Waterfront Festival blasts back as Hartlepool celebrates event's return in the summer sunshine
Hartlepool was alive with sights, sounds and fun as one of the area’s most popular events came back with a bang.
Visitors had been asked to book in advance on a pay-what-you-decide basis, allowing them to pay after the event based on their experiences, and tickets for both Saturday and Sunday sold out ahead of opening day.
The theme of the festival this year is ‘Rebirth’ – chiming with Hartlepool’s emergence from the pandemic – and is inspired by the folklore of the North East.
The ‘Goddess of Festivals’, giant tarot cards, walk-about worshippers and weird and wonderful performances formed part of the backdrop to events, with the programme including performances taking place across the three themed stages: The Moon Stage, The Campfire Stage and The Happenings.
Hartlepool council leader Shane Moore said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome back the people of Hartlepool, the Tees Valley and beyond to our flagship summer event, especially after the many sacrifices they have had to make during the pandemic.”
Saturday’s events included the entire Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ album performed by Transatlantic Ensemble - a group of top, session musicians and outstanding, classically-trained vocalists - on the Moon Stage at The Waterfront.
Sunday will see Sunderland post-punk legends The Futureheads performing, as well as a number of other bands.
The Waterfront Festival is being supported by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority with £30,000 as part of the Tees Valley Festivals 2021 Recovery Fund, which aims to help businesses, communities and visitors plan with confidence by investing in a vibrant, imaginative and responsible programme of festival activity.
Alongside the festival, internationally renowned artist Luke Jerram has take over Seaton Park at Seaton Carew with his new touring artwork In Memoriam, a temporary and poignant memorial to all those lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The installation features 120 flags made from NHS bed sheets arranged in the form of a medical logo. In Memoriam is also intended to be a tribute to NHS staff who have risked or lost their lives during the pandemic.
The artwork will be in place in Seaton Carew until August 30.