Festivals in Essex – along the c2c route

There’s no better way to enjoy summer than being outside in the sunshine (hopefully!) and soaking up the atmosphere of a thriving festival. Besides the likes of world famous ones like Glastonbury and Burning Man, you’ll be pleased to know there are also some fantastic festivals right on your doorstep. So scroll through our list below and be sure to keep those dates in the diary free to experience the best of what your local events can offer.


Leigh Folk Festival

Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th June

This self-described unique and eclectic event is still running strong as the UK’s largest and not to mention free folk festival. It has an ‘access-to-all ethos’ that really rubs off on the entire event, giving it a much welcomed sense of community and unpretentious atmosphere. There are over 20 venues across the town scattered around by the coastline and cockle sheds. The Leigh Folk Festival is a fantastic experience that offers much more than just for the diehard folk fans.

T100 Thurrock100

Thurrock 100 (T100)

Saturday 6th – Saturday 20th July

Outdoor arts company Kinetika are once again organising a community led event around Thurrock that will explore the heritage of the area. The T100 is less party and pints, but is actually a walking festival that will focus on bringing people closer together through sharing stories, food and recipes. There are several organised walks through the area that you can participate in, as well as other creative workshops such as making bespoke kitchen products and a T100 Recipe Book.

Tilbury Carnival

Saturday 20th July

Students of the Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer and surrounding schools have teamed up with arts company Kinetika to lead the way for a joint carnival in Tilbury this summer. The premise of this children’s festival is to share a stories of things they have learned or experienced all through music, dance and costumes. 2019 is also Thurrock’s 21st anniversary since becoming a unitary authority, meaning it should be set for a pretty big birthday bash!

Southend Fringe Festival

Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th July

Originally created by a group of students after some encouragement from their Theatre teacher Mark Winstanley, Southend Fringe Festival is now 3 years running and more popular than ever. This summer weekend of pure fun-filled creativity paves the way for new generations of artists, performers and community proud patrons all keen to celebrate the diversity of this amazing seaside town.

Village Green Festival

Village Green Festival

Saturday 13th July (11am – 9pm)

Taking place in a picturesque Victorian park in the middle of Chalkwell, Village Green is a multi-art event that has several music stages, green spaces, cricket pitches and marketplaces. But that’s not all; you can also experience some musical theatre, comedy, dance lessons, workshops and even take part in some games too. There’s a reason it’s being going strong for 10 years now – it’s one of those days out that truly offers something for the whole family.

Southend Carnival

Saturday 17th August

The annual Southend Carnival is an event centred around community and the coming together of dedicated volunteers, participants and local residents to create an electric week of fun experiences. The main procession has been held annually since 1906 and is still to this day the largest community event in South East Essex. It’s been known to have beer festivals, dog shows, children’s events, parades and more. It’s well worth checking out.

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