Along with its annual carnival, Southend also hosts the Festival of the Air in May of every year. This hugely popular airshow that takes place along the seafront, one of the largest of its type in Europe, offers fly-pasts by many state of the art military aircraft and regularly hosts the RAF parachute display team and the spectacular aerobatic manoeuvres of The Red Arrows.
The town plays host to several vibrant theatres with varied entertainment programmes, from the large Cliffs Pavilion that hosts both concerts and ice-dancing shows, to the hundred year old Grade II listed Palace Theatre that offers a range of serious amateur and professional drama, as well as comedy performances.
Alongside the town's popular theatres, Southend also has a thriving music scene with plenty of small performance spaces and several larger concert venues which have hosted many of the big names in the world of contemporary music. Electronic music is particularly well represented in Southend, with a number of bustling clubs covering the full spectrum of tastes in this area.
Southend offers a number of large visitor attractions for those with an interest in the natural world, from the marine wonders of the Sea-Life Adventure Aquarium to the natural history displays at the Central Museum. The museum also houses a large collection of artefacts and exhibits that showcase local history, as well as being home to a compact planetarium which hosts regular presentations on astronomy.