Battle heroes Keane take beer festival by storm

6 July 2012. Photo by Paul Kelly. Hastings Beer and Music Festival, Alexandra Park, Hastings.
6 July 2012. Photo by Paul Kelly. Hastings Beer and Music Festival, Alexandra Park, Hastings.

FIVE thousand people packed into an outdoor marquee to watch local heroes Keane perform at the Hastings Beer and Music Festival last Friday.

Die-hard fans had started queuing at Alexandra Park at 9am to ensure they had the best viewing point to see the Battle band in action.

Keane played some old favourites including Somewhere Only We Know and Bedshaped, alongside tracks from their new album Strangeland, which the band previewed at two gigs at Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion back in March.

Up-and-coming band Virgin Soldiers, whose members hail from Battle, Hastings and Kent, supported Keane on the night.

The three-day festival was attended by almost 11,000 people and raised more than £90,000 for local good causes and charities.

Festival chairman Phil Astell said: “It was the best we have ever held.

“The atmosphere was electric and despite the rain we were given great support again.”

Over the weekend, 25,000 pints of real ale, lager and cider were drunk with a further 5,000 glasses of Pimms and 2,000 glasses of wine.

He added: “It was a truly extraordinary weekend and one I’ll never forget. We’ve come a long way in the last five years since the days when the event was struggling.

“I’m incredibly grateful to all of the committee, families, friends and volunteers for the huge effort put in which allowed this event to take place. I would also like to express my thanks to all of the agencies and other organisations which have actively supported us and of course, a big thanks must go to Keane for taking the time out to come and play at the festival this year. I’m certain that our incoming chairman, Tony Lee, will receive the same kind of support and will continue the success of the event.

“We now have the fantastically privileged job of distributing the proceeds of the event to good causes in the area and seeing all of the money raised making a real difference in the local community.”