New festival makes a ‘Splash’ in Falmouth this September

SPLASH is a new festival that is taking place in September this year in the maritime town, Falmouth.

During this festival many writers and artists are going to come to the town including the author of the famous play War Horse, which was recently turned into a film.

The illustrator for children’s books Michael Foreman is also going to be at the event which is sure to attract many parents and children. During the festival, the award-winning play from the Edinburgh fringe Festival, Allotment, is going to be performed. David Kemp, the sculptor, is also going to be making an appearance.

Funded and organised by the Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID), this innovative festival will unite Falmouth’s creative community through such diverse events as a Book Fest, light and sound installations, living heritage walks, contemporary dance, theatre and award-winning fringe plays.

Richard Wilcox, Falmouth BID Manager says:

“Falmouth’s diverse event scene helps to drive significant footfall into the town and Falmouth BID now funds all of Falmouth’s main festivals so that they continue to develop and succeed. In addition, we are continually looking for creative, sustainable and innovative ways to raise Falmouth’s profile and support BID businesses. Last year we funded and developed Falmouth Spring Festival as an early season initiative and SPLASH will have the same objectives – to be a fantastic festival that appeals to visitors and residents, to encourage people to come into town and to showcase Falmouth’s artistic heritage and creative spirit.”

The first weekend of SPLASH kicks off with one of the week’s highlights. For three days, award-winning authors and illustrators will be headlining SPLASH Book Fest. Join bestselling novelists including Katie Fforde for a Girls’ Night In with a difference, discover practical tips on getting your own book published from people who know, and much more. The Book Fest is a must-attend for all book-lovers.

Many of the events are free, in the spirit of celebrating artistic diversity in one of the leading creative and design hubs in the South West. Falmouth’s rich artistic heritage showcases itself through the multiple local design, interior and image agencies, who plan to open their doors as part of ‘Open Design Week’ for the public to access the creative heart of business Cornwall.

TRAIL will see six of the South West’s finest artists commissioned to create light, sound and art installations throughout the town for people to follow and find. TRAIL will be accompanied by an engaging free programme of talks and tours, workshops and making activities for all ages.

Falmouth Art Gallery, recognised as one of the leading small art galleries in the country, hosts a major touring exhibition from Southampton City Art Gallery of British Surrealists showing how a range of artists have responded to surrealist ideas on dreams and the unconscious. And running alongside, David Kemp’s ‘Plastic Botany’ presents surrealist-inspired giant plastic sculptures.

In Focus, a collaboration between Cornwall Hospice Care, renowned wildlife and landscape photographer David Chapman and a number of retail outlets in the town will put a new twist on window shopping, while pop-up art exhibitions at Pizza Express and Courtyard Deli will be the topic of table conversations.

Louise Connell, Director Falmouth Art Gallery added:

“Falmouth is a hotbed of creative talent so it’s great that SPLASH 2012 will give people the chance to enjoy the arts in all its exciting forms with all the wonderful events, art installations and activities that are being planned for September. It will really help put Falmouth even more on the creative map, as well as being a fun festival for everyone to enjoy.”

Ron Johns, owner of the Falmouth Bookseller said:

“Falmouth Bookseller is delighted to be working with Falmouth BID and hosting fabulous literary events for SPLASH, from A Girls Night In, to Michael Foreman’s sublime Cornish picture books, and a hound breaking new style event Dog Tales! Concluding with a talk by Michael Morpurgo, literary giant!”

SPLASH schedule:

SPLASH Book Fest 7-9 September

Girls’ Night In, Fri 7 Sept, 7pm: Dolly’s Wine Bar hosts an author and wine evening with award winning authors Katie Fforde, Emily Barr, Judy Astley and Liz Fenwick. Tickets with a glass of wine are £5 which is redeemable against a book.

Dog Tales, Sat 8 Sept, 11am: The Poly welcomes the winning six auditioned dogs, their owners and six illustrators for a creative hour producing a pooch story and illustrated front cover. The event is free.

My Cornish Tales, Sat 8 Sept, 2.30pm: World famous illustrator and author Michael Foreman talks at The Poly, about his Cornish works including Mermaid of Zennor and Dolphin Boy.

So you want to be an author? Sun 9 Sept, 11am: Join a national literary agent and two successful published authors at The Poly for an hour question and answer session. For those wishing to make it as a writer, this is a must!

War Horse and other things, Sun 9 Sept, 2pm: Michael Morpurgo will talk at The Poly, about Private Peaceful, his new biography recently made into a feature film, War Horse as well as his life in writing.


Shallal, Friday 7 September, 7-8pm: The acclaimed dance company presents a free evening of poetry and dance.

British Surrealists, Monday 10 September to 17 November, 10am-5pm: This free major touring exhibition from Southampton City Art Gallery of surrealist art shows how a range of artists have responded to surrealist ideas on dreams and the unconscious.

Plastic Botany, Monday 10 September to 17 November, 10am-5pm: Artist David Kemp presents his surrealist-inspired giant plastic sculptures.


Big Draw: SPLASH will be transforming a 40m section of fence into an outdoor art space and exhibition.

Allotment: Follows the complex and quirky relationship between sisters Dora and Maddy as they live out the seasons on their allotment. Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Fringe First winner 2011.

Living Heritage Walks: The Scary Little Girls delight with their quirky and irreverent tales and stories on Falmouth’s maritime and literary history.

Falmouth Plays the Blues: A series of live performances across Falmouth’s pubs throughout the week celebrating the unique Cornish music scene.

For the full festival schedule, please see and Twitter: @FalmouthBID #SplashFalmouth, Facebook: Falmouth ‘spirit of the sea’