Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub, producers of Sidmouth’s first festival of the year, are gearing up for Sea Fest on Saturday 21st May.

Sea Fest starts with a Friday Night Fundraiser on Friday 20th May in the Main Marquee on the Ham, Sidmouth

The Friday evening event with live bands, DJs and bar with local food outside, is available to book via Eventbrite.  Friday tickets can also be purchased from Paragon Books, High Street, Sidmouth.

The Sea Fest main event (free to all) on Saturday 21st May will kick off at 10am with an eclectic mix of art, craft, local groups, music, dance and literature and environmental activities and continue to 11.00pm with a special evening of entertainment, bands and DJs.

The theme for Sea Fest is Kelp Our Oceans, reflecting a positive environmental focus on learning, having fun and creating around seaweeds. The theme is hugely topical given the climate change emergency and particularly relevant to Sidmouth’s coastal location.

Artist Steve McCracken has been working with us on our Sidmouth School of Art project and will be doing a live install on the billboard at Sidmouth Wallspace in the days running up to Sea Fest 18th to 20th. Steve who was a Sidmouth College student, is known for his pasteups of Sid the seagull. He has done a series of workshops with SCCH at the youth centre and skate park, their work is installed at White & Sons shoe shop in Sidmouth.

There will be plenty to do and see throughout the day including special guest authors organised by Winstone Books of Sidmouth; Anna Turns – “Go Toxic Free” - please come along to join her author talk at midday and Tracey Williams  “Adrift - story of the washed up lego”  who will be on site along with local children’s authors Jo Earlam “Tuamor The Turtle” and Emily Hobson-Martin “Otto’s Ocean”.

Sidmouth Community Choir will kickoff the main stage events at 11am followed by a full day with music, art and an early evening show with Sidmouth’s own Goronwy Thom, well known for his street comedy shows.  Two beach cleans are being planned for the Saturday by Sidmouth Plastic Warriors, the waste will be analysed by Greenpeace on site and then upcycled into art by Clean Jurassic Coast.

Sidmouth Sailing Club will be hosting a Scorpions Championship on the day and the area will see plenty of activity with a Sea Fest road closure from the Lifeboat station to the turning circle.  There will be dancing, yoga and art @ our new Sea Stage.

The full Saturday line-up includes an really brilliantly packed day with plenty to do for all ages. Regular updates are available via the Sidmouth Sea Fest Facebook page and @sidseafest Instagram.

Organisers are very pleased to have the support of Sidmouth Town Council/Visit Sidmouth, and a host of other local sponsors.  This support means that the free community event on Saturday can go ahead despite the event having been paused for two years due to the pandemic.

Businesses in the town, shops, cafés and restaurants are encouraged to get into the Sea Fest spirit and dress their windows or put a special dish of the day on their menu to share the Kelp Our Oceans message playfully.

Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub Director, Louise Cole, said: “We are so pleased to have such a full programme with so many community groups, artists and authors taking part, with live music, Goronwy Thom’s joyous comedy show, food and drink - all creating a great atmosphere, with everyone linking their activities to our important environmental theme in a fun way.”

Artistic Director, Coco Hodgkinson, said: “We have been working with children and young people at Sidmouth College, the primary school and St. John’s to create lots of fabulous banners, seats, signs and Kelp! Their work will contribute to the seaweed theme look of the site this year.”

Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub chose the theme for 2022 given the importance of Kelp, Sea Grass and other seaweeds, which are known for their nutrient rich properties and their importance to ocean biodiversity.  The theme will help to highlight the need to take care of our marine environment.

Carbon sucking kelp is the subject of much scientific research currently and its potential to sequester carbon provides a glimmer of hope as many feel the impact of climate anxiety.