About

Sky diverSUNDOWN is a diverse arts event playing host to live music, spoken word, comedy, short films, DJ’s and any other performance art. It is based in Southend-on-sea but now curates events in London and throughout the UK, including many festivals.

SUNDOWN began in 2003 as simply a poetry night with one live music act on the bill, with the original idea being that ‘when the sun goes down, an evening of arts entertainment and community can work together’.  It was then put on hold until it came alive again in August 2004 with the idea of booking an array of different quality acts.

WE have been running for 14 years, celebrating our birthday every November.

We have collaborated with many other organisations and events including Arts Council England, Apples & Snakes, Writers Centre Norwich, Colchester Arts Centre, Whitechapel Arts Gallery, Arctic Circle, Union Chapel, Norwich Arts Centre, Southend Festival, Village Green, Metal, Bury St Edmunds Festival, Leigh Folk Festival, John Peel Centre, The Feminist Library, The Strong Room, Essex Book Festival and many more.

“Like the WI, if the WI smoked dope”
– Jo Caulfield

Artists we’ve had perform include Jenny Eclair, Frank Sidebottom, James Yorkston, Jim Bob, Ed Harcourt, Adem, Jo Caulfield, Isy Suttie, Josie Long, James Campbell, Kiosk of Champions, Josh Weller, Luke Wright, Will Birch, Scroobius Pip, Laura Dockrill, Pictish Trail, The Langley Sisters, Land Observations, Helen McCookerybook, Sam Lewis, John Hegley, Kate Tempest, Tim Clare, Francesca Beard, Martin Newell, Ladygarden, Helen Arney, Elvis McGonegall, Gideon Conn, Jay Foreman and many, many others.

We are a non-profit organisation with very little funding, run entirely by volunteers for the passion of the arts.  Any money received on the door goes straight back into the running of the event – advertising, paying acts, promotion, printing, research etc.  We received Arts Council funding for a small Sundown project back in 2008 called How Many Roads?, towards our Village Green stage/tent in 2012 and for an 18-month programme from June 2013-Oct 2014.  Sundown is moving into the world of curating and producing having taken inspiration from events such as the Meltdown festival at the South Bank Centre and the ATP events.

However, we still like to stage local events in Southend and Essex as this is where we started and it shan’t be forgotten.

“Sundown is charming” – Luke Wright

“Like the W.I, if the W.I smoked dope” – Jo Caulfield

“An infectious atmosphere, run by good people.  I’ve always enjoyed their events” – Josie Long

Thanks to poet Jamie Spracklen for the name, Olly Paterson for logo design and Nathan Jones for website tailoring.