Festival scene

Dorset: May Bank Holiday Festivals & Events

The first May Bank Holiday weekend is just around the corner and we’ve turned our attention to the beautiful county of Dorset. Maybe you’re planning a camping trip or hotel break, or simply looking for a great day out. Either way, we’ve got you covered with our pick of Dorset’s May Day weekend festivals, performances and events.

Music, art, science and more in Dorset!

There are some great cultural festivals going on in Dorset this weekend, in particular, there are some really varied music and art events. Covering comedy, spoken word, classical concerts, art exhibitions, and musical theatre it’s an exciting weekend for culture-lovers. But if history, science or country pursuits are more your thing there’s still something for you! Check out our list below.

Quayside Music Festival, Weymouth, 5 – 6 May

The Bank Holiday weekend marks the return of the Quayside Music Festival in Weymouth. We’ve been before and it’s a great atmosphere with crowds spilling out of the quayside pubs to listen to the live music. It’s also a good excuse to pay a trip to Weymouth beach and hopefully catch some spring sunshine!

Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe 28 April – 7 May

The Bank Holiday weekend marks the end of Bournemouth’s Emerging Arts Fringe Festival. Described as Bournemouth’s largest independent art festival; there’s plenty on offer whatever your artistic interests. You can learn how to make traditional Dorset Buttons, try your performance skills at the Boomerang Club spoken word night, or witness the hula-hooping prowess of Amy Hooplovin. If none of that takes your fancy then there’s a whole host of other talks, exhibitions and performances on offer across the weekend with a full programme available on the fringe website.

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, 5 – 6 May

The Cobb at Lyme Regis in Dorset

We love Lyme Regis; it’s a beautiful spot with a gorgeous coastline and a great selection of café’s, pubs, restaurants and interesting shops. But this weekend the town goes all Jurassic with two days of fossil-fun, including walks, talks, theatre, live music, comedy and some hands-on science activities. What’s more; many of the activities are free! Find out more about the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival.

Guys and Dolls at the Lighthouse in Poole, 4 – 5 May

Saturday 5 May is the last chance to catch the Poole and Parkstone production of Guys and Dolls at the Lighthouse in Poole. Immerse yourself in the bustle of 1920s and 30s New York with performances at 14:30 and 19:30.

Sherborne Abbey Music Festival, 4 -7 May

Orchestra performing

For something a little different musically try the Sherborne Abbey music festival. Located near the Dorset and Somerset border, Sherborne is a picturesque town and home to Sherborne Abbey. Running from Friday 4 May through to Tuesday 8 May the Abbey is the focal point for a five-day festival of classical, chamber, choral, folk, swing and organ music. It’s a varied programme across a range of venues with many free performances.

Saxons & Vikings at Corfe Castle, 5 – 7 May

If history is more your thing, then head to Corfe Castle where the siege of Wareham is being recreated. From 10 am each day the Saxons and Vikings return to Corfe Castle to battle it out. With Viking raids, warrior training, a march on Corfe Castle and the Wessex Champion Tournament it sounds as if it’ll be an action-packed weekend!

Venfest, 5 May

Falconry scene

Combining country pursuits like chainsaw carving and falconry with a generous helping of food and drink, music and activities for families sounds like a great way to spend the weekend. Running from 10-4 on Saturday 5 May you’ll find Venfest just north of Lytchett Minster.

Going to an event this weekend?

If you’re going to a festival, event or attraction in Dorset (or anywhere in the West Country) this weekend we’d love to hear from you! You can find us on Instagram as @westcountry_weekender or Twitter as @WCWeekender. We’re also on Facebook.