Arts by the Sea Festival Reveals Even More Spectacular Installations, Bespoke Works And Performances For 2019

Taking place across various spaces in and around Bournemouth this September, leading arts and culture festival, Arts by the Sea also announces a partnership with Without Walls and its winner of Artist Open Call 2019


Bournemouth’s must-visit arts and culture festival, Arts by the Sea is thrilled to announce a second wave of exclusive commissions, intriguing outdoor installations and an injection of music to its 2019 programme. Spanning various in-and-outdoor spaces across Bournemouth from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th September, the latest highlights include; explosive acrobatics from Acrojou, a life-sized, interactive games arcade, the Thrill Laboratory Virtual Reality Playground, poetry, world music in many forms, and much more besides. Arts by the Sea also announces a partnership with Without Walls which guarantees the best in outdoor arts are staged at the 2019 event. Also, artist, animator and programmer, Andy McKeown, is revealed as the winner of Artist Open Call 2019 and his exclusive work, BeachHUTS, will showcase this year. Delivered by BCP Council and in association with Arts Council England, Arts by the Sea Festival is free to attend. For more info visit


Without Walls is a network of festivals that works with artists to bring fantastic outdoor arts to people across the UK. Through its knowledge, expertise, and working with its partners, Without Walls has supported the development of 140 shows, contributing to the sustainability of the UK’s outdoor arts sector and audience accessibility on a local level.


Without Walls brings some very exciting programming to Arts by the Sea 2019. Acrojou will perform the spectacular, Frantic – a remarkable acrobatic and dance-theatre exploration of society’s relentless devotion to being busy and the running mind. The life-sized, Actual Reality Arcade will also feature, where guests of all ages can step into an interactive zone and play such classic games as Tetris and Pac-Man for real. The exhilarating Thrill Laboratory Virtual Reality Playground will see festival-goers don a VR headset and be propelled through colourful abstract virtual worlds, driven by boarding a playground swing! And Wired Aerial Theatre, a beautifully performed aerial theatre piece will showcase a mesmeric, rotating set awash with dynamic bungee choreography.


As part of its mission to develop talent from across the UK, Arts by the Sea’s Artist Open Call project allows artists to submit work to be commissioned for the festival. Under the brief of ‘large-scale, interactive art light installation’, Andy McKeown was chosen as the 2019 winner. He beat over 40 entries to see his bespoke piece, ‘BeachHUTS’ come a reality at Arts by the Sea. Using new media light, sound, image and video projection, BeachHUTS will be a mesmerising, visual display of footage captured from the local area created in conjunction with young people from Bournemouth.


Andy McKeown explained, “BeachHUTS is a constantly changing mix of locally gathered costal sounds and imagery with interactive and participatory elements creating a playful take on the classic beach hut. For me the beach hut represents the perfect antidote to the pressures of everyday life. A place to escape to even for a brief moment whilst allowing the sounds of sea to wash away the constant stress and routine of modern living.”

This year will also stage the works of the 2018 Artist Open Call winner, Jack Wates. His piece Colour Curve is a mind bending, large-scale light installation where 120 coloured streetlights will be lit along Bournemouth Beach creating a ‘frontier’ between land and sea. Magically, everyday objects like sand and foliage will appear to change in colour as visitors move through the space from Sandbanks to Southbourne. From audio-visual collective, Structured Light, comes Eye Of The Storm. This large-scale experience is a 2019 Artist Open Call commission from five of the UK’s most popular arts festivals; Kendal Calling, Shambala, Bluedot, Lakes Alive, and Arts by the Sea. Guests will explore the bridge between form and light by stepping into a pyramid of cutting-edge light built using traditional materials.

Other new additions to the 2019 programme include, ‘Flow’ from Squidsoup – an outdoor exploration of light, inspired by the energy and space of the landscape around it. Folk Dance Remixed – a fresh and colourful collision of music and dance from traditional folk and contemporary hip hop, to maypole and breakdance. The hilarious, ‘That Parking Show’ from Tangled Feet mixing comedy and acrobatics using full-sized cars whilst exploring the daily frustration of road rage. And My Heart, My Heart: Live Poetry Jukebox by Aide Mueller – an interactive installation that works like a music jukebox, only with poems performed live!

In partnership with Global Focus which provides professional performance opportunities for emerging talent from the global music scene, the music offering at Arts by the Sea is set to be highlight when sounds from across the land meet at the bandstand and in other locations across Bournemouth.  Expect smiles and grooves when 8-piece brass band, Das Brass arrive playing their melange of pop, funk favourites and originals, balkanised afrobeats and twisted jazz standards. Tarantola bring the traditional music of Salento ‘Taranta’ blending wild gypsy music, Latin vibes and breath-taking circus performances. Esteban Card combine salsa, reggae and afrobeat to celebrate the Colombian Caribbean coast’s native sounds. The Odd Beats will perform, mingling Turkish folk with irresistible Balkan dance beats and hints of Greek Rebetiko amongst other exotic world music flavours.  An exuberant mix of afro, rock, funk and psych vibes will be served up by Agbeko. And finally, international collective LOKANDES fuse traditional Afro-Andean rhythms with contemporary genres such as Reggae, Ska, Jazz and Latin rhythms.

Amongst this diverse mix of artistic content, visitors will spot the carefully curated elements relating to the ‘Mind Matter’ concept. A plethora of mental health-related subjects are being explored this year in association with various partners, including local mental health charity, Dorset Mind and academics from Bournemouth University. As part of the wide programme, these hands-on-activities, installations and exhibitions aim to get people talking about, and practising, the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’.


Arts by the Sea offers awe-inspiring, engaging and fun-packed activities suitable for all ages, and what’s more, it’s free to attend. To plan a visit to the 2019 festival and find out more in-depth information about its unrivalled programme of diverse arts and culture, head to Further announcements are coming soon.