Hastings’ “festival of performance for the adventurous”

Harold Offeh by Emile HolbaHarold Offeh by Emile Holba
Harold Offeh by Emile Holba
Knotty promises a “festival of performance for the adventurous” from June 6-9 and 14-16 at venues and locations across Hastings.

Following the success of 2022’s outdoor festival, for 2024 Knotty is “bigger and bolder than ever”, showcasing inspiring artists and events in familiar and unexpected spaces and places over the two weekends.

Now in its fourth year, Knotty is produced by Hastings' creative arts organisation Home Live Art. This year's festival features work from 20 artists in eight events across four venues: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, White Rock Theatre, Mini Playhouse and Stables Theatre, plus outdoor locations in Hastings Town Centre. Most of the programme is free or offers a sliding scale according to what ticket buyers can afford.

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Katy Baird, artistic director of Home Live Art, said: “I am thrilled to bring Knotty back to Hastings! This year's programme features remarkable local, national and international artists, alongside community participants. In bold, provocative and joyful encounters, we invite audiences both to question the world we live in and to actively create spaces where we can reimagine and redefine our future together. We take pride in continuing to showcase ground-breaking artists in Hastings, further enhancing the town's well-deserved reputation as a daring, forward-thinking cultural hub.

“Knotty includes a programme of four performances co-curated with Claudine Eccleston, founder of Playing the Race Card, a local arts and social justice organisation focusing on celebrating black excellence and supporting relevant art and artists. Accompanying the current Black Joy! Up Close and Personal exhibition at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, the collaboration includes the temporary installation of an interactive public sculpture from Sonia Hughes, a call-and-response exploration of museum objects led by Harold Offeh, Ray Young’s award-winning interdisciplinary work OUT, and Knotty’s renowned queer performance party Salty.”

Taking over the White Rock Theatre on Thursday, June 6 and providing a joyous start to 2024’s festival, Salty provides an inclusive space for LGBTQ+ folk and their allies to come together, dance and enjoy “unforgettable, radical cabaret performances” courtesy of Harry Alexander who will embody Warhol and Twiggy, with Thick and Tight, Mr IPM, aka Azara Meghie, winner of the Man Up competition plus local drag artist Paris Grande.

Katy added: “On Friday June 7, taking the festival outdoors, performance artist Tink Flaherty brings their bench to the streets of Hastings, inviting visitors, audiences and curious locals to sit down and chat about how we connect with each other in advance of Tink’s performance Benched, at Trans Pride Hastings this July. Also on June 7, the Stables Theatre plays host to Ray Young’s celebrated piece OUT which defiantly challenges homophobia and transphobia in a bold reclamation of dancehall culture.

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“Local artist and provocateur Beccy McCray will be parking her Climate Nan Caravan in Hastings Town Centre on Saturday, June 8, encouraging visitors to swing by and chat about climate solutions, hope and fears.

"Artist Harold Offeh will be delving into memories, stories and histories of the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery collection in Bring and Brag on Sunday, June 9, alongside members of the local black community.”

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