Arts by the Sea, Bournemouth’s inspirational and diverse arts festival has unveiled the entertainment programme for its eighth annual event.

The schedule showcases the full core programme of more than 100 unique and thought-provoking performances that will take place in various locations across Bournemouth from Saturday, September 29, to Saturday, October 6.

These include a first-time projection mapping on Bournemouth Town Hall; wandering street theatre acts; rousing international musical performances; award-winning comedy and satirical stage shows; mesmerising walkabout puppets; quick witted poetry; film screenings from Bournemouth University and a remarkable night time carnival parade.

With this and so much more, Arts by the Sea promises a week of participatory experiences in music, art and dance – a true “carnivalesque” celebration of culture, accessible to all.

Launched in 2011 by Bournemouth Council, Arts by the Sea grew to become an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) in 2015 and has continued to grow and secure further funding.

For the 2018 event, a ‘New Frontiers’ theme will underpin a strand within the broader programme, with range of shows and artworks showcasing how innovation and technology is transforming society at an incredible speed, and what impact this evolution will have on the future of humanity. The theme highlights the impact of technological advances at a local level, celebrating the host town’s ambitions to become one of the UK’s leading digital economies by 2020, a mission already underway with Bournemouth fast-becoming a hotspot for digital innovation.

From the town hall to Central Gardens, the Square, Roundabout Theatre on Pavilion Dance Terrace, Lower Gardens bandstand, Bournemouth Library, Pier Approach and the beach, there won’t be a part of Bournemouth’s Town Centre untouched by Arts by the Sea.

The opening spectacular of Arts by the Sea on September 29 comes from The Colour Project, arguably the festival’s most innovative show yet.

Bournemouth Town Hall will be the focal point for a bespoke, 3D projection mapping show titled ‘Silicon Shores’.

Its ocean narrative will flip ‘surfing the web’ on its head in Bournemouth’s coastal location, as guests witness animated fish, octopus and other sea creatures (designed by students at Glenmoor and Winton Academy) climbing the walls of the town hall in a never-seen-before display of thematic lighting and enchanting video displays.

Visitors can wander the streets and spot a huge number of roaming performances. From the town hall to Lower Gardens, look out for the long white, bewitching characters of Herbert’s Dream ‘Compagnie de Quidams’ show, where musicians and dancers will have audiences of all ages enchanted with their ethereal and luminous presence.

Also on the same route, keep an eye peeled for ‘Ghost Caribou’, Thingumajig Theatre’s giant, lantern caribou puppets as they roam a mystical world after dark, performing through music, song and storytelling.

For plays to suit all ages and tastes, The Roundabout Theatre is a must visit on the festival circuit. Stand out shows include, the razor sharp satire ‘Sticks And Stones’ by BAFTA nominated Vinay Patel (aged 14 plus), a series of ‘Coastal Comedy’ events featuring TV headliners seen on programmes such as Mock The Week (BBC 2), 8 Out Of 10 Cats (Channel 4) or Live At The Apollo (BBC 1), and the rip-roaring adventure of ‘How To Spot An Alien’ for kids aged five-plus.

The Square will come alive thanks to The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Brand, celebrating the vibrancy and colourful lifestyle best associated with this enchanting region. Join in with Bhangra beats, wellloved pop songs and sci-fi and intergalactic funk.

For lovers of the spoken word, poetry revivalist Luke Wright is a must-see. He’ll have audiences at the Shelley Theatre keeling over as he delves into the murky world of poets laureate past while serving up a sparkling set of new poems that have been lauded by everyone one from Patti Smith to The Libertines.

Throughout the week, Bournemouth University’s Screen in the Square will be showing a selection of animation, art films, shorts and documentaries by BU academics, Lizzie Sykes, and Vicky Isley & Paul Smith aka world-renowned artists, ‘boredomresearch’.

‘Depth of Field: Research through Film’ will include award-winning cinema exploring everything from food poverty to hidden ‘Visual Riddles’ by Dr Trevor Hearing, written by poet and Professor Emeritus Sean Street, which viewers are invited to solve.

The closing parade, at Arts by the Sea, on October 6, will be a spectacle to behold as more than 350 people from the local community, Avonbourne Trust and youth theatre groups, join the ‘Circus Folly’ Night Carnival, commencing at Stafford Road, winding down Old Christchurch Road and finishing in the Triangle.

Expect an immersive rebellion of curious creatures great and small as they dance to thumping percussion and reclaim the streets of Bournemouth. These are no ordinary animal runaways. Many have escaped captivity by harnessing and disrupting human powers, cultures and technologies, becoming anthropomorphic in nature.

Join the movement and witness a spectacle of horses and riders in permanent charge, gangster pandas, a tyrannosaurus Rex returned from the dead and ethereal butterflies with street graffiti as camouflage.

Many Arts by the Sea events are free to attend. Attendees wishing to secure entry to some ticketed events – such as those at the Roundabout Theatre – can visit the festival website for more information about how to book.

Arts by the Sea believes in inclusivity and aims to provide opportunities for everyone to experience art and culture while safeguarding our natural environment and giving national prominence to Bournemouth as a leader in culture.

To view the full programme of events, visit the website, download the app or pick up a copy of the programme in more than 200 locations around Bournemouth including Bournemouth Libraries, the Tourist Information Centre, and Arts by the Sea ticket agent, Pavilion Dance.