1987 - 1998


Hemsby Rock'n'Roll Weekenders are a major music event in the Rock 'n' Roll Calendar taking place twice a year, in May and October in the village of Hemsby, 130 miles from London on the east coast of England. All the villagers welcome us and allow us to turn their sleepy little town in to the worlds first and only Rock'n'Roll village. A real trip back to the 1950's. Much of Hemsby has been unchanged since the 50's which make it the perfect setting for the world's biggest Rock 'n' Roll event. Nearby Hemsby Beach and the holiday town of Great Yarmouth remain time warped in fifties culture with their architecture, amusement arcades, old-fashioned shops and coffee bars. Hemsby Beach is renown as the premier Hot Rod place in England. After 10 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 4,000 fans. These fans have come to Hemsby to eat, sleep, drink and breathe the 1950's. One third of them come from all over Europe (France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Holland etc.) They come from all corners of the World (USA, Australia, Japan).

The 5 days and nights of a Hemsby Weekender is built around the roots music of the early 1950's and covers Rockabilly, Hillbilly, Western Bop, Doowop, Jive, R & R, and real 50's Rock 'n' Roll. Many original American Rock 'n' Roll stars from the 50's have made their European debuts at Hemsby. Performers such as La Vern Baker, Andy Anderson, Rudy 'Tutti' Grayzell, Don and Dewey, The Sun Rhythm Section, Tracey Pendarvis, The Collins Kids, Richard Berry, Curtis Gordon, Vernon Taylor, Chan Romero, Ruth Brown, Pat Cupp, Jack Earls, Hardrock Gunter and Mickey Lee Lane. Hemsby is the only place in Europe where you can see the original American Doowop groups. Those that have already appeared include the Del Vikings, Cadillacs, Solitaires, Rudy West's Five Keys, Teenagers, El Dorados, Penguins, Earl Lewis & Channels, 5 Discs, Cleftones and Velours.

Hemsby also boasts the biggest fifties marketplace for clothes, records and furniture which is a major attraction of the event. Many bands and record companies release new products and re-issues at every Hemsby Weekender. Special Events include, a Talent Show, Jam Session, Car Show, Professional Jive Lessons, Movies and more, plus up to 20 Rock 'n' Roll bands from the UK, Europe and North America. These all come together to make up a truly 1950's Weekender.

In May 1998 we celebrated the 10th year of Hemsby, which was the 20th weekender and this drew a crowd of 3,500.

A weeklong Millennium event is being planned for May 1st to May 8th, 2000.

From May 1999 there will be many major structural changes to the Hemsby Holiday Centre's site, Pontins will be spending £55 million on modernising their various sites around the country. This is good news for us and will mean a brand new restaurant with new kitchens, separate food bars. There will be a new 'Queen Vic Pub' to replace the Windmill Bar; this is to be built in the arcade area. To greet you will be a new reception area, but I'm delighted to say both the Main and Norfolk Ballrooms will remain unchanged. I am sure all this will mean greatly improved facilities for everyone. All those who have stayed in the new luxury Club Class Chalets will confirm this, whilst all the other chalets will be refurbished too. Come next May, Hemsby is going to look different, but more important the food and accommodation is promised to be far superior than it has ever been before.

Willie Jeffery
Organiser - Tel: (00 44) 01883 714289

Vivian Brittan
Assistant Organisor - Tel: (00 44) 01522 509067