ORGANISERS of Bournemouth’s annual arts and culture festival, Arts by the Sea, have announce that this year’s event will go ahead in a revised, Covid-friendly format.

Usually attracting crowds of over 100,000, the festival will take place with a reduced number of live physical events consisting of a handful of limited capacity, outdoor installations across Bournemouth Gardens and the surrounding beaches from Friday September 25 to Sunday October 4.

The festival will also host a larger than usual programme of online activities where workshops and livestreams will become part of the new festival format.

Festival Director and Cultural Development Manager at BCP Council Andrea Francis said: “I’m immensely proud of the festival team who have worked tirelessly to design a new, safe festival format.

“The programme this year provides opportunities to reflect, and time to come together after months of isolation and experience something truly magical, hopefully with members of your friends and family.”

This year was set to be Arts by the Sea’s most spectacular edition yet as it celebrated 10 years of bringing art and culture to the South Coast of England.

Guests can now expect a select number of walk-through exhibits and outdoor installations, each with timed entry slots to manage capacities and social distancing.

With limited capacities, these events will be augmented via digital broadcasts, meaning anyone not able to secure a ticket or unable to leave the safety of their home, can get involved online.

Advance, free tickets will be required which can be obtained via the Arts by the Sea website.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, Arts Council England, South West, added: “With both a digital and outdoor programme, this year’s festival will give many people the chance to enjoy a fantastic range of cultural experiences, provide employment opportunities for local creatives, and help to kick start the local economy.

“Arts organisations like Arts by the Sea, led by BCP Council, play a vital role in bringing communities together and helping to enrich our lives, which is why we are so pleased to invest in them through our National Portfolio funding programme.”

To help bolster their programme, Arts by the Sea will schedule an assortment of online activities on their social media channels.

From the comfort of home, virtual guests can watch livestream music programmes featuring local bands, take part in creative workshops, and revisit street theatre performances from the archives of Arts by the Sea as it celebrates 10 years of bringing arts and culture to the south coast of England.

Festival organisers at BCP Council and From The Fields have worked hard to deliver an event with both public safety measures and the best audience experience in mind.

Cllr Mark Howell, Deputy Leader for Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council said: “I am delighted that, despite the challenges of Covid-19, Arts by the Sea Festival will be taking place this year.

“The team have worked very hard to reconfigure the festival to allow the public to safely enjoy this annual celebration of artistic activity”.

Full event details and information on how to obtain tickets will be announced on Monday August 17. Please note that all events will be subject to government guidance at the time.