Music and Arts

Dorset has lots to offer if you like music and arts.

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) provides orchestral music across the South and West of England, including concerts from its home base at the Lighthouse, Poole. They have also released a CD under their own label.

There are plenty of festivals in the area too. Dorchester Festival  happens in June and the 2012 theme is ‘The World Comes to Town’. There is also the annual Larmer Tree festival in July which is held in the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens where peacocks roam free. Jools Holland is a festival regular and headlines the opening night. A less family orientated festival is Endorse-it-in-Dorset which takes place most years near Sixpenny Handley. With 7 stages there’s plenty to keep you entertained. They are taking a break for 2012. For the more politically minded music lover, there’s the Tolpuddle Martyr’s Festival which takes place in Tolpuddle with a march , music and speeches. Billy Bragg is a regular.

Homegrown Dorset bands include Petites Annonces (Gyspy Swing, Punk Manouche and French Chanson) and  Boy le Monti (5 piece band from North Dorset, with a distinctive take on early 1960’s Jamaican Ska and Rocksteady) – Barritone and Saxophone player Barry Tone can usually be seen comp èreing at Larmer Tree Festival.

The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) and Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne have regular events ranging from music to comedy and pantomime and there is something to suit all tastes. Other venues include:

  • Brownsea Island Outdoor Theatre
  • Pavilion Theatre and ballroom, Bournemouth
  • Weymouth Pavilion
  • Barrington Theatre and Centre, Ferndown
  • Dorchester Arts Centre
  • Electric Palace, Bridport
  • Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis