, St John ambulance, and even the chance for your little ones to have a (safe) go at boxing!!
And then there’s the Saturday night. The headline bands. The giant big top comes alive with 6,000+ people. The enormous selection of ales flowing. It needs no more said about it. For details of bands and/or beer see the sections under the main menu.
Beyond that, there’s always a fantastic line of local food vendors, ample toilet facilities, an organised taxi pick up/drop off area right by the entrance, St Johns will be there just incase. After this many years, we hope to have at least the essentials covered! : ).
To keep abreast of news as and when it happens simply follow us on Facebook or keep an eye on this site. Otherwise, we hope to see you there.
Great fun for great causes!
Conceived in 1981 by former Hastings Round Table member John Butters and friend Martin Harris, ‘Hastings Beer Festival’ started life as a small charity fund-raising event in the glorious Alexandra Park.
In 1998 the event was renamed the ‘Hastings Beer and Music Festival’ (HBMF), and organised by Hastings Round Table (with the much appreciated help of hundreds of volunteers), it is now the biggest social event in Hastings and the surrounding area- averaging over 11,000 revellers through the gates.
In the following years the event just went from strength to strength, with numbers consistently growing. We have of course adapted with the times, mainly the shift towards music being as important as the beer- which has in turn resulted in us being able to secure some of the best local bands, as well as some big names (Keane in 2005 & 2012, and Status Quo in 2006 to name a few). Since 2006 we have stuck to the remit of keeping it local (we’re not suggesting working with some big names is hard work, but…).
In 2012 we were only too happy to extend HBMF by one night to accommodate The Battle of Hastings Proms on the Thursday evening. Conducted by Roger Wilcock, Medway Towns Band will be playing some of your “last night of the proms” favourites. They are supported by the Hastings BIG Choir, a 150 strong arrangement giving you the opportunity to join in and sing along to some of your favorite tunes. Needless to say, Pimms was added to the menu.
Then came possibly the biggest change since it’s conception. In 2017 it was time to finally accept that, as much as we all love Alexandra Park, we had outgrown it. We bit the bullet, and with the approval of Hastings Council, moved to what’s locally known as The Oval. An elevated site with fantastic sea views, vastly improved logistics from delivery of hundreds of barrels/bottles of drinks to fitting in necessary toilets (always a bugbear at the Park), and 50% bigger, we hope the change will only bring good things for HBMF and it’s loyal fan base.
HBMF’s focus on voluntary work and commitment to donate 100% of money raised to local causes has, we’re proud to say, remained throughout.