Current students, alumni, talented staff and friends of East Sussex College provided the musical entertainment for this year’s 52nd South of England Show in Ardingly.

East Sussex College, along with Long Man Brewery, were the main sponsors of the Entertainment Zone at the Ardingly showground, providing guests with the perfect soundtrack as they enjoyed a wide range of crafts, food and drinks.

On Thursday, artists performing included Stevie Borham, Joel Locke and Fighter of the Nightman with special appearances by Colin James, classical guitarist, and Mark Allen from the band ‘The Kites’.

Friday saw ESAM’s (East Sussex Academy of Music) ‘The Onions’, ‘Theo’s Darlings’ and Jack Weston playing to a die-hard crowd of music fans who didn’t seem to mind the rain.

Morgan James performed on the Saturday, playing two sets by popular demand either side of local talents Isabella Bradley & Tom Hurn and Grace Ridger from Hastings.

There were special guest appearances from Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition 2019 winner, Marie White, who will be off to the festival to perform at the end of June, as well as ex-student and double Grammy award winning Nikki Marshall, who has had success with ‘Rather Be’ the biggest selling single in 2015 for Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne.

The show attracted nearly 60,000 people across the three days and visitors were in no way put off by the weather, as they flocked to see magnificent animals, live demonstrations and shows, a range of arts, crafts, and live music.

In the crowd on Saturday was Mayor of Haywards Heath, Alastair McPherson who said:

“It was a very enjoyable and entertaining day on Saturday. Despite the wind and the odd shower, the acts, some from as far as Hastings and London, were fantastic and kept the crowds in good spirits with their repertoire of soul, pop, rock and reggae.”

Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society, said:

“The Entertainment Zone became a primary destination for fun, great food, but most of all great music.

“The performers that I saw were just what we needed to create the ambience and atmosphere of a mini-festival. We’re delighted that the college was able to support the show and make the Entertainment Zone such a rip-roaring success. We look forward to doing it all again next year.”

Nigel Allyson-Ryan, Creative Partnerships Coordinator at the college said:

“It was a brilliant three days. We had some exceptional performers and it was a great chance for local school students to see the opportunities available to them at college. Despite some poor weather, and the wind causing havoc on Saturday, everyone had a great time.”

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It was the first time that the college has hosted the music stage at the event, giving current and past students, as well as local emerging talent, the opportunity to perform to large crowds.

The full list of performers, across the three days, were:

  1. Jack Weston: ESC Alumni
  2. Joel Locke: ESC Alumni
  3. Morgan M James: ESC Alumni
  4. Nikki Cyslin/Makeda Moore: ESC Alumni
  5. Colin James: ESC Staff
  6. Mark Allen of The Kites: ESC Staff
  7. Isabella Bradley & Tom Hurn: East Sussex Local talent
  8. Grace Ridger: Egg Tooth Project
  9. Stevie B (Stevie B)
  10. Red Panda: ESC Eastbourne students
  11. The Onions: ESAM Lewes
  12. Marie White: Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition Winner 2019
  13. Theo’s Darlings: ESAM Lewes
  14. Fighter of the Nightman: ESAM Alumni

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