Festival of the Sea is completely FREE for everyone, with performance and activities taking place across Grimsby Town Centre and Waterfront.
Festival of the Sea brings you entertainment from talented local and national artists, and invites you to participate in workshops, interactive performance and family activities.
Below you will find 2023’s programme. Festival of the Sea 2024 is currently being planned, watch this space!
FESTIVAL MAP 2023
FAMILY GAMESHOW, WALKABOUT & GLITTER FACEPAINTING
The Aquatic Mermaids Family Gameshow is a big hit and fun for all, full of fishy facts, music rounds, surprise bonuses and you’ll be sent running around hunting for treasure as the Captain pits you, the audience, against the Mermaids – who will win? Rally the guppies and swim along to find out!
You might spot our FINtastic Walkabout act amongst the crowds causing a stir – will you spot our Pirate who has brought a real life mermaid ashore for you to marvel at inside a bubble…
We’ll also bring along our Eco Glitter face painting! It’s fish friendly and fully biodegradable so our friends in the ocean can stay happy. We don’t use harsh glues or plastic glitter, so it’s hypoallergenic and suitable for kids of all ages – even big kids!
WILD BERRY MIX
Wild Berry Mix is a group of four: Violin, accordion, whistle and guitar.
We will play shanties, hornpipes and feature songs from the 19th Century. All in all, a multi faceted group with close vocal harmony to boot.
TAP POP-UP PERFORMANCE
Join the Dancing Taps for their pop-up performance at The Bandstand!
Their Tap dancing troupe will entertain & inspire festival goers of all ages with their energetic, playful, & joyful dance style, which gets everyone smiling & toe tapping along! With a variety of short choreographies including contemporary & traditional tap repertoire, they love to celebrate the versatility of this art form including improvisational tap jams, as well as polished unison group choreography. The dancers are versatile, loud and great fun!
This year, the Original Emporium Makers Market and many more independent makers will join the market area, selling from locally sourced sea glass jewellery and gifts to framed images of 1980’s Grimsby Docks; all handmade and artisan products are inspired by local heritage and their surroundings.
Theatre Cookery Tent 2023
CAP'N FISHCAKE AND HIS FABULOUS FISH FINGERS
Cap’n Fishcake and His Fabulous Fish Fingers is a brand-new, live, outdoor puppet show for children. It is centred around a Grimsby fisherman called Cap’n Fishcake, his salty seadog, three fish fingers (named Bake, Fry and Grill) known as “The Omega 3”, and a cast of other underwater characters.
At one time Grimsby was home to the largest fish finger production factory in the world – so its a homecoming of sorts for The Omega 3!
The show aims to educate the audience about the perils of plastic pollution in the oceans and to have some fun whilst doing it. The show is aimed at children of all ages and will encourage audience participation!
INTERACTIVE AND WALKABOUT 2023
RED HERRING GAMES
THE GREAT GRIMSBY ESCAPE
Grimsby is a historic fishing town with a proud heritage. Founded by Danes in the 9th Century, the town’s name comes from the founding father – a fisherman by the name of Grim. The town became known as Grim’s town – or in Norse – Grimsby. See if you can uncover the secrets this town has by solving puzzles and breaking cyphers as you travel around Grimsby’s iconic locations. As you visit each location, you will notice something fishy is going on. Can you gather the codes and solve the puzzle of The Great Grimsby Escape?
SUE AUSTIN & OUR BIG PICTURE
Our Big Picture is proud to present this trilogy of films developed as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The film sees Austin in a specially designed self-propelled underwater wheelchair wearing a summer dress. It is not uncommon for non-disabled people to see mobility aids as symbols of dis-empowerment and constraint. Through this work, Austin draws attention away from those negative associations and repositions the wheelchair as a symbol of freedom and movement.
Location: Our Big Picture, Bethlehem Street, DN31 1JN
Saturday: 11am to 5pm
Sunday: 11am to 2pm
Full show is 10 minutes: starting on the hour, 20 past & 40 past. Suitable for all ages – open to all
Creating the Spectacle! Finding Freedom Artist Sue Austin Copyright We Are Freewheeling Ltd Videographer Norman Lomax
THE POSTCARD POSERS
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside! Meet Millie and Willy, the 50s throwbacks; they just can’t help getting into trouble. Hold onto your ice creams when this hapless duo are around; there’s sure to be high jinx aplenty!
We are excited to bring our NEW walkabout act “The Dancing Taps” to the streets of Grimsby! This pair of dancing hot and cold taps bring smiles to faces, tapping feet and bubbles to pop! Look and listen out for our dancing feet!
Sole Rebel (est. 2011) are a Tap Dance and Creative Movement and music company who love rhythm, storytelling and making music with their feet. Sole Rebel uses rhythm & dance to bring artists & communities together. We deliver a range of regular tap dance & music classes, performances & events in Liverpool & across the UK. We’re passionate about sharing our art form through participation & engagement, by celebrating rhythm as a universal language that connects us all.
Immersive Theatre Performance and Live Streaming
A 30-minute immersive theatre experience in the intimate cold stores at the Turntable Gallery on the Docks.
We invite you down the docks, nestled in the newly opened Turntable Gallery, to present our production ‘The Life and Times of the People who made our Port’ or do we….?!
Is all quite what it seems?
This visual, site specific performance dives deep into Grimsby’s folklore. A theatrical, slightly spooky, fun-family friendly experience.
Prepare to be spooked in this 30 minute theatrical experience that not only aims to teach, but to thrill. Join Evangeline Henderson and the Turntable Gallery, in this retelling of a grisly folk-tale and experience the sights, sounds and scares of the Humber Mermaid.
The performance will repeat on the hour, every hour at tt88 Gallery, Grimsby Docks and last for 30 minutes. The first performance will start at 11:00, with the last at 16:00.
These performances will also be live-streamed from the Turntable Gallery shop window on Victoria Street, Grimsby.
This is a bespoke performance curated for the Festival of the Sea 2023.
Spaces are limited, book early! The Port Immersive Theatre EVENTBRITE
CANOE RIVER CLEANER
Join Jim the canoe river cleaner on a fun nature I-spy upstream, and learn about our beautiful chalk stream fed river that flows through the heart of Grimsby. We will also give back to nature with a short litter pick.
This activity is for young children and parents and the walks are pushchair accessible.
LIVE PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS
Taiko players from across the region will come together and perform for Festival of the Sea! Featuring the area’s very own Taiko drumming piece – Follow The Fishing.
Expect the thundering of Japanese Taiko drums with choreographed movement and lots of energy!
Come learn more about Grimsby and its connection with the water. How The Haven drew sailors in and helped forge the first settlement, to the construction of the Docks and the East Marsh in the Victorian era.
Emma Lingard has been leading guided history walks for the last 10 years, starting out as a volunteer walk leader as part of the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival. Her background as a journalist and broadcaster gives her the flair for presenting and leading these walks, as well as her keen passion for history and anecdotal stories about places. The book Grimsby Streets was published by Pen & Sword in July 2017. The Grimsby walks are based on the book.
OUR BIG PICTURE
FRIENDS, FOES AND GOOD COMPANIONS
Our Big Picture will be running fun family arts activities inspired by the exhibition “Friends, Foes and Good Companions” at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, including Following the Fish: from the catch to our plate crafts and storytelling and reportage with our Sea Dogs.
These sessions will get you engaged in hands-on activities on Grimsby historical moments.
FREESTYLE ACADEMY CIC
Freestyle Academy will be giving music technology workshop providing 8-16 year olds the opportunity to get creative with music technology by creating their very own Sea Soundscape!
This will involve using sea sounds, effects and pre-recorded samples taken from various locations such as Grimsby Docks, Immingham Docks and Cleethorpes Beach. Individuals and groups will learn how to use Ableton Live and get hands on with midi controllers, drums, keys and recording devices.
The music made from the event will be uploaded to the Freestyle Academy Soundcloud for playback after the event!
HERITAGE LINCOLNSHIRE & VESR
VIKING FLAG MAKING WORKSHOP
Drop-in session, where people can create their own simple Viking flag to wave with Celtic emblems of fish, shellfish, fishing boats, nets, fish and chips!
The designs of the flags will tie in with the theme of the festival whilst also learning people about Grimsby’s Viking heritage and therefore its relationship and links with Scandinavia.
Umbrella Events 2023 - To get you excited for the Festival!
ADRIAN RILEY - ELECTRIC ANGEL DESIGN
COME FOLLOW ME - GUIDED TOUR
Outside Grimsby Minster in St James Square is ‘Come Follow Me’ – a 30m long text artwork carved into the stone floor in 2021. It collects local stories and dialects, people’s memories, ships manifested from the docks, even the town’s unique origin myth.
This activity is a guided walk along the path with the artist who created it (that’s Adrian!) explaining where all these fragments of text came from, the stories and histories they’re associated with, and how the path came to be including some behind-the-scenes stories.
It’s intended for locals and visitors alike and will be sure to prompt discussion and sharing of further stories and memories.
Please note the tour will be filmed, so let us know if you wish not to be included in the footage on the day.
Saturday 1st July 10:00 -11:00 FREE
St James’s Square
Limited capacity, book in advance here ‘Come Follow Me’ Eventbrite
PHOENIX FROM THE TRASHES
SEA THEMED YARN BOMB WORKSHOPS
A collective of crochet and knitters who take out beautiful creations to brighten peoples lives!
The group will be hosting a range of crochet and knitting workshops where people can join in to help make sea-themed yarn bomb displays for Festival Of The Sea!
Grimsby Yarn Bombs are a collective of crochet and knitters who make beautiful wooly creations to brighten peoples lives.
Tuesday 27th June 10:00 – 12:00
Wednesday 5th July 18:00 – 20:00
Tuesday 11th July 10:00 – 14:00
Welholme Works, Ladysmith Rd, Grimsby DN32 9SH
Timings and more info Grimsby Yarnbombs