29-31 July | 7-9 August


Science, music and art championing the sea, our coast and our young people’s future

A new, free environment festival for East Anglia is being created in Aldeburgh, using science, art, performance and music to draw a new audience to champion oceans and our coast, and allow our young people to have a say about their future on a changing planet.

Siren Festival, Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 August explores our relationship with the sea and features an ‘undersea experience’ with replica marine creatures, works of art and amazing ocean science, as a backdrop to musicians, movies, performers and prose.

“The name plays with the lure of siren mermaids, sea creatures and the sea”, says Ian Rowlands, director of Incredible Oceans, “but there’s also a warning and, through performance and science, Siren alerts us to how we are affecting the natural world and how it will affect us.”

“This is an event, by and for the local community, but one that’s exciting for visitors too, created by local organisations and people, using theatre to talk about the sea and our coast”, says Marianne Fellowes of Southwold & Aldeburgh Theatre and collaborator on Siren. “Each day the festival will raise funds for local causes - Alde & Ore Estuary Trust, RNLI and Aldeburgh Cinema - and showcase how people can make a difference. Evenings will include special ticketed performances.” 

Preceding the festival will be Making Space for Siren; opportunities for community groups to get together to create art, craft, activities and festival content, culminating in free open public workshops at Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall. After the festival in early 2020 will be Siren Calling, a unique gathering of music and workshops that skill young people to take the festival and their future voice into their own hands.

The schedule is as follows:

1. Making Space for Siren - 29-31 July, 10.00am-4.00pm

Workshops at Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall to create artwork and decoration for the festival, plus discussing issues around waste, plastics and more. Free and open to the public, this is ideal for families, and involving local artists and community groups.

2. Siren Festival - 7-9 August

Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall - Free

In the daytime Jubilee Hall will be transformed into an experiential sea zone, with replica marine creatures, experts and artefacts, and hands-on science and experiments about our oceans. On stage, amidst the replica creatures and with a huge projection screen, there will be regular short pop-up appearances from musicians, actors, activists, organisations and presenters; all exploring our relationship with the sea and our environment. 

The Courtyard (Jubilee Hall) - Free

In the covered courtyard, expect a programme of children’s activities, opportunities to meet with the on-stage performers, plus a zone where you can talk to local organisations who share ways you can take action and get involved. 

Moot Green - Free

On Moot Green in Aldeburgh there will be activities and games in a 6-metre OceanDOME, delving into the world of ocean plastics, whilst alongside will be a 10-metre inflatable Orca whale. We also welcome Fran Crowe with her Museum of Beyond,  a space that imagines a future without oil and how in the future we will interpret the found plastic objects we encounter on our beaches.

Aldeburgh Beach and Aldeburgh Beach Lookout - Free

Roger Hardy’s installation of ‘Tide & Time’ and ‘Lookout’. Please refer to separate press release.

Tuesday 6 August, 6.00pm-9.00pm

Press and Opening Night. Official launch of the Festival which will include the reveal of Roger Hardy’s installation Tide & Time on Aldeburgh beach.

Wednesday 7 August

11.00am-5.00pm - Free daytime activities as above

Evening events below ticketed

7pm - Extinction Rebellion ‘Red Brigade’ performers.

7.30pm - Iestyn Edwards (author of the best-selling ‘My Tutu Went AWOL’).

9pm - Silent Disco: expect a sea-themed night of grooves with dressing up encouraged! 

Thursday 8 August

11.00am-5.00pm - Free daytime activities as above

Evening events below ticketed

7pm - Seafolk Arts plus young climate activist speakers on stage as special guests.

9pm - Line-up of performers include 16-year old guitarist Isaac Dalglish, folk artist Polly Trenow and soul singer Kocoa Brown

Friday 9th August 2019, 11.00am-5.00pm

11.00am-5.00pm - Free daytime activities as above but with a focus on sharks.

3. Siren Legacy - 29 February - 1 March 2020

“What will you do with your extra day?”

Young people on our coast will inherit big issues, such as ocean plastics, changing climate and rising seas; through Siren Calling we want to help them find their own ‘siren’ voice, to speak clearly about their future. On this Leap Year we invite local professionals to use this bonus day to run workshops to help young people find their self-confidence, together with skills on public presenting, organising, film-making, event planning, music-making and more. It will be a gathering with music, movies and more looking at environment, culture, youth and the future. Leap Year is traditionally the time for unique proposals; this is ours. 

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