First Wave Of Programming Announced For Arts by the Sea Festival 2022

The spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Town Hall welcomes the House Gospel Choir and a mass audience sing-a-along, Brandon Block performing from a sequinned DJ booth, high octane displays from the GB Olympic skateboarding team, a cavernous walk-in sculpture and much more in what is set to be another celebratory year of arts across many forms.


The first wave of performances have been revealed for the 2022 edition of Arts by the Sea, Bournemouth’s annual festival of arts and culture. Taking place from Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October across Bournemouth’s beautiful outdoor spaces and gardens, its vibrant and accessible programme will explore the theme of PLAY in all its forms as festival goers shake off the seriousness of what has been and rediscover the profound nature of the act of PLAY. Watch the trailer here.


The opening spectacle, Press Play, on Friday night brings together a 3D projection mapping never seen before at the festival. A collaboration between the digital arts collective, The Media Workshop, and the renowned House Gospel Choir, guests will listen to the choir’s soulful and powerful voices fill the air as they follow the song lyrics from the biggest house, gospel and garage tunes appearing on the façade of Bournemouth’s iconic Town Hall. It’s set to be a mass audience participatory opening event and a joyous kick-start to the weekend.

There’s plenty more music on Friday night and across the whole festival weekend where dancing in the street is wholly encouraged. The Hush Club’s sequinned DJ booth will be stationed at Street Food Corner, and who better to bring a catalogue of classic tunes from over the years than the legendary DJ, Brandon Block.


The Hush Club’s mischievous little brother, Rave Rover, can also be found at the festival. From this roaming soundsystem, disco edits and remixed classics will emerge as it snakes around the dizzying Roller Disco held at the must-visit Pop Up Skate Park. Hosted in conjunction with the indoor skate flow park, Prevail Juniors, music comes courtesy of DJ Sara Blow, a G-A-Y regular and part of the all-female empowered group, Frau DJs. With pop anthems and disco divas galore, revellers from all walks of life are invited onto the dancefloor in their best disco-dress.


The Pop Up Skate Park will be a highlight experience of the 2022 programme. Hosted by the world class King Ramps skate events company, visitors can marvel at the gravity-defying tricks and stunts by GB Olympic Skateboarders, Alex Hallford, Jack Clark and friends in high-octane displays that show off their medal-winning skills. High octane exhibits aside, guests should also take in the ramp itself, designed by Arts by the Sea’s Artist in Residence and contemporary visual artist, Marcus Method.


The Pop Up Skate Park will be a hive of participatory workshops and entertaining demos all weekend long. People of all skills and ages are invited to sessions hosted by professional skateboarders and coaches to help improve their skills or, for novices, how to stand on a skateboard for the first time!

Here, King Ramps also welcomes Bournemouth-based store Moose Skateshop and Happy Skate Board, plus the Poole-based Entity BMX Shop, for a series of Community Skate and BMX Jams. Local skateboarders and riders will perform their best tricks as they battle it out to win prizes as judged by professionals in their respected fields. A place to discover the talent of the future, visitors are encouraged to cheer from the sidelines and show support for everyone involved.


Councillor Beverley Dunlop, BCP Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Culture & Vibrant Places said, “Arts by the Sea always provides such a vibrant and accessible range of cultural activity and this year I am really excited by the sport and culture crossover. The Pop-Up Skate Park is an inspirational way of engaging with our young people and giving everyone ownership of our public spaces. It will showcase our local skate, blade and BMX champs and give everyone the chance to have a go. This year, Arts by the Sea is all about having fun so come down and try something extraordinary!”


Each year, Bournemouth’s gardens are packed with intriguing installations from some of the best creative companies. The cavernous walk-in sculpture The Luminarium by Architects of Air is a must-see attraction in the Lower Gardens where an inflatable maze of winding paths and soaring domes awakens the senses and drenches audiences in radiant colour.

Festival goers will also find themselves immersed in the playfulness of nature when they visit The Nectary by artist Alison Smith in Central Gardens. In this light and sound installation, visitors will place their heads inside giant glowing flowers as they mimic the behaviour of a pollinating insect, listening to “the hum of the earth” as they perform their crucial role as a pollinator.


Over 100,000 people attend Arts by the Sea every year in search of fun and festivity. Staged by BCP Council and curated by From The Fields, Arts by the Sea is passionate about drawing audiences together with performances that ignite a mischievous spark of the imagination


There’s much more to be announced for the 12th edition of the festival including walkabout street theatre, imaginative play areas, dance pieces, immersive installations, a jam-packed bandstand and much more. From nine to ninety years old, there’s something for all ages at the free-to-attend Arts by the Sea Festival.