Other Festival Events

Aside from the music, many other events take place at our Festival. Below is a selection of some of the usual entertainment on offer. Some considerable variation may be necessary in 2021 as we deal with the effects of the Covid pandemic.


Inner State (confirmed)

Andy Andrews and Christine Bissell will be Inner State again in 2021:

Henry and Lydia have travelled a long way to join their fellow pilgrims on The Mayflower and were looking forward to their new life across the pond.  Lydia is worried, however, because she’s never been to sea; Henry can’t swim and the dog will probably be sick. Unfortunately it looks like they’ve missed the boat (in more ways than one!) because they got held up on the way and there’s been a mix up with the tickets!   What now?  Can anyone help this hapless pair?

Kings German Artillery

The Kings German Artillery defend the Redoubt Fort, demonstrating musket drill and cannon firing and taking part in the odd skirmish with marauding pirates.


River Rogues Pirates

Bands of pirates roam the town throughout the weekend. Look out for them on the Shanty Train and at the Redoubt Fort



We hope to welcome back Kipperland in 2021. Visitors will be able to see demonstrations of splitting and smoking herrings, plus old photographs and text about an industry which once employed a quarter of the population. There will also of course be the opportunity to buy the finished, freshly smoked product, which are such a success that they sell out very quickly. Come to the Redoubt Fort and try a food which has health benefits second to none.

Andy Peters


Andy Peters is a very welcome regular at the Festival, demonstrating his amazing skills at Figurehead carving. He has specialised in decorative Maritime carving for over 30 years, producing intricate and beautiful Figureheads, Nameboards, Trailboards and all things nautical. Watching a true craftsman at work is one of the highlights of the Festival.

Rachel Richards Ropework 

Rachel will be joining us again at the Redoubt Fort with some of her beautiful rope craft



A selection of workshops usually takes place over the festival weekend. Playing the Bones is one of the most popular of these and is currently scheduled to take place again this year.

Spoken Word Sessions

The Spoken Word sessions have proved to be a popular addition to the festival. Participants bring along a poem, story, monologue or other piece of prose to read out to others, or just come along and listen. Items can be self penned or not and the only stipulation is that there must be a sea/ maritime theme and with an emphasis on the Mayflower this year. John Kempster hosts these sessions for us. 

Walks & Talks

Ha'Penny Pier

Our Festival also features talks, walks and discussions plus guided tours of Harwich throughout the duration of the Festival. We have a particularly interesting set of talks and lectures in this year of the Mayflower. Full details in our soon to be published Programme.

Dovercourt Amateur Dramatic Society are Mayflower Pilgrims again this year and can be seen around the town throughout the Festival.

Shanty Train

Finally, Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership organise special Shanty Trains along the picturesque Mayflower Line between Manningtree & Harwich Town. With Shanty singing, pirates, activity packs and prizes. It is hoped these can run in 2021.

Tickets & full details at www.esscrp.org.uk/tickets/