In Memoriam | Luke Jerram
Sandbanks Beach | 27th September - 2nd October
7am - 11pm
Find Out More
Sea Of Light | Ithaca
Central Bournemouth | 2nd - 4th October

Find Out More
Fire Garden | Walk The Plank
Central Bournemouth | 25th - 26th September

Find Out More

COVID-19 Update: Click here to find out how we are ensuring visitor safety during Arts by the Sea Festival 2020. 

Welcome to Arts by the Sea Festival 2020

 Friday 25th September – Sunday 4th October

We are thrilled to announce that Arts by the Sea will go ahead in 2020 in a revised, Covid 19-secure format. The festival will now take place with a reduced number of live physical events, consisting of capacity-controlled, outdoor installations spread across local gardens and beaches. The festival will also host a full digital programme of curated online workshops and livestreams, as we strive to meet government safety guidelines while still delivering a much-needed dose of cultural activity.

We’re delighted to have you here!

2020 Festival Theme – Journeys

The 10th edition of Arts by the Sea has been on its own journey of physical adaption and digital transformation over the last few months to prioritise safety and allow stunning artwork to return to Bournemouth and beyond.

As the world eases out of lockdown, our original theme of Journeys takes on new meanings and we reflect on the challenges and changes that 2020 has brought.

Join us at Arts by the Sea 2020 and with a renewed perspective ask:

Where have we come from and where are we going next?


Register for festival updates

What's On LIVE

In Memoriam
Luke Jerram

Sandbanks Beach | 27th September - 2nd October | 7am - 11pm

Sea of Light

Central Bournemouth | 2nd - 4th October |
No Admission Without Ticket

Fire Garden
Walk the Plank

Central Bournemouth | 25th - 26th September | SOLD OUT |
No Admission Without Ticket​

The Windbreak
Cold War Steve

Boscombe Beach | 25th Sept - 4th Oct |
7am - 11pm


Pavillion Dance South West | 25th - 26th September | Various Times

You Are Here Right Now
Paint Shop Studio

Lower Gardens | 25th September - 4th October | 7.30am - 10.30pm

Speak to the Sea
CoCreate Dorset CIC

Sandbanks Beach | 27th September 12-5pm | 30th September 3-6pm, | 2nd October 3-6pm

Postcards from Memory

Bournemouth Library |
25th - 29th September

The Congregation
Guy Dowsett

St Peter's Church | 25th September - 2nd October | 10am - 10pm (12pm Sunday)



Trainee Producer Scheme



COVID-19 and your safety

We can’t wait to welcome you to Arts by the Sea in our revised Covid-friendly format. We’ve created a completely new and restructured programme with your safety in mind. We’re presenting a limited number of live experiences which will be capacity controlled, ticketed and designed to allow social-distancing. We’ll also be hosting an exciting combination of digital activities, workshops and online streams.

Read our FAQs below to understand what you can expect from our live experiences and if you have any further queries, contact us at


Our outdoor live events are all installations rather than performances and have been designed following the most recent Government guidelines on Covid 19 safety. 

  • Events are capacity controlled to avoid large crowds, and where appropriate events have been ticketed, with timed entry slots and only small groups of people allowed to enter together based on household units or bubbles. 
  • You will be able to social-distance within and around the installations. 
  • There are no live performers and all our staff and volunteers are following safe working-practice guidelines and social-distancing.
  • Extra hygiene measures have been followed by staff when setting up the installations and there are no elements where you will need to physically interact with the show.

Two of our outdoor live events are FREE but ticketed (Fire Garden and Sea of Light) and you must not turn up to these events without a pre-booked ticket. Book tickets through our ‘What’s On’ guide. Our other installations are available to view without tickets. 

Yes. We have designed the installations with plenty of space so that you can experience the event and still maintain social-distance from others.

There is no legal requirement for you to wear a face covering in an outdoor space, but current government guidelines encourage you to do so. We therefore recommend that you do wear a face covering to our live events. Our Front of House staff will be wearing visors. None of our installations involve any contact, but you are welcome to bring hand sanitiser to use at any festival event. Public toilets will be open with hand-washing facilities available and these will be regularly cleaned and sanitised. 

We have redeveloped our Accessibility Guide for the 2020 festival events, and it can be downloaded here. We would love to provide the best experience possible for anyone with access needs so please do contact us to discuss your requirements at .

Please do not attend if you have symptoms of Covid 19 including a persistent dry cough, a fever, and loss of taste and/or smell – or if you are self-isolating due to potential contact with Covid 19.

If you have been shielding and/ or feel vulnerable we do not recommend you attend an event unless you feel totally confident that it will not put your health at risk. Some of our live events will be filmed and broadcast on our website for you to watch at home, and we also have a fantastic online programme for you to enjoy. Head to the What’s On page on our website to find out more. 

Our outdoor live events are designed to be able to take place even if it is raining, so we recommend you wear appropriate clothing and still attend if you feel comfortable doing so. Any changes to the event schedule will be posted on our social media and website. 


Yes, where needed, there will be floor markers in place to ensure everyone keeps the correct social distance from each other when queuing and stewards will be available for any queries. 

Tickets are required for our Fire Garden and Sea of Light events. Tickets are FREE and will be available from early September – visit our ‘Whats On’ guide to book.

We are assisting the Government by supporting NHS Test and Trace. In line with guidance issued by the government, we will keep your details for 21 days. We will only share them with NHS Test and Trace if asked, in the event of a fellow visitor testing positive for coronavirus. After 21 days we will delete/destroy your details. It will not be used for marketing or other purposes unless you have given your permission to be contacted by us for this purpose.


This year we have two indoor/ semi-indoor events, The Congregation by Guy Dowsett (at St Peters Church) and TOM by Wilkie (at Pavilion Dance).

The installation is situated in the entry porch to the church on the south side. It is open access for you to visit at any time but please maintain social distancing around the installation. We recommend no more than 4 people in the porch at any one time.

This is a ticketed event – to book your tickets visit

Pavilion Dance South West have a strict cleaning and hygiene policy in place and the venue will have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before your arrival. Group and audience size will be limited to make sure that those participating can do so at a safe distance. You will be asked to sanitise your hands as you enter and leave the building. Hand sanitiser will be available. For more information about attending a performance at Pavilion Dance visit their website


BCP Council have worked hard to put measures in place to help you maintain social distancing in public spaces.

‘Keep Left’ is being advised on all footpaths and pedestrian areas to support social distancing and keep movement flows in the same direction. This tried, tested and understandable format will mean people needing to keep to the left hand side of a footpath/pedestrianised area, road crossing point, beach promenade, beach zig-zags, in the direction that they are travelling, so as that people travelling in the opposite direction can pass on the right.

Signs have been placed on lamp columns, stuck to bins, placed on the ground and wrapped around pedestrian bollards to help you follow the ‘Keep Left’ message and maintain social distance.

BCP Council has no legal powers to enforce social distancing, as this is guidance not law. The emphasis is on individuals to follow the guidance for the safety of themselves and others. More information is available on the council’s website:

BCP Council have re-opened some public toilets, and these have full hand-washing facilities available. Some toilets will remain closed while changes are made to ensure they are safe for public use. There will be temporary closures throughout the day to make sure each toilet is thoroughly cleaned.

Please wash your hands regularly, before you leave home and when you get back. If you know you are likely to use a public toilet, make sure to carry your own hand sanitiser and gels. 

We have an up to date list of toilets that are planned to be open.

We recommend walking or cycling to your destination if you can. However, most BCP Council car parks are now open. Normal parking charges are in operation. Please use your mobile phone to pay for parking where possible, by calling or using an app. 

You should follow social distancing guidelines in car parks, such as:

  • wait for people to leave or enter nearby vehicles before you enter or leave yours
  • keep 2 metres away from others when waiting to pay
  • keep 2 metres away from others and “keep left” when walking in the car park, including in stairways.

Our Partners and Sponsors