About the Festival

This year’s festival brought another full programme of inspiring and engaging events to enliven Bournemouth for its residents and visitors.

After popular demand, the team at Arts Bournemouth extended the opening night to a whole weekend of exceptional events. Ensuring that this festival was bigger and better than ever before.

With support from our Associate Artists, Festival Partners and The Arts University Bournemouth, Arts Bournemouth were able to bring you.

Mutoid Waste

Having created stage sets for The Rolling Stones at Glastonbury 2013 and arts directed the London 2012 closing ceremony of the Paralympic games. Joe Rush and his Mutoids arrived in Bournemouth on Friday 20th with a parade through the Lower Gardens to open the festival weekend.

Chorus Ray Lee

Positioned on the Pavilion Dance South West Terraces, the collective of monumental, transfixing sound sculptures, sang out a pulsating siren call, while red lights whirl like planets.

Spiegelei-on-sea Jem Finer

Spiegelei-on-sea reflects and magically inverts the silent world using the beautifully simple technology of the mirror and the lens. Placed on the sands of Bournemouth Beach the 360 degree panoramic camera, illuminates the upturned projection of the sculptural beach landscape.

Lost Light Michael Grubb Studio

Each light house created an immersive environment, in which in individuals became part of their own exploration with light and how that defines space and experiences.

Timed performances throughout the Lower Gardens

From the eccentric tea ladies to the Commedia dell’arte characters, the arts filled Lower gardens were buzzing with Jive music, tragic stories and daredevils for everyone to enjoy.

Marriage of the Sea Parade

From the creators of the Grand Grotesque Parade from the 2011 Festival. Zerelda Sinclair & Associates reinterpret a 1000 year old Venetian ritual. Which saw over 50 participating brides parade from The Triangle through Bournemouth town centre to the end of the Pier, where they were waved good bye by loved ones as they cemented their Marriage to the Sea.

John Cooper Clarke

Returning to a bigger venue, punk poet John Cooper Clarke saw his second time around at the festival sell out again in record time.

Fanny & Johnnie Cradock Cook The Great American Songbook

A three course Fanny-esque dinner and a show was held at Urban Reef Restaurant.

The Girl and the Shoes

Held at Pavilion Dance South West, this enchanting fairytale transported the audience from the countryside of France to vibrant Paris. Drawing on classics such as The Wizard of OZ, this magical show captured the imaginations of school groups and families.

BFX at The Triangle / The Art of Visual Effects

A weekend of free workshops and screenings for computer animation and special effects was held at the Bournemouth Library and Pavilion Dance south West.

The Cabinet of Living Foley

A workshop featuring live scores using found objects plus contemporary experiments with computer generated special effects

Hungarian Dances / Paganini by Candle Light

Ex BSO Player Jack Maguire performed with pianist Barbara Henvest with music influenced by the Gypsy traditions and folk lore. Jack Maguire returned for a performance featuring work by Paganini at the atmospheric Shelly Theatre in Boscombe.

Penned in the Margins

Wickedly funny spoken word artist Ross Sutherland found himself trapped in The Crystal Maze; sound poet Hannah Silva channelled ghostly utterances; electronic music maverick tuned into hidden energy fields. All held together by experimental poet SJ Fowler. Shelly theatre could not have been a better venue for this intense and inspired literature performance.

Alfred Hitchcock films to a live score

Two separate nights saw Arts Bournemouth host The Pleasure Gardens and Blackmail at the Pier Theatre. Both of these films were some of Hitchcock’s early work which set president for his signature themes. The live score were accompanied by led violinist Jack Maguire.


From Director David Rosenburg (Electric Hotel) and Writer Glen Neath (The Outgoing Man), the audience entered a dark room at Pavilion Dance south West, wearing headphones. Performed completely in the dark, this audio theatre thrilled, chilled and just scared just a little bit.

Chris Watson

One of the world’s greatest natural sound recordists, famed for working with David Attenborough. Chris Watson held a talk at Bournemouth Natural Science Society with a field trip to Brownsea Island the following day.

The Paper cinema

As one of the festivals Associate Artists, The Paper Cinema presented a scratch night held at Shelly Theatre. The cinematic production, wowed audiences with their cunning tricks of transforming a suitcase full of cut-out paper puppets into living characters.


This dance piece had rave reviews from the festival audience urging others to see the Mark Bruces Company’s take on Bram stokers haunting Dracula.

The Dodge Brothers

Mark Kermode visited the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival in 2012. He enjoyed his time so much; we asked if he would like to take part in 2013 with his Skiffle, Rockabilly, Jug Band. The full evening experience included a screening to silent film Beggars of Life with live score by the Dodge Bothers, followed by a gig with fish and chips at Key West.

Grand Tea Dance

Running throughout the year, the Grand Tea Dance is always popular with those wishing to dance or simply listen to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Luke Wright

A regular on BBC4, Luke Wrights bawdy bar room ballads about rogues and small town tragedies was a hit at The Winchester, being described as one of ‘the funniest and most brilliant poets of his generation’.

The Irrepressibles

Jamie McDermotts lead vocals filled the Pier Theatre, fluttering between high notes to the pulsing dark echoes. Fused with classical orchestrations, poignant lyrics and stunning set visuals. This performance left the audience feeling they had been on an emotional journey.

Acts of Clothing – Marica Farquhar

Back from her recent performance at the Venice Biennale, Marica drew on her personal, cultural and social associations with clothing. A stage was set at Key West, which saw Marica stomp up and down in her own clothing from the past which conjured up the pleasure and pain from old memories.

British Sea Power

Returning to the festival after a sell-out event in 2012, BSP brought their highly acclaimed performance ‘Man of Aran’ back to the Pier Theatre.

The Kingdom of Paul Nash

Inspired by the surrealist paintings of Paul Nash, The Cabinet of Living Cinema paid homage to the artist and the Purbeck landscapes that inspired Nash.


Artists have included: Fuel, British Sea Power, The Paper Cinema, The Girls, Giorgio Sadotti, Georgina Starr, The Cabinet of Living Cinema, John Cooper Clarke, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Petroc Trelawny, Pipilotti Rist, Ray Lee, John Hegley, Paul Noble, seeper, Fevered Sleep, and many, many more.

Please download the 2013 programme. http://www.artsbournemouth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Arts_by_the_sea_brochure_2013_lowres-21.pdf

We work with arts partners including Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Arts University Bournemouth, Bournemouth University, Pavilion Dance, The Gallery at AUB, and Activate Performing Arts to deliver a strong and engaging programme that promises something just ‘a little bit different’ set in one of the UK’s most desired and stunning coastal resorts.

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