An incredible line-up is in store for the celebratory opening weekend of Bournemouth’s third Arts by the Sea Festival.  Friday through to Sunday of 20-22 September sees a magical mix of exciting outdoor performances for all the family.

It includes Joe Rush and his Mutoid Waste Company, whose giant articulated creations will take over the seafront in a spectacular parade and performance of lights, animatronics and special effects.  That’s just the first weekend – 3 weeks of film, music, theatre, visual arts, literature and dance follow, taking the festival atmosphere right up to the 12 October.

Over the weekend the only vintage mobile cinema in the country will be giving audiences a slice of cinema history with special showings of new animations for all the family.The Regular Joes will be playing their heady brand of dance music from the jumpin’ jiving’ era and there’ll even be a Silent Disco!

Many unusual street theatre ‘happenings’ will be taking place over the weekend – look out for some eccentric tea-ladies, roving piano recitals, a taste of the 1950’s beach holiday experience through music and dance and even a crinolined lady, capturing the origins of Bournemouth as a spa town.

The opening experience comes to a glorious finale with a very English interpretation of Venice’s one thousand year old Marriage of the Sea ceremony performed by over 100 local people.

Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival is funded by an Arts Council Grant for the Arts and Bournemouth Borough Council.  Headline sponsor is Arts University College Bournemouth.

Phil Gibby, Area Director South West, Arts Council England says, ‘This year’s Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival promises to be another high quality, inspiring three-weeks packed full of art and culture for everyone. The Arts Council has supported the Festival for a second year in a row through our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts scheme.

The Opening Weekend takes place in the town centre, Lower Gardens and the beach.  For full programme details, visit

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