Words by Dylan Bryant

From Britpop legends such as Blur and Pulp, 60’s icons Pink Floyd and Chuck Berry to noughties icon Amy Winehouse – Sussex has quite the portfolio when it comes to hosting huge acts. 

In celebration of 60 years of Sussex, I’ve given a run-down of just some of the most iconic acts to grace the stage on campus over the decades. Although it’s difficult to find specifics for some of these events that took place during a pre-Google world, these greats did in fact visit Sussex. 

Chuck Berry – As one of the most iconic and influential artists to ever live, Sussex was lucky enough to host Chuck Berry during the 60’s. Entertaining the crowd with his trademark duckwalk and high energy performance, those in attendance were able to experience one of the greatest ever talents in the music business.

Jimi Hendrix – On Saturday 11th November 1967, Jimi Hendrix played to a packed crowd of 2000 students, pleasing the crowd with his hits such as ‘Hey Joe’ and ‘Purple Haze’.

Pink Floyd – Relatively unknown at the time, Pink Floyd played Falmer House during the late 60’s. Today they are considered as one of the most successful and influential bands in music history. 

The Clash – As one of the most iconic punk bands ever, it’s no surprise that large numbers of London Punks rocked up to Mandela Hall attempting to pile in without a ticket. Playing During the 70s, The Clash played a loud, short and fast set that involved manic jumping around and general mayhem.

The Who – Despite the makeshift gig with a stage made up of refectory tables tied together with rope, students at Sussex were lucky enough to enjoy the iconic performance from Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend, Keith Moon and John Entwistle.

Blur – As one of a multitude of British acts to storm onto the scene in the wake of The Stone Roses; Blur soon became one of the biggest bands during the 90s and 28 years ago, they played an impressive setlist to the students of Sussex on October 16th, 1993.

Amy Winehouse – Unbelievably, it’s reported that Amy Played to virtually no one at Falmer Bar during one lunchtime on campus. She was completely unknown at the time so not many people paid much attention. Little did they know what they were missing. 

Highlighting just a few of the acts to play at Sussex over the years (there are many more that could be added to this list if I had more time and space!) has reminded me that it’s so important to support up and coming talent – most of these artists didn’t have their legendary status at the time of playing on campus, so remember – go support the little guys, cos one day you could be saying ‘I was there when…’!

Categories: Arts Music

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