Case Study
  • Posted on February 11th, 2020

Bournemouth Arts by the Sea: Tidal Changes

Large sculpture of bottle on a beach made out of lots of individual plastic bottles

Bournemouth Arts by the Sea is Bournemouth’s annual celebration of art, culture, people and place that has been running since 2011. The festival recognises the natural beauty of their coastal location and the work already taking place to safeguard the natural environment in the local area. They aim to build on this by reducing the festival’s environmental impact, using their programming to raise awareness of global environmental issues and supporting local green projects and partners and helping artists, residents, businesses and visitors to take environmental action too.

Festival Green Riders

A few years ago, with help from Julie’s Bicycle, they undertook a review of their environmental policy and action plan. Key steps following on from this included developing a venue Green Rider and an artist Green Rider and delivering the festival theme ‘Plastic Beach’, using elements of their artistic programming to raise awareness on plastic pollution.

Appealing for Change

The Arts by the Sea festival is rooted in our unique park and seaside location, which has a direct impact on our programming and on the environmental sustainability message that underlies the festival every year. Julie’s Bicycle helped us update our Environmental Policy and develop a range of activities and messaging, utilising the festival as a platform to highlight environmental issues alongside our core artistic content.

Andrea Francis, Festival Director, Bournemouth Arts by the Sea

Team and audience engagement

Through three projects – Refill, Recycle and Sustainable Travel – they encourage audiences to refill coffee cups and water bottles, recycle or take their rubbish home with them, and travel to the festival by foot, bus or bike. The festival also supports farmers and producers in developing countries by promoting Bournemouth’s Fairtrade Town status. At the festival Green Hub, partners such as Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Ocean Education Bus, have the opportunity to promote environmental messages and engage with the festival’s audiences. A beach clean is run each year, teaming up with the Council’s Seafront Team and the Leave Only Footprints Campaign.

Beach Clean Up Day

In 2019 the festival’s collaborative efforts extended to Bournemouth University. Sonification of Tipping Points, an immersive audio experience in the form of a natural Dorset soundscape, provided an insight into new ecological research into tipping points.

Find out more at Green Arts by the Sea, and you can hear from Leigh Haylor, Senior Business Support Officer at Green Arts By The Sea, sharing how they’ve tackled plastic waste across the festival, in our recent Culture Beyond Plastics webinar.

Images courtesy of Bournemouth Arts By The Sea

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