The Headland is our favourite part of Hartlepool – several of the Festival’s staff live there! It is the historic heart of the town, a beautiful and atmospheric place known for centuries as Old Hartlepool. It goes back to the monastic community of St Hilda in the 7th Century, and has since been home to shipowners, fisherfolk, sea coalers, and any number of other related tradespeople. It is also the site of the only WWI battleground on British soil, the Heugh Battery, which was the focus of the Bombardment of 1914. The Headland is also VERY haunted, and you can even take part in a ghost tour with your festival ticket!
So how does the festival work?
Daytime concerts take place at the Borough Hall and St Hilda’s Church. Other spaces, such as pubs and function rooms, are used for talks, screenings, singarounds and sessions. We use every nook and cranny for workshops and more intimate events, too – Constable’s Bar and the Croft Room, both at the Borough Hall, are perfect for these. Evening concerts focus on the 1600-seater Borough Hall.
All of the venues are a few minutes’ walk from each other, and all are accessible. We’re particularly delighted to be working again with St Hilda’s Church again – this is the most historic building in Hartlepool, and an architectural jewel. It’s a magical, atmospheric space for performances.
How will we get there?
At the busiest times we will run our free festival bus service to and from the Headland. This will include mornings, during the break between the afternoon and evening programme, and after concerts (till 1am, for those of you keen to have a late-night sing!) There is also a public bus that goes to and from Asda right to the Borough Hall every 10 minutes, so if you’re staying at the Premier Inn or the Travelodge it’s ideal. There's a stop right by the campsite, too.
How will I find everything?!
All of the events are situated in a very small area. The Squircle in front of the Borough Hall is the centre of things, with other venues positioned all around it. It's like a little festival village. There will be a map in the programme, but honestly, you'll have found your way round in just a few minutes.
What about caravans and motorhomes?
We have a great new field site right at the top of the Headland. It will be fenced, have overnight security and stewards in the day, and be equipped with water, waste disposal and toilets. You can have a shower for a small charge at the Headland Sports Centre, next to the festival site.
Where do we pick up tickets and wristbands?
Our fabulous Box Office team will be sited in the foyer of the Borough Hall. Opening times will be in your joining instructions.
Where can we eat and drink?
Our new Food and Craft Village, situated at the Headland Sports Hall, will have a selection of hot food vendors, a bar operated by Three Brothers Brewery, and a coffee wagon. There's a real ale bar inside the Borough Hall mainstage area and more coffee and breakfast offers in the Squircle in front of the Borough Hall.
St Hilda's church serves coffees and breakfast rolls. The Fisherman’s Arms is running a beer festival over the weekend. We will, of course, be offering the now-legendary Farm Shop pies at the Borough Hall!
What about the festival fringe?
Having the festival on the Headland gives us more opportunities for informal singarounds and music sessions. There are several pubs on the Headland which are ideal for this and who will be delighted to see you – the Fishermans Arms and the Pot House are official festival venues. There will be more programmed singarounds, more programmed sessions, after-hours singing, and a great atmosphere.