World-class performers at this year’s Bexhill Festival of Music

Alex Horne and the Horne Section
Alex Horne and the Horne Section

This year’s Bexhill Festival of Music is fast-approaching and details of the various concerts and performances have been confirmed by organisers.

The event was launched in 2007 in an effort to bring world class performers to Bexhill, increase tourism to the area and further establish the town as a cultural destination.

Since then the festival has gone from strength to strength, attracting big name stars like Julian Lloyd Webber, BBC Big Band, The Puppini Sisters, Sir John Dankworth and Emma Johnson.

And this year’s line-up looks as strong as ever with the fun getting underway at the end of May and the undoubted highlight happening early on with a performance from the world famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, showcasing a host of classics from Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Grieg and Dvořák on June 1. Tickets are £17-£32 and available by calling 01424 229 111, online at or by emailing

But anyone worrying the festival might peak early on should fear not. There is a string of top musicians appearing locally – and the Observer is previewing the first fortnight or so of the festival here, with the second half to come in next week’s paper.

Imogen Cooper takes to the stage at the De La Warr Pavilion on Saturday May 24 from 8pm, with tickets from £14-£24.

Recognised worldwide as a pianist of virtuosity and poetic poise, Cooper has established a reputation as one of the finest interpreters of the classical repertoire and her set list will include music by Brahms, Beethoven, Robert Schumann and Clara Schumann.

Monday May 26 sees the BBC Big Band and award-winning jazz vocalist Claire Martin perform The Big Band Divas at the De La Warr Pavilion from 7.30pm. The concert will be a celebration of legendary leading ladies like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee and their contemporaries.

Tickets are £18.50 or £20.50 available from the box office now.

Next up is Alex Horne and The Horne Section on Friday May 30, again at the De La Warr Pavilion, starting at 7pm. Billed as a show for ages seven to 70, the band promise to provide a barnstorming top-notch family friendly evening of musical mayhem.

Led by the brilliant comedian and star of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4), Alex Horne, tickets are £10.50 - £12.50, of £40 for a family of four.

Attention shifts to No48 Devonshire Road on Saturday May 31 with part one of a free music festival. A wide variety of music will be on offer, including rock, pop, folk, soul and jazz from 12noon until 10pm. More details available by calling 01424 736600 or online at

The same venue opens its doors again the following day for more free music – this time between 1pm and 7pm, and again on June 2.

The Sidley Centre in Ninfield Road hosts the next event, on Thursday June 5, with the visit of The Wacky Band and the Horsham Accordion Band.

The Wacky band is conducted by Nikki Holt and the concert, which includes a set by The Horsham Accordion Group, will be followed by an open jam session for anyone who has a wind instrument. All levels and ages are welcome and music will be provided. It starts at 7.30pm and admission is free.

Olivia Copper will be at No48 Devonshire Road on Friday June 6 with her interpretation of divas through the decades – with hits from Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Tyler, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Madonna, Adele and many, many more.

Starts 7pm. Entrance £6.50 which includes a meal.

For more details phone 01424 736600 or visit

Saturday June 7 brings a harmony performance in the foyer (or bandstand if weather permits) or Bexhill Harmony at the De La Warr Pavilion from 3pm, while the following day see alternative rock covers band The Chandeliers appear on stage at No48 from 7pm. Entry for that concert, which includes music from John Denver to Oasis, The Jam to James, is £6.50 which includes food.

And also at No48 on the Sunday is Mollie Tucker and Abbie Jones dong a tribute to The Beatles from 2pm. Again, tickets priced £6.50 include a meal.

The Albatross Club at 15 Marine Arcade hosts a folk night with The Exiles, starting at 8pm and followed by a sing-around with all performers and guests. Open to non-member at just £1.

And last but not least in the Observer’s opening preview is In Unison at the De La Warr Pavilion. Two concerts take place on Tuesday June 10 – one at 11am and the other at 2.15pm, both showcasing the work of First Access music tuition in local primary schools.

Entry is £2.50 for each concert.