What’s On? 

The local river community chose six themes for Riverfest – these themes have driven everything we have planned for the day

Come on down to Riverside Park and you will find plenty going on and a friendly local welcome. There will be a map and criendly stewards to help you find things. 

We will publish a running order for bands, poets, talks and street theatre –  but don’t be surprised if timings slip a bit! 

Click here to see the full schedule of music, theatre, puppetry, talks, walks and other timed performances at Riverfest

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

Pilates with Priya 

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

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

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? 

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” (music here)

Poetry in performance from local writers and poets – full line up announced soon 

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. 

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

We are working with rhe Alzheimers Society to make Riverfest dementia friendly so every member of the family can enjoy the day.

We are also asking advice from Autism Hampshire – we will add in their contribution when we have it 

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.

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