Arts by the Sea Announces New ‘Play’ Theme For 2022 Event


The soon to be announced programme of Arts by the Sea Festival, Bournemouth’s annual celebration of art, culture, people and place, will explore the theme of PLAY in all its forms. Through a range of music, dance, theatre, installations and spectacles, festival goers can shake off the seriousness of what has been and rediscover the profound nature of the act of PLAY. 


Festival organisers at BCP Council and From The Fields – who are also the creative directors behind the popular Bluedot and Kendall Calling festivals – landed on this theme following the results of a 2020 United Nations survey. Children were asked what they would change to make themselves happier; they said to have more time and space to play, a statement that Arts by the Sea wholeheartedly agrees with. 


The 12th edition of Arts by the Sea, which runs from Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October across Bournemouth town centre, is also proud to announce contemporary visual artist, Marcus Method, as its 2022 Artist in ResidenceMarcus is also the artist responsible for designing the festival’s 2022 PLAY artwork. Through these graphics, guests will be able to spot Marcus’s unique style, born from his graffiti roots and heavily influenced by the design theories he learnt when working as an architectural technologist.



The Artist in Residence role sees an artist each year, new to Bournemouth, building, designing, painting or creating something which gives a freshperspective on the iconic seaside town. Marcus will add his trademark design of vivid colour to everyday objects, turning Bournemouth’s Town Square into an area that encourages play and playfulness for all of Bournemouth’s residents and the wider festival audience. 


Cathryn Peach-Barnes, Arts by the Sea Creative Director, comments“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Marcus Method’s iconic work to Bournemouth. His colourful style is instinctively full of joy and playfulness. As an artist that hasn’t worked in Bournemouth before, Marcus is also able to bring a fresh perspective as the Artist in Residence. The Artist in Residence scheme is designed to create exciting opportunities for artists to celebrate Bournemouth’s beautiful town centre and encourage audiences to find their inner playfulness in a town that they experience on a regular basis. We can’t wait to see what he does.”


Finally, Arts by the Sea is thrilled to announce the expansion of its festival programme into Christchurch. The ‘Christchurch Edition’ of Arts by the Sea will take place on Saturday 10th September in conjunction with Christchurch BID. For the first time, Christchurch residents will be able to experience a tailored, playful programme of participatory and intriguing art in its many forms across Saxon Square and Druitt Gardens and in unusual pop-up spaces around the town.


Attracting a footfall of 100,000 people across the main festival weekend, Arts by the Sea is passionate about drawing audiences together with performances that ignite a mischievous spark of the imagination. Its many experiences that can be found at the iconic Town Square, Lower Gardens, Pier Approach and beyond, attract those in search of fun and festivity. 

Audiences can learn all about the main programme for Arts by the Sea 2022 when it is released in July. It’ll be a guaranteed mix of theatre, dance, music and installations alongside the large-scale spectaculars that have become synonymous with Arts by the Sea. From nine to ninety years old, there’s something for all ages at Arts by the Sea.