Whitstable Biennale is a festival of performance, film and sound, taking place every two years on the Kent coast. The event has grown out of Whitstable’s extensive artistic community, and has developed an international reputation for showcasing the most exciting up-and-coming artists and filmmakers, and engaging audiences in a rich programme.

“A new pearl among the art-world oysters” The Guardian

We commission artists to create ambitious and experimental new works, and stage live performances, film screenings, talks, digital works, events and workshops, engaging audiences with the most compelling new work from across the UK and beyond.

“Radical live and moving artworks in the most unexpected of places” The Telegraph

The festival re-imagines Whitstable, with multi-disciplinary performances and events woven into the town – into the idiosyncratic halls and huts, the galleries and bars, the alleyways and oyster beds, the working harbour and the steep shingle shoreline.

“Rare and valuable direct access to artists and performers” Frieze

Whitstable Biennale is critically acclaimed, attracting a broad range of features and reviews in the national and international press including The Guardian, The Telegraph, Frieze, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Wire, The Art Newspaper and Art Monthly. An extended feature on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Review with Tom Sutcliffe was broadcast on the opening evening of our festival in June 2014.

 “It is coherent in a really interesting way. They are very imaginative about the way they’re thinking about indoor and outdoor spaces.” BBC Radio 4

There is a long-standing artistic community in Whitstable, and the festival has grown out of grassroots activity in the town. The first Whitstable Biennale was in 2002, and our most recent festival in June 2016 attracted almost 50,000 visits to the main programme and an estimated 20,000 additional visits to the popular festival fringe.

“Highly unusual experiences. Utterly memorable.” a-n

New works commissioned by Whitstable Biennale often go on to tour after the festival, in the UK and internationally. Recent venues include Whitechapel Gallery, London; Serpentine Cinema, London; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Imperial War Museum North; PKM and Artsonje Centre, in Seoul, South Korea; Manifesta 9, Genk, Belgium; Modern Art Oxford; South London Gallery; British Film Institute, London; Bucharest Biennial, Romania; Art Unlimited, Basel; New Art Gallery, Walsall; Heidelberg Kunstverein, Germany; BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna, Austria; CCA Derry.

 “Clever, edgy, funny” New Statesman

 Whitstable Biennale is an independent charity, and our main stakeholders are Arts Council England, Canterbury City Council, Kent County Council, and the University of Kent. We also work with a wide range of partners, co-commissioners and collaborators on each festival.

“Truly wonderful” Whitstable Gazette

Our most recent festival was held in June 2018. If you’d like to be kept up to date with our plans for the next Whitstable Biennale please contact us at info[at]whitstablebiennale[dot]com or phone us on +44 (0) 1227 82 4350.

Artists, filmmakers, performers, musicians and writers Whitstable Biennale has commissioned and worked with include:

Faisal Abdu’Allah • Mark Aerial Waller • Vito Acconci • Jo Addison • Rosa Ainley
The ARKA Group • Jananne Al-Ani • Oreet Ashery • Edwina Ashton
Tanya Axford • Simon Barker & Jason Wood • Clio Barnard
Ruth Beale & Karen Mirza • Sarah Beddington • Oliver Beer • Bernd Behr
Anat Ben-David • Emma Bennett • Anna Best • Rebecca Bligh
Angus H Braithwaite • Mel Brimfield • Tim Bromage • Neil Bromwich & Zoë Walker
Mark Butcher • Bronwen Buckeridge • Alice Butler • Gerard Byrne
Martin John Callanan • Daren Callow • Lee Campbell
Jacob Cartwright & Nick Jordan • Mircea Cantor • Mike Chavez-Dawson
Lottie Child • Adam Chodzko • Paul Clark • Declan Clarke • Leigh Clarke
Lucienne Cole • Collaborative Research Group • Ali Cook • Chloe Cooper
Augusto Corrieri • Phil Coy • Nick Crowe • Cullinan & Richards • Tom Dale
Shezad Dawood • Robin Deacon • Judith Dean • Maya Deren • Leslie Deere
Amy Dixon • Benedict Drew • Uddin & Elsey • Ruth Ewan • Louisa Fairclough
Simon Faithfull • Marcia Farquhar • Harun Farocki • Peter Fillingham • Jem Finer
Force Majeur • Luke Fowler • Helen Frik • Ryan Gander • Tom Gidley • Ian Giles
Sally Golding • Dryden Goodwin • Tony Grisoni • S Mark Gubb • Lucy Gunning
Beatty Hallas • Emma Hart • Sam Hasler • John Hegley • Neil Henderson
Matthew Herbert • Tony Hill • Roz Hilton • Peter Hofer • Matt Hulse
Abigail Hunt • William Hunt •  Evan Ifekoya • Internet (Siân Robinson Davies &
Diego Chamy) • {} Interval • Fiona James • Derek Jarman • Jesse Jones
Estelle Jourd • Ben Judd • Mikhail Karikis • Nina Katchadourian • Janice Kerbel
Simon Kennedy • Una Knox • Joachim Koester • Serena Korda • Andrew Kötting
Ellie Kyungran Heo • Richard Layzell • Hannah Lees • Samuel Levack &
Jennifer Lewandowski • Mark Lewis • Rachel Lichtenstein • Anna Lucas
Tessa Lynch • Stacy Makishi • Andy Malone • Louisa Martin • Goshka Macuga
Jason Massot • Gordon Matta-Clark • Jeremy Millar • Gareth Moore • Jenny Moore
Frog Morris • Charlotte Moth • Victor Mount • Simon Munnery • Rosalind Nashashibi
Bruce Nauman • Mike Nelson • Grace Ndiritu • Kim Noble • Sally O’Reilly
Harold Offeh • Mie Olise • Daniel Oliver • Katrina Palmer • Katie Paterson
Lucy Pawlak • Oliver Payne • Alex Pearl • Nathan Penlington • Falke Pisano
Olivia Plender & Unnar Örn • Possibility Archive • Colin Priest • Mark Quinn
Kieren Reed • Nick Relph • Jessica Sarah Rinland • Ben Rivers
Siân Robinson Davies • Matt Rudkin • Anri Sala • Margaret Salmon • Ian Saville
Alex Schady • Trish Scott • Zineb Sedira • Lindsay Seers • Guy Sherwin
Roman Signer • Harminder Singh Judge • Bob & Roberta Smith • John Smith
Raine Smith • Tim Spooner • Patrick Staff • Gary Stevens • Annika Ström
Cara Tolmie • Touch • Sarah Turner • Charlie Tweed • Natasha Vicars • Roy Villevoye
Becca Voelcker • John Walter • Webb-Ellis • Tim Wells • Doffy Weir & Dave Draper
Aaron Williamson • Laura Wilson • Richard Wilson and Zatorski + Zatorski
Sarah Wood • Erwin Wurm • Chris Yates & Kelvin Pawsey • Charlotte Young
Xiaowen Zhu • Andrea Luka Zimmerman