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Hemsby Rock‘n’Roll Weekenders 1987 – 2008
Hemsby Rock’nRoll Weekenders are a major music event on the Rock’n’Roll Calendar taking place twice a year, in May and October, in the village of Hemsby, Norfolk, 130 miles from London on the East Coast of England. All the villagers welcome us and allow us to turn their sleepy little town into the world’s biggest Rock’n’Roll Event. Nearby Hemsby Beach and holiday town of Great Yarmouth remain time warped in fifties culture with its architecture, amusement arcades, candy floss, old fashioned shops and coffee bars.
After 20 years the event has attracted an ever increasing amount of interest from foreign and English press, both local and national, as well as, national TV coverage. Hemsby has been reported in nearly every national newspaper from The Observer and Sunday Express to the Guardian. The Big Breakfast Show (BBC TV4) has broadcast live to their national audience from Hemsby, Why? Because we have a line up of original American stars who perform in front of crowds of up to 3,000 fans, who have come to Hemsby to eat, sleep, drink and breath the 1950’s. One third of them come from all over Europe (France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and Holland) and the World (USA, Australia & Japan).
The 3 days and nights of a Hemsby Weekender is built around the roots music of the early 1950’s and covers Rockabilly, Hillbilly, Western Bop, Doo-wop, Jive, R & B, Boogie-Woogie and real 50’s Rock’n’Roll. Many original American Rock’n’Roll Stars from the 50’s have made their debuts at Hemsby, performers such as La Vern Baker, Andy Anderson, Rudy ‘Tutti’ Grayzell, Don & Dewey, The Sun Rhythm Section, Tracey Pendarvis, The Collins Kids, Richard Berry, Curtis Gordon, Vernon Taylor, Chan Romero, Ruth Brown, Pat Cupp, Otis Williams, Sammy Masters, Jack Earls, Hardrock Gunter, Glenn Honeycutt, Larry Donn, Bobby Wayne, Don Weise, Marvin Rainwater, Glen Glenn, Gary Lambert, Sanford Clark, Al Casey & Johnny Faire, Jack Scott, Janis Martin, Ronnie Dawson, Hayden Thompson, Tommy Sands, Freddie Bell, Barrence Whitfield, Jimmy Cavello, Eddie ‘The Chief’ Clearwater, Lee Rocker and Bobby Hendricks have also performed. Hemsby is one of only a few places in Europe were you can see the original American Doo-wop groups, those that have already appeared include the Del Vikings, Cadillacs, Solitaires, Rudy West’s 5 Keys, Teenagers, El Dorados, Penguins, Earl Lewis & Channels, 5 Discs, Cleftones, Olympics, Velours, Calvanes, Jacks/Cadets, Maurice Williams & Willie Winfield, The Bobbettes and the Harptones.
Hemsby also boasts the biggest fifties marketplace for clothes, records and furniture which is a major attraction of the event, while many bands and record companies release new product and re-issues at every Hemsby Weekender. Special Events including a Talent Show, Jam Session, 50’s Car Boot Sale, Dance Competition, Professional Jive Lessons, American Cars, Classic Bikes and much much more. Plus, up to 20 Rock’n’Roll bands from the UK, Europe and North America who come together, to make up a truly 1950’s Weekender.