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What’s on in August

What's happening around Somerset and Dorset this month: inflatable walk-in art, festivals, open air theatre, markets and a brand new giant water slide

Garden Theatre Festival, Holburne Museum, Bath, now until Sat 13 Aug

Bath’s newest open-air theatre festival, with 20 shows – from a cheeky cabaret about Julie Andrews to a collection of monologues by award-winning playwright Philip Ridley ‘celebrating the ‘glittering dark’. Ooh er. See more.

Wake the Tiger, Bristol, now

Just opened! Explore ‘multi-layered maze of immersive environments, secret passageways, hidden forests, temples, ice caves and mesmerising wonders’ at Bristol’s newly opened Amazement Park®, a fantastical interactive world called Meridia, part art gallery, part theme park, part film set with an added psychedelic twist *eek*.


Wells Art Contemporary 2022, Wells Cathedral, Sat 30 July – Sun 28 Aug

3,200 artworks by 1,600 artists from 47 countries, whittled down to 120 pieces by 111 artists, working in mediums ranging from painting to sculpture. Plus 29 site-specific installations, reflecting the architecture, the space and the spirituality of the Cathedral. Have a sneak peek at the renowned open art competition exhibition here. Entry to the show is free.


Twelfth Night, Brownsea Open Air Theatre, near Poole, now until Fri 12 August

Catch a ferry from Poole harbour, explore the island, take a picnic and watch Shakespeare under the stars.


Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors Live, The Playhouse Weston-super-Mare Weds 3 Aug and Glastonbury Abbey, Sat 27 Aug

From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, hear the legends (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudor, meet Bloody Mary and survive the Spanish Armada as they launch their attack.


Luminarium, College Green, Bristol, Thurs 4 – Sun 14 Aug

Photo Stephen Wright

Instagrammer alert! The Bristol Light Festival brings you the Luminarium, a sunlight-powered, inflatable sensory pop up half the size of a football pitch, with kaleidoscopic colours, domes, tunnels and pods inspired by natural forms, cathedrals and modern architecture. Free.


Valley Fest, Chew Valley, Thurs 4 – Sun 7 Aug

Organic food, eclectic music and all round good times in an idyllic location on the banks of the Chew Valley lake just south of Bristol, with Travis, Clean Bandit, Kosheen, Craig Charles, Judge Jules and Faithless DJ Set on the bill.  Arcadia (the people behind the iconic 50 ft fire-spitting spider at Glastonbury) will be providing an added dimension this year.


Mega Slip and Slide, Corfe Mullen, near Wimborne, from Thurs 4 Aug

Dorset’s newest water adventure: a 110m long water slide.


Paloma Faith at the Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza, Sat 6 Aug

The BRIT Award-winning songstress Paloma Faith brings her Summer 2022 UK Tour, The Age of Optimism to the West Country.


The Great Dorset Chilli Festival, Stock Gaylard Estate, Sturminster Newton, Sat 6 & Sun 7 Aug

Some like it hot. If that’s you, head over to the chilli fiesta, now in its 10th year, for all things chilli – from plants to condiments, seeds to ceramics – as well a cooking demos, spicy food, hot music and dancing. Local ice creams and beers to cool you off.


The Frome Independent, around Frome, Sun 7 Aug

The sprawling designer-maker-food-drink-vintage Sunday market is always worth a visit.


Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court, Bristol, Thurs 11 – Sun 14 Aug

Europe’s largest ballooning event, with early morning and afternoon mass ascents of 100 balloons, evening night glows and family stuff, street food, bars, traders and live music in between. Free.


Pop-up cinema, Dirty Dancing & Grease, Taunton School, Fri 12 Aug

Fave flicks, in the 160 seat auditorium, with street food to keep you going.


Labyrinth Challenge Summer XL, Yeovil Showground, Yeovil, Sat 13 & Sun 14 Aug

Big people: The Labyrinth, a 1000ft long inflatable obstacle course. Little people: The Realm, 650ft of obstacles, slides and challenges.


Carter’s Steam Fair, Royal Victoria Park, Bath, Sat 13 – Sun 29 Aug

Roll up! Roll up! Your last chance to see this fabulous fair, with its rides and attractions dating from the 1890s to the 1960s, in Bath – it’s looking for a permanent base from the end of this year.


The Giant Shepton Flea Market, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Sun 14 Aug

Rootle through oodles of junk at the humungous outdoor market.


ArcTanGent, Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, near Bristol, Thurs 17 – Sat 20 Aug

‘A haven of progressive metal across a spectrum of all things heavy.’ Ooh er….


Into the Woods, Theatre Royal Bath, Fri 19 Aug – Sat 10 Sept

A brand new production of the famous Sondheim musical, interweaving stories from the Brothers Grimm to find out what really happens post ‘happily ever after’, from a creative team that includes iconic stage and film  director Terry Gilliam.


Lawn Party with DT8 Live, Taunton School, Sat 20 Aug

An evening of live music – funk and soul – on the lawns of the school from South West band DT8 – three vocals, five horns and rhythm section – with a hog roast from Pyne’s of Somerset. From 7pm-10pm. Buy tickets £24.50.


Jazz & Swing Afternoon with All Jazzed Up, Taunton School, Sun 21 Aug

Live jazz on the lawns of the school (but open to everyone) with popular Devon band All Jazzed Up. Your ticket includes hog roast. From 1pm to 5pm. Buy tickets £24.50.


Great Dorset Steam Fair, Tarrant Hinton, nr Blandford Forum, Thurs 25- Mon 29 Aug

A massive 600 acres covered with vintage steam engines, fairs, hurdy gurdies, agricultural machinery, vintage vehicles, stalls, food, drink and live music stages. Truly a sight to behold, hear and smell, esp the steam fair at night.


Watchet Music Festival, Watchet, Fri 26 – Sun 28 Aug

Belinda Carlisle, Level 42, The Fratellis, Scouting For Girls, Alabama 3, Sleeper, Dreadzone – and The Wurzels (this is Zummerzet) – headline at this West Somerset music fest.


The Big Bat Count, around Taunton, Fri 26 Aug

Join the Somerset Wildlife Trust and the Somerset Bat Group to use cutting-edge, bat-detecting tech (!) to collect data about different bats on a night-time guided bat walk and survey.


Live in Somerset, Vivary Park, Taunton, Sat 27 – Sun 28 August

With Olly Murs cancelling because of his dicky knee, the three-day bash becomes two days with Rag ‘N’ Bone Man on the Saturday; Simply Red on the Sunday


Fantastic Food Festival, Upton Country Park, Poole, Sat 27 – Mon 29 Aug

A gastronomic weekend on the lawns in front of a Georgian country house, with masterclasses, demos from the likes of Jean-Christophe Novelli, Dean Edwards, Great British Bake Off’s Karen Wright and masses of food, drink, music and family fun.


Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Bristol Hippodrome, Tues 30 Aug – Sat 10 Sept

Photo Tristram Kenton

Jac Yarrow wears the Dreamcoat, Jason Donovan is the Pharaoh and Linzi Hateley the narrator in this brand new London Palladium production of the blockbusting show.

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