Who's taking part

Its all free, yet so much to see and do.

What makes this special?

A chance for all to have ago at different areas of creativity To watch and listen and  have a great day

Whats it all about ?

A dynamic and diverse community arts festival

Free Expression

A Great Day Out for all the family

Festival PartnersAll you see is all we aspire too.HomeTogether we can reach our aspirationsGive Blandford that little bit of sparkle.





Donations can be made here at


Click here To download APPEAL      SHEET Thankyou To… … See you there Striving for a Vibrant Community Would you, could you  help through sponsorship? Contact us if you can Every little bit helps. & don’t forget come and see us in the Blandford Carniv   l  parade - SAT 8th SEPT

Charley Blue


 Featured on The Voice (series 5) 2016, On team Will,.  And this is what they had to say about her….

“ Charley’s audition was pretty typical... you know, just another singing, rapping violin player who takes on an alter-ego when she performs (obvs!). With a mind-bending rendition of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, Charley sent three coaches spinning and into a mighty pitch-off, but in the end, it was Will who sealed the deal.

Now the 24-year-old animal-lover from Speldhurst will hope to add ‘winning The Voice’ as another, ahem, string to her bow.”

Well she did not win but she still plays a mean violin and its great she is coming all the way to lill old Blandford.

Check her out and follow these links

Frisky:                            http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03n0ssz

Roll over Beethoven:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fl8s9

Love Plague:                 https://youtu.be/SA_VTnWmjvs

Traktor :                        https://youtu.be/fUfi5JGCP1I


Now Here is a Quick Guide to who’s taking part for 2017

** Don’t forget our aim for all workshops and events to be free.  However free-expression needs to raise the funds especially for future events.   Some workshops may have a small charge or we may just ask for a donation. Please give generously where you can, thank you for supporting the arts in Blandford.

JamieJigsaw                                                 http://www.jamiejigsaw.co.uk

Jamie Jigsaw will be entertaining the children through circus workshops, demonstrating juggling, stilt walking, magic & balloon modelling.  Also over the day he will be doing some walk abouts on stilts around the town.

Johnathan Searls  Sculpting workshop                     http://www.jonathan-sells.com/

Jonathan is based in Dorset and is an established stone carver. He has exhibited his work extensively in Dorset and countrywide, including the Barbican Centre in London where he was invited to give sculpture demonstrations.  He will be running a drop-in workshop where people get the chance to learn the basics of stone carving and the opportunity to take their work of art home. He has run a workshop in Blandford previously, which proved very popular.

`Airtime` Circus Creations                          http://airtimecircuscreations.weebly.com

In the morning they will hold trapeze workshops, followed by a performance Early Evening.  Emily Redsell started up airtime and  is from Blandford.

Airtime is a blend of circus, dance and physical theatre. The piece they will be performing is a new collaboration set to make its debut this spring. Combining their love for creating and playing both on the ground and in the air "Send me a postcard" is ready to entice the whole family. Using the stimulus of a quote "take these broken wings and learn to fly", Hannah and Emily have been playing with taking flight and the struggles of learning how to grow up. We have been collaborating with some of our favourite people using dance, circus including cyr wheel, hooping, trapeze and rope. Along with some good old theatre we entice you into our bizarre world and take you on our great migration of life.


  Wire Sculpture Workshop with Jo Burchel          http://joburchell.com/                                                                                 

Sculptor Jo Burchell showing you how to sculpt in wire.

running along side  there will  be  the opportunity in finishing the mosaic of last year

Peter Rush   Meet the Mantis              http://www.peterrushart.co.uk

Peter Rush, a local artist to Blandford, was freelance illustrator for BBC TV 'Jackanory' for twenty five years, then focused on paper sculpture modelling. He will be showing off his 10m PRAYING MANTIS PUPPET the week before the event. Made with plastic bags, stretched by heating. Its been Shown at 'Glastonbury', 'Bestival' and 'Henley Youth Festival', Mantis is mobile and interacts, popular, particularly with children.  So come down to Blandford the morning of  Sat 28th and meet the Mantis.

..Click here for Donations Page

Classical Concert in Blandfords Church of St Peter & St Paul                 http://www.drms-music.co.uk/

Another fabulous classical concert arranged by the Dorset Rural Music School. The concert will be an eclectic combination of local musicians, both soloists and ensembles, as well as two choirs from the area.  The programme is constantly updating so watch

this space - and if you are a local musician who would like to take part then let us know.

 Doodle  Fantastic   A continuous roll of paper where people get the chance to put their doodle.  This year gets better, the festival van is added to the mix where you can doodle on the van which will then be entered in Blandford Carnival

Any Paint Challenge   4hrs to paint a scene of Blandford .  

Alfed el Mago                                                                                                                  www.alfredoelmago.com

Alfredo is a close up magician, now based in Blandford Forum, Dorset, after living in Spain for some years. With his unique brand of zany magic he will liven up any event.

Alfredo the Magic Man likes to do magic with ordinary, everyday objects, string, coins, keys, paper, as well as cards. 'What I love about close up magic, is that it brings out the child in people', says Alfredo.

We are very sad that due to unfortunate circumstances he is not able to attend on the day.  But do visit his website and take a look at what he does.

Tip of the Pops wheelbarrow disco

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle, Boogie!

Experimental solar powered wheelbarrow disco made from reclaimed waste.

One Life One World Don't Waste it! Tip of the Pops is the antidote to Apples ipod a subversive and anarchic discotheque made from waste transported in a wheelbarrow. Earwig the 'barra' is a pop-up solar powered party generator with serious environmental credentials. Playing dumped vinyl records on discarded equipment Tip of the Pops is a lot of fun but also a serious statement about our throw away society

We have up to 9 workshops including African drumming, dance and storytelling, the ever popular stone carving. Join in The Pottery Parlour for the Saturday Workshop.

Charley Blue, electric violinist, who performed  in the 2016 The Voice (series 5)

Circus Airtime creation as seen last year, but bigger & better.

Classical Concert arranged by the Dorset Rural Music School, A community performance with a difference, Stalls and of course the first  Great Dorset Art Fair.

See you all in May…

The 2017 Festival has taken shape

Vanessa Conyers/ Pottery Parlour   http://www.potteryparlourdorset.co.uk


Drop-in pottery Workshops.  Established in Blandford in 2008 by ceramicist Vanessa Conyers.  The Parlour has an emphasis on nurturing creative talent rather than technical perfection and the relaxed atmosphere is part of that philosophy.

The Parlour is dedicated to proper pottery, creating work from the very beginning, starting with raw clay. The staff aim to provide you with a memorable creative experience.

Saturday Only

AfricanActivities                       http://africanactivities.org.uk/

At African Activities they are proud to be the leading supplier of African themed workshops across England. An African Activities workshop guarantees an authentic and quality experience from their exceptional artists.They are proud to work with international musicians who they believe are the best you will find outside Africa, their musicians work across every continent except Antarctica and the Arctic!

You can view their workshops on CBeebies and the BBC.

Their workshop will bring Africa  to the streets of Blandford and as they say “ we feel we have a lot to offer!”


Baffling Blandford                               www.artoftheimpossible.com/magic/baffling-blandford/

A magical mystery tour, starting from the Crown Hotel at 4pm.

A pinch of history, a dash of comedy, a load of mystery.

It’s a town walk for adults, but fun for children (6+) too.

A half-hour stroll packed into 90 intriguing minutes! Come along and be baffled!

Tickets £8 (families £20, concs £7) from Blandford TIC, Crown Hotel Reception or just turn up!

Launching at the Free Expression Festival and continuing on Sundays from 21 May – 10 September.


Launch of the 2017 Season of Baffling Blandford Sunday 4pm

JOHN HOUSE FOSSIL ART   (in collaboration with Blandford Museum)              http://www.johnhousefossilart.com/

The Workshop

Using a pre made pallet you are asked to make your own fossil image using various natural items. sticks seeds berries bark nuts etc. As the glue sets there are two options:

1) To have a visual demonstration on how fossils are created.
2) To create a cave painting on a pre prapared pallet infused
with sand to look like rock.

Once the glue has set the work is painted. Whilst waiting for the paint to dry  you have the opportunity to look at some real fossils and try to match them to the model dinosaurs. Finally sand is added to the image to finish the work.