International Harmonica Festival 2024



Plans for HBTS 2024 in Brighton are well underway and we’re really excited about our new theme and list of amazing guest artists. As always we will be challenging boundaries and doing things a little differently. We’re looking forward to another historic blow out!

To mangle a famous advertising slogan, we like to think we’re reaching the parts that other harmonica festivals cannot reach. Which is quite a claim, but watch this space in the coming weeks. We’re confident you’ll see what we mean.

Make a note of our dates 2nd-4th February 2024 and don’t miss out. Saturday workshop tickets will go on sale in early September 2023. Show tickets will initially be available to workshop attendees only. From 2nd January 2024 any remaining show tickets will go on general release. Turn up, dig it, tell ALL your friends!

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HBTS 2024 Schedule Times – Coming soon!
HBTS 2024 Official Programme – Coming soon!
A3 Poster / A4 Poster / A6 Flyer – Coming soon!

A huge thank you to all our artists, sponsors, attendees and crew for the fantastic return to our live format at this year’s festival. We enjoyed another sell-out event, welcomed Mark Hummel back to the UK for the first time in over twenty years, held our first Trade Expo, and raised £735 for our chosen charity, Wishing Well Music, providing bedside music therapy for children in critical care.

In addition, we launched our first ever Harmonicas for Health workshop and symposium, which proved to be a popular and humbling new feature to the event programme. Watch this space for news of HBTS 2024 and, in the meantime, visit our YouTube Channel to enjoy coverage of this year’s artists and activities. 

You may be aware that early on Friday morning this year our Festival Producer, Richard Taylor, was already launching proceedings in the company of BBC Radio Sussex reporter Hanna Neter. 

Hanna was challenged by Breakfast Show host Alison Fearns to learn and perform her first ever harmonica tune live on air. Richard and Hanna duly got to work and within half an hour Hanna was playing When The Saints Go Marching In! You can hear what everyone got up to right here…

Following our ground breaking online festival in 2021, when we celebrated 10 years of harmonica history with a review of our stunning past guest artists, HBTS took a year off in 2022. HBTS was back live in 2023, with its twelfth fantastic festival and another stunning programme of workshops, guests artists, trade sponsors, kids workshop and afternoon blues jams. We were also delighted to announce our inaugural Harmonicas For Healing symposium, directed by Christ Startup, and the return of our world famous prize charity raffle!

Turn up. Dig it. Tell all your friends!

Please contribute to our event fund here
Please donate whatever you can to our event fund by clicking here or on the target logo at the side. Money raised goes to our artists, our charity appeal and also facilitates future HBTS events.

A breath of fresh air…
And here’s a retrospective on some of the shenanigans HBTS has been up to in recent years. Here we are on BBC Radio 4‘s harmonica documentary Suck It And See.

Listen to

And a reminder of the special message that Paul Jones of Manfred Mann broadcast on his weekly BBC Radio 2 blues hour for HBTS 2016…

Listen to

 Missed the party or just need another hit?
You can catch up as we roll out footage of Harpin’ By The Sea 2021 on YouTube. Please note this process is engineered voluntarily and we thank you for your patience as it takes shape. You can check everything out at Harpin’ By The Sea’s own Channel and at Russ Turner’s Oxharp Channel.