A Guide to Southend Festival 2018

June 24, 2018 by Katie Lawrence

It’s back again (just with a slightly different name). The Estuary Fringe, known this year as Southend Festival, returns this year from the 1st July to 15 August. The six week long programme is suitable for the young and old, and is located around the High Street, seafront and the pier. To make it a little easier, we have created an easy-to-follow guide of the festival:


From the 1st July to the 4th August, comedy nights and workshops will be shown at a number of venues including the Alex, Twenty One, Dick de Vignes, Peggy Sues, Railway Hotel, Sands by the Sea and Southend Pier. Free/buy before to ensure seat. To see dates and purchase tickets click here.


  • 12th July to 15 August - Southend Art Trail. This is a chance to see works of local artists, scultures, digital artists and performers and craftsmen. Southend High Street will exhibit around 40 artists work in amazing displays and in the buzzing town centre.
  • 27th July - Free Art Friday. From 12.30 to 15:00pm, a plethora of art will be available under the Railway bridge in Southend High Street.
  • 30th July to 3rd August - Paint Jam. London-based graffiti artist Mr Cenz, known for his abstracted one work, illustration and photorealism, will show his work and the process of making at That’s Bizarre, 13 Queens Road. Murals will also be made by founder of the Estuary Fringe, John Bulley and presented at the railway bridge. Southend’s Scotty B, Founder of Brave Arts, will also create murals with spray paint in a graffiti fashion.
  • 31st July - Kid’s Chalk Fest. John Bulley will take to the pavements of Southend to create some visual art by Victoria shopping Centre between 13:00 and 15:00pm.


From the 1st July to 5th August, a huge variety of local musicians and bands will be performing all over Southend on Southend Pier, Twenty One, Railway Hotel, Chinners and the Blue Boar. With musicians such as David Woodcock, a favourite at Leigh Folk Festival, Levent & Taylor, Man and the Holy Mountain and many many more! Visit this link to see all artists, events and dates.


Southend’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community will be celebrating sexual diversity with live music, entertainment, culture and art from the 14th to the 21st July.

  • 14th to 15th July - Opening party at the Railway Hotel from 20:00 - 01:00
  • 16th July - Poetry evening at Utopia from 19:30 - 22:30
  • 17th July - You Do You at Twenty One from 18:30 - 22:30
  • 20th July - Kings vs. Queens at the Alex from 20:00 - 23:00
  • 21st July - Southend Pride Parade on the High Street from 12:00 - 12.30
  • 21st July - Southend Pride Festival at Warrior Square Gardens from 12:00 - 20:00
  • 21st July - Closing Party at the the Cliff - 17:00 to 03:00


The Southend Festival has a number of events for kids. Have a look below and see what you fancy. Southend Festival will be hosting summer fun days with a different country on each day. Visit here for more detail.

  • 25th July - Summer Fun Day India from 11:00 to 15:00 at the Royals Shopping Centre
  • 31st July - Kids Chalk Fest from 13:00 to 15:00 hosted by John Bulley at Victoria Circus
  • 1st August - Summer Fun Day Spain from 11:00 to 15:00 at the Royals Shopping Centre
  • 4th to 5th August - Puppet Festival from 11:00 to 17:00 on Southend Pier
  • 8th August - Summer Fun Day France from 11:00 to 15:00 at the Royals Shopping Centre
  • 15th August - Summer Fun Day Brazil from 11:00 to 15:00 at the Royals Shopping Centre


Southend Festival really has it all this year! If you’re a lover of literature, poetry, history, stories and tales, the festival has so much to offer. Visit here for more details.

  • 7th July - Southend Area Local Author Day from 10:00 to 17:30 at the Forum
  • 12th July - Local History by Local Authors from 18:30 to 20:00 at Waterstones
  • 12th July - Dangerous poetry from 19:30 to 23:00 at the Alex
  • 14th July - Voice Box from 19:45 to 00:00 at Twenty One
  • 15th July - Family Tales from 14:00 to 00:00 at Twenty One
  • 19th July - Essex Poetry Collective from 19:30 to 22:30 at Twenty One
  • 22nd July - Fighting Talk from 19:00 to 00:00
  • 26th July - Novel Coffee Shop from 18:30 to 20:00 at The Novel Coffee Shop
  • 11th August - Voice Box from 19:45 to 00:00 at Twenty One
  • 12th August - Family Tales from 14:00 to 00:00 at Twenty One


Southend Festival has great events showcasing film and performance. It’s a great chance to go and see local performers and enjoy a day with friends and family.

  • 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th of July and 1st, 8th and 15th August - Choir Twenty One from 20:00 to 21:30 at Twenty One
  • 14th July - Cleo Lane and the Mudlarks performing on the High Street
  • 28th July - Bare Lies from 18:00 - 21:30 at a secret venue!
  • 4th August - Outdoor Cinema showing Fantastic Mr Fox from 18:00 - 19:30 at the Forum
  • 11 August - Outdoor Cinema showing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from 18:00 to 20:00 at the Forum


On the 29th July, at the Park Inn Palace Hotel, there will be a fabulous finale finish meal with ballroom dancing and comedy with headlining act Shyanne O’Shea. Visit here for more details.


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