hengistbury headlines

various artists (uk)

Performance: This event has already taken place
Location: hengistbury head, bournemouth
Free (part-ticketed)

Performance and installation mingle in eight exciting new commissions that are deeply rooted in this stunning location, responding to the theme of climate change.  Wander through the landscape and discover …

Wander through the landscape and discover:

the soaring sky


A coastal walk through a sung performance of birdsong created by local singers, responding to the calls of migratory and endangered birds on the site.

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remnant ecologies

jony easterby

A series of sound installations containing fragments of British bird song, triggered by algorithms, wind, sun and the birds themselves.

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ferdinando bernstein byrne

Look inside and around two bird hides that stand alone on the cliff and explore themes of migration, refuge and the need for shelter.

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gobbledegook theatre

Lie back for cloud gazing and a pithy prologue exploring the parallel between the ever-changing sky and humanity’s future – can our behaviour ultimately change the clouds? More suitable for older children and adults as you’ll lie still for some time!

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kate paxman

Scan the horizon for approaching storms in this sound installation outside a former coastguard hut that is re-imagined as a lookout post on the frontier of changing weather patterns.

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romantic botanic

the miraculous theatre company

Delve into the secret love life of plants in this eccentric promenade theatre piece for small groups, where poetry and science collide, with rather surprising results!

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you’re getting warmer

pebble gorge

A digital treasure hunt-style adventure for 7 to 11-year-olds and their families. Can you solve the clues in time to save the Marsh Warbler and stall the Three and a Half Degree gang?

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sweetshop revolution

Four very different male dancers lead us from the comfort of our own gardens to where the wilderness really lies, as they ask, deep down, do we really need nature? A humorous yet thought-provoking dance experience in the heart of the woods.

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venue choice
There were so many reasons to choose Hengistbury Head as a location for this new trail in the landscape. It is recognised internationally for its archaeology and geology and comprises a huge variety of habitats, being home to over 500 plant species and across the year 300 types of bird, as well as many different insects, reptiles and small mammals. Jutting out into the English Channel with views across Bournemouth to the Purbecks and East to the Isle of Wight, Hengistbury Head offers an accessible walking environment and a beautiful beach location, while its elemental atmosphere is a perfect setting to explore the effects of climate change.

RSPB big wild sleepouts
Join us on the nights of 22, 23, or 24 Sept for campfire cooking, nocturnal adventures and a memorable dawn experience as sounds of the harbour, sea and wind combine with the song of migrant birds. Book via RSPB at Arne on 01929 557828 – please note there is a charge for this event.

visitor information
Download a map guide (pdf) in advance below, along with a full schedule of performances (pdf), or collect them on the day from the festival information points. For detailed access information, please see the Hengistbury Headlines Access Guide (pdf).

Some events are ticketed in order to manage individual event capacities on this important conservation site. Tickets for each event will be available on the day (for that day only) from festival information points by the Hiker Café and the Ferry Pier on Mudeford Spit; and on a first come, first served basis. There will be two releases of tickets each day – 11.30am and 1.30pm from 22-23 sept; then 11.30am and 2.30pm from 24-25 sept.

Photos/images: Brendan Beusnel, Arbonauts, Jony Easterby, Hattie Bernstein-Dale, Lynsey Welstead Photography, The Miraculous Theatre Company, Ruler, Stephen Berkeley-White and Bournemouth Parks

Supported by:

With thanks to the Arts Development Co, Dorset Arts Together and Dorset History Centre. Core funded by Dorset County Council and Borough of Poole.