A year
like no

The community and the council are working together on a range of events, initiatives and activities to celebrate City Status this year, and ensure Southend can make the most of this exciting opportunity.

This year of celebrations kicks off with City Week. Full of community activity, it starts with ‘He Built This City', the inaugural Southend city concert for Sir David Amess at the Cliffs Pavilion on Sunday 13 February. This will be followed by LuminoCity, our festival of light. Running over four dazzling nights from 16-19 February, 10 large-scale light installations from around the world will transform Southend, inviting residents and visitors to experience the city in a new light. Closing City Week will be “Unite in Light”, a celebration of hope and light for our city year, run by the Faith and Belief network of Southend.

Photo of Sir David Amess, MP

A city in honour of Sir David

Sir David Amess, MP was renowned for mentioning Southend-on-Sea and City Status whenever he had the opportunity.

A community-led bid was going be submitted in December as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. On 18 October 2021 however, The Prime Minister announced that Her Majesty the Queen would grant Southend-on-Sea City Status as a tribute to Sir David, who sadly died on Friday 15 October 2021.


Event key

  • Art & Exhibitions iconArt & Exhibitions
  • Community iconCommunity
  • Theatre & comedy iconEntertainment
  • Family events iconFamily events
  • Ceremonial iconCeremonial
  • Business iconBusiness
City week 13-20th February
Community Multi faith groups

Unite in Light

20th February

Online live stream event

Community Cartoon character standing in a cafe space

Books and Beer

19th - 20th February

Hoppily Tap Room

Business Gathering of people at an art exhibition

Welcome to Southend: The New Business City!

18th February

The Hive Enterprise Centre

Community The entrance to Twenty One art gallery and cafe

Whose ‘sides’ are you on!

17th February

Twenty One

Family events Children's choir standing up holding their hands in the air

Southend Scout and Guide Gang Show

16th - 19th February

Palace Theatre

Family events Giant stacked playing cards, light installation at Luminocity, Southend


16th - 19th February

Southend City Centre

Entertainment Sir David Amess

He Built This City

13th February

Cliffs Pavilion

Art & Exhibitions Blurry street lights

S For Southend

23rd January - 20th February

Focal point Gallery

Want to find out about all events taking place across the City?

Check out the Southend Tourism website, Visit Southend.

Visit Southend

Be the
first to hear the latest city news

To be a part of this year’s 1000 filmed conversations, or to find out more about Southend becoming a city, sign up to the City status email list.

Discover your #SouthendCity