Live music - Starfish in the Park

Starfish Youth Music is a brilliant concept, an organisation which gives young musicians between nine and 21 the chance to explore, play, record and develop contemporary music with the help of professional tutors and equipment. It has been running since 1998, and now has over 100 members. They help complete beginners to turn into a gigging band, a process which usually takes 2-3 years. They also put on about five major gigs a year - the annual highlight is their acoustic gig in the Paddock, which this year will attract over 20 bands. Last year 350 spectators turned up; this year they are expecting more like 500.

There will be a couple of well-established performers to get things going, namely Brighton-based bluesy slide-guitar player Lee Westwood (who will also perform at the Lewes Guitar Festival) and local singer-songwriter Isabelle Anderson. But the real stars of the show will be the Starfish bands, past and present. Many of these are loud indie bands rising to the challenge of playing an acoustic set. Look out for the likes of Amor da Vida, Miss June, Too Many Strings, Death to the Pixies, Ministry of Misery, A Line and Dale Gilbert and Alex McGowan. You’re welcome to bring a picnic (remembering this is a no-alcohol event): there will also be samba and art workshops, a bouncy castle, information stands and a giant chess game. If you’re under 20 and fancy a bash you can perform on the ‘Blaggers Stage’ at 4.30. AL

Mouse Over!
Starfish fingers: Elsa Hewitt at last year’s festival
The Paddock, Paddock Road, Lewes
When? 12noon-6pm
How Much? Free (donations welcome)

Starfish Youth Music
(w) Website