Hartlepool Waterfront Festival 2019 - PROGRAMME

Two years ago, Hartlepool Waterfront Festival began a journey to become Hartlepool’s modern maritime arts festival for the 21st century.

This year, for the first time, we’re pleased to welcome you into your very own story.

Picture this, you’re in sunny Hartlepool, ready to spend a day with the family and you happen upon a humongous 2-day welcome party for the return of an ancient giant!

From all corners of the land, the best, the boldest, the rebellious and the radical have come to welcome a giant and to show him what Hartlepool has to offer!


#Lovehartlepool stage

A GIANT visitor, requires some special performers. This year, we’ve invited some of Hartlepool best and brightest to perform as part of this year’s Festival on the #LoveHartlepool stage.


Michael rICE

Sat – 6pm

Fresh from his stellar performance at Eurovision, we’re excited to welcome our hometown lad back for the Party he deserves.  Join us to give him the credit he deserves and to show him just how much Hartlepool is proud of him!


Pek and Wanley

Sat – 1.45pm

If you haven’t heard of this duo, you’re missing out on a treat.  When we knew we were throwing a GIANT party, we knew they’d be the perfect guests. Join the lads on the #LoveHartlepool stage!

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Sat – 3.15pm

Liv ‘n’ G grew up and found their groove. Now they’re back with a cool new sound, a slick new name, but still the same exquisite vocals.


Hartlepool Junior Stage Society

Sat - 1pm

A home for future legends, the Stage Society are experts at putting on a show.  It includes some of the best performers in Hartlepool so we’re mega excited to welcome them to the #LoveHartlepool stage!


Hartlepool Male Voice Choir

Sat – 4pm

Fresh from their sell-out gig at Hartlepool Borough Hall, the now 60-year-old Male Voice Choir started with six or seven lads having a sing song at the Club and look how far they’ve come!  They’re a Hartlepool treasure and we can’t wait to welcome them to Waterfront Festival 2019. 

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Faye Aspinall

Sun - 1.30pm

Now a regular on the festival circuit, Faye’s performances are legendary for taking pop songs and giving them a vintage twist! She went down a storm at last year’s festival, so she’s back this year on a bigger stage!

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Ben Bartlett

Sun – 4.30pm

Ben is one of the most soulful singers on the local scene and at the age of 15, is one of the youngest!  He’s already amassed an army of fans and we don’t doubt why!


Charlotte Grayson

Sat - 5.15pm

Charlotte is an 18 year-old songstress who ‘sings like a Hartlepool nightingale’.  After making a name for herself in East Durham and the Tees Valley, she is definitely a one to watch out for. 


Shoot Your Mouth Off

Sat – 4.30pm

Earlier this year, when the #LoveHartlepool movement started, a small production company specialising in high quality work featuring disabled people, released a short song on Youtube. Already famous on Youtube, the group helped make the #LoveHartlepool campaign a success and went viral with their song ‘Hartlepool Is Our Town’, one of the catchiest songs we’ve ever heard.           

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Cobweb Cabaret

Sun - 2pm

The Cobwebs are an orchestra who don’t hold auditions, have no entry requirements and are a truly open orchestra!  The only requirement is that your instrument might have been gathering a bit of cobwebs!  They’re made up of Poolies and other general ‘Northerners’ too!


Sparkle / MTA CHOIR / Miss Toni’s Academy

Sun - 2.30pm / 3pm / 4pm

Tees Valley’s best girl-group are back to add their soulful harmonies to current chart bops as well as classics from as far back as the Sixties.  If a teenage Amy Winehouse had been in a girl-group, she’d have been part of Sparkle.  Talent on fleek.

Following Sparkle will be performances from the MTA Choir!


cLUB gROOVY BY Urban Kaos

Sun - 3.30pm

They’re back again!  Fresh off of last year’s Club Groovy Party – the girls are back to bring the p.a.r.t.y. to the pool all over again!  Come for a boogy, stay for the laughs; perfect for little ones!


Rise to Rebellion

Sat – 2.30pm

Rise to Rebellion are an alternative rap duo from the ‘pool who fuse modern British rap with edgy rock vocals creating a unique sound packed with raw emotion.




Open Water Swim - Sat & Sun


Maximum capacity of 40 persons.  Minimum age 12.  Under 18s must be supervised by an adult. 


Stand Up Paddle Boarding – sAT & SUN

SUP Lessons£15 - learn the skills of SUP with our instructor led introduction session!

12pm – 1pm,

2pm – 3pm,

4pm – 5pm.

SUP Hire£10 - a supervised session for self-sufficient competent paddlers.

1pm – 2pm,

3pm – 4pm.  


Jet Ski and Fly Boarding Displays – – sAT & SUN 2pm – 5pm

Experience the exhilaration of man and machine with impressive waterborne displays from European Fly board Champion, Sonnie Bean and Freestyle Jet Skier, Jason Bleasdale.

Free and spectator-friendly from the dockside



Our Quarterdeck programme contains some of the country’s finest outdoor theatre, performances and happenings. Whether in a Shed of Forgotten Dreams, or a dance performance on a Shipwreck, a giant game of Battleships or a magical sound-trail across Hartlepool, you’ll be dazzled by their talents!


The Healing of Brân by Small World Theatre

Our GIANT guest of honour arrives.

Sun - Performance follows parade at 5pm

The Healing of Brân is a seminal tale of leadership, betrayal and hope. This spectacular giant is 25ft tall and this production, by Welsh theatre company Small World Theatre, is as emotional as it is epic.  Following our closing parade, the performance will begin!

This is the story of Bran’s personal sacrifice, the story of a King’s love for his family, people and lands, which after much treachery, battling and sorrow ends with conciliation. For over a millennium, the implicit wisdom in this influential Welsh fairtale has been directing and guiding its many readers. It is time to bring this story into the 21st century and share its wisdom. 

Join us as we witness a moment to go down in Hartlepool History for years to come!


Shipwrecks: Receivers of the Wreck by Citrus Arts

Sat - 12.30pm & 4.15pm, Sun - 12.15pm & 3pm

A tale perfect for our modern Harbour of Refuge!  Inspired by stories or wrecks, rescues and undrownable sailors, Receivers of the Wreck is set in a post-industrial world like our own. 

Combining dance and drama, the show tells of a desire for solitude on a giant shipwreck!


The Flying Bazasi Brothers by Nearly There Yet

Sat 1.15pm & 3.45pm, Sun – 1.45pm & 3.15pm

Two brothers, Edward and Kaveh, have heard of Bran’s arrival and have rushed to the North to share their riotous juggling double-act!  Think Wham in cheap suits after too much Lucozade meets Cirque Du Soleil and you’re not too far off The Flying Bazasi Brothers! 

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The Little Shed of Forgotten Dreams, by Vici Wreford-Sinnott and Lisette Auton

Sat - 12pm - 6pm & Sun 12pm - 6pm

Vici and Lisette have been working with local community groups to develop a unique museum of forgotten things.

You too can bring your own piece to be displayed in their pop-up museum!

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Wayfinder by Output Arts

Sat & Sun, book-on-the-day

Take your whole family on a voyage of discovery, finding stories hidden around Hartlepool’s historic Jackson Dock – an audio adventure that ends in its own voyage. a boat ride back across the water!

Come and collect a magic compass, taking turns to navigate around the waterfront following its needle. On your way you will discover the voices and memories of those who have found their way in Hartlepool and those who have found their way to it.

Wayfinder is a project that celebrates local people, created by Output Arts with the help of students from Northern School of Art, who have interviewed residents and recreated historical hats for the event.  Commissioned as part of Hartlepool Waterfront Festival with Great Place Tees Valley.

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The Storm Ship by Circo Rum Ba Ba  

Sat - 1.45pm & 5pm, Sun – 12.15pm & 3.45pm

On a pull-along ship, based on HMS Trincomalee, The Storm Ship charts a journey from an anti-slave patrol, to home – to refuge.  

Commissioned as part of Hartlepool Waterfront Festival with Great Place Tees Valley, join Circo Rum Ba Ba, now their third consecutive year at the festival as they journey around the site, before landing in a celebration of circus, spectacle and opera!.


Massive Battleships by Mufti Games

What kind of party would this be without some games?!  Join Mufti Games for a super-sized team version of the classic naval guessing game played across our giant site!  Can you step aboard to save the day?

House of Love

A travelling show of rebels, radicals, drag queens, poets, musicians and dancers has arrived to welcome our visitor.  The House of Love is an ancient collective whose history goes back a millennia, and yet they seemingly never age!  The House of Love would not be complete without their diverse band of food traders that the merry gang has gathered on their travels, bringing with them a fusion of exotic tastes, sights and smells.


The House of Love - feat. Bonnie and the Bonettes

Our comperes!

Join last year’s babes, Bonnie, her Bonettes and the rest of the House of Love for a party like no other! After they stormed the Waterfront Festival with their unique blend of drag, performance and cabaret, we’ve invited Bonnie and Co back for a second outing as the comperes of the stage.

Category is House of Love Eleganza; You own everything.

Join them for a HOUSE OF LOVE EXTRAVANGZA Sat - 5.30pm & Sun - 4.30pm


Rowan McCabe

Sat - 4pm, Sun – 3pm

Meet the world’s first Door-to-Door poet!  He knocks on stranger’s doors, asks what’s important to them and writes them a poem!  When he’s not being in the Guardian, or on BBC Breakfast or on Radio 3, he spends his time at festivals around the world!  And he’s a proper Northerner!

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Kay Greyson

Sat – 4.30pm, Sun – 3.30pm

Geordie rapper Kay Greyson recently won the Newcomer of the Year at the North East Culture Awards.  Kate draws influences from stateside rappers, so if you’re a fan of the newest Jay-Z and Beyonce album, you’ll love Kay.


Tees Women Poets

Sun - 12.30pm

The TWP are a collective of strong independent women who are ready to take over the world of poetry.  They are inspirational, they are loud, they are compelling, they are amazing.  Poetry not for you? Let the TWP prove you wrong!


Melody Sproates

Sat – 2pm

East Durham’s Melody is a writer and cabaret artist based now based in Newcastle.  They make work that is sometimes a bit daft, but always very powerful. Their work aims to break the gender binaries and just to have a bit of a dance to some absolute bops


Kirsten Luckins

Sun – 1pm

Kirsten is a poet, performer and spoken word theatre-maker based on Hartlepool headland.  As part of her performance, she will be premiering new work that she has prepared especially for the festival!

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Sam Slatcher and the Stories of Sanctuary choir

Sun – 4pm

Sam Slatcher is a musician, singer-songwriter and community arts facilitator who works with migrant and refugee communities throughout the North East to create songs about seeking peace and sanctuary from war and conflict.


Sarah Crutwell

Sat – 3pm

Sarah is a spoken word artist whose poetry takes on issues such as mental health, sex, loneliness, politics and those things we lower our voices to talk about.  Her work asks difficult questions, in beautiful ways and is a rising poet on the national scene.


Back Chat Brass

Sun - Main Stage -12.45pm & House of Love stage - 2pm

Fresh from Durham Brass festival, Back Chat Brass are an instant favourite. With a nod to their roots in pop, funk and hip hop, their brassy twist on classic tunes will leave you astounded. There ain’t no party like a Back Chat Party.  Stay tuned for a Brassy Beyonce medley!


Sinead Florence Livingston

Sun – 2.30pm

Last year, Sinead wowed us all with her music, but even more so with her surprise clog dancing! Think calm, indie acoustic, with a local folk twist!


Lisette Auton

Sat – 1.30pm

Lisette is a disabled activist, writer, poet and spoken word artist and in the words of fellow performer Sarah Crutwell is

‘the Sista

who cracks open disability labels, wide smile and huge heart,

Stomps boots on stage, talking about the years she spent

Overlooked in wheelchair.’

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Hartlepool Folk Festival

Sat - 3.30pm, Sun – 1.30pm

We’ve invited our friends at Hartlepool Folk Festival to once again programme some of the hippest, edgiest folk music from across the North East!

On Saturday at 3.30pm, the iconic Eliza Carthy.

And on Sunday, they’re bringing festival patrons, The Wilsons.


Arts Beach programme

There’s a lot of work that goes into a party and as part of our programme of workshops and creative activity and installations, you too can help make it a party to remember!


Lighthouse with Kim McDermattroe

Kim is a Hartlepool treasure. She’s been creating giant sculptures for carnivals and intricate costumes for period dramas for years!  And this Waterfront, she’s rebuilding the ancient lost lighthouse of Seaton Carew especially for her guest!  It’s seven-foot-tall, so bring a step ladder and join in the making as she prepares her gift to Bran!

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Shoot First, with Arto and Dan

So Dan and Arto thought it’d be a great idea to make a film in two days and then premiere it at the end of the festival.  But they need your help! Join the gents in their specially-built film studio to see what it takes to make your very own movie, and maybe even star in it!  This is guerrilla film-making at its finest and is suitable for all ages!

Household instruments BY MEGAn watson & Grace stubbings

Join emerging artists, Megan and Grace, who will guide you in the process of becoming a world-famous, platinum-selling household name.

Ever made an instrument out of a carrot? Now is your chance!


Haiku by Ian Horn -

Sat only

Who wants to write their

own unique, special haiku

for you to take home?

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Bottle Boat Puppet with Moth Physical Theatre

An actual puppetry workshop! Here in Hartlepool! Using recycled materials! Make? Play? And take home?  Sign us up.

Arts Award in a Day with Bloominart

As part of our ongoing commitment to creative activity, Bloominart are providing young people with the chance to do Arts Award! This is a recognised qualification that involves young people reflecting on artistic practice (but is actually fun for every member of the family!)


PILLOW FIGHT! with Chalk

It’s time to let loose. It’s kid vs. parent, sibling against sibling and the arena is set!  Follow the rules and listen to the referee or you’ll be out on your ear in this Live Art-inspired piece by Tyneside Legends, Chalk.


Giant Colouring In, with Mandascat.

Amanda White is one of Hartlepool’s finest illustrators and she’s been working overtime to develop the BIGGEST colouring-in book you have ever seen!

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Prog! with Eyv Hardwick

Sun Only

Prog is a dying art, but Eyv Hardwick, a teacher at the Northern School of Art, shows that it doesn’t mean it has to be dull!  Join her as she guides you on the basic techniques of proggy-making, as she inspires you to recreate the art at home! 


Message in a Bottle, with Diane Watson

Sun Only

Champion beach-comber and the poster girl for the anti-single-use-plastic-movement, Diane is back at the Waterfront Festival once again.  You may remember her deckchairs from 2018, but this year she’s delivering her very own workshop!


Little Inventors

Let’s invite people from all around the world to a giant virtual reality party! Will we dance with dolphins, salsa in space or rumba with robots? You decide! Join Little Inventors to create cardboard goggles that can transport the wearer to the fantastic party of your imagination.


Drumming workshop - Apollo Arts

If wind isn’t your bag, Apollo Arts will be delivering percussion workshops for children.  Grab your nearest adult and boom-bang-a-bang until you can’t drum anymore!

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Two Tin Cans, with Suzie Devey

After Hartlepool saw one of its phone boxes painted pink, we found Suzie who brings her mobile red phone box to the Tees Valley.  She’ll invite you inside to create your very own lino-cutting, in smallest printmaking studio in the region, country or maybe even the world!. Photo credit - Kev Howard.


tHE Hartlepool Monkey: hOMECOMING

Sun 1pm

Presented by Fuel and Gyre & Gimble

 Based on the legend that has survived the test of time and captured people’s imaginations for over 200 years, 2017’s hit stage show The Hartlepool Monkey will return home to Hartlepool in 2020. 
Created by theatre company Gyre & Gimble - founded by co-directors from the North East of England who met whilst working together on War Horse - the production will be given back to the people of Hartlepool, who will have the opportunity to stage a live version of the show, re-developed with their own input.
Do you enjoy performing? Fancy having a go at puppetry? Or do you want to help develop the script by sharing your own version of the legend? Gyre & Gimble will be in town at the Waterfront Festival to talk more about the project, hear ideas from the community, and introduce audiences to the beautiful puppet which sits at the heart of the show.

 Join the team on the Arts Beach to learn how you could get involved, or meet Napoleon the mischievous chimpanzee as he roams about the town.


Roll, roll, roll your boat! WITH Northern Print

All aboard for some highly unusual  nautical fun! Northern Print will be working with a team of volunteers to print a giant linocut print with a real-life boat on Sunday 21 July as part of the Northern Festival of Illustration. Participants have been working in museums across the Tees Valley to carve large scale lino blocks using museum collections items and local landmarks as inspiration for the designs. The finished panels will be placed together and printed as part of the Waterfront Festival, truly getting into the spirit of the event by using a boat and boat rollers to print the image. The event is the latest in a series of audacious large-scale linocuts that Northern Print have previously produced with vintage steamrollers and a rugby scrum roller. As far as we know this is the first time anyone anywhere in the world has attempted to print like this with a boat so join us to see how it’s done.

Part of the Northern Festival of Illustration - Sunday only