More than sixty comedians are in town for the first ever Hastings Comedy Fringe Festival which started yesterday (Thursday) and rolls into the weekend.
They are performing in venues throughout Old Town which are the Albion, Whistle Trago, Pump House, Anchor, Dragon Bar, Jenny Lind and VIP Blackmarket. These are mainly professional circuit comedians, many performing their Edinburgh Fringe preview shows.
There will also be talented new comedians looking to make their mark on the circuit.
The event was organised by Jake Alexander and Chris Young who spent months putting the festival together.
Chris, who began performing stand-up a year ago, said: “I was doing open mic nights in and around Hastings. I was lucky enough to have been offered a slot at the Owl And Pussy Cat as my first-ever gig. I continued to do open mic for a little while and ended up in Brighton for the Brighton Fringe watching James McDonnell perform his show called End.”
He was with Jake at the time and they suddenly had the inspiration to hold a comedy event themselves and then started thinking of possible venues large and quirky enough to be suitable.
“It wasn’t until we were walking down George Street and the High Street at night that it was decided, that Hastings Old Town would be its home.
“Since that initial draft of a concept and multiple meetings with the local landlords, the end product has been 65 comedians performing 95 free shows in the Old Town from June 23-25. We have on Saturday the Newcomer Of The Year award being held at the Albion in George Street and kids’ comedy being performed at the chess board in the same street from 2pm.
He added: “We have managed to get so many comedians from all over the place to comed here and perform for free - this has never happened anywhere else in the UK, and we have managed to pull it off - it blows me away.” The only ticketed event will be when Chris himself performs at the VIP Blackmarket tonight (Friday) in his debut show Cereal For Dinner with three other acts including Joey Page, Nick Hall and the amazing President Obonjo, in a charity fundraiser.