OCEAN conservation will take centre stage at a beach festival being held at Watergate Bay.

The Watergate Bay Hotel will be holding its free creative family weekender Arts on the Beach 2024 on June 15 and 16.

The Planet vs Plastics’ themed event will include live theatre and music, dance, creative and performance workshops and talks.

A highlight of 2023’s inaugural festival, the playful ocean spirit Eko, a colossal 13-foot puppet created by Johnny Autin Dance Theatre and star of the company’s Out of the Deep Blue show, will be weaving amongst the crowds once again this year.

Another giant of the deep making its presence felt on dry land will be an 18-metre inflatable whale, guided to shore by the all-female theatre group Circo Rum Ba Ba.

Crawling on hands and knees through a tiny gap in the whale’s side, up to 40 young explorers can fit inside its cavernous belly at a time.

Safely ensconced in an enchanting underwater idyll, they’ll embark on a mission to help a lifelike leatherback turtle survive, learning about the perils of single-use plastics along the way. 

Dance duo H&T Creative will share the whale's sandy stage to underscore the profound impact of plastic pollution.

Expressing the devastating environmental consequences of discarded plastic in a mesmerising display of movement, the duo will perform their thought-provoking piece, No Time to Waste, using ghostly tendrils of plastic waste as props. This dynamic dance show sparks conversation, urging action toward a more sustainable future.

Dancing to the beat of their own drum “the UK’s greenest junk band” Weapons of Sound will be serenading Watergate Bay with their sustainable grooves.

With a motley orchestra of instruments made out of anything from gas pipes to trolleys, the innovative Plymouth-based group will be putting the funk in junk, closing the weekend with a raucous Sunday afternoon finale.

The creation of art from waste continues with not one but two new artist residencies as part of this year’s action. Using the sand as a canvas for their carefully beach-combed materials, Beach4Art will be making a lobster mural, while artist Georgina Peters will be bringing along her brushes and painting up a nature-inspired storm – also inviting beachgoers to collaborate.

Complementing the performance line-up and bringing the marine conservation message to life, a raft of workshops and creative sessions will invite festivalgoers to get involved. Busy hands can help plastic-pollution fighters BeachGuardian learn how to craft a mermaid’s tail from repurposed plastic waste.

Also giving sea-gathered plastic a second life, Upcycle Kernow’s workshops will show children how to turn trash into magical sea creature costumes – ready for sporting in Sunday’s fancy dress parade, led by a giant lobster lantern made during the weekend with Truro City of Lights.

Dance duo H&T Creative will be offering young people the chance to learn some of the moves from the piece and dive deeper into the theme of plastic pollution. 

The ever-popular Watergate Bay Beach School will be pitching up on the shoreline to offer children the chance to do something different – from wild whittling to mallet making.

Helen Bishop, head of sustainability and engagement at Watergate Bay Hotel, said: “As we continue our B-Corp journey, we’re focussing hard on our sustainability efforts and the impact as a business we make.

“I’m incredibly proud that this year’s brilliant Arts on the Beach line-up uses creativity to raise awareness of the threats to the ocean and the urgent need to protect it.

“As well as telling those important stories, this festival is all about community, from supporting local charities and homegrown talent to inviting the local community to enjoy a weekend of amazing acts, workshops, talks and music for free.”