THE BEAF is back! Bournemouth’s largest independent arts festival returns next month with a colourful showcase of home-grown talent. Here are seven highlights of this year’s Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe Festival which runs for nine days from Saturday, May 4 to Sunday, May 12.

1. There will be an Exhibition Preview Trail on Saturday, May 4. From 6pm to 8pm visitors are invited to meet the artists behind the festival’s art exhibitions and installations, many of which are situated at the Sovereign Centre and the Royal Arcade in central Boscombe. There will be family-friendly bubble workshops in the Night Garden space, interactive sound healing performances, art made from rejected and recycled substances as well as live skating and dance performances. Boscombe characters, created by artist Jake Trickett, can be found hiding in the streets.

2. Photography is a particular focus of BEAF 2019. Curated by Gallery of Photography Bournemouth, a brand-new centre for contemporary photography, the festival offers a wide programme of photo exhibitions and workshops in various venues.

3. The BEAF Film Festival is on Sunday, May 5 at the Shelley Theatre. Further film events include KIWI, a short dance film screened at Boscombe Library; Plastic People, a film created by young people from Boscombe with musician and performer Scott Lavene; an anniversary screening of Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent movie Man with a Movie Camera and a 35mm presentation of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (cert. 18).

4. On Bank Holiday Monday, the BEAF Street Festival will turn Boscombe Precinct and adjacent areas into one giant party space, with live music throughout the day, pianos to play on, live art installations and performances and a life-size grass sculpture roaming the streets.

5. BEAF 2019 will feature a number of commissioned theatre performances, beginning with Scott Lavene’s one man show, The Truth About Men, on Thursday, May 9, 7.30pm at the Shelley Theatre. Written and performed by Lavene and directed by renowned writer Nell Leyshon, The Truth About Men takes its protagonist and the audience on a musical journey through the canals of England to find out how to become a man.

Secret Voices – The Outsiders Project,by Nell Leyshon, will give voice to a group of outsiders from Boscombe on May 9 – 11 at the TJ Hughes building in the Sovereign Centre.

6. On May, 12 at 7.30pm, violinist Jack Maguire, musicians from the Budapest Café Orchestra with playwright Sharon Muiruri Coyne and The Company of Fools will take audiences on a journey of Migrating Words and Melodies at the Shelley Theatre, evoking the plight of refugees through history.

7. The last weekend of the festival also features Art in the Park, a green mini festival for all the family at Boscombe’s Churchill Gardens (Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11), with drawing workshops, a large octopus community sculpture, music, storytelling and lots of other activities.

* BEAF receives support from Arts Council England, Bournemouth Coastal BID and Arts University Bournemouth.

For the full programme visit or website