TICKETS have gone on sale for the Spirit of Bridport’s inaugural Festival of Culture from August 11 to 27.

The box office has opened for acts, shows and entertainment lined up as the 17-day extravaganza is poised to burst into life.

The Festival of Culture – brainchild of Spirit of Bridport group of artists, musicians, community groups, traders and townspeople – is a town-wide celebration of visual arts, music, film, food, theatre, fringe, heritage, sport, dance, exhibitions, demonstrations and fun.

Festival founder Ros Kayes said: “With the Olympic Games taking place 12 miles away in Weymouth and Portland and the eyes of the world sweeping the region, the timing is perfect for Bridport to be recognised as the cultural heart of the Jurassic Coast.”

There will be open-air performances from musicians, bands, dancers, jugglers, mime artists, street opera stars and poets.

The free, Covent Garden style street-side fringe events will be delivered in tandem with stand-up and dance gigs in Bucky Doo Square.

There will be a free Beach Party marking the closing festival night on Friday, August 26.

It will bring fire-dancing, cinematic projections and live music to West Bay.

First up on the ticketed bill is the musical feast 'Best of the West' at Bridport Arts Centre on Saturday, August 11.

Other festival highlights include a Bank Holiday Big Brunch, The Manfreds, Latin percussionist and band leader Roberto Pla, a Bangra and Indian food night and the Blues Brothers UK on August 25.

* Visit festivalofculture .com for more information.

* Tickets are available from the Tourist Information Centre, Bridport Arts Centre and Electric Palace.