Essex Festivals

Listed below are a wide range of art and music festivals across Essex. We also have a separate food and drink festivals in Essex page, and if you are wanting beer festivals visit our sister site Essex Real Ale.

Listings are free – fill in the Add an Event form to let us know about any festivals you are involved with or that you think should be on this list.

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January 2015

Horror on Sea Film Festival
23rd January 2015 – 1st February 2015. They say : “ Southend, the horror never ends – or, rather, it lasts for two whole weekends!”
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March 2015

Words in Walden Spring Festival 2015
Saffron Walden
Feb/March tba 2015
More details when available.
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Essex Book Festival.
Various locations
Throughout March 2015
Running throughout March 2015 with events across the county. Alan Johnson talking about ‘Please Mister Postman’ is the one we’re looking forward to.
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May 2015

Southend Film Festival 2015 
21st May 2015 – 29th May 2015
British films, world cinema, classics, documentaries, children’s films, audience favourites and more. A fringe festival starts 10th May 2015.
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Boyton Hall, Roxwell, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 4LN
Saturday 2nd May 2015 – Sunday 3rd May 2015
Music and comedy festival raising funds for Essex air Ambulance, Wheels for Stanley & Chelmsford Community Radio.
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Essex Summer of Art
Summer 2015
More details about the seventh Summer of Art which will showcases artists from across the county when available.

June 2015

Leigh Art Trail
Various locations across Leigh
Saturday 6th June 2015 – Saturday 13th June 2015
“Come to this delightful fishing town to see the art, visit the many studios and shops and explore historic landmarks. The Art Trail is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers whose aim is to promote artists from Leigh, as well as other invited guest artists.”
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Harlow Festival 2015.
Saturday 6th June 2015 and Sunday 7th June 2015
More details when available.
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Thaxted Festival
Thaxted Church, Thaxted
Friday 19th June 2015 to Sunday 12th July 2015 (weekends only).
“Our diverse and exciting programme ranges from early music to symphonies, chamber and vocal music, through to jazz and vocal standards. Our resident orchestra, the Brandenburg Sinfonia, is joined by a host of top performers.”
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Maldon Arts Festival
27th June 2015 – 11th July 2015
More details when available.
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Harwich Festival of the Arts
24th June 2015 – 5th July 2015
The Harwich Festival of the Arts provides a range of events in differing locations – jazz, spoken word, classical, brass bands, piano, chamber music and more!
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Burnham Art Trail
Various across Burnham
Saturday 20th June to Sunday 28th June 2015
The trail takes place at various locations in Burnham on Crouch. With lots of local artists displaying their work which is usually for sale
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The 3foot People Festival
Hylands Park
Tuesday 30th June 2015 – Thursday 2nd July 2015.
This is the largest outdoor festival exclusively for children aged 5 and under in the UK with nearly 13,000 people attending last year. ** TICKETS SOLD OUT **
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Leigh Folk Festival 2015
Various locations in Leigh
25th June 2015 – 28th June 2015
The largest free folk festival in the country – lots to see and do.
more details | more folk music coverage on Essex Days Out here.

July 2015

The Fling Festival
Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8WQ
Saturday 4th July 2015 12noon and 11pm Tickets go on sale 3rd Feb.
The unique summer festival of live music, cabaret and curiosity will again welcome adults of all ages to the glorious Hylands Park. Prepare to experience an intimate world of enticing entertainment with surreal theatre,
fantastical storytelling and curious sideshows amongst a whole host of unique performances by great acts from far and wide.
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Brentwood Arts Festival
tba July 2015
More details when available.
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Essex Pride
Sunday 12th July 2015 – midday til late.
More than just a huge party – it inspires the community to embrace equality There’ll be a chance to watch fantastic live entertainment. Listen to great bands, discover services provided by local groups, browse the market stalls enjoy delicious food and drink and meet new friends
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Bures Music Festival
Thursday 9th July 2013 – Sunday 12th July 2015
A wide range of music, and much more…
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Tollsfest 2015
Victory Recreation Ground, Tollesbury
tba July 2015
More details when (if?) available.

Brentwood Festival
Brentwood Centre
tba July 2015
More details when available
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Village Green Southend 2015
11th July 2015.
Musical highlights include Nitin Sawhney, Snowboy and the Latin Section, Hollie Cook, Asylums, Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals, The Selecter. More headline arts and music acts will be announced. Children and teen zones.
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Epping Festival
tba July 2015.
More details when available.
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Brownstock 2015
Stow Maries
Friday 10th July 2015 – Sunday 12th July 2015
The family-run music event in Stow Maries going from strength to strength!
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Brentwood Festival
Brentwood Centre
Friday 17th July 2015 – Sunday 19th July 2015
Getting bigger each year! Music this year from Sister Sledge, Alexander O’Neal, Billy Ocean, The Human League and many more. And beer.
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Jimmy’s Sausage and Beer Festival
Jimmy’s Farm, Pannington Hall Lane, Wherstead, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP9 2AR
Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July 2015
Not just sausage and beer but music too – including Athlete, Toploader, Chas and Dave and The Shires. There will be cookery demonstrations a children’s area, an acoustic stage and lots more.
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Harwich Sea Festival and Lifeboat Day
Sunday 26th July 2015
We had had a great time there in 2012 – click here for our article, with pix. Harwich.
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August 2015

Brightlingsea Free Music Festival
tba August 2015
More details when available.
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Clacton on Sea Food and Drink Festival
Marine Parade West CO15 1NW
Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th August 2015 10-30 to 7pm on Saturday and 10.30 to 5pm Sunday
Lots of stalls selling scrumptious food. You can have a picnic or buy some great local and international produce to take home. Sit down and enjoy finding out how to cook some wonderful dishes. Buy the ingredients and cook a meal to remember.
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September 2015

WoodFest 2014
Hatfield Forest
Friday 4th September 2015 to Sunday 6th September 2015
“Every September the Forest comes alive with the sound of music, buzzing of chainsaws, chopping of wood and laughter. This festival is a ‘must attend’ for many of our visitors, a time to catch up with friends and family in this beautiful setting.”
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Roman River Music Festival
Various locations
18th September 2015 to 4th October 2015
Running across a range of ecclesiastical and interesting locations in North Essex/South Suffolk we’ll bring you more details when available. We’ve enjoyed philharmonic voices in Dedham and the more contemporary Fiona Bevan in Colchester.
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Witham International Puppet Festival
Witham Town Centre
tba September 2015.
More details when available.
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CITYDiversions Festival
Chelmsford City Centre and South Woodham Ferrers
Saturday 19th September 2015 (Chelmsford) and Sunday 20th September 2015 (South Woodham Ferrers)
This September, the popular CITYdiversions Festival of arts and entertainment for children and adults returns to Chelmsford for its thirteenth outing. There are also the 3Foot People Party and The Fling Family Cabaret the following weekend.
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Essex Poetry Festival
tba Sept/Oct 2015
There was a poetryfest in 2014
The crowds just had to be seen
Let’s hope they’ll run it once more
And it passes into legend and lore
(This limerick will turn poets green)
more details

October 2015

The Village Film Festival
Various locations – Dedham, East Bergholt, Langham, Polstead and Wivenhoe
2nd October 2015 – 17th October 2015
25 full length feature films, talks, Q & A’s, and many short films on offer.
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Words in Walden
Various locations in Saffron Walden
Throughout October
Annual literary festival with big names – ranging this year from Will Self to the wonderful Baroness Shirley Williams.
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Chelmsford Blues in the City Festival 2014
Various Locations
Friday 2nd October 2015 – Sunday 4th October 2015
Blues, booze, rock and roots.
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Thurrock International Film Festival
Thameside Theatre
Friday 9th October 2015 – Sunday 11th October 2015
Short film competition and some classic films to watch.
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Harwich International Sea Shanty Festival
Various locations in Harwich me hearties
Friday 9th October 2015 – Sunday 11th October 2015
We went there in 2014 and enjoyed it hugely – read our article, with pix and vid.
ticket details

Colchester Film Festival
firstsite, Colchester
19th October 2015 – 24th October 2015
“The festival gives you the chance to watch the best new feature and short films from some of the finest filmmakers across the globe, including World, European and UK premieres. We pride ourselves on curating an eclectic yet accessible programme with something for everyone to enjoy. Alongside the films we feature a programme of workshops and master classes from top film industry professionals”
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