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 6 May, 11:00 - 14:00, Town Hall Gardens
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 7 May, 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.
The Queen of Teen is in town!
Saturday 6 May, 13:00 - 15:00, 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!
Listen to some music!
Saturday 6 May, 13:00 - 14:00, 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
Draw on the street!
Saturday 6 May, 14:00 - 16:00, 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.
See giant comedy sketches
Caricatures & Cartoons
Saturday 6 May & Sunday 7 May, 10.30 - 16:00, 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!
Enjoy a day at the seaside!
Saturday 6 May, 10.30 - 16:00, 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!
The best wedding yet, the wedding no one will ever forget…
Saturday 6 May, 14:30, 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.
Discover the backstage world of theatre
Saturday 6 May & Sunday 7 May, 11:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 16:00, 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!
Let the force be with you!
Star Wars: Rogue One
Saturday 6 May 20:40, King's 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
Time to be surprised!
The festival enocurages visitors to explore something new; have-a-go sessions or demonstrations throughout the weekend just waiting to be discovered.
Enjoy Djembe Drumming, let the kids try Raku Ceramics, 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. From harpist Susan Lambert in Wayfarer’s Arcade, the Northern Jazz Orchestra in The Ramada Plaza, Live Music at Remedy, plus folk, blues and jazz across bars and restaurants in the town.
Above all, create new experiences and make memories! This is your Southport Festival, this is #SouthportTime