In addition to the ships and boats, there will be an exciting array of events and entertainment taking place around the Docks including…

Food & Drink
Live Music Stage
Free Arts & Crafts
Jack Sparrow & Pirates
Craft Stalls
Food Stalls
And Much More!


On Water Activities

Get into the nautical spirit with a whole flotilla of exciting on-water activities being displayed at Gloucester Tall Ships and Adventure Festival. Taking place within the picturesque main basin of Gloucester’s historic docks will be an incredibly varied mix of entertainment from the adrenaline-fuelled wakeboarding to incredible Gravity Jet Suit displays over the water ensuring that there will be fun to be had for the whole family. The line-up includes:

  • Industry Pro Wakeboard Competition (see more)
  • Gravity Jet Suit displays (see more)
  • Pirate Shows starring Jack Sparrow (see more)
  • On water living history
  • Step on board participating history ships

Land Lubber Activities

If you haven’t got your sea legs yet don’t worry as there’s plenty on offer to keep everyone entertained on dry land.

  • For the adventurous, you can have a go at the amazing Gloucester Docks zip wire (for an additional charge) or perhaps try out the waves on the surfing simulator. There is also a climbing wall and caving tunnels plus an RAF Red Arrows simulator.
  • If you want a spot of retail therapy, you can visit one of the many craft, food and drink stalls at the festival.
  • There will also be live music on throughout the three days including performances from local schoolchildren as part of the Water City Music event on Saturday May 25.
  • Performance area with dance and acrobatics (see more)
  • Under-12s get in free to the festival when accompanied by an official wristband-wearing adult. Your pass is valid for the three days and also includes entry to:
  • The National Waterways Museum where you can discover the history of Britain’s docks, canals and the wildlife around the River Severn.
  • The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum where you will learn about one of the most decorated regiments in the British Army, from the Napoleonic Wars to the modern era.

Pirates and Living History

A whole host of lively characters will be running amok at Gloucester Tall Ships including:

The festival also hosts a rum bunch of unsavoury characters including Captain Jack Sparrow and his buccaneering brethren swashbuckling aboard the tall ships. Our Captain Jack actually appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides! Meet sailors and Red Coats from the Royal Navy that Admiral Nelson made famous and find out why Britannia ruled the waves. You’ll also find dockside denizens from the Victorian era including gin-soaked ‘ladies’ of questionable virtue, Dickensian street urchins and the upstanding ‘Peelers’ (Britain’s first bobbies) attempting to keep the peace.

Performance Area

The performance area is host to a wide a variety of dance and acrobatic performances, particularly focusing on a circus theme.

  • Simple Cypher will be performing a piece which combines hip hop and circus. 
  • Engage Circus is a community circus project from Artspace Cinderford, they will be hosting inclusive aerial skills workshops on their free standing rig. 
  • Power, the fearless new dance production from 2Faced Dance choreographed by Alleyne Dance, explores our relationship with authority and control.
  • The Roundhouse Street Circus Collective brings together bold young circus artists and street dancers, aged 16-25 years, with a drive to train, collaborate, produce and present their own work.

More Information

Water City Music (Saturday Only)

Water City Music brings together musicians across the whole spectrum of abilities and experiences to play together, inspire one another and learn from one another. Led by artistic director Michael Bochmann MBE, the charity stages musical events – of assorted sizes and scale – at striking venues across the UK.

Water City Music are delighted to be collaborating with Gloucestershire Academy of Music to bring this fantastic event to Gloucester in partnership with Gloucester Tall Ships and Adventure Festival. More than fifteen schools and groups from Gloucester Academy of Music, will be participating across three performance areas on Saturday 25th May.

Orchard Square main stage will see wind, brass, jazz and orchestra groups performing, the steps of Soldiers of Gloucester Museum will have a 300 strong choir of school children from local schools led by Vicky Field, and in the Mariners Chapel there will be a Gamelan – the traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments – with Gloucestershire Community Gamelan and local schools performing. There will also be ‘have a go’ sessions for festival goers.

Find Out More