Festival planned to put town back on the map

The festival will cover Clevedon's seafront from the pier round to The Salthouse pub

The festival will cover Clevedon's seafront from the pier round to The Salthouse pub - Credit: Archant

A HUGE, four-day festival featuring music, literature, films and maritime activities will be held in 2014 to put Clevedon ‘back on the map’.

To be called Clevedon Tides Festival, it is being planned by a host of community groups in the hope of attracting visitors from across the South West.

It will be an expansion of the already-popular MARLENS Marine Lake Festival, which has been held each September since 2005, and will include activities all along the seafront as well as in the town centre.

The MARLENS festival already features challenges and demonstrations on Marine Lake as well as live music, numerous stalls and sideshows on the Salthouse Fields.

In a nod to what is being planned for 2014, this year’s event, to run from September 13-15, will also include a programme of special films at the Curzon cinema and other attractions such as poetry readings in cafés and a demonstration by a Napoleonic war group.

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The Clevedon Tides Festival is being planned by members of Clevedon Pride, MARLENS, the Curzon cinema, the canoe club, Clevedon Community Bookshop and other organisations.

Clevedon Pride member Andrew Withers said: “2014 will be when the festival is launched properly.

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“It will be a multi-faceted event based at the seafront. We want to get the pilot gig club racing on the water and we are hoping for a flotilla of boats to come down to Clevedon from Bristol.

“We are also hoping to get the town council and North Somerset Council on board as well as groups such as the Lions.

“We want to put Clevedon back on the map and bring more people to the town.”

It is hoped the event could become as popular as the hugely successful Sidmouth Folk Festival or the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts.

MARLENS chairman Joe Norman said: “We have been running the MARLENS festival as a celebration of bringing life back to Marine Lake. If we can expand that to the whole town, that is just wonderful news.

“We want to make it more of a regional event rather than just a local one.

“We also want to retain the feel of it being a community festival.”

Newly appointed chief executive at the Curzon cinema, Gary Topp, said: “We think the Curzon is one of the major cultural venues in Clevedon and therefore want to play a full part in the festival.

“There will be lots of community engagement, some great films and music.”

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