Art events in Dorset

Are you looking to find the best arts events in Dorset?

Dorset is a hotbed of creativity and expression and hosts a vibrant programme of productions in theatre, music, comedy, dance and film alongside an exciting mix of exhibitions and visual arts.

Dorset is also proud to promote a well supported network of Art Centres and organisations that promotes cultural development in the county.

Enjoy a live performance

The atmosphere of watching a play or live music in a village hall environment is much more intimate and engaging than in a large theatre and it stimulates a special connection between the performers and the audience that you don’t get elsewhere.

Wherever you are based in Dorset, you’ll have the opportunity to see some amazing productions from professional touring companies.

Be astounded at the exquisite talents of ballet dancers as they pirouette before your eyes or marvel at one-man plays; feel your spirit soar as your venue becomes filled with the sounds of samba and giggle until your sides split at a local comedy night.

Extraordinary festivals

Be surprised, moved, entertained or contemplative, or maybe them all, as you make your way round Dorset as part of the Inside Out Festival.

Taking place every other year, Inside Out Dorset wows the crowds with some of the zaniest events around.

From circus acts in Gillingham, sculpture at Hengistbury Head, a big wild sleepout with the RSPB and an outdoor performance to celebrate the Autumn Equinox, these are extraordinary events in extraordinary places.

Feast your eyes

As well as performance, Dorset has a varied programme of touring visual art exhibitions which circulate to rural galleries and other venues throughout the area.

You can visit contemporary craft shows, thematic exhibitions and displays from both national and regional artists.

Find out more

For a more comprehensive view of all the great arts events going on in Dorset, visit:

Highlightedart events

Christchurch Priory Music and Arts Festival Jun 20

Christchurch Priory Music and Arts Festival

The Christchurch Priory Music and Arts Festival is happening from 15 - 22 June! Experience eight days of exceptional performances set against the breathtaking backdrop of the historic Christchurch...

Beaminster Festival Jun 23

Beaminster Festival

Bringing the Best to Beaminster.  An annual festival of music, both classical and jazz, literature and an art exhibition of the work of local artists, potters and sculptors - open to all....

Undergraduate Summer Art Shows Jun 28

Undergraduate Summer Art Shows

The Summer Shows provide an exciting opportunity for students to showcase their final project work to the public and demonstrate how they've developed their skills and knowledge to a professional...

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.   

Read our guest blogs

Discover Beaminster: A Hidden Gem of Dorset

  • 2 minute read

Jasmine O’Hare and photographer Jayne Jackson share their new favourite spot in Dorset. Nestled in a beautiful natural valley and surrounded by rolling hills is Beaminster, a charming town...

Dorset Book Festivals

  • 2 minute read

Dorset has inspired a wealth of writers throughout history, and many have called it home. It’s only fitting that this county has an abundance of literary festivals throughout the year....

Autumn & Winter in Dorchester

  • 3 minute read

This month, our guest blog writer Jasmine from the Arts Development Company shares her favourite place to visit in Dorchester during the Autumn and Winter months. This beautiful, historic market town...