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10 Family Highlights during Southport Festival

The festival is perfect for families – and offers a unique opportunity to expose every generation to art, music and literature in a new and exciting way.  Here is our ultimate guide to making the most of your weekend and ensuring the whole family has an unforgettable experience.

Make a mess!

Saturday 11am-2pm, Town Hall Gardens 

Pif Paf action painting head to town hall gardens on Saturday with their pneumatic paint firing cannon and giant spinning canvas!  Help build the piece of art as it evolves by firing the paint and aiming for the canvas. (Don’t worry, the paint is washable if the teenager aims for Dad instead!)

Make a Jellyfish

Workshops in various locations throughout the weekend, performance Sunday 4pm, Town Hall Gardens

Throughout the weekend, stumble upon one of our jellyfish making workshops and help build one to join our giant Momma jellyfish in their stunning performance on Sunday. All ages can get stuck in and help create this living, moving art.

Cath Cassidy

Saturday 6th 3-5pm, The Atkinson

For teens – author Cath Cassidy, a former Shout magazine agony aunt, will be reading extracts from her current book ‘The Broken Heart Club’ and meeting and greeting fans and letting them in to the secrets of her inspiration and day dreaming!

The Nick Cope Show

Saturday 6th 1-2pm, The Atkinson, £3 per person

Join singer/songwriter Nick for his hugely popular interactive music sessions about everything from counting to how plants grow!  Nicks quirky songs are a must for 1,000’s of young families and are a great way to expose young ears to unique, funny and profound original music

The Big Street Draw

Saturday 6th 2-4pm, Nevill Street

Fill the streets with colour and join in with interactive art – painting directly on to the street!  Contemporary artists will be creating a giant frieze on the pavement and you will be able to put your own stamp too – literally with our fun wellie painting!  Head back to Nevill Street Sunday from 11am to explore creating fun pavement art using mechanical cars and toys.

Caricatures & Cartoons

Saturday & Sunday 10.30am-4pm, Chapel Street 

The big cartoon draw returns to Chapel Street both Saturday and Sunday this year.  Keep coming back to see the giant comedy cartoons develop as the day progress and try to guess what is being created.  Some of the country’s leading caricaturists will be on hand to depict the whole family in comedy form if you are brave enough to sit!

Wesley Street Sea & Shore Festival

Saturday 10.30am-4pm, Wesley Street 

Wesley Street, the village in the town, returns better than ever.  The spirit of the seaside is brought into the heart of the town with this exceptionally popular ‘mini-festival’.  Enjoy donkey rides, face painting, games, paddling, ice-creams and Punch & Judy!

Discover the backstage world of theatre

Saturday & Sunday 6th & 7th 11am-12pm 2pm-4pm, Southport Little Theatre

Inspire young minds to fall in love with theatre with this unmissable treasure hunt.  Explore the fabulous art deco building and uncover all manner of secrets and superstitions.  Get access all areas to dressing rooms and sound stages, meet characters and hear tales of life on stage.  There is also chance to dress up in the different costumes and get fun selfies on stage!

Star wars: Rogue One

Saturday 6th 8.40pm, Kings Gardens

Weather permitting, finish your day with a picnic supper in the stunning Kings Gardens and sit back to enjoy an epic family film on our huge outdoor screen

The best wedding yet, the wedding no one will ever forget…

Saturday 6th 2.30pm, The Atkinson, Tickets on sale from £5

This truly heart-warming adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler’s much loved best-seller, The Scarecrows Wedding is bursting at the seams with wit, drama and a wedding no-one will ever forget.  An unmissable performance and a wonderful way to help young audiences experience and be captivated by the magic of theatre.

Be surprised

Various – see website 

One of the hopes of the festival is to introduce people to art forms they don’t necessarily try normally and to explore something new.  There are dozens of have-a-go sessions or demonstrations throughout the weekend just waiting to be discovered.  Enjoy djembe drumming, let the kids try raku pottery making, try knitting or weaving, take in an exhibition or follow the arts trail around town.  Music will fill the town with performances in cafes and restaurants and there will be so many ways to sample something completely new such as harpist in Wayfarer’s Arcade, Sefton Youth Jazz orchestra in The Ramada or live bands and spoken word and pizza at Remedy.  Above all, create new experiences and make memories!

Check out the new website for full information about the many festival events taking place from Friday 5-Sunday 7 May.  Southport Festival is an explosion of literature, music, poetry, visual arts, comedy and much more across Southport’s open spaces and venues. The annual event is funded by Southport BID, and Sefton Council but is only made possible through the hard work of key partnerships in the town including Southport Comedy Festival, The Atkinson, Southport Contemporary Artists and the hotels, restaurants and destinations around the town.

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