The UK’s biggest Christmas Day party returns to Eastbourne’s iconic 1930’s Bandstand this December as part of a triple bill of free festive concerts.
With packed seafront hotels and more than 4,000 festive fans expected, the seafront venue will provide yuletide entertainment on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – all completely free of charge.
A long-standing tradition, the concerts date back to 1935 and have grown in popularity ever since, along with a customary Boxing Day dip in the sea for the brave bunch of hardy swimmers!
With mulled wine and hot drinks on offer to warm up revellers, the atmosphere ranges from traditional carols to festive party hits, and even the Bandstand conga!
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism & Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister commented, “This is a heart-warming tradition dating back over 80 years and a popular pre-dinner attraction for the many visitors who choose Eastbourne for their celebration. After a jam-packed month of magical events and markets, this really is the icing on the Christmas cake!”
Christmas Day sees the return of the Eastbourne Silver Band with traditional carols and classic Christmas songs in a pre-Christmas dinner treat.
The Ray Campbell Dance Band provide a refreshing alternative to the TV repeats on Boxing Day with a lively round up of festive hits and dancing.
On New Year’s Day, a third concert sees The Ray Campbell Dance Band return with celebratory hits and a conga around the Bandstand, to welcome in 2017.
Concerts run from 10.30am to 12pm on Christmas Day, and from 11am to 12.30pm on both Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Entry is free.
In addition to mulled wine and hot drinks available at the Bandstand, the Western View café will also remain open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day from 10am to 4pm for those enjoying a refreshing walk along the prom.
Eastbourne Bandstand will reopen in 2017 at Easter with an extended concert programme running from April to October. Fans can look forward to the return of weekly 1812 fireworks, Big Band nights, Kids Party Nights and a range tribute acts celebrating the world of rock and pop every weekend.
Photo credit: Graham Huntley