Events and things to do in Dorset - September 2016

Where did you get that hat? Topping fun at the Bridport Hat Festival (Photo by Sheena O'Donoghue)

Where did you get that hat? Topping fun at the Bridport Hat Festival (Photo by Sheena O'Donoghue) - Credit: Archant

Helen Stiles rounds up her pick of events happening around the county this month


B-Side Festival - 10-18 September

Take one amazing island add an outstanding Dorset-based arts collective and enjoy a nine day outdoor arts festival of visual art, text, sound, installation and live art, exploring secret, hidden and unused locations across Portland. Exciting commissions include Lee Berwick’s exploration of Portland’s military sound archives with installations using sound mirrors; Sadie Hennessey’s Boombox based on her 1982 teenage diary; and the UK premier of Jordan McKenzie’s Shame Chorus exploring Freud’s ‘talking cure’ of psychoanalysis. Other artists include John Cooper Clarke, Alistair Gentry, Debbie Adele Cooper, Henny Burnett, Emma Critchley, Tom Marshman and Bridgette Ashton with themes as diverse as underground military tunnels, submerged ships, climate change, tourism and Reliant Robins.


Tom Hammick: Waiting for Time - 4 September - 30 October

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Internationally-acclaimed artist Tom Hammick fills Slader’s Yard in West Bay with paintings and woodcuts inspired by the sea.

Bridport Art Society - 7-17 September

Exhibition at Bridport Arts Centre featuring works by local artists in oil, acrylic, watercolour, mixed media and craftwork.

The New English Art Club - 17 September - 5 October

Landscapes, seascapes and still life by 11 artists from the celebrated New English Art Club feature at this exhibition at the Jerram Gallery in Sherborne.

Brian Rice - 17 September - 22 October

Special 80th birthday exhibition at the Art Stable in Child Okeford by Brian Rice the British abstract artist associated with the Pop Art movement.


Calvert Trust Exmoor Concert - 8 September

Fundraising orchestral concert at Sherborne Abbey with works by Bach, Albinoni and local composer Helen Habershon performed by some top notch players.

Box office 01935 815341

Kind of Blue - Revisited - 9 September

Top-class jazz from the Frank Griffith Sextet and a great narrator combine in the telling the Miles Davis story at Dorchester’s Corn Exchange.

Box office 01305 266926

Lyme Regis Folk Weekend - 9-11 September

Line-up includes Martin and Eliza Carty, Jim Causley and Steampunk Morris.

Piano Recital - 11 September

Benjamin Grosvenor plays Mozart, Chopin, Scriabin, Granados and Liszt at this Bournemouth Chamber Music Society recital at 4.30pm at the Kimmeridge Hall, Bournemouth University.

Box office 01202 499199

The Blues Brothers - 16 September

Shake a Tailfeather at the Regent Centre, Christchurch as the boys embark on their mission to bring soul and blues into your heart.

Box office 01202 499199

The Wurzels - 17 September

The legendary band brings their cider-infused pop classics to Bridport’s Electric Palace.

Box office 01308 424901

Every Brilliant Thing - 21 September

Your mum is depressed, so you make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world from ice cream to construction cranes to cheer her up. Reviews for this show have been stupendous.

Corn Exchange, Dorchester 01305 266926

The Inspectors Call - 29 September

Peter Campling’s comic tale searches for the soul of our modern education system.

Layard Theatre, Canford Magna 01202 847525


Cerne Abbas Music Festival - 1–4 September

The Gaudier Ensemble performs at this chamber music festival at St Mary’s Church.

Bridport Hat Festival - 3 September

Don your best head gear for this topping festival with hat themed competitions and mass hat photo-op at Bucky Doo Square at 1pm.

Food Rocks & Guitars on the Beach - 3-4 September

Mark Hix’s rocking food festival showcases produce from the Lyme Regis area ( alongside Guitars on the Beach with thousands of guitarists playing en mass to break a world record (

Swanage Folk Festival - 9-11 September

Bells, clogs and great toe-tapping folk music by the seaside.

Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival - 10-11 September

The wonderful Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival returns on 10–11 September with around 90 food producers showcasing the best of food and specifically cheese from Dorset and the South West.

Swanage & Purbeck Walking Festival - 17–25 September

Enjoy guided walks on quarrying, shipwrecks, smuggling, fossils, literature, art, photography, bugs, war and ghost stories.

Inside Art weekend - 25-26 September

A weekend of contemporary art exhibitions in artists’ homes and studios in and around Southbourne and Pokesdown in Bournemouth. Featuring over 40 local and international artists invited by individual curators, each work is tailored specifically for each space. Events runs 11am – 6pm each day.


Dorset Architectural Heritage Week - 8–15 September

Organised by East Dorset Heritage Trust to raise public awareness of Dorset’s rich architectural and cultural heritage, enjoy free access to fascinating properties, both ancient and modern, normally closed to the public.

Ride + Stride - 10 September

Take part in this annual fundraising event, organised by Dorset Historic Churches Trust, on foot, bike or horseback and explore our spectacular church heritage, including churches not normally open to the public.

Wessex Heavy Horse Show - 25 September

Hosted by the Wessex Heavy Horse Society at the Turnpike Showground, Motcombe events include Ridden Heavy Horses and Ladies’ Cart.