February 14, 2017 by Liam Jefferies

The first programme has been announced for Village Green 2017, and we’re more than a little excited!

The annual festival, the brainchild of arts organisation Metal, will take place this year on Saturday 8th July in Chalkwell Park, Southend-on-Sea.

This year’s roster features a fantastic array of local and international talent from the worlds of music, literature and art, and always attracts a diverse audience of culture vultures of all ages.

The main music headliner is in the form of Southend’s very own Nothing But Theives who are returning to their hometown after touring their critically acclaimed album in Europe, Japan and the USA, including an appearance on the Conan O’Brian show.

Joining them at the top of the bill on the Village Green Stage is Kate Nash, the BRIT award winning singer-songwriter who is currently on a sell out tour around the UK.

Further musical acts are to be announced soon, including a variety of national treasures and local talent, including the winner of the Essex Undiscovered competition.

Back this year and playing host to the best in local Southend musical talent is the Idea13 Stage, curated by Chinnerys, the Railway Hotel, Cool Thing Records and South Essex College. The Oak Stage will also showcase emerging talent for under 25s. Other areas include the Chalkwell Park Rooms and the Mini Green with entertainment for tots under the ages of 6.

Applications for local bands and musicians of all kinds are now open. 25 performance slots are available across the festival. Forms can be found at

New this year, in celebration of the rise of fantastic independent food and drink businesses across the Southend area, Village Green is introducing a new street food vibe in the Meadow Field. This will feature live demos, recipes, world food, foraging tips and tasters and a farmers market.

On the subject of food, the Culinary Comedy Big Top will be featuring a stellar lineup, including BBC comedian, journalist and chef Hardeep Singh, whose show Chat Masala culminates in a curry that is shared with the audience! George Egg: Anarchist Cook will also be there to bring his own surreal and absurd stand-up comedy cooking from his 2016 sell-out Edinburgh show. The Culinary Comedy Big Top will also feature podcaster Global Pillage, led by Australian stand up and screenwriter Deborah Frances White, who will debate with guests the world of food, idiom, culture, customs and norms.

As always, Visual Art will be in abundance across the festival site, with a concentration of exhibitions, markets and makers around the games courts. The Art Car Boot Rally invites artists, makers and collectors to show/sell their wares from their own car boots. Railing Against the Machine is a free exhibition on the railings of the basketball court, whilst the March of the Makers marquee will feature demonstrations, workshops and exhibitions of all kinds from pottery to crochet.

With the distinct feeling of change in the air in 2017, Village Green’s Sign of the Times event will invite everyone to take part and, alongside local artists, create a mass installation of signs, placards, slogans and imagery to celebrate the wit, humour and positivity of communities coming together to make change. All ages are invited to bring along positive protest imagery. Everyone is invited to also take part in the ‘Love In’ to celebrate our brilliant hometown in the 125th year of it’s existence. Launching on Valentine’s Day is the Love Letter to My Hometown: Southend project. With postcards placed all over town, people are encouraged to write a message, draw a picture, jot down a quick poem or scrawl whatever you like to celebrate the town. Just post the cards back to Metal and they will be part of a huge exhibition at Village Green.


There are lots of opportunities to get involved in Village Green. To apply to perform, creatively participate, or volunteer and help with the back stage running please visit and go to the INFO tab.


Tickets now on sale at

FREE for 10 years and under;

£10 for 11-17 year olds

£15.00 for an adult ticket

On festival day (8 July) adult tickets will be £20 and Teen Tickets will be £15.

Tickets are available online 24 hours at

Any issues, there is a customer helpline at Skiddle on 0333 3010101 (open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat 10am-5pm; Closed Sunday).

Metal have set aside FREE tickets for low income families and individuals in Southend. These can be secured with Southend Borough Council through their Southend Advantage Card scheme.

For more details of the Advantage Card scheme visit:

For more details of how to claim your FREE ticket – call Metal on 01702 470700 or email

Photo of Rag ’n’ Bone man, who played Village Green last year, courtesy of Benedict Johnson