What’s on in Swanage: Festival line-up for 2023

Dates for the big events in Swanage for 2023 have been released with plenty of festivals taking place throughout the whole of the year.

While many events were back for 2022 after pandemic restrictions were lifted, festival organisers are facing new challenges this year with the cost of staging events increasing dramatically due to high inflation.

Swanage Fish Festival 2017
Swanage Fish Festival

Swanage Fish Festival returns for 2023

More events planned for 2023

With prices spiralling including the cost of insurance, many in the Dorset event industry have cancelled their plans for this year including the Dorset Steam Fair and the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival.

Fortunately in Swanage, more is planned for 2023 than last year, with the Swanage Fish Festival and Swanage Railway’s Spring Steam Gala, both returning for the first time since 2019.

There’s also Swanage Market every Friday throughout the year in the Main Beach car park, with the Artisans at the Market from April to October on the first Friday of the month.

The famous Swanage Carnival Marquee

“Lots to look forward to”

Swanage Town Council’s visitor services manager Culvin Milmer said:

“We’re very excited about all the events from now, through to Christmas. There’s lots to look forward to and it’s great to have the Swanage Fish Festival back. I also love the carnival and I can’t wait for it this year.

“It’s brilliant being able to welcome so many visitors to our fantastic town throughout the year.”

Hugh Budden and Andy Stone at the Blues Festival March 2020

Swanage Blues Festival is so good it happens twice a year!

Dates for the 2023 diary


  • Swanage Blues Festival – Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th
  • Spring Steam Gala – Swanage Railway from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th


  • Carnival Classic Motor Show – Main Beach car park on Sunday 23rd


  • Swanage Coronation Tea Fest – King’s Coronation celebrations Saturday 6th to Monday 8th
  • Diesel Gala – Swanage Railway from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th
  • Pirate Festival – Saturday 27th to Sunday 28th
  • Purbeck Art Weeks – Saturday 27th May to Sunday 11th June


  • Fairy Festival – Sandpit Field from Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd
  • Sea Rowing Regatta – Saturday 10th
  • Fish Festival – Prince Albert Gardens from Saturday 17th to Sunday 18th
  • Roads to Rail – Swanage Railway from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th


  • Coastal Rowing Regatta – Saturday 1st
  • Swanage Jazz Festival – Friday 7th to Sunday 9th
  • The Tempest SISATA Outdoor Theatre – Prince Albert Gardens from Saturday 22nd to Monday 24th
  • Swanage Carnival – Saturday 29th July to Saturday 5th August


  • Rotary Summer Craft Fair and Fete – Thursday 10th
  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Friday 11th to Sunday 20th


  • Music by the Sea – Prince Albert Gardens on Saturday 2nd
  • Swanage Folk Festival – Friday 8th to Sunday 10th
  • Classic and Steam Vehicle Show – Harmans Cross station from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th
  • Planet Purbeck Festival – Friday 15th to Sunday 24th
  • Swanage Supervets Rowing Regatta – Saturday 30th


  • Swanage Blues and Roots Festival – Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th
  • Purbeck Film Festival – Friday 13th to Sunday 29th
  • Lewis Manning Candles on the Beach – Saturday 21st

Christmas in Swanage

  • Artisans on the Beach – Shore Road beach huts from Saturday 25th November to Monday 1st January
  • Swanage Christmas Lights Switch-on – Saturday 25th November
  • Swanage Railway festive train service – Saturday 2nd to Sunday 24th December
  • Swanage Rotary Christmas Market – Saturday 2nd December
  • The Boxing Day Dip – Tuesday 26th December

Further information

For more about events contact the Swanage Information Centre on 01929 766018 or welcome@swanage.gov.uk

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.


Top stories

Swanage Railway scraps plans for regular rail service to Wareham Despite years of battling to reinstate a branch line service between Swanage and Wareham in Dorset, Swanage Railway has dashed any hope of running trains up to the mainline for ... 1 month ago More Purbeck visitors urged to take trip to Brownsea 2 weeks ago Swanage to get seafront sauna and new beach cafe 1 month ago New chapter in store for Corfe Castle village shop 1 month ago Three weeks of roadworks to begin in Corfe Castle 4 days ago