The Martlets Hall has been part of Burgess Hill’s live arts scene since the 1970s but it is closing in June to make way for a town centre revamp.
Residents may think that it isn’t the time to launch a programme of live shows dedicated to traditional music.
But Robert Eggleston is doing just that.
Robert has been a supporter of traditional and traditional-inspired music since his teens and has promoted live shows for many years.
His vision is to make Burgess Hill a thriving centre for this form of music and other music genres.
“This is a great time for folk music,” says Robert. “There is a new crop of highly talented artists emerging alongside the established names, exciting and original song writing, and a willingness to fuse folk with other genres.
“It is a vibrant scene, which we should be nurturing locally – not just in Burgess Hill but across Mid Sussex.”
Saying farewell to the Martlets Hall was always going to be a difficult pill for Robert to swallow.
However, the promise of a new venue in the town in the not-too-distant future is a cause for hope and cautious optimism.
“I have seen the design of the proposed new building and, as a show promoter, I have been consulted on the scale and facilities it should offer. I am certainly encouraged enough to keep my passion and vision for the arts alive.”
But there will be a gap of maybe three years between the loss of the Martlets Hall and the opening of a new venue.
So Robert has decided to stage three farewell shows at the Martlets Hall to wish his old friend goodbye.
The first of these is on Sunday, March 18, with Lady Maisery, a closely knit vocal trio with immense multi-instrumental talents. They are part of the new breed of folk artists destined for high honours. The Guardian said that their last album offered “some of the most exquisite, thrilling vocal harmony work in the English folk scene”.
A further two shows are booked for Saturday, May 5 (Show of Hands), and Saturday, June 9 (Home Service).
Visit live-arts.co.uk for details.
Robert says it would be great if the town could turn out in force to see out the Martlets Hall in style.
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