Poole celebrated its maritime heritage and links to the rest of the world at the very first, absolutely free, family-friendly Seven Seas Festival in May 2017. This seafaring extravaganza offered a packed programme of world arts, culture, food and music based at Poole’s pretty Baiter Harbourside Park.
Journey through the Seven Seas
The festival site was divided into seven different areas, taking visitors on a journey through the seven seas. The ‘Arctic Ocean’ served up local seafood and hosted an Ikle Eskimos giant igloo with free entertainment and a mini skating rink. You could then take the adventure to the South Pacific Ocean and Australia for a Bondi-style barbecue, beach theme and surf simulator! Your next stop was the North Pacific Ocean (USA/Mexico), with a New Orleans jazz and blues stage and man versus food competition! Your fourth stop was the Indian Ocean, ready to explore Indian and Asian cultures through meditation, yoga, food and music. Then on to the South Atlantic to enjoy the Brazilian carnival with samba classes and street foods.
World food, world-class talent
Your penultimate stop was the North Atlantic for Caribbean cuisine including jerk chicken and curried goat and the reggae and rum-infused Irie bar. Then finally the North Atlantic, for Europe, celebrating the best of this continent with French Moulin dancers, cheese and wine, a German Bierkeller bar, Italian ice cream, Spanish flamenco, British craft ale and cider, an acoustic music stage or an Irish River Dance.
At the heart of these feature-packed zones was the Poole Maritime Arena, with a ‘sea’ of stalls and stands and a Maritime Stage hosting performances from local schools and colleges, circus shows and sea shanties.
Another first for Poole in 2017 was the big wheel, which towered above the festival site offering views of Poole Harbour and across to Sandbanks and Brownsea Island. There was also a fantastically-titled ‘Old Harry Rocks’ stage, where local artists and big-name tribute acts entertained the crowds.