DORSET Seafood Festival will be returning to Weymouth for 2021 - but visitors will be limited and have to pay to attend for the first time.

The festival usually takes place on the harbourside in July and is free to attend, making it one of the most celebrated weekends in Weymouth’s event calendar which each year attracts around 60,000 visitors.

The event had to be cancelled last year due to the Covid pandemic, but organisers have announced it will be back in Weymouth on September 11 and 12.

The much-loved festival, sponsored by Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine, will be set up in a new location on Weymouth peninsula, behind the Pavilion Theatre, to ensure visitor numbers can be responsibly controlled.

A new ticket-only system will be introduced for this year's event, with adult tickets starting at £10.

Organisers said a ticketing system was the only way they could ensure visitor numbers could be controlled to ensure the safety of festival-goers. They said introducing a fee for the first time would offset some of the increased costs associated with crowd control whilst making up for some of the lost revenue from the postponement of the 2020 event.

They have been working with Dorset Council and Weymouth Town Council to secure the new festival site and said they were forced to move the date to September despite the Government's roadmap out of lockdown announcement as there remained too much uncertainty for the usual July dates to be viable.

Brian Cooper, Festival Director, said: “After the past year we have all endured, myself and the team are so delighted to have a plan to bring the festival back for 2021.

"Of course, we are not out of the woods yet and as such we have made changes to ensure the safety of our staff, the stallholders, sponsors, and of course the visitors and local residents. These changes now will hopefully signal the return of the festival for good and we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors back in September.”

With demonstration chefs on stage, live music and fabulous street food, organisers are also looking at new features including a chill-out zone, a green seas initiative and water displays.

This year's event will once again raise money for the The Fishermen’s Mission.

The Fishermen’s Mission is the only fishermen’s charity that provides emergency support alongside practical and emotional care. It helps all fishermen, active or retired, and their families

Stands and sponsor opportunities are still available by emailing

Tickets are limited and start at £10 for adults. Visit