Plymouth outlines summer highlights for tourists

Blending nautical adventure with charming city-scenery, Plymouth holds its own against the likes of Blackpool and Scarborough and this summer will see an an impressive event programme including giant beasts strolling through the city, impressive pyrotechnic displays and the world’s fastest multihull sailing championship.

The 2021 event programme highlights: 

The Four Nations Ceremony the UK’s flagship Mayflower 400 event, marking the closure of the international Mayflower 400 commemorations. The theatrical production with live music, song, drama and film will tell the Mayflower story from all angles, including direct from the Native American Wampanoag tribe.

There will be a gigantic choir of 1,000 voices accompanied by the full concert orchestra of HM Royal Marines Band, Plymouth. Visiting dignitaries from the four nations (the UK, US, Netherlands and Wampanoag) will also be taking part, reflecting on the historical voyage and its legacy.

Plymouth has been selected to host the Great Britain Grand Prix, the third event of SailGP Season 2. SailGP features eight national teams made up of the sport’s top athletes including Britain’s own Sir Ben Ainslie, the world’s most successful Olympic sailor leading the Great Britain SailGP Team.

Adrenaline-fuelled racing will take place on Plymouth Sound each day, alongside onshore activity throughout the afternoon in the race village where the action will be displayed on big screens.

This August, theatre-makers Trigger will stage The Hatchling, a giant puppet in the form of a dragon will appear in Plymouth and roam through the city, exploring its new surroundings and interacting with the public.

Standing at over 6.5m tall the carbon fire creation is the largest ever puppet to be solely human-operated. It will be operated by a team of 36 puppeteers working in rotation in groups of 15.

The dragon was designed by a palaeontologist and is based on the pterosaur, a prehistoric reptile that was one of the largest flying animals ever to have lived. At sunset on Sunday 15 August, she will undertake a miraculous metamorphosis into a kite, unfolding her wings spanning over 20m, before  taking flight from a clifftop in a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.

The Hatchling was conceived by Angie Bual, Artistic Director of Trigger. For more information visit

The world-famous British Firework Championships is set to return to Plymouth’s waterfront in August. The popular annual event attracts approximately 100,000 people over two nights.

Spectacular pyrotechnics will illuminate Plymouth Sound, as six top firework companies battle it out over two nights, each putting on an awe-inspiring ten-minute display in an attempt to be crowned the winner.

1 Big Summer, a 3-day music event will take place on Plymouth Hoe on the August bank holiday weekend with each day curated to appeal to a plethora of musical tastes, genres and audiences. Friday 27th August will see Ibiza Classics 2021, featuring a full live 26-piece orchestra and a soundtrack that will transport listeners through three decades of iconic white isle classics.

On Saturday 28th August, the ‘1 Big Summer’ day festival and main event follows suit featuring an array of UK chart topping acts.

Sunday 29th August is one for the whole family. ‘The Great British Sausage and Cider Festival’ will offer an unprecedented array of craft cider, sausage flavours, street food and entertainment, including stage games, and competitions.

The Box officially opened last September, amidst the pandemic, summer 2021 will be the first opportunity for many to experience one of the UK’s most impressive new cultural venues. The Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy exhibition will shed new light on a story which has endured for more than four centuries.

From 18th May to 11th July 2021, the Box will also host its first touring exhibition – Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America. Created in partnership with the Wampanoag people, who have lived in North-Eastern America for 12,000 years, the exhibition centres on a newly created wampum belt – a symbolic and sacred object for the Wampanoag. It will be used – alongside other materials – to explore Wampanoag life in America today, the impact of the past as well as the Wampanoag’s creative aspirations for the future.

For ticket information visit

This Land, Theatre Royal Plymouth’s first-ever trans-Atlantic community production, premieres on The Lyric stage at Theatre Royal Plymouth in September 2021.

Directed by Alan Lane, This Land is performed by a community cast from Plymouth and members of the Wampanoag Tribe from Massachusetts and explores the story of why the Pilgrims fled, interwoven with that of the Wampanoag Tribe as they go about their daily lives, unaware of the Mayflower’s arrival and the enduring impact it would have on their way of life.

Tickets back on sale soon – check  for updates.

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