Dive into Grimsby's nautical festival

A new festival celebrating Grimsby's connections to the sea will be washing in next month.

Grimsby's Festival of the Sea.
Grimsby's Festival of the Sea.

Festival of the Sea promises a vibrant day of free street theatre, music and dance, taking place on Saturday July 17 in the newly landscaped St James’ Square.

Audiences are invited to experience the talents of local, regional and national artists bringing giant puppets, mechanical sculpture, acrobatics, and plenty of fish!

This Covid-safe event will dive into Grimsby’s future, present and past relationship with the sea, and will be complemented by an additional programme of digital activity in the lead-up, exploring Grimsby’s heritage and its sustainable futures.

Grimsby's Festival of the Sea.

Produced by Grimsby-based events organisation The Culture House, in partnership with one of the UK’s leading outdoor arts organisations, Walk the Plank, Festival of the Sea invites residents and visitors to enjoy live entertainment while sampling Grimsby’s seafood and take part in hands-on activities, as well as joining walks, talks and a debate.

Free tickets are available now for two-hour main programme time slots in ‘Festival Square’, for entry at either 11.30am, 1.30pm or 3.30pm, enabling limited audiences at any one time to enjoy the event under current restrictions, while maintaining social distancing.

The live programme includes Out of the Deep Blue by Autin Dance, featuring a sea giant ‘washed up on the shore’, and there’ll be music from Manchester’s International Roots Orchestra and comical street theatre acts.

There will also be a range of activities around the town, including ‘Congregation’ by sound artist Ray Lee - an experience supported by the Without Walls Touring Network partnership, taking participants on a ‘sonic journey’ to a secret location - a two-hour walk led by Grimsby Tours exploring Grimsby’s connection to the water, and an Alfred Enderby Smokehouse tour.

Culture House director and festival co-director Charlotte Bowen said: “We’re delighted to be making this festival happen in Grimsby. The year 2021 is an introductory year while we work around constraints, but together with Walk the Plank we have strong ambitions for the festival’s future, as well as some brilliantly entertaining acts for people to enjoy this year.

Councillor Callum Procter, Cabinet member for economic growth, housing and tourism, said: “This is the visible result of investment from DCMS via the Cultural Development Fund into Grimsby and we hope that the town will embrace this new festival and help it become a significant date in our calendar. We need to navigate new connections with the sea, and cultural activities can offer a great way to imagine new futures as well as celebrate our rich heritage.”

Festival of the Sea is produced by Walk the Plank and The Culture House, and supported by Grimsby Creates, Arts Council England, Without Walls, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, New England Seafoods and Alfred Enderby.

Visit the Festival of the Sea website here to find out and follow the social media channels @festivalofsea on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all programme announcements.