Brand New Heavies top the bill at Hastings’ newest festival


A sunshine-filled day of soul, funk, reggae & hip hop is promised for Hastings this May bank holiday Sunday as Music First Festival presents the ‘Summer Soul BBQ’ at The Oval.

The first 1,000 tickets are available at a discounted early-bird price and are likely to be snapped up in record time thanks to a tremendous line-up that includes such household names at The Brand New Heavies, Sugar Hill Gang, Jungle Brothers and the Furious 5 (featuring Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio)

As the organisers say: “A line up like this comes to town just once in a lifetime, spread the word!”

Sugarhill Gang
Sugarhill Gang

Line Up

Main Stage in Association with ‘Pure DJs’

① The Brand New Heavies
② Big Daddy Kane
③ Incognito
④ Sugar Hill Gang
⑤ Channel One Sound System
⑥ Jungle Brothers
⑦ Furious 5 (feat Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio)
⑧ Jeff Young
⑨ Eckoes
⑩ Mark Rolfe
⑪ Matthew B

Alternative Tent ‘Way Back When’

① Godfathers Of Garage (Norris ‘Da Boss’ Windross & MC Creed)
② Randall & MC GQ
③ Matt ‘Jam’ Lamont
④ Fabio
⑤ Wookie
⑥ Uncle Dugs

+ More to be announced…

This is family friendly event, children under the age of 12 years old are welcome if they are accompanied by a responsible adult.

1 day ago

Music First Festival

We may have found ourselves an amazing site for Music First Festival, July 2019... More details coming soon! Watch this space! ... See MoreSee Less

We may have found ourselves an amazing site for Music First Festival, July 2019... More details coming soon! Watch this space!


Comment on Facebook


The best festival to happen in Hastings for years and the Council fuck it up for this years event! So much Love to James and the crew for last years madness. Big ups. James Tovey

chuffed for you mate

Yes yes massive news... Big Respect for hanging on in their after so many obstacles...😎

Yes yes



Oh Man 👊🏾👊🏾

Wicked guys. Can’t wait to hear where 👍

Exciting to read. Looking forward to reading more. Stay focused, stay positive. Bless up!

Looking forward to this!

Legend !! 🤜🤛

Jasmine Boorman


Can’t wait to find out pm me Jim x

Excellent news, What dates? Want to make sure we’re around!

Excellent news!! xx 👍🏻🙌🏻😊❤️

Fantastic news xx

Brill! Hope it's somewhere easy for disabled people to travel to! Fingers crossed! X

Janine Stamp

Can't wait 😳😳😳

Yes Yes! 👊

Yyyyaaayyyyyy x

Amazin news guys!! Funny,just mentioned this 2 otha half only earlier 2day..ESP or what! 😁

Same dates?

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After Hastings Borough Council reversed their decision to allow next years festival to be held at The Stade due to the land being owned by a charity that's not allowed to charge entry to it....

Is there anyone on here that HAS previously paid an admission price to an event there? If so please drop a comment below. Myself and Jennifer HAVE, just four months ago! This decision STINKS!

Pleased to say that in the new year we will announce our new venue for MUSIC FIRST FESTIVAL 2019!
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Comment on Facebook

This is appalling. .. yes #Seafood and wine Festival charged. #Hastingscouncil #stade #oneruleforall #keepmusicfirstinhastings

They charge you for the Herring festival, food and wine festival....😡😡😡

And I paid £8 to watch the Two Tones on the Friday night of the Seafood and Wine Festival. They also charged to go to a Leanne Carrol breakfast on the Saturday/Sunday of the seafood Festival too...

Rave at The stade we had to pay for in the summer.

We will be there no matter where you hold it. Last one was epic. 👍

The old colour runs used to be based at the stade too.

The last one was so good, I will be at the next one. Wherever it is xx

Colour Run although for charity, you had to pay to enter. Seafood and Wine Festival. Paid Five smackers to get in. That was a couple of years ago though.

Yes.. fish fest and 2tone

This link shows that the Fish Festival charged £2 at the stade. Surely proof this has occurred before?

I watched a ska band down there and it was £10 per ticket brought from tourist info centre

It's the Council's loss.

This is crazyness. Hope you get a happy outcome. Iv paid to go to the seafood festival. Last year we also paid an admission price to see Santa at the stade! X

Seafood and wine Festival was £2.00...

Great news on the venue announcement big things for yhe new year... Big up for making it happen no matter what's in the way. All We Wanna Do Is Dance...❤

Good luck guys..We will be there non matter what venue!!xxxx

The Big Sleep 2018 specifically says "The sleep out, a ticketed event, commences at 10.00 pm in our cardboard city on the Stade."

Music raves with Heidi Tambeh

Yeas sea food one charges plus others 😔

Is the Stade the pier ? 🤔

You’ve sorted a venue for 2019 then!! 👌🏻👌🏻👊🏻

Yep sea food festival

Yes I have fish festival

The big sleep was a ticketed fundraiser at the Stade.

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Wow! Since announcing our sad news we have been swamped with literally hundreds of messages on all platforms! We are overwhelmed by your support, it’s so heart warming to know that we made such an amazing impression with our first event!!

if we have not responded to your questions yet please be patient, we are examining our options and shall be back with news soon!

Much love 💕❤️💙
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Comment on Facebook

It’s because we appreciated all the hard work you guys put into making this such a special event for us music lovers . HBC need to open their eyes cause it could of only got bigger and better ❤️

Hopefully you can find somewhere local, maybe Rother council would be more accommodating near Bexhill somewhere etc so still local

Council want to kill this town.

Such a shame - I had an amazing time! Hopefully it was meant to be and bigger things are just around the corner!

good luck guys X

Eagerly awaiting the news keep up the great work...

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1 month ago

Music First Festival

Music First Events - Official Statement

It is with great regret that we have to announce that 'Music First Festival 2019' in Hastings has been cancelled.

In September whilst making plans for next years event we were informed by Hastings Borough Council that the hire fee for The Oval next year would increase substantially. As is often the way with such things, no clear answer was available for many weeks. Whilst awaiting this news we planned and provisionally booked the majority of next years line up. Time was not on our side and without a concrete answer on the hire fee, we lost one of our main Sunday headliners ‘Craig Charles’ to another venue in Bexhill. This event on the same date as our proposed date now became direct competition.

A few days later the answer we had been waiting for came from HBC - As we suspected ... the hire fee had tripled! With that in mind and with our sunday compromised with a similar event just a couple miles away, we made the decision to scale down and do an open air event at The Stade on a completely different date.

And so, in discussion with HBC via many emails, an official booking form was submitted, fees agreed and permission given by HBC for us to release the date, which we did a couple of weeks ago. Fast forward to today and we have just been informed that there is a complication with The Stade and that the land is not actually HBC’s but they look after it on behalf of the Foreshore Trust. We were told that as its charitable land there are legal complications about commercial use!!! - meaning that they are not allowed to hold ticketed events at The Stade?! Our response was that we have actually been to events at this space and paid money for entry so infact this excuse is nonsense!!

At this point, no answer has been forthcoming as to why there have been previous ticketed events at this space and why now we are not allowed to do the same??! So far the only answer we have to that question is….. It's political!!!? Well whose politics is it to deny Hastings a festival it so clearly wants? Other ‘Festivals’ locally do not live by the same rules as we do apparently, they do not get charged hire fees and others can infact charge for tickets on land that its not legal to do so on?

This years event had no trouble, no problems with sound, no disruption to local residents, what we did have in abundance, were thousands of happy, well behaved, fun loving adults enjoying themselves. We feel it was a well run event - especially as it was our first attempt! somehow we do not appear to fit in with HBC’s idea of what constitutes a viable option!

As a concession, HBC have reversed their initial decision and have offered us the use of The Oval at this years price??! This is nothing but a token gesture. Unfortunately it's not as simple as that - We are now some months further down the line, The space is double the size and requires a much bigger line up, Most of the bigger headliners are now booked elsewhere, also many of our preferred contractors are no longer available and the other options available to us are inferior and far more expensive!

The costs involved in putting an event on at The Oval are mind blowing, after this years event we had finance in place to fund 2019, when it became clear we would be moving to The Stade we passed over that option knowing that those funds would be diverted elsewhere if we didn’t use them, these funds are now no longer available to us!! We did not wish to hold a scaled down event on the same space, We set a standard at this years event that needed to be maintained.

We would just want to thank HBC for pulling the rug on something that would of been very special. This year was our first year and we are proud of what was achieved, People travelled from Belgium, Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Dorset, Norwich and all over!! We bought some of the biggest bands to Hastings, filled the hotels and created a buzz about our town that it hadn’t had since the glory days of our Hastings Pier events! Our dream was to provide a yearly event that Hastings could be proud of. Unfortunately we now begin the search to hold this event elsewhere, somewhere that welcomes us and understands the relentless hard work and vision it takes to put on an event of this scale.

To all those that have made plans, booked time off work, arranged travel and hotels, we are truly sorry.

Watch this space, MFF 2019…. coming to a town near you … Soon!
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Comment on Facebook

HBC you are killing this town...not enough money in it for you. Shame on you 😡

I for one am appalled by the greed shown by our council. I really enjoyed the last event. SHAME ON HBC AND PETER CHOWNEY!

This is a big HBC cock up isn’t it. Cancelling a hugely desired and successful festival like this is devastating. HBC should be bending over backwards to support this event, aren’t we the City of Music? Where is the joined up thinking?

Well done HBC, round of applause. Appears your greed has yet again destroyed another tourist attraction and awesome event. I was unable to go last year and was so looking forward to this year but it would appear HBC have slashed that dream... Ah well time to travel to the next one.

Hastings borough council WTF ! Do you really have to ruin an amazing event that brought so much to the town you should be ashamed 😡

Ffs what a shame 😡 Had a brilliant time this year-tbh i hate HBC with a vengence, seems they kill off or make it impossible to host any sort of decent event, its about time they got their heads out of their arses & realise they are killing off this town & its music/event happy to join in the fight too xxx

Jim set up a petition for everyone to sign and then present it to the council. I'm happy to join in the fight. I'm so sorry you have had such opposition. This is just B/S. !!! XX

Thank you for this heart felt honest update. Absolutely loved it last year and hope you get to do it again. What a load of bollocks! bureaucracy at its worst 🤬 good luck and don’t let the bastards win 👊

Shame on Peter Chowney this town is going backwards. Even the shopping centre has no decent shops.

What a shame. Your festival this year was amazing!!!

Peter Chowney is doing nothing for this town.Mr Chowney you should resign as leader of HBC.

How short sighted HBC really are!!

Gutted to read this, was an awesome event last year and I and I’m sure many others were looking forward to the 2019 event. HBC let’s down it’s town again!!!

Hastings Borough Council Shame on you! All the best Music First Festival, hopefully some land becomes availiable, fingers crossed. Last year was awesome!

Absolutely gutted, we came down for x2 nights last year, had a nice meal the first night then the festival on the Saturday and had such a fantastic time, the venue, the bands, the bars, the people all so friendly, everything was amazing. Yes we was definitely coming back so gutted now it’s cancelled x

So sad to hear this. I know it would be a smaller scale but have you asked the new pier owner if you could hold events there?

Absolutely gutted, was so looking forward to this event. HBC should be ashamed you guys have put in so much time to plan this event.

What a surprise! HBC strikes again 👌🏽

What a short-sited, bureaucractic nonsense. The town loved it. But somehow, someone acting with "authority" and "best interest" of the town has fucked it. Bravo 👏🏽. Love the Logic. Such a shame 😤! 2018 was🔥 🙌🏽. I look forward to the next one 😊.

the politics of dancing in full effect right here, sorry to read about this.....

A massive shame. I was very impressed with this years event, as somebody who likes to party, mostly out of town as Hastings has very little to offer at a larger scale. The atmosphere, space and weather was spot on..well done on a fantastic job, as usual, Hastings politics ruining a good thing.

Awwww this sucks was such a good event, truly reminded me of the old days, brought so much money to the town, they need to wake up and see a good thing 😡😢😢😢 x

What a great shame for you guys n the amount of work that you have already done........I look forward to hearing not if BUT when the nxt one is xxxxxx

A real shame. You guys worked hard and put on a great first festival. Maybe a venue nearby if its not too late

The bands were amazing. Where else could you see big names altogether under one tent? Nowhere!!! Ask Mr. Gulzar of Hastings Pier

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