BEAF ARTS Festival

Alongside our ongoing projects and workshops we curate an annual festival. Our festival is a showcase of the work we develop throughout the year, celebrating our co-created projects that support our diverse community as well as a platform to share and supportwider voices. 

BEAF Arts Festival is based in Boscombe, Bournemouth. Each year our festivals are curated around a theme, inspired by the work of an international artist that also speaks to local topics or concerns. We work with a variety of venues based in Boscombe, alongside our main space known as B.A.D. (Boscombe Arts Depot) which holds our feature commission each year.

Our latest festival

BEAF Arts Festival 2023 was our most ambitious festival to date, showcasing unheard voices and giving space to local, national and international artists. It was a true celebration of accessible, inclusive and original art in all forms.

We commissioned 11 new works, worked with over 100 artists across 9 venues and supported emerging artists. Our main feature exhibition was ‘Boscombe World’ by Harold Offeh and ‘Portraits of Boscombe’ by Brendan Barry in B.A.D.

The range and quality of talent is stunning. The performances are an emotional journey and never disappoint. It is a privilege to have this festival on our doorstep.” Audience member, 2023.

Our Festivals

BEAF 2023

Unheard Voices

16-25 June 2023

10 days of exhibitions, performances, workshops and events across Boscombe celebrating unheard voices. Our festival theme, was inspired by the work of artist Shirin Neshat and her work Turbulent, speaking of the global turbulence of the modern day.

‘Boscombe World’ by Harold Offeh invited visitors to engage with Boscombe as a place of healing and restorative care, exploring the area’s rich history as a seaside resort for visitors in search of health, recuperation and pleasure, brought into dialogue with Boscombe’s contemporary perception as a place for recovery, sanctuary and asylum. Alongside this installation was another major commission ‘Portraits of Boscombe’ by Brendan Barry. Brendan built a camera obscura in B.A.D and over the course of the festival captured hundreds of images of people connected to Boscombe.

Other featured events included; the BEAF Official Launch Party featuring BCUC and Harare at the O2 Academy in Bournemouth; Stateless a dance circus performance from Joli Vyann; The Lock-In from The Outsiders Project and The Stories We Thread from our Seeking Refuge Project. In addition, we built our first ever pop-up Arts Pavilion for workshops and performances on Boscombe Precinct. Following an open call out for BEAF 23 we commissioned new work from artists Miss High Leg Kick, Keira Rathbone, Sophie Fretwell and Bogdan Babei, as well as group exhibitions, performances and spoken word, providing support to local and national artists.

William Kentridge holding paintbrush to wall mounted charcoal drawing.
BEAF 2021

2B Human

26 June – 4 July 2021

We commissioned 40 artists in 2021 to explore what it means to be human; inspired in part by the work of the renowned South African artist William Kentridge, whose animated film, Other Faces was exhibited as part of the festival.

Between 26 June – 4 July, we presented over 150+ events across Boscombe, from independent film screenings, to live performances and exhibitions alongside a full programme of workshops, talks and family friendly events.

Events and commissions included; BEAF Seeking Refuge exhibition; Tattoo by The Outsiders Project; Living Room Circus; Valise Noire Theatre; Vita Nova performances; HUSH club; Prime Cuts; Harare; and The Cabinet of Living Cinema. We commissioned Individual and group exhibitions with a group show staged in our B.A.D. gallery with work by Ineka Van Der Wal, Mark England, Simon Kilmister, Mark Perry, Patti Gaal-Holmes and Denise Webber. In addition, the festival staged a family-friendly festival at Churchill Gardens, and a takeover of the Royal Arcade, showcasing emerging artists work, with artists including Lauren Forster, Emily Hawes, and the AFA Collective.

BEAF 2019

4 -12 May 2019

BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe)

The BEAF 2019 festival we commissioned 40 new projects, many created in collaboration with local groups, young people and residents from the community. This festival reflected the stories, culture and the communities that make up our diverse urban seaside location.

We continued our commitment to supporting emerging artists with our commissions programme and also opened doors for everyone to take part through our open submissions category.

Projects featured; streetart by Miroslav Lucan, Krishna Malla, The Coffee Cup Project and Arts University Bournemouth architecture department; events at Bournemouth Natural Science Society; an exhibition trail; and an extensive programme of film screenings, workshops and talks including Stuart Semple and Damian Le Bas. A programme of live art included performances from Pest Productions; The Grass Man by Ashley Peevor; Secret Voices by The Outsiders Project; The Truth about Men by Scott Lavene; and Migrating Words at Shelley Theatre.

BEAF 2018

28 April – 7 May 2018

BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe)

BEAF 2018 delivered our first fringe festival, with a multi-artform programme of exhibitions, events, workshops, live music and performances filling the streets and venues across the 10 days of the festival.

Events included the first performance from The Outsiders Project, The Vodka Hunters; site specific work commissioned for Boscombe’s police box by Stuart Semple; exhibitions in the Royal Arcade; plus a series of commissioned artworks in shipping containers including The Digital Divas, Monica Bonomo and Mariya Garbacheva, Emily Manns and the art collective B.Y.K.N. A weekend of street performance included work from Slightly Fat Features, Artparkspace and Rimski & Handkerchief and live music and animation programme featured The Cabinet of Living Cinema and The Paper Cinema.

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