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Arts on the Beach 2024

15 & 16 June

A sweeping spring tide sets the stage for our riotous Arts on the Beach, a free creative family festival, celebrating the ocean and calling on us all to protect it.

This year, we’re ramping up the action to be even bigger and brighter, with two days of live theatre and music, dance, circus, silent discos, creative workshops, and a whole parade of brilliant and briney characters down on the sand.

Packed with some of last year’s favourites and a whole raft of fresh new acts, the weekend is set to burst with theatre and dance, roaming performance, two artists in residence and rousing music all bringing our ocean theme to life.

See the line up

Go to the event

What's new for 2024…

The Whale: Plastic Ocean

Beckoning young explorers inside its cavernous belly, we welcome the all-female theatre group Circo Rum Ba Ba, and their 18-metre inflatable giant whale to the beach.

“The whale was created by an eccentric maker,” says Circo Rum Ba Ba co-founder Marianne Groves. “I met him at a festival and asked him to make one for us that we could go inside – and he did it!” 

Beachgoers are invited into the whale to experience the voyage of Plastic Ocean, a journey enlightening young explorers about the perils of single-use plastics – and how they can make a difference. “Outside, our audience meets a navigation environmentalist, who gets them ready to embark on a mission to the waters of Sri Lanka,” says Marianne.

Crawling on hands and knees, they’ll make their way through a tiny gap in the whale’s side into an enchanting underwater idyll. “Inside, a dive master/ marine biologist welcomes everyone into a deep sea cave for the action to begin.” 

The show follows the lifespan of a leatherback turtle – from a baby to hatching its own eggs – and the challenges she meets along the way, which the children help her overcome. These lifelike puppets were created by master puppet maker Jimmy Grimes, best known for his work on Warhorse

“We're trying to make children feel that small actions can make a difference,” says Marianne. “If we can entertain and make people laugh, cry and really think about their roles in society and who we are, then that's really important.”

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Circo Rum Ba Ba The Whale. Inside 1

Hikapee: Everywhere's a beach

Coming to Cornish shores for the very first time, we’re thrilled to add dizzyingly delightful circus/theatre hybrid Hikapee – and their giant twirling parasol – to our line-up.

Combining story-driven theatre with circus skills, aerial performance and acrobatics, Hikapee’s larger-than-life show is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. “We love to use bespoke weird and wonderful structures for our shows,” says Edd Casey, Hikapee performer and co-founder. “It helps create a world that the audience can get absorbed in.”

At four metres tall, Hikapee’s giant twirling parasol sets the stage for this charming, stylised spectacle. “It's somewhere we can use our circus technique and training to show dynamic tricks in a way that doesn’t detract from the story,” explains Edd. 

The tale focuses on two sibling-like characters, whose lives revolve around the beach. “They love each other, they hate each other, their life is the beach and their world is the parasol – until they meet the third character who starts to shake things up…” 

We can’t wait to see how things unfold…

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Hikapee Theatre

Let's dance

Dance duo H & T Creative will perform their thought-provoking piece No Time for Waste, shining a spotlight on reducing plastic waste for the good of the oceans and future generations, as well as leading a series of movement workshops throughout the weekend.

2 H&T Creative NTTW (1)

More mesmerising movement comes from the Hall for Cornwall Youth Theatre dance troupe, as they showcase their new piece, Jack – whetting appetites for the full performance at The Hall for Cornwall later in the year. On the Sunday, Newquay secondary school Treviglas will perform an extract from a new piece they’ve been developing with theatre company Wildworks.


Artists in Residence

Creativity is Arts on the Beach’s lifeblood, which is why we’re bringing not one but two new residencies to the beach as part of this year’s action… 

IMG 7355 (1)

Dynamic and vibrant; there’s a whole lot going on in Georgina Peters' abstract works. With bright colours and eye-drawing strokes all influenced by her love of nature, music and the world around her, Georgina’s paintings often take on a life of their own. She’ll be bringing along her brushes and painting up a storm over the weekend – also inviting beachgoers to collaborate by making their own mark. 

Using the beach floor as a canvas, Beach4Art is one seriously artistic family. Together they hunt out organic beach material – shells, pebbles, driftwood and seaweed – to create mind-boggling mosaics and intricate creations. Bringing their skills to Watergate Bay, the family will be working on a lobster mural over the weekend in a nod to National Lobster Day which coincides with Saturday 15 June.

Beach4art Octopus Art

Weapons of Sound

The UK's most eco-friendly junk band will be closing out the weekend. Watch as they create infectious rhythms on junk instruments. Look out for four gas pipes, trollies and the kitchen sink

Treleavens ice cream

Food and drink

We also have some new food and drink partners joining us this year, including My Mum makes Thai, Treleaven’s ice cream, Cub’s coffee and Loveday gin and Navas tonic, with St Austell Brewery providing the bar, great news for Father’s Day on Sunday.

Welcoming back…

Set to stride down Sea Lane once again, we welcome back EKO, a colossal 13-foot sea giant created by Johnny Autin Dance Theatre – who alongside his heartfelt performance Out of the Deep Blue, will be coming with some new tricks up his ginormous sleeves. Look out for a series of dance workshops. This year we also welcome back the Bathing Belles from Cscape dance.

Arts On The Beach Eko The Puppet (1)

The Discovery Zone

In partnership with Land Rover Discovery there will be busy hands and soaring imaginations in our workshop and creative area. This year get ready to draw out your creative streak with upcycling, art and performance workshops. Stop by to lend a hand and admire the sea wall dressing from Beach Guardian and join in the giant fancy dress lobster lantern parade with City of Lights and The National Lobster Hatchery.

Keep an eye on the latest acts and announcements here.

See the full summer splendour of our first Arts on the Beach in this short film.

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