Festivals and Events in Dorset 2024

Compilation from Dorset events

There are amazing number of Dorset festivals and events planned for 2024. We’ve put together a list of the events we know about. It includes old favourites, like the Dorset County Show and Wessex Folk Festival, revivals like Weymouth Carnival, along with some shiny new festivals.

It looks like 2024 is going to be another great year for events on the hills, in the towns and on the beaches of Dorset.

If your event isn’t listed, let us know.

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February 2024

World War 2 Week at Nothe Fort 10-18 February
A family event packed with immersive activities, themed around the challenges of living through World War 2. Assault course, climbing, evacuee experience and more.
Learn more about World War 2 Week at Nothe Fort

South West Model Show 10-11 February
The biggest model show in the South West of England takes place in the Tank Museum, just a few minutes drive from us. There’s no extra charge to see the show.
Learn more about the South West Model Show

Bugtastic Half-Term Trail at Moreton Walled Garden 10-18 February
Discover the secret and fascinating world of mini-beasts. It’s going on around us all the time, but we rarely take the time to look into it. Learn amazing bug facts and find the ladybirds hidden around the gardens.
Learn more about the Bugtastic Trail

March 2024

Shaftesbury Book Festival 15-17 March
The second running of this new festival, exploring the best of nature writing.
Learn more about Shaftesbury Book Festival

April 2024

Spring Countryside Show 20-21 April
Demonstrations, exhibits and attractions at this family show. It’s the first big show of the year in the busy Dorset events calendar.
Learn more about the Spring Countryside Show

Tiger Day at the Tank Museum 27 April
See the only surviving Tiger tank from World War 2 in action! Experience living history, enjoy expert lectures and tour the museum’s huge collection of armoured vehicles. Tiger Day only happens twice a year so don’t miss out.
Learn more about Tiger Day

May 2024

Teddy Rocks 3-5 May
A charity music festival raising money to support children with cancer.
Learn more about Teddy Rocks

Dorset Balloon & Music Festival 4-5 May
A new festival for Dorset, which promises something entirely new for the area. Balloons, a giant funfair and more. At Dorchester showground.
Learn more about the Dorset Balloon & Music Festival

Dorset Blind Association Motor Show 12 May
Admire over 200 amazing classic and super cars, along with motobikes and loads of other vehicles. This family fun event is held in the magnificent grounds of Lulworth Castle. The festival draws in thousands of visitors – and entry is FREE.
Learn more about the Dorset Blind Association Motor Show

Shillingstone Steam Rally 18-19 May
Includes live music, a fun fair, local crafts and, of course, lots of steam engines and vintage vehicles. Organised by the Three Okefords Preservation Society, this celebration historic vehicles began in 1989.
Learn more about the Shillingstone Steam Rally

Abbotsbury Swannery Food & Craft Fair 25-26 May
Enjoy some of the amazing food and drink Dorset has to offer, and see the handiwork of local crafters. Includes a Bird of Prey display, crafting workshops and a chance to see the Swannery at fluffy cygnet time of year.
Learn more about the Food & Craft Fair

Dorset Arts Weeks 25 May-9 June
Explore the arts with Dorset creators.
Learn more about Dorset Arts Weeks

Purbeck Arts Weeks Festival 25 May-9 June
Visit some of the more than 40 Open Studios runs by visual artists around the Purbecks. The festival also includes concerts and talks.
Learn more about Purbeck Arts Weeks Festival

June 2024

Wessex Folk Festival Weymouth 1-2 June
Morris dancing, music and more, beside Weymouth’s historic harbour.
Learn more about Wessex Folk Festival

Dorset Arts Weeks 25 May-9 June
Explore the arts with Dorset creators.
Learn more about Dorset Arts Weeks

Summerfest Weymouth 8 June
A massive family funday that everyone’s invited to. Live entertainment, sports tournaments, farmers market, fun fair and much more.
Learn more about Summerfest

Fossil Festival Lyme Regis 8-9 June
The Jurassic Coast is famous for its fossils. There’s lots to see and do, all about fossils, at this busy weekend by the sea.
Learn more about Fossil Festival Lyme Regis

Swanage Fish Festival  15-16 June
Free festival that celebrates the riches of Swanage’s seaside heritage.
Learn more about Swanage Fish Festival

Dorsetfest 21-22 June
Family-friendly music festival in the heart of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Learn more about Dorsetfest

Roads to Rail Steam Rally Corfe Castle 28-30 June
Join Swanage Steam Railway for a weekend of steam-powered demonstrations and vintage fairground fun.
Learn more about Roads to Rail Steam Rally

Portland D-Day Centre Military Vehicle Weekend 29-30 June
This year is the 80th anniversay of D-Day. Portland and Weymouth were both major embarkation ports. This weekend lets you see more of the vehicles that were involved.
Learn more about the Portland D-Day Centre.

July 2024

Chickerell Steam & Vintage Show 6-7 July
A popular celebration of steam and vintage. There’s an impressive display of vintage cars, lorries, motorbikes and, of course, steam engines. Live music, food, bird of prey and more.
Learn more about Chickerell Steam & Vintage Show

Dorset Volksfest 12-14 July
A celebration of life, music and Volkswagens, near Wareham.
Learn more about Dorset Volksfest

Jurassic Fields Music Festival 12-14 July
Music festival near Bridport, with a strong community focus.
Learn more about Jurassic Fields.

Camp Bestival 25-28 July
Family-oriented music festival in the ground of Lulworth Castle.
Learn more about Camp Bestival Dorset

Weymouth Food & Family Festival 27-28 July
Lodmoor Country Park comes alive with a host of activities and entertainment for summer. Includes food and drink stalls, cooking demonstrations, live music, a dog show and more.
Learn more about the Weymouth Food & Family Festival

Swanage Carnival 27 July-3 August
The top seaside carnival in the south of England.
Learn more about Swanage Carnival

August 2024

Endorset 1-4 August
Small-scale music festival in the Cerne Valley.
Learn more about the Endorset Festival

Golden Age of Aviation Air Show 10-11 August
Aero Legends teams up with filmmaker Guy Richie’s Compton Abbas Airfield to present an exciting two days of vintage aircraft, aerobatics and reenactors.
Learn more about the Golden Age of Aviation Air Show

Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show 14-15 August
A celebration of rural life in North Dorset.
Learn more about the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show

We Out Here Festival 15-18 August
This is the fifth time for the award-winning festival that celebrates world-class music, wellness and family.
Learn more about We Out Here festival

Melplash Show 22 August
It’s all about agriculture and this big event is unusual, in that it takes place on a Thursday.
Learn more about the Melplash Show

Men in red uniforms playing instruments in a marching band with spectators behind

September 2024

Dorset County Show 7-8 September
The annual celebration of everything Dorset
Learn more about Dorset County Show

SEAFEST – The Dorset Seafood Festival
One of the country’s most popular food and drink events, it’s a treat for lovers of locally caught seafood.
Learn more about SEAFEAST – The Dorset Seafood Festival

Heritage Open Days 6-15 September
Your chance to visit local heritage sites for free. Nearer the time we’ll list some of the popular places you’ll be able to visit.
Learn more about Heritage Open Days

Dorset WALX Festival 24 9-15 September
A celebration of walking in some of the most beautiful countryside in the south of England.
Learn more Dorset WALX