BOURNEMOUTH'S annual celebration of art and culture has seen the town burst into life on the opening weekend of the Arts by the Sea Festival.

It has been a feast for the senses as the town has been buzzing with lively music and colourful displays.

Crowds were enthralled by a wide range of entertainers ranging from brass bands and choirs to robots and food workshops.

And the first day of the event, yesterday, ended with a spectacular display at Bournemouth town hall when a bespoke 3D projection mapping show, called Silicon Shores, drew gasps of approval from the large crowd.

Thousands of people gathered at the town hall after watching a parade of weird and wonderful characters weave its way through the town centre.

Arts by the Sea was launched by Bournemouth council in 2011 and has grown each year. In 2015 it became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

The festival celebrates art across many forms, making it accessible to all.

The ultimate aim is to increase opportunities for people to participate in the arts and organisers pride themselves on its inclusive, diverse and accessible programme of events.

The town centre was alive with the sound of the Funky Little Choir, Bollywood Brass Band, Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band and the Dolphin Marching Band.

Children watched in awe as robots Titan and Elecktron entertained the crowds and there were long queues waiting for a turn in the rotating Astronaut's Caravan parked in The Square.

The festival theme for this year is New Frontiers, marking the way society has been transformed by digital technology in a relatively short period of time.

It runs until October 6 and visitors are invited to join organisers in exploring visions for the future through a diverse programme of art in Bournemouth's most iconic locations.

A spokesman for the festival told the Daily Echo: "We are delighted with the way the festival has started.

"The weather has been amazing and has helped us attract even more people than last year.

"Music in the bandstand went down very well and all of our events have been busy."