Here’s what to expect at this year’s Hastings Jack in the Green weekend…
8pm Music Session – The Stag, All Saints Street
A gathering of dancers and musicians come together to celebrate the start of the weekend with a traditional folk music and singing session. The Stag welcomes musicians and singers to start sessions across the weekend.
11.30am Morris Dancing & Bike Celebration – Stade Open Space
Jack in the Green and Bike 1066 come together to celebrate the opening 40th anniversary of the Hastings May Day Bike Run in style. This one-off event will be full of surprises as Morris dancers and Bikers come together in the ‘Wall of Death’.
12pm Dancing on Winkle Island
The traditional kick off to a weekend of dancing begins on Winkle Island with a mass stand for all the local and visiting sides to come together. The dancing continues throughout the afternoon, around the old town finishing at around 4pm.
3pm Rattlebag – The Stag, All Saints Street
Join four-piece female harmony group Rattlebag for a sing-around. Rattlebag perform a mixture of traditional and contemporary folk songs.
4pm Film screening: The Ballad of Shirley Collins plus Q&A with the filmmakers – Electric Palace, High Street
A lyrical response to the life-and-times of one of folk music’s most totemic figures, The Ballad of Shirley Collins is a meditative slice of documentary portraiture. Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s documentary sets out to explore the story behind the icon, and chronicles Shirley’s battle, at the grand old age of 80, to rediscover the voice she lost so many years previously.
7.30pm Shirley Collins ‘In Conversation’ with David Tibet – All Saints Church, All Saints Street, Tickets: £5
Jack in the Green are delighted to welcome folk legend, Shirley Collins back to Hastings, for her hometown book launch. She will be in conversation with superfan David Tibet, the musician and artist behind industrial folk band Current 93, and reading from and signing copies of her new book, ‘All in the Downs’.
8pm Ceilidh with Lasair, caller Gordon Potts – St Mary in the Castle, Doors open at 7.30, Tickets: Adults £12, Children £5, Families £25
Lasair are one of the fastest rising folk bands around. They boast an exciting tune section of fiddle, melodeon and mandolin backed by a funk-driven rhythm section of drums, bass and guitars. Full of energy, they’ll keep you dancing all night.
10am Morris Dancers Church Service – All Saints Church, All Saints Street
This annual special service will include readings, jigs, music and dance from your host sides; Mad Jack’s Morris and Hannah’s Cat with dancing outside the church from 11.00am
1pm Dancing on the Pier
What a fantastic space to watch some dancing. Mad Jack’s, Hannah’s Cat and visiting dance sides will be showcasing some of their best performances on the pier followed by more dancing on the seafront and in the Old Town.
4pm The Copper Family – All Saints Church, All Saints Street Tickets: £8
A Jack in the Green staple, The Copper Family return to share some of their captivating folk songs and stories. The family from rural Rottingdean, Sussex for have lovingly written, collected and preserved songs for future generations for at least 200 years. The current Copper line-up continue to perform the songs today.
4pm The Drum-Off – Butlers Gap, George Street
Local drumming bands Sambalanco and Section 5 are joined by visiting groups for a mass drumming battle culminating at Butler’s Gap. Enjoy the rhythms and beats in the heart of Hastings Old Town.
7.30–10.30pm The Big Squeeze – Upstairs Cinque Ports, All Saints Street
Bring your instruments for a traditional English music session led by squeeze box players Alan, Goose and Trooper.
8pm Ceilidh with Hekety, caller Fee Lock – St Mary in the Castle, Doors open at 7.30, Tickets: Adults £12, Children £5, Families £25
Hekety play a mixture of traditional English dance tunes and their own tunes; influenced by klezmer, European and other folk music, but all with roots in English music. A headline act at pretty much every major English Folk Festival.
7.30am–9am Morris Dancers Breakfast – St. Mary Star of the Sea Church Crypt, The Bourne
After a morning of dancing come and have a hearty ‘Morris Dancer Breakfast’. All proceeds go to the Two Towers Trust.
Approximate timings for the procession:
9.45am The Gathering – Fishermen’s Museum, Rock-a-Nore Road
Dancers, musicians, chimney sweeps, May Queens, giants and everyone in between come together eager to welcome Jack for another year.
10.15am Jack is Released from the Fishermen’s Museum
Jack and the bogies burst into the streets. Jack is greeted by the crowd and shares his first dance with Mad Jack’s Women. The procession then forms behind him, makes its way up Rock a Nore Road, down All Saints Street and across The Bourne.
11.30am The High Street
The procession pauses in the High Street and the Jack dances his way back down to meet his followers. Please make room for dancers to perform. The procession then reforms at around 12 noon and continues up Croft Road.
11.45am Garry Blakeley and Bear Lucas – The Stage, West Hill
The brilliant Garry Blakeley will be joined by Bear Lucas on guitar to keep you entertained as the procession makes its way to the West Hill.
12.30pm The Procession arrives on the West Hill
The dancers, singers and musicians from the procession takes turns to perform on the stage. There is also a craft fair and refreshments while you’re on the hill.
4pm Slaying of the Jack
After the final stage performance, the Bogies and Jack make their way to the stage. Jack has his final dance with Mad Jack’s Men and is symbolically slain and the spirit of summer is released. Catch a leaf for good luck.