HomeInside Out Dorset NewsGold Tourism Award for Activate

Gold Tourism Award for Activate

Activate’s biennial festival Inside Out Dorset wins another award – Gold at the regional South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

After winning Gold at the Dorset Tourism Awards earlier this year, Activate has continued its success and won Gold in the Tourism Event / Festival of the Year category at the regional South West Tourism Excellence Awards at a ceremony held at the Eden Project on 23 March.

482 entries were submitted from organisations across the South West and an impressive 21 Dorset businesses made it through as finalists. Activate went on to take top prize in their category, with Sherborne Abbey Festival taking Bronze and Wells Cathedral scooping Silver.

The Awards are a culmination of 11 months of evidence gathering and judging. Independent judges critique entry submissions, websites, social media and review sites, as well as making mystery visits to businesses.

Kate Wood, Activate’s Executive and Artistic Director said, “We are delighted that the success of Inside Out Dorset 2021 has been recognised in this way. We were joined in our category (Tourism Event / Festival of the Year) by Sherborne Abbey Festival and Wells Cathedral, who we know provided great events in 2021 too. Winning a regional accolade shows the importance of arts and culture to the region and tourism sector. Planning is underway for this year’s Inside Out Dorset and we can’t wait to replicate the success by offering extraordinary events in extraordinary locations, and seeing tourists and locals enjoying great art in our wonderful county.”

Inside Out Dorset’s Co-artistic Director, Bill Gee, and Festival Producer, Dom Kippin, were at the awards ceremony at the Eden Project to collect our award.

27,500 visitors came to Inside Out Dorset in September 2021, experiencing extraordinary events in extraordinary places. At 5 stunning outdoor locations across Dorset, over two weekends in September 2021, audiences were wowed by 104 performances featuring 24 UK and international artists alongside opportunities to join in for 1,280 participants.

Among the many highlights were the installations of artist Luke Jerram’s astonishing Gaia at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest and the Symondsbury Estate. Two world premieres – Partnering With Earth, by theatre-maker Dave Young, aka The Shouting Mute; and Geophonic, artist Lorna Rees’s uplifting and other-worldly response to the landscape. The festival also commissioned another UK premiere, Whistlers, Red Herring theatre company’s comic exploration of birdsong, dialect, and extinction. Dorset-based companies were commissioned across the festival and a programme of outdoor circus and dance was seen in Poole and Christchurch. The festival was brought to a spectacular finale in Weymouth with Sense of Unity featuring the UK-based Worldbeaters drumming team and the mesmerising giant puppets of Dundu, from Germany.

Save the date: 

Inside Out Dorset, 15-24 September 2023.

The Tourism Event / Festival of the Year Award sponsor was Kerra’s Catering.

Unfortunately there is no Tourism Event / Festival of the Year category at the national Visit England Awards so this is as far as our award journey goes on this occasion.

A huge congratulations to the other cultural organisations who were successful at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, including our fellow Dorset arts organisation Lighthouse, Poole.

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