From pirates to pyrotechnics, live music to military moments and food festivals to family fun, Plymouth’s 2023 calendar is jam-packed with unmissable events.
Each year, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and Plymouth City Centre Company work together to offer a buzzing events programme which also includes supporting independent organisers to host events in the city.
Councillor Pat Patel, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to announce the epic line-up of events taking place throughout 2023. It’s a great way to attract new visitors into Plymouth, who will spend money in the city and boost the local economy, positioning Plymouth as a lively, vibrant city with lots going on.
“With such a range of awesome events on offer, including best-selling bands coming to Britain’s Ocean City, it’s looking to be a busy year. Here are all the key dates you need for your diaries.”
Inspired by the high seas, Plymouth Pirates Weekend will fill the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and waterfront with two days of swashbuckling fun with plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy (20 and 21 May).
Foodie fans are in for a real treat this year too. Flavour Fest (26 to 28 May) is the South West’s largest free food and drink festival, with hundreds of local producers selling tasty treats and a chef stage with regional cookery stars showcasing their skills. Later in the year, the Plymouth Seafood and Harbour Festival (16 and 17 September) will celebrate all that is great about the city’s stunning waterfront and fishing industry.
There’s also an impressive line-up of live music to enjoy over the summer.
The August Summer Bank Holiday weekend will see the 1 Big Summer music festival take to Plymouth Hoe (25 and 26 August), with the line-up set to include a range of music including the fabulous Ibiza Orchestra.
Plymouth is set to host more global music superstars, at Home Park Stadium, including Devon’s very own Muse (27 May) and Kiss with their End of the Road Tour (3 June).
The Big Tribute Festival will be returning to Central Park, with an even bigger and better line-up than last year, hosting an awesome range of talented tribute acts (11 to 13 August). The party continues with Live in the Park (16 to 20 August) featuring a range of original and tribute artists to enjoy.
Another popular event coming back to Plymouth Hoe this year is Armed Forces Day, in association with Babcock (24 June). It’s a great opportunity for everyone to show their support for the military community. The day includes a packed programme of entertainment, military equipment and displays, interactive activities, parades and live music. The day will finish with an awesome free evening concert, where visitors can enjoy an amazing line up of performances to dance and sing-a-long to.
The Rehabilitation Triathlon hosted by the Royal Navy Recovery Centre Hasler (22 June) will also take place in the city, with outstanding athletes – Paralympians and Invictus Games competitors among them - competing in this tough event. The triathlon is made up of a swim in Tinside Lido, cycling time trials and static rowing on Plymouth Hoe.
For those who enjoy participating in sport, or looking for a new challenge this year, the Britain’s Ocean City Running Festival (14 May), includes the Plymouth Half, 10k and 5k, offering something for runners of all abilities.
For the motorcycle enthusiast, visit the Ocean City Motorcycle Festival, incorporating the Ocean City Bike Show (12 August) and The MegaRide, (13 August), hugely popular motorcycle ride, starting at Lee Mill and raises money for charity, including South West Blood Bikes.
Look to the skies in August as the beloved British Firework Championships (16 and 17 August) sees six pyrotechnic companies showcase their very best work in six epic ten-minute displays, as they compete to be crowned the nation’s best.
Later in the month, the West End Carnival (26 August) will return to the city centre offering a full day of carnival flair. Expect live music, street performers and free children’s activities to enjoy, and take time to explore the city’s independent quarter at the same time.
The circus is coming to town! Or rather Central Park, (6 to 23 September) with the Circus Berlin European tour, an amalgamation of high energy, music and brilliant circus acts.
There’s a huge range of cultural activity planned for 2023 too, including a series of public artworks in locations across the city plus a top-class programme of exhibitions and events at The Box.
Plymouth Pride is set to take place on Saturday 5 August, the location will be announced in due course.
Further details about each of the events will be shared in due course. The dates listed are correct at time of print, but are subject to change. For all the latest details about what’s on in Plymouth, including information about smaller events taking place throughout the year, please see visitplymouth.co.uk.
Event organisers can also promote their own events on the Visit Plymouth website by submitting the details here: www.visitplymouth.co.uk/whats-on/submit-event.