Music, Arts and Culture

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

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. Charity festival TeddyRocks in May and Larmer Tree Festival in July which is held in the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens where peacocks roam free. There’s also Camp Bestival, held in the grounds of Lulworth Castle.

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.

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 compèreing at Larmer Tree Festival.

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