Across Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 of September 2023, we saw families flock to the Bay for the debut of a brand new weekender from the Watergate team; an open-to-all festival celebrating the many shades of the ocean.
Trailing processions of children holding flags high, silent disco beach raving and sea shanties from The Old Time Sailors saw kids hoisted on parents’ shoulders, while beachgoers of all ages got stuck into the action. This was a chance for everyone to gather for a packed weekend of art, performance and music; all for free.
Eyes on the Blue
This weekend was also a chance to illuminate the role we all play in protecting our ocean’s future.
Beach Guardian helped us set the sustainable tone from the get-go, with a beach clean to open the weekend. Then from craft workshops using found beach materials, to a packed schedule of immersive performances including dance from Prodigal UPG and pirate tales from Seadogs, plus Eko a giant puppet hailing from the seabed; young and old were inspired to do their part to keep the ocean clean – all while Cetus the giant whale made from washed up fishing nets looked on with a beady eye.
Let's Come Together
This event was a chance to step up and serve the local community. Our team wanted to break down barriers so everyone, from local people to hotel guests, day visitors and staff, could all come together and enjoy a weekend of creative happenings for free.
Three-generation families were spotted across the beach, camped on picnic blankets as children got stuck into workshops, parents watched on with a drink in hand, and grandparents joined in the action.
We were lucky to have jaw-dropping sunsets crowning the action both days – a finale we could only have dreamed of after an unpredictable summer.
A huge thank you to the team, who worked tirelessly to put this weekend together. Spotted lugging hay bales before sunrise, they all went above and beyond to make this a weekend everyone could enjoy. As an unticketed event, it was hard to gauge how many people would come along, so when the bay started filling up, it was heartening to know those long hours had paid off.
Striking out from this year’s success, plans are brewing for summer 2024.
The tides carve their own space in the calendar, setting the festival’s scene and opening up our stage. The tides are perfect for Arts on the Beach 2024 on 15 & 16 June, so we hope to see you all back on the beach then.