Estuary Festival 2021

Estuary 2021 is a large-scale arts festival including contemporary visual art, film, music and literature, curated in response to the spectacular Thames Estuary and the lives, landscapes and histories found here.
Presented over 23 days from 22 May to 13 June 2021, the festival is a major celebration of culture, creativity, recovery and renewal and long the Kent and Essex shoreline.

Following the route once taken by Victorian paddle steamers, artworks will populate locations from Southend in Essex, through the marshes of north Kent, via towns including Gravesend and Medway, and on to Ramsgate, incorporating multiple sites along the way.

It is hoped that visitors to the festival will imagine the Estuary in its entirety, a complex and dynamic tidal artery that connects both Kent and Essex to Southern England and also to the rest of the world.

Designed to be enjoyed outdoors, the festival invites visitors to take an epic walk along the stunning coastline of South Essex and North Kent encountering contemporary artworks and performance within the estuary’s landscape, historic sites and coastal towns using the urban areas, nature reserves, industrial landscapes and spectacular views of the estuary as their starting point.

North Kent programme highlights include:

  • Listen to the songs of endangered birds like the nightingale, curlew, lapwing, and turtle dove playing from civic clock towers along the North Kent coastline, in Dartford, Gravesend, Rochester, Faversham, Herne Bay, and Margate. Marcus Coates, Our Time
  • Take part in a collaborative artwork exploring love and hope in difficult times – draw on the walls of a specially created, open-air pavilion in Chatham and join workshops with local artists. Bob & Roberta Smith, Draw Hope
  • Join a guided walk with the author of Thames Estuary Trail: A Walk Round the End of the World to find out about the history, people and hidden delights that can be found at this “unfashionable end of the Thames." Tom King, Thames Estuary Trail

Medway events and activities:


Multiple locations along the Thames Estuary in North Kent and South Essex


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