Sea Fest 2016 Dates Announced!

Sidmouth Sea Fest will return to the Ham for one day on Saturday 7th May 2016.

Put the date in your diary!

We will have the Fish Kitchen, Prawn Cocktail Bar, Creativity on the Coast, Fish Hunt and more regulars back plus some exciting new announcements so keep checking back here.

The 2016 event kicks off with a very special fundraiser featuring 2015 headliners Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys who return to Devon on Saturday 20th February for a one off show for Sea Fest as part of their new album tour. Get your tickets now – here!

Please note: Sea Fest 2016 is subject to licensing and funding. Because of very bad weather in 2015 we were unable to carry funds forward in the way we had hoped so are working to raise money to make this year’s event happen. So we may need to come round with the begging bowl soon and ask for your help!

If you would like to help us now then you can Donate via the button and/or become a Friend of Sidmouth Drill Hall at

Thank you!

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Sea Fest 2015 Thank You – Please Support Us

A massive thank you to everyone that made Sidmouth Sea Fest 2015 such a great success. We had a fantastic weekend throughout with many people joining us to celebrate all things in, on and from the sea.  Thank you to over 40 shops in Sidmouth that took part in our Sidmouth Sea Fest Fish Hunt, all the performers, stall holders, and our volunteers.

Fundraising Campaign

We have today launched a new campaign to raise funds to support the work that we do and towards the costs of taking on a new unit at Libra Court in Sidmouth.

Visit the campaign website and pledge your support here

If you enjoyed Sidmouth Sea Fest 2015 and would like to know more about our work and our campaign to bring the Drill Hall in Sidmouth into community ownership please support our fundraiser.

We are raising funds towards the first four months rent of the unit. The unit will be a drop in and information centre for Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC and Sidmouth Sea Fest and a shop both for connected small local businesses and for a range of items including the new Sidmouth fishermen’s jerseys and the fishermen’s jerseys from our colleagues in Arnemuiden, Holland.

We have a number of fantastic rewards at the campaign website in return for pledging your support.


Or you can donate to Sidmouth Sea Fest here or to Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC at Sidmouth Drill Hall Donate

Thank you!

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Sea Fest Sat 2nd May

We had a fantastic sold out opening event for Sidmouth Sea Fest 2015 last night and have a packed day of activities, entertainment, food, drinks and lots more.

Do not miss our brilliant headliners this evening Gordie Mackeeman & His Rhythm Boys and make sure you join us all day today for…

Demonstrations in The Fish Kitchen from Nick Hales and Mary, Ryan and Kay Bagwell – We are delighted to be joined by fish chef Nick Hales of St Clement’s Restaurant in Hastings, one of only a few restaurants in the South East to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award. Nick joins us through Hastings Classroom on the Coast and the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society. Multi award winning and multi generation Bagwell family have run Sidmouth Trawlers since 1964 selling locally caught fish and seafood. Kay Bagwell won the national women’s fishmonger of the year award at the age of 23, coming third overall, for her filleting skills.

The Arnemuiden and Sidmouth Fishing Heritage Exhibition

Creativity On the Coast – t-shirt and calico bag printing, gyotaku, face painting, knitting and more plus Fish Tales – British Sign Language Storytelling at 11.30am and 3.15pm

The Fish Hunt 

Stalls, games and more.

Click here for full details

Click the image below for a full line up of what’s on store for what’s on at Sea Fest:

Sea Fest prog ad

Gordie Mackeeman on BBC 6 Music

Our Sea Fest headline act for Saturday 2nd May Gordie Mackeeman & His Rhythm Boys were featured on Cerys Matthews show on BBC 6 Music on Sunday morning.

Cerys said, “This band were in session for us a couple of years ago, they are absolutely brilliant live. Gordie will play his fiddle and tap on his board with his clogs on. They start their tour on Saturday 2nd May at Sidmouth Sea Fest. Catch them if you can”.

Listen again at BBC 6 Music

Click here for more info on the band and how to buy tickets for their Sea Fest show.

Visit Gordie’s website here Gordie Mackeeman

Top Chefs To Join Sea Fest

Sea Fest 2015 will host a series of talks and demonstrations throughout the day on Saturday 2nd May on fish preparation, filleting, cooking and more.

The Sea Fest Fish Kitchen will see award winning local chef Saul Vicary and multi award winning local fishmongers Mary, Kay and Ryan Bagwell joined by renowned chef Nick Hales.

Nick Hales has been cooking professionally for over 25 years. Having worked for chefs such as Mark Hix, Tim Hughes and Bruno Loubet early in his career, he set up St. Clement’s in Hastings in June 2005, with the aim of showcasing the area’s finest seasonal produce and fish from the local beach launched fleet.

St. Clement’s was quick to draw attention from local and national media, and has been supported over the years by appearances in various national newspapers, restaurant guides and travelogues. St. Clement’s is one of only a few restaurants in the South East to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award, which was awarded after the first year of operation, and has been held ever since.

Nick has maintained an active role in running the restaurant since day one; undertaking everything from butchering locally sourced meat, poultry and game in-house, to setting up The West Hill Smokery, curing and smoking local meat and fish. He helped to pioneer the annual Seafood & Wine Festival that is held in Hastings’ historic Old Town every September, and continues to act as an advocate for the area’s ever-growing tourism trade.

Through the TourFish project Nick has been part of a group of local tourism stakeholders that have been developing the idea of responsible tourism through Classroom on the Coast, Hastings.