This weekend we visited the local seaside town of Cleethorpes. We were in town to see their newest arts & culture festival “Festival of Sky”. We held off until later in the afternoon and were lucky to find a good parking spot down past the leisure centre.
It wasn’t long until we came across one of the festivals many elements, Graffiti & spray art around the leisure centre. And beyond that, an impressive display of large kites and tourist flying their own.
As we continued down the main promenade of Cleethorpe’s seafront there was plenty going on, from DJ’s at the Kingsway Kiosk, Street art performances and the Pier gardens food festival and Light installation ” Squidsoup”.
It seemed not much happened beyond the other side of the pier other than the usual arcades but later found out there were music venues with events further along past the station, which we missed.
So once we got down there we decided to try out the newest Pizza joint in town. Formerly Legends nightclub. Eat as much as you like stone baked Pizza & Chips. To see my review on Legends Pizza you can click here or the link at the bottom of the article.
After we had our fill of pizza, we took the long walk to Meridian Park showground situated next to the old Pleasure Island theme park. This was where the main show of the day was set to happen. Due to high winds some of the show had to be adapted to suit, so this meant no actual hot air balloons. But to be honest it was still as good without.
We followed a crowd of people down the boating lake and past the smallest pub in the world at the light coast railway and entered Meridian park showground, which was already full of people eagerly awaiting whatever the show was going to be. I say “whatever” as we didn’t know other than a photo we had seen on social media. The leaflet for the festival wasn’t bad but it lacked good timing layout and performance information. We have attended Hull Freedom fest for a number of years and their booklet is a lot more detailed about performances and acts but with the time and money Cleethorpes probably had it wasn’t a bad effort. I actually preferred Festival of The Sky to this this years Hull Freedom Fest.
We stood in the crowd, facing a number of craned hot air balloon baskets holding a person in each. As the show began there was music, fire, fireworks and an Ariel performer twirling around and dangling from one of the crane baskets. It didn’t last long. Not even long enough to finish our drink from the Docks Beers stall.
After this finished it was a quick walk back down towards the leisure centre for the final show of the light up lips that had been parading the streets all day. It did look a lot more interesting in the dark, but that goes for most shows that involve elements of light.
We were unaware of a change to the location of another show so we went back to the car and drove down to the central promenade to catch it, only to see nothing was happening and a few confused people looking at numbers on a map. We later saw the show was moved to where we had just left so didn’t bother going back up and instead went to have a look at the Squidsoup light installation at pier gardens in the dark. I quite liked the immersive light and sound experience of this.
All in all the day was pretty good. It did seem a far apart as it was a bit of a walk from one end to the other, especially for kids I imagine. But if you were willing to wait, the land train etc was free to go up and down. There were a lot of families and Cleethorpe’s seemed to embrace something different to the type of festival they are used to.
What could have made it better? Well we didn’t see any live music. I think this was mostly in venues and I wasn’t sure where the newest venue “The Depot” was but I did see online they had some last minute issues and moved next door. Wherever that was. So a main music stage outdoors or central would have been good. Also some numbered area markers to highlight the areas and venues that were mentioned on the map were needed especially as the venues weren’t pin pointed on the map just the promenade areas.