Home   Folkestone   News   Article

Folkestone Triennial set to return to town in 2025

An outdoor contemporary arts festival will return to Kent in 2025 after being delayed for a year.

Organised by Creative Folkestone, the sixth edition of the Folkestone Triennial will take place in late summer for about three months.

The event has usually taken place every three years since 2008
The event has usually taken place every three years since 2008

The event which is held every three years - except for 2020’s postponement due to the pandemic - started back in 2008 with artists including Tracey Emin, Martin Creed, Antony Gormley, Lubaina Himid and Yoko Ono all taking part in the past.

The festival was due to be held in 2024 but has been delayed despite officials securing a share of £20m funding as part of the wider levelling-up cash awarded to the town.

The money will be used to provide better infrastructure for the festival.

The multi-million-pound project will improve connectivity and transport links in Folkestone, connecting the rail and bus stations with the vibrant, bustling town centre, Creative Quarter, and harbour area.

Once the work is complete, it will make the Folkestone Triennial exhibition spread from the seafront to the centre of town, making it more accessible to visitors.

The Folkestone Triennial will return in 2025
The Folkestone Triennial will return in 2025

Sorcha Carey, exhibition curator who previously ran the Edinburgh Art Festival for 10 years, said she wanted to ensure "art and creative thinking sit at the heart of this next chapter in Folkestone's evolution".

Organisers say the exhibition has brought in £100m to the local area since its first rendition.

At the last event in 2021, themed under the name of ‘The Plot’, organisers invited visitors to consider urban myths and their true origins: the gap between fact and fiction.

Site-specific sculptures and installations will be along three routes linked with historic Folkestone tales and, by borrowing from, or lending to these stories, the exhibition raises questions between tales and the urbanism of the town.

It welcomed more than 220,000 visitors, according to its organisers.

The Folkestone Triennial, in 2021, welcomed more than 220,000 visitors
The Folkestone Triennial, in 2021, welcomed more than 220,000 visitors

In 2014, a Banksy mural appeared on a park wall during the festival before being cut out of the building and leading to a long-running legal saga over its ownership.

Art Buff was eventually restored to public display in The Old High Street in 2020.

Speaking about the festival’s return, Alastair Upton, chief executive of Creative Folkestone, said: "Folkestone Triennial is not just an art exhibition, it is a catalyst for economic and cultural growth.

"The influx of visitors from the local area and much further afield puts Folkestone on the map, shining a spotlight on the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that makes our town a great place to live, work, play and visit."

Since 2008, Folkestone Triennial has been one of the most influential and ambitious art festivals in the UK, attracting approximately 640,000 visitors.

The event has generated economic investment of more than 100 million pounds for the local area.

Another legacy of a past Triennial is that there could still be bars of gold hidden in the sand at the Outer Harbour beach near Sunny Sands as part of the installation Folkestone Digs in 2014, which saw 30 individual pieces of 24-carat gold - worth £10,000 - buried at the beach by Berlin-based artist Michael Sailstorfer.

It is not known if they were all found or not.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More