Arts by the Sea Festival Shines Spotlight On Mental Health Issues In Its ‘Mind Matter Hub’

The Bournemouth based arts and culture festival, taking place from 27th – 29th September, reveals its full programme of activities for the newly created Mind Matter Hub and also announces final performances for its 2019 festival programme.


Now entering its ninth year, Bournemouth’s much-loved Arts by the Sea Festival is thrilled to reveal the full programme of content connected to its 2019 Mind Matter theme. Through a carefully curated strand of engaging workshops, activities and talks within the wider festival; guests can visit the Mind Matter Hub on Pavilion Dance Terrace in Bournemouth Town Centre. Here they can explore and discuss the Five Steps to Wellbeing and mental health in a plethora of positive and mind-boosting experiences in association with various partners including Dorset Mind, Bournemouth University, Arts2Educate, Steps2Wellbeing, and the Dorset Mental Health Forum amongst others. Arts by the Sea today also announces the final additions for the 2019 event including more hilarious street theatre from Nutkhut, and performances from some of Bournemouth’s most celebrated contemporary choirs and dance troupes – Love Soul Choir, Funky Little Choir, and The Bomo Swing. For full details about the 2019 festival programme and Mind Matter theme, visit

Over 35 performances have already been announced for Arts by the Sea Festival 2019 making it one of its biggest years yet. From large scale light installations and projection mapping on Bournemouth Town Hall, VR experiences and bespoke interactive works, to dance workshops, live music performances and popup theatre and much more besides, there’s something for all ages to enjoy.

Whilst the Mind Matter theme for Arts by the Sea 2019 has already been announced, the full content for the Mind Matter Hub can now be revealed as it aims to break down some of the barriers that prevent people talking about mental health.

Visitors will find the Mind Matter Hub situated on Pavilion Dance Terrace, and associated activities bursting across other spaces at Horseshoe Common, Lower Gardens and Pier Approach. From the main hub, Dorset Mind will be running creative interactive activities as well as offering information on their local mental health support and education and training programmes for the workplace and young people.

Bournemouth University will be running several drop-in exhibits, interactive workshops and talks, covering research topics undertaken by BU including, mental wellbeing for new mothers, postnatal depression in men, and the responsibility the media plays in modern mental health.

Those feeling active can take part in Good Gym’s 5km group run, Open Air Park Yoga, Flexercise and Zumba Gold with Active 50+, or take part in the beach clean with Litter Free Coast & Sea.

Elsewhere, Parks Foundation presents Parks in Mind where visitors will be inspired by nature on its arty tour around Bournemouth’s very own town-centre wood. Here they’ll see the Common in a different light as they connect with other people and the environment. Or for hands-on activities, visit the Graffiti Art drop-in workshops with Arts2Educate, both suitable for all ages.


The YMCA also partner with Arts by the Sea with their Chatterbox Project which provides interactive activities including the Positive Affirmation Jar and Mirror in the Box, as does Relate Bournemouth offering a variety of activities for guests to join in to get thinking about relationships and how they connect to mental health.

On hand will be a number of organisations to offer advice or just a space to talk, such as the Samaritans and the Dorset Mental Health Forum. Steps2Wellbeing is also on hand to offer information about a range of talking therapies for people experiencing problems with depression, anxiety or stress, and the Education Bus from BCP Council will provide mental health advice for children in education aged 11-19. The NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group welcomes guests into its hub to meet its team to give feedback on mental health services in Dorset and, in particular, Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Adding to the colourful mix of programming elsewhere at Arts by the Sea, comes a new street theatre announcement. Presented by Nutkhut and The Bureau of Silly Ideas, visitors can join Inspector Daal and Sergeant Sole in ‘Chappal – The Case Of The Missing Sandal’. Witness the bumbling crime solving duo as they embark on an international investigation to find Aunt-ji’s favourite antique sandal after it goes missing on holiday!

Fans of music and dance at Arts by the Sea will not be disappointed with these latest additions. The Love Soul Choir will perform intricate harmonies and contemporary songs from The Pointer Sisters and Lionel Richie, to Clean Bandit and Tori Kelly, as will Dorset’s largest, contemporary amateur group, the Funky Little Choir, singing numbers from KT Tunstall, Elbow, The Beatles, Annie Lennox, and many more. If that doesn’t leave guests dancing and singing all night long, then they certainly will be when Bournemouth-based eight-piece band, The Bomo Swing deliver their high energy and unique blend of Balkan, Reggae, Cumbia and dance.

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.