Returning for its fifth year, this weekend’s Big Sunday looks set to be huge with its mixture of culture and talent, including live music from 64 bands across more than a dozen stages.

Put together by a hard-working team of more than 20 volunteers, the free festival will once again be showing the town’s wealth of talent in terms of bands, choirs, orchestras, poets, writers, musicians, artists and so much more.

One of the highlights of this year’s event is the festival within the festival that is Mrs Pankhurst’s Tea Party, a joyous celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Votes for Women movement, which takes place on Firstsite art gallery’s D-Shaped Lawn.

That will include artist Claire Marsh making her giant puppet of Everywoman, a children’s sash making workshop, and Essex University’s Professor Pamela Cox introducing a fascinating group of inspirational women such as playwright Nicola Werenowska and Firstsite director Sally Shaw.

It all ends at 4.30pm with a large international choir and a Suffragette speech from EastEnders and Holby city actor, Carli Norris.

Musically, you’ll be doing well to keep up with all the acts that are playing over the numerous stages with Cakestupid on the Berryfields Second Stage and Band of Fools on the Tiptree Stage on the Minories Lawn.

That’s before you get to all of the bars and cafes taking part, including the Castle Inn, the Piatto cafe, The Brewhouse, and The Three Wise Monkeys, which has a cracking line-up thanks to local promoters Pink Shed and on their Top Floor theatrical, comedy and spoken word acts performing.

Other draws include a youth stage giving eight young bands from Essex Music Education Hub the opportunity to shine while a digital gamer’s bus will give free access to 30 state of the art consoles and two virtual reality rooms.

Gazette: Director - Sally Shaw

there’s also plenty of food and drink from all over the world from a special Street Food Market on the Cultural Quarter’s main square and talent from across the world will also be showcased at the international arena, where Indian, Gurkha, samba, salsa and African drumming will be on display.

Big Sunday Listings

In Firstsite Foyer: Essex Music Hub presents:

12pm: Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra; 1pm: Essex Youth Jazz Quintet; 1.30pm: Essex Youth Brass Ensemble; 2pm: Academy East Choirs; 2.30pm: Academy East Guitars; 2.45pm: Academy East Strings; 4pm: Academy East Wind bands; 4.30pm: Academy East Orchestra; 5pm: Academy East Jazz.

At 3pm Quire and KTEMA perform in the foyer then from 4pm they join a massed choirs’ rendition of the 1903 Suffragette anthem The March of the Women.

Berryfields Second Stage

12pm: Vicky Eldon; 1pm: Fraser Morgan; 2pm: Cakestupid; 3pm: Park and Ride; 4pm: Colour and Shape; 5pm: The Shrinks; 6pm Lydia Bell’ swing jazz finale.

Stage behind the Old Bus Garage

Musicians Supporting The Homeless including Rosalind Harniess, Matt Buckle, Phillip Lagos, Suzy Cramer, Chopper IV, Denial Twist.

The Tiptree Stage on the Minories Lawn

12pm: MURA; 1pm: Litter of Kings; 2pm: 33 RPM; 3pm: Adam Churchill Band; 4pm: The Berkeley Squares; 5pm: Band of Fools.

Three Wise Monkeys: Ground Floor Pink Shed Presents

12pm: Asking for a Friend; 12.25pm: Rowan Reynolds Wright; 12.50pm: Sam Young; 1.15pm: Tash Robertson; 2.45pm: Chelsa Leah; 3.30pm: Meg Burrows; 4.15pm: Grandmas Waffle; 5pm: Eephant Jane; 5.45pm: To be announced; 6.30pm: Silent Natives; 7.15pm: Rubber Jaw; 8pm: Pet Needs; 8.45pm: To be announced; 9.45pm: Ghosts of Men; 10.30pm: Pink Shed DJs.

Piatto Cafe, Priory Walk

12pm: Nick Gustard; 12.35pm: Three Steps to Heaven; 1.10pm: The Four Blokes Trio; 1.45pm: Yas Yas Yas; 2.20pm: The Jane Tomsett Band.

The Arena Stage

1pm: Blackwater Street Dance; 1.30pm: The Singing Safari; 2pm: Ghurka Dance from the Nepalese Community; 2.30pm: Elizabethan Dancers; 3pm: The Samba Band; 3.30pm: The African Drummers; 4pm: Chinese specialties; 4.30pm: Salsa open access dance and world music.

The Castle Inn, High Street

2pm: Leon Helsby; 2.45pm: Josie Tullet; 3.30pm: James Nunn; 4.15pm: Ella Hayes; 5pm: False Colours; 5.45pm: Lou Terry.

The Brewhouse, Queen Street

1pm: Suzy Cramer; 1.35pm: The Infamous Me; 2.10pm: Simon Craze; 3pm: Sandcastle Jesus; 3.50pm: Gordan Hoyle (poet); 4.10pm: Philip Marino; 4.45pm: Dominic Benjamin; 5.20pm: Katy Forkings; 6.05pm: Sam Ryder; 7pm: Oh, Maddie; 8pm: Fishclaw; 9.15pm: Implio.