Community news for Bitterne Park and nearby areas since 2005

You are Here: Home News What's happening at Riverfest on Saturday?
21 February 2018
"I do think the website is a wonderful local resource and I hope it goes from strength to strength."
K.M., Copsewood Road

Send your comment about the site


Get free updates straight to your inbox! Sign up below for our weekly(ish) email digest, and don't miss a thing! You can unsubscribe at any time.

What's happening at Riverfest on Saturday? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 May 2017 12:13

riverfest graphic big
Riverfest, an exciting celebration that local people are making happen, takes place in Riverside Park from 10am - 9pm on Saturday (May 27). It's free, the weather forecast is looking good, and we have lots of info about what's going on. Click to read more – and see you there!
We'll try to keep this piece updated during Riverfest so stay tuned!
• Preview: Riverfest High Tide Stage acts
• Riverfest: River trip winners announced


cobden bridge aerial under CC2 by David Dixon
Photo under CC2 by David Dixon

It seems a long time ago that around 50 people showed up on a damp Wednesday evening in February at the Church of Ascension to talk about Riverfest.

Saturday sees a culmination of all the planning, as a community festival of music, art, science, bikes, real beer (a special watercress beer made by Unity brewery and the Butcher's Hook brew club will be on sale), family activities and fun takes place in and around Riverside Park, mainly in Cobden Meadows - the Cobden Bridge end.

Here's what to expect...

Jump to:


High Tide Stage

Low Tide Stage


riverfest active


St Denys Boat Club – have a go in one of the club’s amazing collection of modern and vintage boats. There will be plenty of people around to show you the ropes. 


Active Nation – Canoeing.


Bike Base – have a go bikes, smoothy bike, bling your bike, bike parade, plenty of bike parking, join the big ride in: details here.


Pilates with Priya.


Electric Boat Rides – a smooth, quiet, clean ride up the river and back with REAP. Booking required.


riverfest calm


Yoga – join a session led by Megan.


Meditation – with Southampton Meditation.


Drawing – quiet sketching or painting, bring your own or sketch along with others.


Quiet space – away from the music, a place to sit, reflect and watch the world go by.


Head massage taster – with Denise.


riverfest green


Mudlarking – with Millie.


Bird box kits to make at home. 


Southampton Scrapstore – crafting and creating with reused stuff. 


Bird and other wildlife experts.


I Need a Whisk – find out how you can furnish your home and garden for FREE by sharing and swapping in the local community. 


Make a shadow clock.


Biodiversity Games from University of Southampton Scientists – Biodiversity Blockbusters and hands-on activities on nature and biodiversity loss.


Planeterella – an incredible demonstration of an artificial aurora in a vacuum – weather in space! 


Foraging Walk – do you know all the wild food there is out there? 



riverfest creative


Weave a river.


Art of Heritage – find out what the other local creative festival is up to this September.


Mud painting.


River print making – print with natural materials.




Songbird Knitting – the knitting group from the local cafe will be with us. Learn to knit or crochet, or bring your own project and knit along with the group.


Tie dye  – tie stones from the river into fabric and use our natural dyes and river water to create unique clot.


Join in the big river sing song of our tune composed especially for us by Southampton folk musician Brian Hooper – “Up the River”


Poetry in performance from local writers and poets.


River Badge Making.


River Gallery – enjoy art work inspired by the river from local artists, including fabulous work from students from Cantell School, whose teacher is a local resident and set them the river as a project this term. 


riverfest family


Baby story time.


Origami – make boats, fishes and other rivery things.


Miniature Steam Railway – open for rides.


Hand to Mouth Theatre – a beautiful birdy show from our local/internationally admired puppet theatre.


Bubbles Bubble Bubbles.


Mike O’Leary Storyteller.


Make a fishing net – bring an old pair of tights!


Theatre in a Bag – with their piratey show “Ilyria Ahoy!” 


A story walk with October Books.


The festival is working with the Alzheimers Society to make Riverfest dementia friendly so every member of the family can enjoy the day.


riverfest historic


Ask an expert – Bitterne Local History Society.


Local history walks – with St Denys Church.


Memory Map – tell us your river stories around our map kindly supplied by Ordnance Survey.


Vintage local bus – climb on board. “Ding Ding – hold tight please”.


Tell us your river story – add your memories to our river map.


Maritime Archaeology – find out about maritime archaeology from the University of Southampton with some shipwreck material and ancient shipbuilding methods.


Swaythling in the Great War: Artefacts and findings from University of Southampton’s community project about Swaythling and its surroundings during WW1.


Here are the High Tide Stage times – approximate – for May 27.

mmband2 by Keith Godwin 460
Midi Moths  Photo: Keith Godwin

From Midi Moths, pictured, who “create inner and outer landscapes full of unexpected habitats - dark rooted bass driven sonic electronica of past and future present”, to the haunting harmonies of Chateau Bateau Band, and Ferry Tales “travelling through poetry, pictures and song”, many acts on the High Tide Stage, below, reflect the theme of what’s shaping up to be an inspiring and ambitious event.

Click here for our preview of Riverfest High Tide Stage acts

20.10   Midi Moths
19.25   Lucas and King

18.40   Fragile Lucy
18.00   Deadhounds
17.20   Vincent Kellett
16.40   The Beehive
16.00   Lucy Kitchen
15.20   The Chateau Bateau Band
14.40   Daisy Bowman

14.00   Difference Engine
13.20   Catherine Eliza Tarrant
12.40   Brian Hooper
12.00   Flying Alexanders
11.20   Jim Chorley Taylor's Mistake - Bitterne Park guitar duo
10.40   Ferry Tales
10.00   Straight to Cake


Here are the provisional Low Tide Stage times. This stage is in the Bitterne Park Social Club

12.00 The Guvnas
13.00 Gypsy Tree
14.00 Sombrero Fallout
15.00 Ancasta Rising


The car park behind Bitterne Park Social Club will be closed to the public from 07:00 to midnight for Riverfest on May 27, apart from certain exceptions including blue badge holders. More info and a map showing other car parks is here. 


First's regular Route 7 stops in Bitterne Park Triangle from stops from the city centre via Bevois Valley and Portswood, and from Townhill Park. It's about a one minute walk to Riverside Park from the Triangle.

Riverside Park is on national cycle way 23. There is bike parking at Riverfest, we beieve behind the High Tide stage.

There will be a cargo cycle ride co-ordinated by Southampton Cargo Bicycles, who run monthly rides for anyone who likes transporting cargo - live cargo or panniers or rucksacks count. Their schedule is:

10.15 meet at Common Play area: north of SO15 7NN
10.30 on the dot, leave to cycle south, including a loop around the Bargate
10.50ish cycle past Play Park in Houndwell Park, so can be joined there: east of SO14 1JY
11.10ish cycle along east side of St Mary's stadium, so can be joined there: SO14 5FP
by 11.40 arrive at Riverfest: SO18 1NP



Jump back to:


High Tide Stage

Low Tide Stage


Help us do more in 2018!
Can you help our sites become more sustainable, from just £1 a month? That's less than the price of just one posh coffee and many daily papers.  If you can help, please click here to get started

And a huge thanks to all those who already do just that: it really helps!

Last Updated on Friday, 26 May 2017 20:42

Please log in to post comments. If you don't yet have an account, it's quick to register here

support us 120px

rss colour light grey open source 32pxtwitter-32facebook-32