We bring you entertainment from talented local and national artists, and invite you to participate in heritage walks, talks and debates.

Festival of the Sea is free to access, with a performance and activities programme taking place around the town on the day and online in advance.

The programme shown on this website is what happened in 2021, so call back in May to find out what’s in store for the 2022 edition of the Festival of the Sea.

Out of the Deep Blue

Autin Dance

Waves wash EKO, a Sea Giant, onto the shore where this ancient creature encounters a young girl – and they tell us their stories highlighting earth’s climate emergency through movement and masterful puppeteering.



Inverted Theatre

Impressive hand-balancing, playful acrobatics and a mysterious box of tricks, BOX offers a humorous and uplifting tale about sibling connection, competition and compassion.


Fisher and his Wife

Lempen Puppet Theatre

A long time ago there lived a fisherman and his wife, in a small cottage, made of dirty old metal. They had everything they ever needed, but one day a talking fish starts granting them wishes…a traditional story with renewed relevance, set to delight all ages.




Find the Departure Lounge and come on board The Submercycle famous travelling machine, diving under the sea with Captain Calypso on a journey into the depths of your wildest dreams.


Climate Change Mythbuster Machine

Walk the Plank

Marvel as this amazing machine munches through the truths and the lies about the Climate emergency. Click the play button above to watch a short film and meet the Machine’s maker, Bryan Tweddle.


Street Theatre


Watch out for our giant cheeky Seagulls as they cause a flap in St James’ Square; the Lifeboat in which the shipwrecked Captain and his Bosun have been adrift since 1786 and are more than a little confused; and stand back as Val and Halla, two Abba-obsessed Scandinavians invade the town!


Dale Mackie

Artist in residence

Grimsby-based artist Dale Mackie will be Festival of the Sea’s first artist in residence, creating Humber-themed seascapes over the course of the day.


School of Fish

Wendy Chan

Children and their families are invited to join artist Wendy Chan, to create a large-scale seascene featuring Grimsby trawlers… and to add their own fish to be caught in the Festival of the Sea net!


Anniversary Flags

Sean Rodwell & Wendy Meadley

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Fishing Heritage Centre, we commissioned a set of flags from designer Sean Rodwell ( Walt Studio), displayed alongside flags designed by Wendy Meadley. As well as some very colourful haddock, Sean’s designs use international maritime signal flag symbols and morse code: prizes for anyone who can work out what the flags say.




From English folk to brass-playing cooks via shanty singers and the diverse instrumentation of Manchester’s International Roots Orchestra, we’ve got plenty of music for you to enjoy in St James Square and around town – listen out for:

  • The Boat Band
  • MIRO, the International Roots Orchestra
  • The Ski Band
  • The Caistorways Shanty Singers
  • Green Dreaming

Family Wildlife Walk

By Birdhouse Explorers
with Lincolnshire Outdoor Learning

SATURDAY 17 JULY 11.30AM, 1.30PM AND 3.30PM
Join Lincolnshire Outdoor Learning and enjoy an interesting stroll along a stretch of the lovely River Freshney, from Earl Street bridge to the Boulevard, picking up nature finds along the way and then creating a piece of eco-art from what you’ve found. Children can get their very own ‘Arts Award’ by participating in this activity. A free Birdhouse bag and Arts Award log book will be provided on the day.

Suitable for ages 5 – 11. Places limited to 15 per session. Three sessions available at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. All children must be accompanied by an adult, although we’d appreciate just one adult participating per family to enable more children to be able to access the activity.


Ray Lee

SATURDAY 17 JULY 11.30AM, 1.30PM AND 3.30PM
Let a magical sonic sphere take you on a journey to a secret location along the River Freshney, guiding you by sound alone. Seemingly possessed of its own mind, it leads you through familiar and unfamiliar places. Can you keep the sphere ‘happy’ by going in the right direction?

In return the sphere will take you on a listening experience and voyage to the mysterious final destination…

Running three times throughout the day, at 11.30, 1.30 and 3.30pm. On booking you will be emailed a start point within 5 – 10 minutes walk from St James’ Square. If a group would like to take part, one sphere is allocated to the group, therefore in this instance, one place needs to be booked.

Grimsby’s Water

Walking tours with Emma Lingard

Explore Grimsby’s connections with the sea – in particular its fishing history and trade with the world. Find out more about the riverhead, Alexandra Dock and how the Haven drew sailors in and helped forge the first settlement; the construction of the Docks and the East Marsh.

Tours at 10am and 2pm – limited places, must be booked in advance, lasts two hours.

Smokehouse Tour

Alfred Enderby

Grimsby’s multi award winning fish-smokers Alfred Enderby have been smoking fish the traditional way for over 100 years. As a family run business based on Grimsby Docks since 1918, they are embedded in the towns rich heritage.

Especially for Festival of the Sea, there will be two tours taking place for up to 6 people at a time. Tours will be COVID safe and people will be asked to wear masks throughout.

Interactive Great Grimsby
Heritage Trail

Adventure Lab

Can you find Grimsby’s hidden geocache treasure? Take the interactive Great Grimsby Heritage Trail and have fun exploring and learning more about the town’s history whilst discovering the five secret locations around the town centre. The trail will last approximately 45 minutes.

Simply download the free Geocaching Adventure Lab App from Google Play or Apple App Store, create an account with username and password, select the Great Grimsby Heritage Trail and you’re ready to go and explore!

Have fun and don’t forget to complete your ‘journal entry’ on the app and tag @festivalofsea #FoSea into your social media posts.

Paint the Town Proud

Creative Start

Creative Start have recently announced their Paint the Town Proud project as part of the Grimsby Creates programme and will be launching with community consultation live mural painting and ‘memory lane’ interviews. You are welcome to come and be a part of this special celebration of Grimsby’s famous heritage telling your own life stories and sharing memories to help shape the project. You can also get involved with creating the artwork.

Paint the Town Proud is going to be a series of large-scale murals celebrating Grimsby’s famous heritage with interactive and digital storytelling throughout the town. The project will span over 18 months from July 2021 – January 2023 with Saturday 17th July being the launch event.

Find out more at www.paintthetownproud.com

Photographic Exhibition

Steve Thornton

Fish Town 1990 to 2020 is a unique collection of images documenting the working life of filleters, fish auctions, the dry dock, the ice house at work, dock workers, lumpers, cafe’s and lots more. This collection of images capture the true life of a time gone by plus new images of post Brexit, documenting Grimsby fish dock in present day. Not to be missed…

Produced by Walk the Plank and The Culture House, and supported by Grimsby Creates – which is funded by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport via the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England.

With thanks to Ørsted, New England Seafood International and Alfred Enderby: named one of Britain’s Best in the Great British Food awards 2020. Also with thanks to Without Walls – The Culture House is a member of Without Walls touring network giving audiences in Grimsby access to contemporary work created especially for the outdoors – and National Lottery Heritage Fund, the team at Grimsby Minster, Made Great in Grimsby, Spruce Creative and Haus of Pink and Red.