TWO of Dorset’s most exciting and imaginative festivals, Inside Out Dorset and b-side, have been postponed, because of the coronavirus crisis, to September 2021, according to an Earth Day statement by the artistic directors.
Both biennial events had been due to take place this September, with Inside Out’s programme of outdoor arts events across the county and b-side on the Isle of Portland. The organisers chose the 50th annual international Earth Day to announce the postponement and new dates for each – Inside Out Dorset from 17th to 26th September 2021 and b-side from 11th to 19th September.
In a joint statement, the Inside Out co-artistic directors Kate Wood and Bill Gee said: “Today, 22nd 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, 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.”
Alan Rogers, executive director of b-side, said: “It’s a difficult time for many people on the planet – Earth Day 2020 will be remembered as extraordinary. We can only hope it will also be remembered as a turning point in our thinking. Climate change requires an urgent global response, but this begins at a local level. Later this year b-side will launch Common Lands, a three-year art programme, using Portland as a microcosm to explore our relationship to and with the land: both here and elsewhere.”
The decisions to postpone this year’s events were not taken lightly and although planning has been paused for the time being organisers hope to be able to confirm details of locations and participating artists once the current restrictions have been lifted.
Both festivals have attracted thousands of visitors to Dorset over the last 11 years, working with artists and Dorset residents to celebrate the unique and beautiful Dorset landscape. As well as supporting and showcasing local talent the festivals attract artists from around the globe, making Dorset one of the places to see and experience high quality contemporary art and outdoor arts.
“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 both proudly European festivals, committed to presenting the best talent in contemporary art and outdoor arts from the UK and across Europe.”
Pictured: Heaume-Animals, by poetic interventionists Les Souffleurs in Boscombe for Inside Out Dorset 2018; photograph by Elliott Franks. Miss High Leg Kick, Portland Promettes at Portland Bill, b-side festival 2018; photograph by Paul Box