Wessex FM News

Bridport Hat Festival 2018

Published at 12:51pm 29th August 2018. (Updated at 1:19pm 29th August 2018)

Show me something a little bit quirky or different and you will have gotten my interest and Bridport Hat Festival certainly fits the bill! Not only is it held in a town that I like more and more with every visit but it is one of the best events of the year.

It all started at T. Snook, the well known Hatters & Outfitters on West Street in Bridport and it was there I met up with Brian Atkinson from the Hat Festival to find out more about the shop and this years event.

In terms of what's going on this year? The short answer - LOTS! The full programme is below but you can of course visit the official website at www.bridporthatfest.org. I can't help but think we need more hats in our lives and as the old saying goes - If you want to get ahead, get a hat!


THURSDAY 30th August 2018

  • 7:30 pm for 8pm start. Hat Auction at Bridport & West Dorset Club, South Street Bridport.

FRIDAY 31st August 2018

  • 9.15pm. Music at the Ropemakers, West Street – Million Dollar Bash – These chaps celebrate the fine music of BOB DYLAN and THE BAND in their own unique style!. Free Entry.

SATURDAY 1st September 2018

Bucky Doo Square

  • 10 am. Mayor’s welcome in Bucky Doo Square.
  • 10.05am – 1pm. ‘The Pop Club Stage’ will feature young musicians:
  • 10am – 4pm. Hat & Millinery Trade Stands in The Hat Market in Bridport Arts Centre.
  • 10am – 4pm. Hat & Craft stands plus a Display of entries for the Childrens’ Poster Competition, in the Town Hall.
  • 10am – 4pm. Pop-up bands, buskers and street entertainment throughout town.
  • 10am – 1pm. On-street short listing of the ‘Fun’ Hat Competitions from amongst the general public in Bucky Doo Square & the Millennium Green.
  • 12am-3pm. Music in the Bridport & West Dorset Club.
  • 1pm – 1.30pm. MASS HATTED PHOTO in Bucky Doo Square.
  • 1.30pm – 2pm. Judging and prize-giving for the ‘Fun’ Public Hat Competitions: Best Lady, Best Gent, Best Boy, Best Girl, Best Hatted Couple & Best Hatted Family or Group.
  • 2pm – 5pm. ‘The Pop Club Stage’ will feature young musicians and solo acts and duos from amongst the members.

Borough Garden

  • 11am – 12noon. A performance by “Dynamic Dance” Audience participation encouraged!
  • 12noon – 12.45pm. A performance by Bridport’s “No Limits” performing arts organisation
  • 2pm – 3pm. Timothy Beckett is an acoustic singer-songwriter based in Southampton. Playing a mix of folk and blues, his lyrics tell tales of personal memories, tinder mishaps and murderous ex-girlfriends.

The Bull Hotel

  • 11pm – 12noon. A talk by Sue Outhwaite: “Confessions from a Hat Shop“
  • 2.15 – 3.15pm. A talk by Clair Hughes: “Royal Hats: Uneasy Heads“. Also signing of her new book, ‘Hats’
  • 6pm. Cocktails and Fascinators in the Venner Bar, Bull Hotel.

Millennium Green

  • 10am – 2pm. Music at Millennium Green with local folk bands
  • 10pm – 4pm. Have your cartoon drawn by Petra!
  • 10am – 12.30pm. The Bridport Hat-Hurling Challenge; prizes at 12.30pm.
  • 11am – 12noon. Best Hatted Dog Competition (sponsored by Animal House) – all entries get a treat! NB please do ensure that your dog is happy to join in the fun wearing a hat
  • 2pm – 4pm. A concert with St Swithun’s Brass Band
  • 2.45 – 5pm. The Mad Hatters’ Tea Party. Tea, soft drinks & cakes (plus prosecco for the grown-ups!)
  • 3.30 – 4pm. The Elegant Ensemble Competition – for the most elegantly hatted and attired lady, gentleman and (adult) couple.

South Street

  • 8am – 4pm. Bridport Market, throughout the town centre.
  • 11.00 – 11.30am. Children’s Story Time at the Library.
  • 7.30pm – 11pm. Bridport Ceilidh at St Mary’s Hall.
  • West Street
  • 9:15pm. The Ropemakers. Music – Tori Redd & the Tall Travelling Troubadours. Free Entry
  • St Michael’s Estate
  • 10am – 5pm. The Art & Vintage Quarter at St Michael’s Trading Estate.
  • Bridport Arts Centre
  • 8pm. Concert with Hank Wangford and the Lost Cowboys. Tickets from:: https://www.bridport-arts.com/event/hank-langford-and-the-lost-cowboys/

SUNDAY 2nd September 2018

The Ropemakers

  • 12noon – 2.30pm. The Ropemakers’ Sunday Lunch.
  • 4pm. Music – Jim Reynolds is a guitarist and singer who writes and plays an eclectic mix of music.
bridport hat festival 2017
bridport hat festival 2017


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