When: 14th – 21st October 2017
Where: Bournemouth, Dorset
£: Most events are free. Prices for ticketed shows vary, depending on the event
What is it?
The 7th Arts by the Sea Festival in Bournemouth will feature more than 70 acts and events, occurring over 8 days, from Saturday 14th to Saturday 21st October.
The festival will take place across Bournemouth in the gardens, the pier, town square and the seafront, as well as in renowned venues such as the Shelley Theatre and Pavilion Dance, and more under the radar locations like St Peter’s Church and The Old Firestation. The Arts by the Sea Fringe event, which will dovetail the Arts by the Sea’s main programme, will encompass a range of locations across the town including the bandstand, theatres, cafés, gig spaces and music venues.
The 2017 Festival theme is Plastic Beach, which invites artists and creative partners to explore the tension between ecology and industry. The festival fringe includes events which have interpreted this in ways that range from the direct to the subtle. Arts by the Sea is committed to delivering as green an event as possible and awareness of marine pollution and other environmental problems are raised through many of this year’s performances, exhibitions and installations.
Visitors to the festival will be able to see a mechanical heart steampunk sculpture, a deep-sea fish on a bike, roaming sea creatures and huge illuminated inflatable lobsters, unique peepbox shows, illuminated puppets, and a botanical mechanical umbrella tree. Hydromania will animate the public space by turning buildings into fountains, and Cirque Bijou’s Umbrella Project will see an illuminated art installation travel around Bournemouth. The Alternative Sports Club will also be bringing their Mad Max Mobiles, made from junk and scrap materials, to the festival.
There’ll be a Cockatoo Art Bar, converted from a 1965 Morris Ambulance with a birdcage performance stage, and mini solar-powered cinema screenings from Sol Cinema. Visitors can take part in the free special Throwies Light Night event or relax in a lifeboat of hammocks.
There will be a host of critically acclaimed shows including Joe Sellman-Leava’s Labels, a moving, forensically honest story about immigration, Luke Jermay’s incredible mind bending magic tricks in Sixth Sense, while Medea, Written in Rage is a unique take on the classic story performed by vocalist and dancer extraordinaire, Francois Testory.
JOAN is a refreshing look at Joan of Arc ,Livia Rita’s Rewild is an avant-garde combination of music, movement and costumes, while in The Dark Room, you can play the world’s first live-action text-based adventure game. Morgan & West’s Time-Travelling Magicians will amaze and astound you with their mind-boggling tricks and sorcery.
Festival goers looking to soak up an extra bit of culture can enjoy a free weekend at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum or peruse Suddenly Last Summer, a combined creative exhibition by the class of 2017 at Arts University Bournemouth‘s galleries. Local artist Harriet Muller explores this year’s Plastic Beach theme, creating beautiful seascapes and creatures using recycled plastics in her exhibition Aquastic at Pavilion Dance.
Cinema lovers will be entertained at The Ocean Film Short Sounds Film Festival (part of the fringe platform) and environmentally themed screenings of Bikes vs Cars and A Plastic Ocean at the Shelley Theatre.
As part of the fringe, SoFar Sounds will be offering secret acoustic gigs across town; One World by the Sea explores the influence of international culture and diversity on local cinema, music, dance and food; and a multi-faceted party at long-standing Bournemouth venue, 60 Million Postcards, will be dedicated to the 2010 Gorillaz album Plastic Beach.
Improviso are a period music ensemble performing ‘Elizabethan rock ‘n’ roll’; artist Rosemary Edwards curates A Drop in The Sea which draws attention to the fact that plastic outlives humans; while Animystic Productions bring Hessi the Elephant, who will be roaming around central Bournemouth with her keeper Dr Sticke, reciting the wonders and magic of the elephant world.
More info: artsbythesea.co.uk