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

Each year Dorset wows the crowds with some of the zaniest events around.

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

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

ARBOR A Month of Trees Sep 29

ARBOR A Month of Trees

This newly-accredited Botanic Garden hosts a special exhibition dedicated to trees with exclusive artwork, workshops and talks from world famous nature specialists and artists from 27th September-28th...

Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival Sep 29

Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival

Arts by the Sea is a celebration of art, culture, people and place. Arts by the Sea brings together large-scale spectaculars, diverse music, intriguing installations, dance, street theatre,...

Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival Sep 29

Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival

Arts by the Sea Festival at Bournemouth returns 29th September to 1st October 2023. Expect unusual and unique performances, music and art installations across the town centre, pier...

Into The Wild Sculpture Exhibition Sep 29

Into The Wild Sculpture Exhibition

From 3rd July to 1st October, 2023, visitors from near and far are invited to experience the charm of the "Into The Wild" sculptures at Compton Acres. The exhibition seamlessly integrates...

Sherborne Digby Hall Monthly Market Sep 29

Sherborne Digby Hall Monthly Market

Monthly market of Antiques, Arts ,Crafts, Food & more . Cafe, Free entry, Parking, Toilets. Up to 70 stalls, Held the 1st Saturday of every month 10am to 3pm, March until December. Located in...

Water and Sky Art Exhibition Sep 29

Water and Sky Art Exhibition

In an exhibition entitled Water and Sky at the Lyme Regis Museum's Rotunda Gallery, two local artists--Mary Noon and Vivienne Littley--explore the constantly changing environments of our skies,...

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Sep 29

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the world-famous exhibition from the Natural History Museum, is coming to Dorset Museum this summer. Over 100 powerful photographs capture fascinating animal...

Art and Makers Market Sep 30

Art and Makers Market

The Art & Makers Market, located in Westover Gardens, Bournemouth next to the new Aviary, was established over 60 years ago and is one of the largest, and longest running, open air art displays in...

Art and Makers Market Sep 30

Art and Makers Market

Throughout the Summer from May to September, the Art & Makers Market, in Westover Gardens, is open to the public every weekend and bank holiday from 11am to 5pm. This free attraction, run by local...

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Read our guest blogs

Immersive Events in Dorset this Summer

  • 3 minute read

Our guest blog writer Jasmine O’Hare, from the Arts Development Company, shares her top immersive experiences this summer. Dorset is home to so many incredible events and festivals during the...

Days Out

Historical Gardens of Dorset

  • 3 minute read

Dorset is home to many beautiful gardens that give visitors a glimpse into the past, and a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of the county. Our guest blog writer Jasmine O’Hare, from the Arts...