DOZENS of talented performers and artists are set to make this year’s Harwich Festival the most diverse yet.

As well as an eclectic array of world-renowned musicians, this year’s festival has been about locals getting involved with creating their own art.

Peter Davis, artistic director, says: “Over the past few years we have developed a strong visual arts strand with many public arts projects such as the Willow Whale and the Panel Project and developed community projects such as 20 20 and Harwich Shorts. We have also increased the number of exhibitions and been a part of the Essex Summer of Art for several years.

“This has culminated in Harwich being the proud host of the tenth anniversary of the Essex Summer of Art at this year’s Festival.”

Yesterday’s opening night was dedicated to Harwich’s visual arts with a range of exhibitions opening to the public from 7pm and residents will be able to enjoy the community 20 by 20 exhibition at the former Chandlery in Kings Head Street.

There will also be an exhibition of local and visiting artists’ work at the Old Bank Studios.

Public art such as Fishy Business, In the Picture, Sea Window Competition and Windows on Art will also be on display as well as a stunning mosaic boat.

As well as the visual art there’s also a great line up of music, dance and spoken word.

Music highlights of the festival include jazz and world music band and Mercury Music Prize nominees Dinosaur, who will be performing in St Nicholas’ Church tomorrow, June 23 at 7.30pm, plus a stunning soprano recital by Emma Abbate who will be at the same church on June 26 and 27.

Emma is currently a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and a staff coach at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

For fans of spoken word checkout Mickey Noonan, Hannah Dunleavy and Jen Offord, of the Standard Issue podcast, who will be joined by comedian Jess Fostekew and Alison Inman, President of the Chartered Institute of Housing, to talk funnies, feminism and loads more. They’re at the Electric Palace on Sunday, June 24.

Finally make sure you catch VJ/DJ duo Addictive TV will be performing their latest audiovisual sampling extravaganza also at the Electric Palace, on June 30.

Running until Sunday, July 1, to buy tickets, visit or visit the Box Office in Harwich Library. Make sure you get Wednesday’s Gazette for our exclusive interview with Addictive TV.