THE countdown to the start of the second Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival is almost over.

More than 100 artistic events, including outdoor performances, cinema , classical music, sculpture, world music and much more, are set to take place from September 29.

Organisers say Bournemouth town centre and its Lower Gardens will be transformed for the opening of the multi-arts form festival, which takes the theme of journeys this year.

Also key to the month-long festival will be a special programme inspired by Boscombe ’s derelict Shelley Manor, once home to Frankenstein author Mary Shelley.

An event spokesman explained: “This year, with over 100 events, the festival is looking to make even more of an impact than the first year, showing that Bournemouth is a place to visit for culture as well as a place to have a wonderful summer holiday.

“Journeys is the theme which weaves through the events of this year’s festival.”

One highlight will be a contemporary take on a classic opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, staged at the atmospheric and semi-derelict Shelley Manor.

The spokesman added: “There are events which take Bournemouth’s literary heritage and create exhibitions, performances, talks, workshops and screenings which examine the continuing significance of the Shelly family in Bournemouth.”

The festival also includes 11 emerging artists who submitted their proposals to Arts Bournemouth.

They include Emma Purchase, David Nock and Joe Stevens.

Kerry Curtis, of Arts Bournemouth, said: “The festival is all about showcasing some of the huge arts talent in the region as well as bringing in new and awe-inspiring arts from further afield to really put Bournemouth on the arts and culture map.”