Arts by the Sea Festival will go ahead in 2020!

Bournemouth’s annual arts and culture festival, Arts by the Sea, is thrilled to announce that it will go ahead in 2020 in a revised, COVID-friendly format. Usually attracting crowds of over 100,000, the festival will now take place with a reduced number of live physical events consisting of a handful of limited capacity, outdoor installations across Bournemouth Gardens and local beaches go ahead from Friday 25th September – Sunday 4th October. The festival will host a larger than usual programme of online activity where workshops and livestreams will also become part of the new festival format as it strives to meet government safety guidelines, whilst still delivering a much-needed dose of cultural activity.

2020 was set to be the most spectacular edition of Arts by the Sea yet as it celebrated 10 years of bringing art and culture to the South Coast of England. Guests can expect a select number of walkthrough exhibits and outdoor installations, each with timed entry slots to manage capacities and social distancing. Advance, free tickets will also be required which can be obtained via the Arts by the Sea website. With limited capacities, these events will be augmented via digital broadcasts, meaning anyone not able to secure a ticket or unable to leave the safety of their home, can get involved online.

Furthermore, Arts by the Sea will schedule an assortment of online activities. From the comfort of home, virtual guests can watch livestream music programmes featuring local bands, take part in creative workshops, and revisit street theatre performances from the archives of Arts by the Sea as it celebrates 10 years of bringing arts and culture to the south coast of England.

Festival organisers at BCP Council and From The Fields have worked hard to deliver an event with both public safety measures and the best audience experience in mind.

Festival Director and Cultural Development Manager at BCP Council Andrea Francis said, “I’m immensely proud of the festival team who have worked tirelessly to design a new, safe festival format. The programme this year provides opportunities to reflect, and time to come together after months of isolation and experience something truly magical, hopefully with members of your friends and family.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, Arts Council England, South West, added: “With both a digital and outdoor programme, this year’s festival will give many people the chance to enjoy a fantastic range of cultural experiences, provide employment opportunities for local creatives, and help to kick start the local economy. Arts organisations like Arts by the Sea, led by BCP Council, play a vital role in bringing communities together and helping to enrich our lives, which is why we are so pleased to invest in them through our National Portfolio funding programme.” 

Finally, Cllr. Mark Howell, Deputy Leader for Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council commented, “I am delighted that, despite the challenges of COVID-19, Arts by the Sea Festival will be taking place this year. The team have worked very hard to reconfigure the festival to allow the public to safely enjoy this annual celebration of artistic activity”. 

Full event details and information on how to obtain tickets will be announced on 17th August.  Please note that all events will be subject to government guidance at the time.