After a few weeks of creative thinking and planning the newest festival in East Sussex is almost ready to go public! The Lapwing Music Festival is held as a sister event of Celebrate Cuckmere, a festival from 2011 which brought together professional and amateur visual artists from around the region in exhibitions to reflect on the past, present and future of Cuckmere Haven. Currently, government policy is to allow a managed deterioration of flood defences, which will see the Haven return to being a tidal estuary. This has also meant that residents of the Coastguard Cottages, most of whom are descendants of the original coastguards, are now fully responsible for the sea defences which prevent their cliff-face from eroding any further. The view of the Seven Sisters with these cottages in the foreground is one of the most famous coastal scenes in the world.
The Lapwing also represents the fragile and ephemeral state of the beauty of this beloved place, having been reduced in numbers such that it is no longer frequently seen at the Haven and has been given Red Status by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The four solo recitals featured in the inaugural Lapwing Music Festival will allow these exceptional players to present their own personal reflections on the place and their art.
No.5 Coastguard Cottages, built shortly after the National Coastguard Service was founded in 1822, is an extraordinarily intimate place to experience music. Without electricity, evening performances will be by candlelight, accompanied by the waves and, hopefully, the cry of the Lapwing.