What’s on in Swanage: Festivals line-up for 2024

There’s plenty of festivals happening in and around Swanage for 2024 and the dates have just been released for the big events which will be taking place throughout the year.

Alongside the established annual events like the Swanage Carnival, there’s also some newcomers to make this year even more interesting.

swimnming in Swanage Bay
Wild swimming co

Last year’s Jurassic Swim Challenge is expanding into a two day festival

Making the most of Swanage Bay

New events for 2024 include The Wild Swimming Festival, following the success of last year’s Jurassic Swim Challenge. The 4 kilometre and 2 kilometre swim round Swanage Bay will be returning in July along with the two day festival featuring live music, local food and drink, water safety seminars and guided swims.

Also making most of Swanage Bay will be a brand new event, the Coastal Barbarians Rowing Regatta in April. The Studland based mixed ability rowing club will be promoting its aim to increase participation in coastal rowing by making it more accessible and inclusive.

While some events are getting bigger, others are becoming more focused like the Planet Purbeck Festival in September, which rather than a week of events, will take place over a long weekend.

Blown away by the sell out success of last year’s evening at The Mowlem with films and guest speakers, the team are already planning a similar event followed by two days of environment themed activities and festivities.

T3 563 Sir Philip Williams & Dorset Lord-Lieutenant at Swanage Railway 7 October 2023
Andrew PM Wright

At Swanage Railway’s official launch of the T3 steam locomotive in October 2023, lots dressed up in Victorian costumes. Now there’s a chance to dip into the dressing up boxes again

Swanage Railway’s Victorian Weekend

There’s always something going on at Swanage Railway and with the spectacular restoration of the T3 Victorian locomotive, many of the volunteers and visitors will be dressing up in top hats, coat tails, bonnets and crinolines for a new event in March, the Victorian Weekend.

While the cost of putting on festivals is getting more expensive, the popularity of Swanage as an event venue is growing. If blessed with good weather, the beauty of the coastal location brings in the crowds and the stunning views are here for free!

More about what is going on in and around the town is available at the Swanage Information Centre on Shore Road.

The team, which is in the running to win the Visitor Information Service of the Year at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2024 in March, should be able to answer most questions for both visitors and residents.

Swanage Information Centre in Shore Road

The town’s hub of knowledge, the Swanage Information Centre in Shore Road

Festivals 2024


  • Swanage Blues Festival – Thursday 29th to Sunday 3rd March


  • Victorian Weekend – Swanage Railway from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th


  • Carnival Classic Motor Show – Main Beach car park on Sunday 21st
  • Coastal Barbarians Rowing Regatta – Saturday 27th
When the skull and crossbones flies over Sandpit Field, you know the pirates are in town

Pirates will be invading in May, closely followed by fairies!


  • Diesel Gala – Swanage Railway from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th
  • Pirate Festival – Sandpit Field from Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th
  • Purbeck Art Weeks – Saturday 25th May to Sunday 9th June
  • Fairy Festival – Sandpit Field from Thursday 31st to Saturday 1st June


  • Strictly Bulleid 2 – Swanage Railway from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th
  • Swanage Sea Rowing Regatta – Saturday 8th
  • Swanage Fish and Food Festival – Prince Albert Gardens from Saturday 15th to Sunday 16th – CANCELLED
  • Roads to Rail Steam Rally – Swanage Railway from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th
  • Coastal Rowing Regatta – Saturday 29th


  • Swanage Jazz Festival – Friday 12th to Sunday 14th
  • Wilkswood Reggae Festival Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st
  • The Wild Swimming Festival Saturday 20th to Sunday 21st
  • Swanage Carnival – Saturday 27th July to Saturday 3rd August

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary will be organising its popular traditional summer fete again with live music plus the obligatory cream teas and cakes


  • Peter Pan SISATA Outdoor Theatre – Prince Albert Gardens from Tuesday 6th to Wednesday 7th
  • Rotary Summer Craft Fair and Fete – Thursday 8th
  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Friday 9th to Sunday 18th
  • Purbeck Valley Folk Festival – Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th
  • Harman’s Cross Field Day – Bank Holiday Monday 26th
  • Purbeck International Chamber Music Festival – Thursday 29th to Sunday 1st September
  • Music by the Sea – Prince Albert Gardens on Saturday 31st


  • Swanage Folk Festival – Friday 6th to Sunday 8th
  • Classic and Steam Vehicle Show – Harmans Cross station from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th
  • Planet Purbeck Festival – Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd
  • Swanage Supervets Rowing Regatta – Saturday 28th


  • Swanage Blues Festival – Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th
  • Purbeck Film Festival – Friday 18th to Sunday 2nd November
Swanage Christmas lights in the High Street

All year round events means there’s things happening right the way through to Christmas

Christmas in Swanage

  • Artisans on the Beach – November to December
  • Swanage Christmas Lights Switch-on – Saturday 30th November
  • Swanage Rotary Christmas Market – Saturday 7th December
  • The Boxing Day Dip – Thursday 26th December

Further information

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