A week of events in the run up to the first ever Hastings Pride Festival begins today (Saturday, 19).

The main Pride event, featuring a parade and performances by the likes of Stooshe and a tribute to The Doors takes place on Sunday, August 27.

A host of film marathons, live music and drag acts are taking place this week in the build up to the main occasion.

Organiser Mark Barwell said:

“The LGBT-plus culture goes just beyond a party, and a festival, and some music, and some celebrations, and some politics.

“There’s a whole wealth of culture to explore and we’d like to showcase a lot of that in the week beforehand.

“We have the theme of the Summer of Love, 1967, so a lot of the things that we’re doing that week are echoing that feeling, either through the themes themselves or by having that kind of flavour to the whole event.”

The event will celebrate diversity and the LGBT community, as well as the fifty year anniversary since the part-decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Mark added:

“It’s been 50 years since that key piece of legislation was marked, and during that time there was a lot of political change, there was a lot of social change, and really we wanted to reflect that, beyond just the celebrations of the day itself.

“We have people that we’d like to include in the whole community, we’d like to bring people together.”

International burlesque and belly dancer Sirona Thorneycroft is holding a two-hour workshop at the Pulse School of Movement during Pride week.

She’s known for her wing acts, including her signature Moth Performance, and will take part in the parade.

Sirona is well known for her wings performances.

To celebrate the event, three ‘songs for pride’ are being released ahead of the festival in Hastings.

They include ‘White Rabbit’ which was originally recorded by Jefferson Airplane in 1967, and ‘The Chain’ Originally performed by Fleetwood Mac, both covered by Earl Grey with Kayleigh and Joe.