The SEAS Festival is coming to Skegness on the 25th September – 3rd October. See Skegness SEAS Festival Review.

I’m a little dubious about this Arts Festival, I’ve been going through the list of events and it all seems very adult based and dry, there’s not much at all for families and the fun factor seems to be missing, but we’re willing to give the SEAS Festival a try.

The SEAS Festival seems to be aimed at, as my old mum would say Arty Farty types, you know the one who like to feel self important by pretending they know more than you!

Drives me nuts!! I’m artistic myself and I feel that artists should be allowed to just express themselves without coming out with some ridiculous reason for trying something new and creativity. Artists should have the freedom to express themselves, for no other reason than they want too.

Not everything has to have a reason behind it for existing :-(

SEAS Festival Silicone Boys

Here’s an example for you, one of the pieces of art work we are looking forward to seeing at the Skegness Seas Festival is The Silicon Boys, basically there is going to be silicon multicoloured heads on Skegness beach. When we saw this our reaction was COOL they look neat!!

Here’s the artists interpretation:

These groupings reflect the complex social patterns of the school playground whilst representing the idealized archetypes of children, the passing of time (and tide) and the loss of childhood.

What!! I sure hope that wasn’t what the artist was really thinking when he made the Silicone Boys, and was rather thinking “Cool, they’ll look neat”.

My verdict so far on the SEAS Festival is still out.

Here’s a list of the things we are hoping to catch at the Skegness SEAS Festival, I’ll write a full review on how well it went for us when the SEAS Festival hits Skegness and add it below.

All of the Event that we will be attending at the Skegness SEAS Festival will be child friendly. I’m not to sure small child friendly (babies and toddlers) though.

SEAS Festival PERFORMANCES: Tickets needed

The Graffiti Classics – St Mathews Church, 1st October- Adults £7 Children £1.
The Baghdaddies – St Mathews Church, 2nd October – Adults £7 Children £1.
Architecture Meets Jazz 3rd October Embassy Theater 5pm Tickets Free

SEAS Festival Open Air Art Displays

Silicon Boys – 26-27 September
Suitcases – 25 -26 September 4pm – 6pm Lumley Road and Tower Gardens
Fantomat – 25 – 27th September 11am-6pm Skegness Pier and 1st – 3rd October Skegness Hildreds Shopping Center.
Borderline – 25th September – 3rd October repeated on the hour 12-6pm Compass Gardens.
Boxheads – 30th Sep, 1st and 3rd October, Skegness Beach Dawn till Dusk.
Hive – 28 Sep – 4th October, Skegness Beach Dawn till Dusk.
A Daily Dose – 24th Sep – 3rd October 11am-4pm Embassy Theater Foyer.
Celebration of the Harvest – 26th 1pm-2pm Church Farm Museum.
Blank Canvas – 26 Sep – 4th October X – Site Skate Park.

SEAS Festival Skegness 2009 Review

Below is my review and thoughts on the things I have seen (and missed!) at the Skegness SEAS Festival. I’ve tried to place the review of events that were worth seeing at this festival at the top of the review and placed the negative issues with the SEAS Festival until last.

I believe that festivals are a good thing for Skegness and is one of the areas to improve the East Coast, but the inadequacies of the Skegness Town Council and East Lindsey District Council beggars belief!

Even when councilors are handed an opportunity at little to no cost they are incapable of simple organisational skills, so what hope does Skegness have of ever becoming a top holiday destination in the UK again :-(

If the councilors have vision they would realise that an event like the SEAS Festival could be recreated with local talent from photography to street entertainment actors, musicians and artists from around the country.

I will say I’m a hands on type of person and participation is something that’s been missing in the Skegness SEAS Festival, you just look at other peoples art work and didn’t get an opportunity to create your own or even participate which was a shame.


I had tears in my eyes from laughter and strained my cheeks from constantly smiling throughout the 2 hour show, the slapstick entertainment was hilarious, but their comical success doesn’t stop at the comedy they are very talented and top rate musicians to boot.

The SEAS Festival is over now and Graffiti Classics was by far our favorite performance. See the full Graffiti Classics Review.


The music is very unique and interesting and it made a nice change to the music I normally hear, not something I’d listen to on a regular basis, but as a one off live gig it worked. There was some audience participation, with complicated clapping and despite the church being a relatively small gig they managed to get us doing Mexican waves which was quite funny. See the full Baghdaddies Band Review.


We saw the Silicone boys on Skegness beach, they are a cool concept. The Silicone Boys are a lot smaller than we thought they would be and there wasn’t that many of them, 22 we counted.

Skegness SEAs Festival Silicone Boys

I quite like it when there’s art work on a beach like for example in Brighton, it adds interest and the Silicone Boys where just that interesting, but they lacked that WOW factor, we didn’t hate them though.

I think the biggest reason they didn’t have that much WOW factor for us was because they where the only art work on Skegness Beach, the Silicone Boys in our opinion needed supporting art to coincide with the Silicone Boys. Imagine what Skegness beach would have looked like with lots of sculptures and art work to walk amongst, now that would have been BRILLIANT.

If the East Lindsey District Council has any creativity they should look at art work on Skegness beach being implemented permanently.

Photos of the Silicone Boys at other SEAS locations showed some of them in the sea, why was none of the Silicone Boys on Skegness beach no where near the sea?

Would have been interesting to view the art exhibit at different times of the day as the tide came in and out. We feel disappointed at not having this opportunity.


We liked the idea behind Fantomat, looking inside machines that showed strange images and little movies, the only criticism my youngest son had was the videos are weird and a little boring. He said it would have been better if it had an environmental message or something inside :-)

Skegness Fantomat Art Exhibit

My hubby didn’t get it, the movies gave him nothing to discus and gave up after looking at two of them! Just too far on the European art scale for him.

I do think that the Skegness Pier could benefit from something like Fantomat on the Pier on a permanent basis to liven up the empty end of the pier.

For me Fantomat was interesting I quite liked these strange wooden figures, but didn’t generate any thought provoking questions between us (myself, hubby and youngest son). Maybe we missed their meaning, but great concept and some people seemed to enjoy them.


Daily Dose was an exhibit of photographs taken by a local photographer (John Byford) and displayed at the Embassy Theater Skegness, some of the pictures were interesting, others strange and thought provoking.

I’m into photography myself and I have my own Photography Blog, so on our first visit (youngest son and I) I got more out of the exhibit than my son who found some of the pictures to be inappropriate for him, like the photo of the naked guy in the brussel sprout field playing a trumpet :-) It’s not that bad, he must be a bit of a prude!

I would say it’s definitely worth a look, we’ve been twice (hubby came the second time). It was more interesting with my partner, it gets you thinking and people talking and if your into photography could inspire you to try something new (given me a few ideas).

Was the best art exhibit in my opinion at the Skegness SEAS Festival.

Well worth visiting.


Borderline is an audio presentation of three prayers played at Compass Gardens on the hour (12pm – 6pm). We didn’t plan to hear this exhibit, but on our daily walk back from the Skegness beach we always pass through Compass Gardens directly under the disco band stand (has a big disco ball on top :)). As we passed directly under (and I do mean smack bang in the middle) the bandstand Skegness Clock Tower struck on the hour and the Borderline exhibit played!

My husband almost jumped out of his skin at the sound!! We’ve taken that route for 4+ months daily (daily walk to strengthen his back after an operation 6+ months ago) and normally we hear a disco song playing, so it was a big surprise to hear a loud foreign prayer :)

If it was meant to scare husbands, I’ll give it 10/10 stars :)

Would be great to have different music played here all the time, even having a radio station playing would give visitors a reason to sit near the disco band stand (normally only has passing traffic). Currently at night we hear one disco type piece of music played over and over again, great idea, but lets expand on this.

What We Didn’t Like at the SEAS Festival

Now for the bits I don’t like, the negative parts of the SEAS Festival :-(

The SEAS Festival has been a little disappointing for us, the biggest problem has to be the location of the exhibits, they were all spread out, way too far apart. The SEAS Festival should have been more centralised and instead of lasting over a week, a long weekend would have probably sufficed.

The SEAS Festival would have been so much better if the art work and performances would have been in one place lets say the beach. Imagine if tents where erected on the beach to show case the art work and the performances where performed along the beach.

There also needed to be a lot more going on than there was, like street performers, (juggler and such) musicians, the beach flooded with sculptures as well as small theatrical performers.

The local and district council never think big enough :-( To keep people happy and tourists coming back to Skegness you have to think out of the box and sod the cost, you have to go for the WOW factor, think along the line of out doing the neighbors and being the best, except East Lindsey’s neighbors are successful events held by other tourist destinations through out the country.

Local councilor’s promised visitors dancing in the streets and street theater and plenty of continuous fun. They gave the impression on BBC News Look North that the SEAS Festival would be a whirlwind of fun and excitement.

Well I can tell you we did not have that much fun, all the festival exhibits are spread out all over Skegness, many felt out of place and awkward. We suspect this was to encompass as many Skegness businesses into the SEAS Festival as possible, (an admirable aim) but for us (Skegness residents) this means the exhibits where spread out too much and for a visitor to Skegness this must have been even worse (unless they drove everywhere). The SEAS Festival illustrates how boring Skegness can be when you have to spend an hour getting to an exhibit for 5 mins viewing!

Many of the exhibits are in businesses we’d never take our children, pubs in particular and businesses like restaurants that you feel strange walking around without purchasing anything.

The times of day performances was scheduled is also spread out (presumably a result of the venues being so spread out) which meant you spent hours between each performance. We couldn’t even attempt to go to the Gibraltar Point exhibit because we currently lack a car and there isn’t any public transport to the nature reserve.

Another example of this is the Suitcase performance scheduled at 4pm and the start of another called Waiting was at 7pm (waiting is an appropriate name).

I feel like standing in front of all the councilor’s who were involved with the organisation of the SEAS Festival and scream in there faces while slapping them with a wet kipper :-)

Our experience was the SEAS Festival should have been centralized in one area of Skegness. We have lived in Skegness for over three years, but have already missed three of the events we wanted to see at the SEAS Festival, because of a lack of detailed information and the events being ridiculously spread out :-(

We missed Celebration of the Harvest at Church Farm. After walking around Skegness trying to find exhibits that were suitable for our children, Church Farm was too far away without a car.

We didn’t make it to X-Site, our kids were in a grumpy mood after walking around Skegness, they became so disillusioned with the SEAS Festival they didn’t want to go to the Black Canvas Event that was being held at X-Site, because they didn’t want to take the risk that when they got there it would be “a load of rubbish”, so we went home!!

The Suitcase was a total disaster. I’m so angry! The First performance of the Suitcase was showcased on a school day, then on the day we could go and see the performance the information was so vague we missed it. We even went to the tourist information office and was told it was going to be in Tower Gardens, it wasn’t, it finished just outside of Tower Gardens next to Flirtz!

We completely missed it!

SEAS Festival Organisation/Information

The rest of this review is about how the Skegness SEAS Festival was organised and information supplied to the public, this should NOT be taken as a review of the art/performers at SEAS (overall we enjoyed the SEAS Festival). You can have an awesome event ruined by poor organisation/information.

Again information and organisation is lacking at yet another Skegness Festival/event, you would have thought the council would have learned something from the SO Festival we had in Skegness earlier in the year. Organisation was so poor at that event (which we also enjoyed a lot of the events) that no one knew anything about what was happening, there was inaccurate times/places and no detailed information on what to expect (again we missed things).

The SEAS Festival on first sight seems to have at least made some effort, with it’s flashy brochures, until you read them and realise you are still in the dark and have no idea what an exhibit is about, because instead of informing us of what the event is, it gives some Arty Farty BLURB!!

I suspect that the council will be congratulating themselves for making the same mistakes with the SEAS Festival as they did with the SO Festival. If the council could just pause for a second from giving themselves a large and continuous pat on the back for yet another white elephant of a Skegness event then maybe they could learn something and truly improve Skegness :-(

I am saddened that not much effort is put into events in Skegness :-( The councilors are just happy for Skegness to keep it’s identity of cheap and nasty, I have recently learned that the SO Festival was organised and paid for by The Arts Council and it cost them £280,000 pounds.

East Lindsey District Council will have you believe it was all their hard work, yet their contribution to the SO Festival was a meager £5,000 pounds and apparently that was to pay for the horrible Skegness parade and the Skegness illuminations switch on (that was a joke with their “big bang”). The Illuminations was added to the SO Festival I presume to save some money, but they have no problem spending £120,000 on some stupid cheap looking plant pots.

I wager the SEAS Festival has been paid for by possibly Intercult and that the organisation was left to East Lindsey District Council! Hmmm one thing I have learned about East Lindsey District Council and the out of date Town Councilor’s is they couldn’t find their arse if it was attached to their faces!

Come on we can do better for Skegness residents and holiday makers.

Unfortunately the final Skegness SEAS Festival event, The Grand Finale did not go well at all. I’ve written a new post about this in the format of a complaint to East Lindsey District Council because I don’t think it fair to blame the overall organisers of the SEAS Festival (Intercult), the Grand Finale was organised by ELDC.

You can see the complaint at Skegness SEAS Festival Finale Event Complaint to East Lindsey District Council. If you attended the Skegness SEAS Festival Grand Finale at the Embassy with children between 7pm and 7:30pm please make a comment with your feelings about the early performers.

Marie Law