In the 50th anniversary year of The White Album, hundreds of local musicians will stream into Hastings White Rock Theatre to celebrate the 19th Beatles Day held in town.
It will be on Sunday April 8 from noon until 10.30pm and as thousands of highly entertained visitors will tell you, this is a truly fab annual music event which pulls together old hands and new faces, experienced rockers and fresh-faced popsters, all in a variety of acts intent on doing justice to the songwriting and style of John, Paul, George and Ringo.
As usual the event takes place over three stages - the main stage for bands, Sussex Hall mainly for larger groups and choirs, and the popular acoustic stage which is now in its fourth year. There will be 500 performers in 90 acts, and 18 acts will be playing for the first time.
Between them they will interpret all the classics such as Day Tripper, Eleanor Rigby, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and solo tunes such as Band On The Run and Jealous Guy.
Beatles Day in Hastings was originally the brainchild of singer Pete Prescott who wanted to make a tribute to his brother. That first gig was held in Pissarro’s but, when other musicians started taking part, the event just grew and overtook Pete’s wildest dreams; so far Beatles Day has raised £250,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, and last year alone achieved just over £26,000.
Performers this year will include Hamish Stuart (Average White Band/ Paul McCartney band) Andy Newmark who is a well-known session musician and played drums for John Lennon, Dave Bronze who played with George Harrison for the Bangladesh concert, and singer guitar player Andy Caine who has toured with stars like Luther Vandross and recently worked with Sheridan Smith.
On the main stage there will be a wide mix which includes Lipstick & Beatniks, Kid Kapichi, The Claire Hamill Band, Mike Hatchard, Bobby Fuego’s Fat Fingers Of Funk, and the Rufus Stone Band. Also there will be the talented youngsters of Hastings Stage Studio School For The Performing Arts.
The Sussex Hall stage will see the likes of The Conquest Choir, Grundy, Loose Ends, The White Rock Ukelele Orchestra, The Kayleigh Ann Band and 62 Stone.
Finally, the acoustic cafe bar stage will have a range of talent including Poppy Prescott, Mick Bolton who played keyboards for Mott The Hoople, Martin Blackman and Ashley Pepper, Keith Foster and Touchwood.
A new feature will be an auction by Burstow and Hewitt of Battle from 5pm in the Seafront Room in the White Rock Hotel next door; items are still coming in but already include a bottle of House Of Commons whisky signed by Theresa May, photographs of John Travolta, and The Stereophonics, and CDs donated by Imelda May. This year also sees the release of a Beatles Day book which has stunning photography of events in the past and costs £10.
Admission £15 for adults, £7.50 for children, family ticket £35 plus booking fee from 01424 462288 or whiterocktheatre.org.uk.