THOUSANDS of families will visit Southend seafront this weekend for a music festival and spectacular fireworks display.

The Purple Festival will be held on Saturday, from 3pm, with a packed six-hour programme of free music and entertainment.

A diverse line-up of artists will be playing on two outdoor stages and other venues around Southend’s High Street and seafront.

The event has been organised to mark the third year Southend has been awarded the Purple Flag, an award which recognises a lively and safe town centre.

At 7.30pm, the fireworks display will take place, opening Southend’s now famous season of pyrotechnic spectacles, which are designed to extend the summer season.

The fireworks are funded annually by the Southend Business Improvement District, which is spearheading a range of projects to improve the town centre.

Glyn Morgan, co-owner of seafront venue Chinnery’s and Southend’s Maple Studios, said: “It’s great Southend has been awarded another Purple Flag and I’m excited to be part of the team giving some great bands the chance to play to big, enthusiastic crowds.

“Our goal was to try to offer a little something for everyone and I believe this has been accomplished with this year’s exciting and eclectic line-up of fresh talent.”

Southend Bid chairman, Dawn Jeakings, added: “The Purple Flag shows everyone that Southend town centre and seafront are safe, clean and fun places to be.

“The night-time economy is enormously important to our town and what happens between 5pm and 6am is just as vital to us as what occurs during daylight hours.”

For more information about the Purple Flag Festival, presented by the Southend Bid, visit and follow the Bid’s Twitter page @onSouthend