Festival that takes over the whole of Devon town is back with a bang

Festival goers queueing to see a gig in St Mary's Church, Totnes. Credit: Sea Change Presents.

A festival that takes over a whole Devon town is back this year with some top musicians in its lineup.

From 27-29 May 2022, buildings across Totnes town will become venues for an event spanning music, art, film and literature for Sea Change.

Sea Change promises three days of truly unique events happening inside Totnes' Grade I-listed St Mary’s Church, renowned pub and hotel The Bull Inn, the gold-ceilinged Barrel House Ballroom, the recently restored Totnes Cinema and Drift Record Shop, among others.

St Mary's Church Credit: Sea Change Presents

Previous years have seen Stewart Lee leading a packed and emotional audience in a rousing chorus of the songs of Bagpuss and the Modernist masterpiece High Cross House coming to life with live sets, discussions and specially-commissioned events and installations.

The festival has released its first wave of acts, and already announced as a special launch night event, world-renowned Chilly Gonzales will perform an intimate solo piano recital at Dartington's Great Hall, amid the beautiful gardens and woodland of the historic cultural site.

Friday night will be headlined by the Mercury-nominated Porridge Radio. The band were originally due to play at the 2020 event, but this was eventually scuppered by the pandemic.

Porridge Radio

Also announced are acclaimed songwriter and linguist, Gwenno, who returns to Totnes after a dazzling show in support of her ‘Le Kov’ album in 2018.

Joining her is Scottish Album of the Year award-winning singer-songwriter, Kathryn Joseph and Bristol country/pop song crafter, Katy J Pearson.

They'll be performing alongside Emmy Award winning soundtrack composer and pianist, Michael Price, Rough Trade’s new eight-piece longform space-rockers caroline and the propulsive London synth/drum duo, Soccer96. 

Sea Change will also continue its tradition of presenting exciting new talents this year. Sinead O’Brien, Lucy Gooch, Tara Clerkin Trio, Charlotte Spiral, HighSchool, Fran Lobo and DITZ will all be taking to the stage.

Also returning to Sea Change are fellow Devon natives, Pale Blue Eyes, who have just joined the BBC 6Music B-list.

Katy J Pearson Credit: Seren Carys

Sea Change founder, Rupert Morrison, said, "Though we say it ourselves, this is a hugely impressive first announcement, and all the more dazzling when you consider that the weekend capacity is just 600 people.

"Few events are as intimate and even fewer provide such an extraordinary set of artistic riches.

"There have been so many ups and downs over the last two years; postponing events, going online, struggling to stay afloat, receiving funding, constant date changes, doubt, postponements, anxiety and church concerts.

"We’ve been working hard for months and, today, being able to start talking about our amazing guests is a pretty euphoric moment. May 2022 is going to feel celebratory, safe and totally invigorating.

Sea Change at Totnes Cinema Credit: Sea Change Presents

"The May 2022 roster (with a lot more still to be announced) is one of which we’re extremely proud and we can’t wait for each and every show.”

More artists will be announced in February, including film and literature events in partnership with Rough Trade Books, White Rabbit and Faber & Faber.

Both weekend tickets and bundles are on sale now.