Inside Out Dorset

On Friday 24 – Sunday 26 September, Inside Out Dorset will wow audiences at Symondsbury Estate. This international outdoor arts festival will transform some of Dorset’s most remarkable locations.

Meander or march across the Estate whilst taking in the breath-taking artwork trail of installations and performances. The festival promises extraordinary events in extraordinary places and is free to attend.

Event Program

Gaia at Symondsbury

Date- 24th – 26th September

Time- 11am-10pm

Location- Park Copse, Symondsbury Estate

In Greek Mythology Gaia is the personification of the Earth. Enjoy contemplating this spectacular artwork in the tranquil woodland of Symondsbury Estate. Measuring seven metres in diameter, Luke Jerram’s Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface. This huge artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet like never before, floating in three-dimensions.


Date- 24th – 26th September

Time- 11am-6pm

Location- Site is approximately 2.3km from the car park

Watch out for them, as they arrive in Symondsbury, appearing as if from nowhere with what looks like the world on their backs. Who are they? What do they want? Audiences are invited to meet these interactive characters created especially for Inside Out Dorset.

This wandering duo will surprise and delight the whole family.

The Whistlers

Date- 24th – 26th September

Time- 2 performances daily at 12:30pm & 4:30pm

Location- Ebb Plantation within Symondsbury Estate

Suitability- Ages 6+

The Whistlers are an ancient culture of people who live in dense forests in remote, often mountainous areas. They live in close, symbiotic relationship with songbirds and communicate by whistling.

This extraordinary and unique culture of people is under threat. They are moving from their traditional homes, deep in the forests of Eastern Europe. Luckily the Whistler Conservation Society have parachuted in to Symondsbury. They will take care of the lost Whistlers’ needs and work with local people to ensure their ongoing protection.

Red Herring are a theatre company based in the South West. They specialise in outdoor, interactive performance that blurs the edges between the performance and the audience. Their performances are fun, comic, curious and considered. They take a sideways look at the world we live in and encourage people to experience familiar places and familiar stories in unfamiliar ways.

Partnering with the Earth

Date- 24th – 26th September

Time- 4 performances daily at 10.30am, 12pm, 2.30pm & 4pm

Location- Takes place on a hard standing surface 80m from the car park

Artist Dave Young (The Shouting Mute) is joined by designer Sophie Fretwell and sound designer Jonathan Leitch to create an immersive poetic installation.

If the Earth could speak, what would it say? Interviewing and collecting thoughts from local farmers, scientists and activists about their relationship with the landscape in Dorset, capturing their views on climate change in this poetic exploration.

Experience this installation created from natural and upcycled materials. You’ll hear a soundscape of poems and verbatim recordings from interviews as we explore our relationship with the Earth.

Some of the innovative costume designs created by the Arts University Bournemouth’s project ‘Costumes for Change’ will be showcased here to address the issues of climate change and the environment.  

Talking Tent

Date- 24th – 26th September

Time- 10am-4pm

Location- On the permissive path towards Colmers Hill, 500m from the car park

During the last year many people have rekindled their love of natural landscapes and enjoyed both walking and relaxing in outdoor spaces near to where they live. Having time to sense the slowly unfolding seasons has also allowed people to reconnect with strong memories of past experiences in the places we know and love in Dorset.

Talking Tent offers a space to weave together threads of thinking and conversations about the living landscape of Dorset. Led by storyteller Martin Maudsley and landscape poet Sarah Acton, the project aims to capture seasonal connections and personal relationships with the landscape past, present and future.

Do you have a special place, a fond memory, a story from times past? Do you feel a connection to Dorset’s outstanding landscape and places? If so ‘pitch up’ to the Talking Tent at Symondsbury where you are invited to share stories, memories and hopes for the future.

They will also be the opportunity of joining a guided walk on Friday 24 September at 3.30pm and Saturday 25 September at 11.30am and 3.30pm


Date- 24th – 26th September

Time- There will be performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm each day.

Each performance lasts approx 1hr.

Location- This involves a route of 2.5km on hard and gravel surfaces around the Estate

Geophonic is a brand new work, premiered at Inside Out Dorset Festival by our Associate Artist, Dorset-based creative and performer Lorna Rees.

She has created an interactive sound walk experience, a journey through Symondsbury Estate that will make you more aware of your surroundings. Using bespoke Geophones that Lorna has had crafted locally, you’ll be guided to stop and listen at various points where you will encounter surprises of a geological nature! Some of what you hear will be naturally occurring, some made by human voice and some with augmented sound and music.

Geophonic is about recognising how geology shapes our landscape and remembering that humans are part of nature too.

The work involves a 2.5k walking route of varied terrain.


Date- Sunday 26th September

Time-  12:30pm

Location- Tithe Barn Garden

The members of Dorset Youth Dance company and mature dance company, Movers & Shakers came together during the second UK COVID-19 lockdown to create a short dance film, Tess.

The choreography is inspired by Thomas Hardy’s classic, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and celebrates the beautiful Dorset countryside. The piece explores creativity, connection and nature.

Two and a half

Date- Sunday 26th September

Time-  2:30pm and lasts approximately 20 minutes

Location- Tithe Barn Garden

Two and a Half takes as its theme the 2.5°c rise in Arctic sea temperatures since the 1970s due to climate change, where lost ice, shrinking habitats and climbing sea levels are rapidly changing the world as we know it. 

Fingerprint Dance is a community dance company based in West Dorset, existing to create performance opportunities for people under-represented in mainstream arts. The members are mature dance company, Grace + Growl, who have joined forces with Forest, a new performance company of adults with different abilities. Together they have created a new piece of dance theatre for Inside Out Dorset Festival.

No Going Back (Extended Version)

Date- 24th– 26th September

Time-  10am-1pm & 2pm-4pm

Location- Flat grass area 150m from the Front of House

A longer version of the Inside Out Dorset commission that will premiere at Moors Valley

This work will play in the grass bowl when Rodadoras is not active. Karen Wimhurst (composer) and Ed Bersey (Sylvafield Studios) have created an audio collage of spoken voices from Shaftesbury North Dorset, underscored with original music.

*Timings are subject to confirmation. Please check back here for up to date timings


Date- 24th– 26th September

Time-  1:30pm & 4:30pm

Location- Located next to the car park, audiences can sit on the banks of the field

Performed in a bed of soil, Rodadoras explores the themes of femicide and ecofeminism. Through a rhythmical jig of floor work three female dancers roll, fall and slam into the earth; their bodies becoming fully immersed in their surroundings. Shielded behind their hair which is tossed about and flailing, as though a protagonist, the performers are morphed into otherworldly creatures. Rodadoras is a 24-minute outdoor contemporary dance performance set to an original score of Neapolitan folk music.

*Timings are subject to confirmation. Please check back here for up to date timings

To find out more, visit Activate’s website

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