Inside Out Dorset festival postponed

In recent weeks what we recognise as normality has drastically changed. Our day-to-day lives are very different from taking part in social distancing to working from home. In the arts sector we’ve also seen many changes: venues have closed their doors, companies have stopped touring and artists are missing out. This is not what we had imagined 2020 to look like.
Our own planning for Inside Out Dorset was well underway but has had to pause. As our friends and colleagues who produce large-scale outdoor events have changed their plans we have also examined how the current circumstances will impact our festival. The safety of our staff, volunteers, artists and audiences is always paramount and as it stands, we cannot guarantee this. We also want to ensure we are able to honour the contracts and financial commitments to the artists and freelancers with whom we work. So, like so many others, sadly we’ve taken the decision to postpone the Inside Out Dorset festival that was due to take place this September. 
It is not a decision we have taken lightly and we hope you will understand. As a team we are truly disappointed and we know you will be, too. We are committed to supporting the incredible artists and amazing freelancers who make Inside Out Dorset happen. Many have lost work through this crisis and we are determined to support them as best we can. We are grateful for the support of all our funders who continue to make our events possible. As a charity we are committed to keeping access to our events free for everyone whenever possible and their contributions and support are critical to this; we are continuing to work with our funding partners to ensure the festival can take place next year instead.
And next year we will celebrate.
Today, 22 April, is Earth Day. As an organisation that takes inspiration from our landscapes and helps create enjoyment of the outdoors, we want to celebrate our Earth. This planet gives us life and it is ever-apparent that we must do what we can to preserve it.
Inside Out Dorset festival will be back in September 2021 and will celebrate the Earth, take inspiration from the Dorset landscape, open up debate about climate change, question our role in preserving the planet, use our environment as a stimulus and create extraordinary experiences for all those that join us.
Our plans will continue to develop and we will support the artists, freelancers and venues we planned to work with to ensure we can still work with them next year. We are a proudly European festival, committed to presenting the best talent in outdoor arts from the UK and across Europe. This will not change. We choose to wait until our artists and audiences can travel safely to Dorset, rather than go ahead without them.
The idea for the festival came from the Dorset Theatre Promoters Consortium, a creative network spanning across our county, as a way of the arts bringing people together in celebration of the extraordinary landscape in which we are so fortunate to live. As we continue to observe social distancing the opportunity to be together may seem far away. However, it will come again — on hills, beaches, in forests and woodlands, we will be together once more, and we will celebrate.
Join us across Dorset from 17 – 26 September 2021.
Thank you for your continued support. Take care and please stay in touch.

Kate Wood and Bill Gee
Co-artistic Directors, Inside Out Dorset

Image: Heaume-Animal, Les Souffleurs, Inside Out Dorset 2018 (Boscombe), photo Elliott Franks

Visit the Inside Out Dorset website for some FAQs regarding the postponement


With thanks to the continuing support of Arts Council England, BCP Council, Cultural HUB, D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Dorset AONB, Dorset Council, Jerwood Arts, Lighthouse Poole’s Centre for the Arts, SoundStorm, Symondsbury Estate, The Artful Scribe, Weymouth Business Improvement District, Weymouth Town Council.


Our friends at b-side have also had to make the difficult decision to postpone their festival which was due to take place this September. You can view their statement on their website.

Both b-side and Activate Performing Arts (producers of Inside Out Dorset) work to bring high-quality artworks to residents and visitors to Dorset and will endeavour to continue to do so. It is important to both organisations, along with all our colleagues working across the arts sector in Dorset, that we support each other.

B-side and Activate continue to put artists and communities in the strongest position possible to make the arts in Dorset exciting, relevant and accessible to all.

Written by Irene
Published on 21st April 2020