THE wealth of art, music, and literature in Lyme Regis will be celebrated when ArtsFest gets underway this weekend.

Now in its ninth year, Lyme Regis ArtsFest will see major exhibitions, art displayed in shop windows, open studios, and opportunities for people to get involved.

The organisers are hoping for good weather to help attract large numbers of visitors to the nine days of events.

ArtsFest director Sally Holman said: “A week that brings opportunities to enjoy and explore your creative potential, be inspired by the work of others, talk with artists, photographers, writers, musicians and be entertained, we hope that this event in Lyme’s calendar will once again bring a smile to your face, creative engagement and a sense of who you are and what you respond to.

“Showcasing the creative talent in the Lyme area is an objective certainly, but encouraging everyone to notice their own creativity and take an interest in arts and crafts is also one we hope to achieve.”

All are welcome to Friday’s launch party from 6pm to 8pm at the Malthouse, where there will be live music and a preview of the participating artists.

The festival officially opens on Saturday at midday at the Marine Parade Shelters, where the Woodroffe School Sax Choir will perform and people can join in a guided procession to the main exhibitions.

On the opening day, Hugh Dunford Wood will be demonstrating Collino printing, and Woodroffe staff and students invite everyone to join in a Lyme Bay themed mass drawing.

An art and craft fair will be held at the Woodmead Halls, with children’s activities organised by Axminster Artisans.

The revamped Marine Parade Shelters becomes the third main exhibition venue, joining the Baptist Church hall and the Town Mill.

Artists’ work will be displayed in more than 100 shops and businesses for the art trail, and meet the artists in their studios.

There is an emphasis on participation and visitors can have a go at painting, calligraphy, sketching, printing and photography.

There are writing workshops, opportunities to discuss work with artists, photographers and writers, and work with professional musicians.

Photography features heavily in this year’s festival, with an exhibition at the Baptist Church hall, the inaugural Shed exhibition in the Marine Parade Shelters (see page eight for more), a Maritime Lyme exhibition by U3A students at the museum, and Maisie Hill shares tips on portrait photography with young people.

There is also a growing role for literature in the line-up, with Natalie Manifold exploring Lyme’s film heritage, David Attenborough documentaries and the famous French Lieutenant’s Woman at the Cobb Centre.

By the Bay Restaurant hosts a Lit Night, and the Rotary-sponsored Children’s Poetry Competition reaches its conclusion with a ‘wordfest’ at the Marine Theatre.

This year boasts plenty of music, including the Bridgend Male Voice Choir, talks and demonstrations on the Skrabl organ, and B Sharp’s Busking Festival.

LymeRegis TV will play a major part, recording events, hosting live interviews, an evening of music at the Malthouse, and a rock master class.

Please note, the date for the Sunrise Sketching at By the Bay is Saturday, September 24, a correction to some of the advertising.

Booking is required for some events and details of this and a full programme of events can be found at or in the free brochure available around the town.