Hastings AF

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Fringe in the ‘Stings, happening on the Eastern end of Heretaunga Street, makes me forget we just survived a winter. Thanks to James Nokise and Tom Knowles , I manage to laugh off any stony winter residue and even look forward to summer nights in Hastings. What’s really fulfilling is that we get a full measure of the festive atmosphere one would find at any big city festival. Only, it’s Hastings, so it’s not big. And you will probably see people you know, and maybe even like. Even better, you will always be within walking distance of any show, at almost any hour of the night this weekend.

A friend recently quipped that she loves how the acronym for the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival is HBAF – because it looks like “Hawke’s Bay As Fuck”. Well, if that’s the case, then Fringe in the ‘Stings is firmly “Hastings AF”. How, you ask, did I come to this conclusion? Here’s a summary of my “Hastings AF” night out:
I started the night at The Green Room – a cavernous ex second-hand store which has been fully kitted out with installation art, ticket box, bar and performance lounge (all in under a week!). The space has an underground feel that’s perfect for a fringe festival. The ’63 Holden EH parked inside? That’s Hastings AF.

When wandering around before the next show started, the doorman at Common Room informs me that there’s still room for Pretending Things are a Cock. I reckon on a good night out, there’s always room for pretending things are a cock. Through chuckles he tells me how to get to the venue for my next show. Friendly bouncers, not cocky ones (see what I did there?) who know the festival programme…now that’s Hastings AF.

I went from one world-class act to another in under a two-minute walk. But, within that two minutes, I came across a group of people miming a group selfie with an imaginary smart phone…in the dark. I then bumped into a friend walking her dog through Albert Square…in the dark. Yep, Hastings AF.

Midnight surprisingly found me getting my twerk on at the Green Room with some of the people involved in, or even performing in the HBAF or Fringe festival. All fuelled by only one glass of wine. Now that, my friends, is Hastings AF!

So get out and see something of the Fringe in the ‘Stings this weekend and you’ll be treated to fabulous international acts served up with a good helping of ‘Stings flavour…you’ll be shiny, AF.

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