Michael Rice and 25 ft puppet of a giant king: See what's in store at Hartlepool Waterfront Festival

Organisers of this year’s Hartlepool Waterfront Festival say it will be bigger and better than ever.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 4:30 pm
Michael Rice

A wide range of arts, music and entertainment will take place on Hartlepool waterfront at the marina over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July from 12pm-7pm.

Organisers have unveiled some key attractions of this year’s packed programme.

The theme will be Harbour of Refuge, historically the name given to a safe haven for ships seeking free shelter from stormy seas.

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To do this the festival is throwing a big welcome party featuring a 25-feet puppet of a giant and king of Britain from Welsh mythology.

There will be a number of stages and areas hosting some of the country’s finest outdoor theatre performers and local bands and musicians including town Eurovision star Micheal Rice.

Festival organiser Aaron Bowman from Hartlepool Borough Council said: “After a year in the making, we are so excited about welcoming the people of the Tees Valley and beyond to a giant party on a scale the town has ever seen at this year’s festival.

“You are invited to celebrate our rich maritime heritage and all things #LoveHartlepool with two days of music, performance, arts and creative activity!”

Young performers from Miss Toni's Academy at last year's Hartlepool Waterfront Festival.

Festival organisers have been working with Welsh theatre company Small World Theatre to help bring the story of 25ft-high puppet Brân the Blessed to life who will make his entrance on the Sunday afternoon.

Several choirs from Hartlepool and the surrounding areas will perform as well as brass band Back Chat Brass, Hartlepool’s favourite hipster duo Pek and Wanley, and fiery trio Bonnie and the Bonnettes with their unique blend of drag, performance and cabaret.

Organisers have also been working with Hartlepool-based artists Bloominart to bring together some of the best North East artists who will be providing creative activities for youngsters on the Arts Beach.

The festival is sponsored by RACZ Group and Thirteen, and visitors can pay what they like with all monies being used to providing extra children’s activities at next year’s festival.

An eye-catching entry in last year's Hartlepool Waterfront Festival.

Key elements of the programme are:

Saturday, July 20

12pm: Wayfinder by Output Arts will take you on a guided tour of the marina – featuring stories of Hartlepool residents told through a magical ship’s compass – and see you taking to the high seas! Find the departure gate at the Quarterdeck.

1pm: A performance by the Flying Bazazi Brothers.

2pm: Hear spoken sord artist Lisette Auton on the House of Love stage.

3pm: Take the kids to the Arts Beach for a programme of drop-in creative workshops.

4pm: A performance of Receivers of the Wreck on a shipwrecked boat on the Quarterdeck.

5pm: Catch Circo Rum Ba Ba’s “Storm ship” which takes place on a pull-along boat – based on our very own HMS Trincomalee.

6pm: Michael Rice on the #LoveHartlepool stage.

Sunday, July 21

12pm: Artists’ Market.

1pm: Back Chat Brass’ performance on the #LoveHartlepool stage.

2pm: Play a game of Massive Battleships with Mufti Games.

3pm: See some performers from the Hartlepool Folk Festival.

4pm: Award-winning Geordie rapper Kay Greyson on the House of Love Stage.

5pm: Closing parade featuring Bran The Blessed, a 25-foot giant puppet.

For more information go to www.hartlepoolwaterfrontfestival.com