The team behind Festival of Thrift are gearing up to welcome back visitors when the popular, free outdoor event returns on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September.

Final preparations are underway to transform the village of Kirkleatham, near Redcar, into the venue for the UK’s national celebration of sustainable living.

A packed programme is scheduled for the weekend. Visitors can enjoy a range of thought-provoking talks and performances, including a specially commissioned dance piece, the north east premier of an aerial theatre production and an architect-designed Welcome pavilion made using recycled and waste materials alongside a larger than life new Master of Ceremonies who loves a good fake tan and Festival of Thrift’s special mix of hands-on fun, food, music, dance and song.

Traders at Festival of Thrift 2017

In this first Year of the English Coast Festival of Thrift, organisers have put an extra focus on water in the programme with performances and activities that highlight links with water, including the sea, rivers, lakes, canals and streams, and how to combat the effects of climate change.

The event will also showcase projects that the festival team has been working on with the local community in Redcar and Cleveland and wider Tees Valley throughout the year. A beautiful bamboo structure created as part of the ambitious Bridge2Bamboo public art project will be on display and festivalgoers can hear some powerful public speaking by young people from Redcar and Hartlepool who have been honing their presentation skills with the Young People’s Podium.

Stella Hall, Festival of Thrift’s Creative Director says, “We are really looking forward to being back on the glorious Kirkleatham site after the year we’ve all had. We enjoyed meeting visitors virtually in 2020, but nothing beats being together in the outdoors and we can’t wait to welcome everybody.

“We are also very excited to be showcasing projects that our team has been working on with members of the local community over the past year. Our roots are firmly in Redcar and it is wonderful to be able to keep the spirit of the festival going with our local community beyond the annual weekend event.”

Backchat Brass

Festival of Thrift’s Executive Director, Emma Whitenstall adds, “Over the last year, more than any, the issues of sustainability have risen up all our agendas, and we Thrifters have become more relevant than ever. It’s wonderful to be able to come together again and discover ways to change the way we live and to protect our planet.”

The full programme for Festival of Thrift is available to view at

Entry to Festival of Thrift is free. Parking costs £6 per car which includes a £1 carbon offset fee that will be donated to ecolibrium, a community of events, festivals, suppliers, artists and music companies taking action to reduce travel impacts and invest in climate solutions. Parking can be booked online at

Festival of Thrift is funded thanks to generous support from Arts Council England, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

Main pic: Outfit made from donated denim by Teesside University student Abigayle Welcome. Photo credit Charlotte Summers