Brightlingsea is preparing to build on the amazing success of last year’s WinterFest music and arts festival by launching a follow-up event which will raise money for the local branch of the mental health charity, MIND.

The inaugural festival last January was the brainchild of resident Alix Sheppard. The aim was to bring the local community together in the darkest days of winter and raise money for MIND and it succeeded beyond Alix’s wildest dreams. Now Alix and the committee of Dave Griffiths and Katy Bache are putting the finishing touches to this year’s event.

“This year we have a wider range of events and I am confident local people will embrace it in the same positive way they did last year. The repercussions of last year’s event were far-reaching for many people. For instance, a local artist who suffered from severe anxiety and depression has been able to draw and exhibit since getting involved last year. Another local man who had suffered with drug and alcohol issues played his first ever set at last year’s acoustic afternoon and now regularly plays at many local events and is working for a local charity. The dog walk last year introduced a new group of people and they have been walking together ever since.

“It shows what can happen when the community comes together. This is not just a festival to remember friends we have lost through depression, it is to show solidarity for people who are still suffering and to celebrate all that is good about our community.”

The four-day festival starts on February 4 and the timetable is as follows:


Thursday 4th February 8.30pm Open Mic @ Ye Olde Swan: Musicians from far and wide share their talent
9pm Karaoke @ The Brewers: hopefully same as above
Friday 5th February 8,30pm BandFest! @ The Kings Head: five local bands are performing for the first major night of the festival. Line-up includes: Crazy Train, The Filthy Lounge Band, Nova Twins and Official Burnt Toast
Saturday 6th February 10am- 3pm @ Brightlingsea Community Centre: A day of fun and wellbeing, with the following features: Vintage and Artisan stalls, Grand Cake Bake, Stret Dancers, Facepainting, Tai Chi, Reflexology, Mindfulness, Indian Head Massage and much more!
11am onwards @ Waterside Gallery: Lantern Building Workshop. Led by local artist Suzy Jenkins, design and build your own lantern! Suitable for all ages (big kids too!) you can then join Sundays Lantern Parade through the town!
2pm @ The Yachtsmans Arms Acoustic Afternoon: Players, singers and spoken word performers will while away the afternoon by the fires in the Yachtsmans Arms. A big hit event last year- not to be missed!
8.30pm Live Music @ The British Legion: The Intermission Blues Band supported by the amazing Holmes and Bond
Sunday 7th February 10am @ Hurst Green, Brightlingsea: Winter Walkies, a family dog walk along the beach to Batemans Cafe for tea, coffee and hot chocolate!
2pm Open Mic @ Ye Olde Swan– The final chance for local musicians to share their talents!
4.30pm Lantern Parade through the town leaving from Waterside Gallery
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Site designed and maintained by Big Red Web Design. Webmaster.