Southend Business Improvement District’s (BID) first Southend Festival was such a hit last summer that its organisers have announced that it will return, this year with a promise to be even ‘bigger and better’.
Spread over six weeks (14 June to 14 July 2019), the Southend Festival features a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, performances, gigs and workshops across the town centre and seafront.
The 2019 Festival kicks off with a brand-new art trail, street theatre and live music.
New artworks created by nearly 40 artists will be placed in 25 different locations – ranging from Greggs the Bakers, Waterstones bookshop, The Royals and The Victoria shopping centres, to Southend’s world-famous pier – giving art lovers a unique opportunity to track down these exciting paintings, sculptures, mixed media pieces and photographs in suitably quirky venues.
Paint Jam also makes a welcome return, with some of Britain and Europe’s leading street and graffiti artists working with local people to bring vibrant, eye-catching designs to a number of sites throughout the town centre.
Music has been given greater emphasis in this year’s Festival and one of the most popular Indie bands of the 90’s will be rocking Chinnerys on Friday night (14 June). The Bluetones had a string of top ten hits, including Slight Return, Marblehead Johnson and Solomon Bites the Worm and are sure to play these and other fan-favourites during their stopover in Southend.
On Saturday 15 June, the Festival’s wildly popular comedy strand launches with Si Deaves at The Alex pub, in Alexandra Street. Join Si as he tackles ‘inspiration’, fears of inadequacy, *that* drunk guy at the pub and much more in his official debut stand-up hour, Si’s Matters.
Co-ordinated by Ross McGrane of Little Smash Comedy fame, this year’s programme is absolutely brimming with comedic talent, workshops, family events and podcasts. One of the absolute highlights of Ross’ brilliant schedule of talent is Simon Brodkin AKA ‘Lee Nelson’. Star of TV and countless sell-out tours and named ‘the world’s most famous blagger’ by one national newspaper, untameable prankster and acclaimed character comedian Brodkin has repeatedly hit the headlines with his high-profile stunts. Other key aspects of the Festival involve a pop-up Flea Market (6 July) in, appropriately, Market Place, the first ever Sci-Fi Southend (15 June) in The Royals Shopping Centre, which promises to be the must-see event for all comic-book, gaming, movie and TV aficionados, plus Southend Pride (13- 20 July) which will be a riotous and joyous celebration of queer culture and recognition of LGBTIQA+ history.
For more information about the Southend Festival, click on www.visitsouthend.co.uk, like the Facebook page @VisitSouthendonSea, or follow @VisitSouthend on Twitter.