Quirky Events This Month

Along with the larger events such as the Literary Festival, Island Con and the Beer and Buses weekend, and Robin Hill’s Festival of Lights and Blackgang Chine’s new Fright Nights, there are a few smaller quirky events that you might like to attend on the Isle of Wight this October.

Day at the Bay

A huge celebration based around Freshwater Bay, Day at the Bay on Saturday October 6th boasts 12 hours of live music, dancing, poetry, talks and even walks plus lots of different places for food and drink. Participating venues include Julia Margaret Cameron’s former home Dimbola, where there’s a packed line up of musicians; the Lifeboat Station where there will be Morris dancing and pirates, and Freshwater Parish Hall where there will be more live music. Spread over 11 venues, with 66 timetabled events on offer, Day at the Bay has a great atmosphere, all the venues are within walking distance of each other and proceeds go to ten different Island charities.

The Isle of Wight Festival of the Mind

New for 2018, The Isle of Wight Festival of the Mind is at Aspire in Ryde on October 7th and is billed as a celebration of all things that help us feel happy and well. There are loads of activities and workshops at Aspire, the former church and now an award winning community centre in Dover Street, Ryde, plus there will be workshops at The Depozitory, 23 Nelson St, Ryde PO33 2EZ.  Learn to meditate, take a gong bath, do a ‘get your life back’ workshop or make a loaf of bread. There are a whole host of activities aimed at improving your life and your happiness and wellbeing and all of those in the main hall of Aspire are free, although workshops have to be booked separately.


Lovers of German beer and song will be happy to hear that there’s an Octoberfest at Gurnard Pines on October 13th with the Barry Schmidt Bavarian Band. Loads of German beers are on offer and admission, which is £25, includes a full German-style meal with Gluten-Free option available and a free Stein for the drinking of your beer. Running from 7pm till 11pm, you could go on to this after a day on the Beer and Buses, which is also being held over this weekend, if you can stand the pace! The Octoberfest is in aid of Island charity Challenge and Adventure, who work with disadvantaged and challenging young people on the Isle of Wight.

Harp on Wight

Stretching from October 26th to 31st Harp on Wight is now a firm fixture on the Island’s festival calendar and it’s at various venues in Ryde. Along with harp concerts there are workshops, a harp showroom, a harp competition and you can even make your own 23 string lap harp over the course of the festival at Quarr Abbey under the guidance of Breton harp master Sylvestre Charbin.

Jo Macaulay

2 October 2018

By Jo Macaulay in Articles