Outdoor cinema, a community choir, a Ukrainian classical singer and a Ceilidh announced among programme highlights

Excitement is building ahead of the return of the largest celebration of creativity in the Hartlepool calendar.

With just weeks to go before thousands of visitors from all over the North East flock to the annual Hartlepool Waterfront Festival, organisers have released exclusive details of a number of highlights from their jam-packed programme including the return of outdoor cinema, a community choir, a Ukrainian classical singer and a Ceilidh like no other!

This year’s Hartlepool Waterfront Festival, organised by Hartlepool Borough Council, will take place on the Waterfront site in the heart of Hartlepool Marina on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July from 12pm to 6pm.

The Elephant Rock

The theme for Hartlepool Waterfront Festival 2022 is ‘When The Boat Comes in’, exploring the ideas of arrivals, departures, welcomes and goodbyes and will take place almost exactly one year before the world-famous Tall Ships return to Hartlepool in 2023.

Spread across two days, the festival will host a jam-packed programme of open-air performances, immersive experiences, activities and installations the whole family can enjoy.

Aaron Bowman, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Events Manager, said: “We’re delighted to welcome people back to this summer’s Hartlepool Waterfront Festival, we’ve been working extremely hard behind the scenes and are very excited to share some exclusive details ahead of the festival from our jam-packed programme. We are especially looking forward to bringing back outdoor cinema and showcasing not only one Disney Pixar classic but two when we show Finding Nemo on Saturday and Finding Dory on Sunday on the big screen on Hartlepool’s Waterfront.”

Prior to and during the festival (Monday 4th July – Sunday 10th July) visitors can experience the spectacular ‘Gaia’ by UK artist Luke Jerram at Hartlepool’s Town Hall Theatre which is open to the public between 12pm and 6pm. The realistic replica of planet Earth uses detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface to provide a unique opportunity to view our planet floating in three dimensions.  

Gaia 2019 c w5 belfast 3

Gaia (Copyright W5 Belfast)

Aaron added: “If there’s only one thing you get to see this Waterfront Festival, we recommend visiting Gaia which is going to look magnificent set inside the backdrop of our beautiful and historic Town Hall Theatre.”

Amongst the attractions at the festival, there will be a powerful large scale mural on the Waterfront site as part of a collaborative project between Hartlepool Waterfront Festival, Tees Valley poet and artist Lizzie Lovejoy and Durham-born community artist Lewis Hobson that encourages young men to talk about their mental health.

Further ‘moments of artistic joy’ will also be popping up at the festival, including Murmurations by Tangled Feet Theatre at North Gare. Murmurations is a guided tour into nature which you’ll never forget. Through live scenes and songs, poetry and physical theatre, Murmurations explores what we need from nature and what nature needs from us in a world healing from sickness.

Also on the bill on Saturday and Sunday will be performance group Folk Dance Remixed with the most extravagant Ceilidh you’ve ever witnessed! A fresh, quirky, colourful and magical collision of traditional and Hip Hop dance and music, all developed into a high-energy, theatrical 30 minute professional performance offering a unique remix of Maypole, Clogging, Ceilidh, Street, House and Breakdance with a hint of African & Bollywood.

Ceilidh folk dance remixed

Ceilidh folk dance remixed

The festival will also be welcoming back Headland artist Stuart Langley’s three highly distinctive stained glass Reliant Robin artworks, which feature iconic images of Durham Cathedral and the Angel of the North and explore what ‘home’ has meant for the wider North East.

Over the weekend, families will also be delighted at the welcome return of a series of artist-led workshops which explore this year’s festival theme ‘When The Boat Comes In’.

The Moon Stage – SATURDAY

Finding Nemo

Dig out the deck chair, blankets and popcorn and make yourself comfortable when we play Disney Pixar classic Finding Nemo on the big screen on the Marina !

Fizzy Fish

From Skelton to North Shields, Durham City to Spennymoor, Fizzy Fish have been rockishly smashing out covers of some rock and roll classics – with songs from today and songs from tomorrow. Get ready for songs to shout-along too.

Blue Rose Choir

In their biggest public performance to date, the Blue Rose Choir continue to cement their reputation as one of the most welcoming community choirs across the Tees Valley. After their work on Songs of her Reign at our Jubilee celebrations earlier this month, the group have been invited today to showcase everything they’ve learned in their short time together.

Hartlepool Brass Band

Due to our long, rich history of industry, as well as our links to the armed forces, Brass Bands have been a staple in Hartlepool and the wider North East for many years. For many, the sound of a brass band is the sound of home – from Christmas Concerts in Ward Jackson Park, to memorial performances in December on the Headland. Today we celebrate this, by inviting Hartlepool Brass Band to the Waterfront for the first time.

Miss Toni’s Academy

They’re back! It wouldn’t be a Waterfront without our friends at Miss Toni’s Academy, would it? And here they are once again – future Beyonces, Britneys or Arianas – and maybe even a Bieber or two thrown in for good measure!

The Moon Stage – SUNDAY

Finding Dory

For our second film of the weekend, we couldn’t think of a better way to end our stories of arrivals and welcomes with the second film in the ‘Finding’ saga.

Pek and Wanley

Probably the North East’s best ramshackle, hipster-hop, hillbilly, folky, pop and rock acoustic cover duo from here in Hartlepool.

Dilutey Juice

Since first seeing Dilutey Juice playing on Newcastle Quayside before the pandemic, the band have taken their brass-infused covers and originals to new heights – playing on the bill of Festivals alongside Craig Charles or solo-gigs at Sage Gateshead – but they still retain the gem of uniqueness that we first saw back in the Summer of 2018!

The Campfire Stage – SATURDAY

Hartlepool Folk Festival

After their stonking take-over of Headland Town Square last October, the Folk Festival are back at Waterfront Festival to bring us back to our roots!

Lizzie Lovejoy

On Saturday, our associate artist, writer, illustrator and performer Lizzie Lovejoy will be taking to the stage to delight audiences by performing some beautiful spoken word!

The Campfire Stage – SUNDAY

Nadedja feat. Collie Metcalfe

Previously described as classy, dynamic and impressive, Nadedja will perform versions of her songs alongside Collie Metcalfe, a deaf performer, in BSL.

Tees Women Poets

Continuing our support of local creativity, and our partnership with Tees Women Poets, the gang will once again take to the Campfire Stage to perform some of their sets based around ‘When the Boat Comes In’.

Svitlana Sanina

Earlier this year, Svitlana moved to the UK with her husband, fleeing her home in Ukraine to come here, to Hartlepool. In her home country, Svitlana was a singer, performer and teacher of classical singing and may well now be the best operatic singer in Hartlepool. Today, we celebrate her and welcome her to the Campfire Stage.

This year’s Hartlepool Waterfront Festival will be unticketed and will once again be Pay What You Decide. Visitors will be able to make anonymous donations based on their experience of the event and the money will go towards commissioning additional children’s activities at next year’s festival.

For more information about the festival and for programme updates please visit www.hartlepoolwaterfrontfestival.com

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