What’s on at this year’s Beaminster Festival

The free Party in the Square kicks off this year's Beaminster Festival

The free Party in the Square kicks off this year's Beaminster Festival - Credit: Archant

From jazz to classical music, literature to Shakespeare in the garden, Beaminster Festival 2019 is jam-packed with events for the whole family

Here are just some of the exciting things happening at this year's Beaminster Festival.

Beaminster Festival kicks off with Party in the Park (5-9pm) on Saturday 22 June. The popular Street Party has relocated to the Memorial Playing Fields, adjacent to the cricket pavilion. Local band Scoot will be headlining and, with more space available at this new location, there will be additional attractions to boost its family-friendly appeal.

Following the opening event, Beaminster Festival have a diverse programme including classical, rock and jazz music; there's a comedy night at The Red Lion, television and literary personalities in conversation, open air Shakespeare plays (As You Like It and Love's Labour's Lost), a free barbecue and family picnic at Beaminster Manor and a biennial visual arts exhibition.

A Community BBQ & Picnic in the gardens of Beaminster Manor (30 June, midday - 5pm) with a silver band tootling in the background - provides an idyllic English afternoon to end this year's Beaminster Festival. Expect games of Splat the Rat, Giant Jenga and other activities to keep little ones entertained.

What's better than tea and cake? Tea, cake and dancing of course. For those looking to brush up on their dancing skills, Glenn Bayliss will be leading a dance at the Public Hall in Fleet Street where you can learn some new steps. If dancing isn't your thing, feel free to come and along and watch with tea, cakes and all of the vintage trimmings courtesy of Beaminster WI. Tickets are £6 and the event is from 2.30 - 5pm on 7July.


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Songs of Love & Loss

Share a balmy evening of melody with world renowned tenor Mark Padmore and guitarist Morgan Szymanski at St Mary's Church (27 June). Mark and Morgan perform a delightful selection of music including songs by Schubert, Downland and Alec Roth.

Biennial Visual Arts Exhibition

West Dorset is renowned for the wide range of artists who are drawn to the area by its landscape, quality of light and the creative energy that abounds in the coast and countryside villages around Beaminster and Bridport. The Public Hall will become a vibrant gallery showcasing the work of 38 mostly local artists. All work will be for sale, and there's an opportunity for visitors to vote for their favourite piece.

There will also be an exhibition of work from Beaminster School's Art & Photography departments from St Mary's Academy and a display by The Beaminster Playgroup.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 22 June until Sunday 30 June with free admission.

Two BBC young Musicians in Just One Day

A morning concert on 26 June by pianist Lauren Zhang, winner of the 2018 BBC Young Musician, will no doubt draw in the crowds. Few will forget her astonishing performance in the final.

In the evening the 1984 BBC Young Musician Emma Johnson takes us on a musical journey from Brazil to China encompassing styles from classical to jazz in Clarinet Goes to Town. Both performances at St Mary's Church.

Meet the author

Local resident and creator of ITV's Victoria, Daisy Goodwin will be in conversation with bestselling author Victoria Hislop on the afternoon of Wednesday 26 June at St Mary's Church. They will be discussing her new novel, Those Who Are Loved, set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece in the Second World War and tells the story of a woman who is both a hero and villain

Ben Waters returns to Beaminster

Saturday 29 June local boy and legendary pianist Ben Waters and his band break from their worldwide farewell tour to entertain Beaminster with what is sure to be a brilliant night of rock, blues and boogie at Beaminster School.

Find a full list of events at beaminsterfestival.com. You can buy tickets online or call the box office on 01308 862943.