LEISURE: Outdoor art event in July confident of its safety measures


Dorset Arts Festival, a 3-day outdoor event that aims to showcase the best artists and crafters in Dorset, has confirmed it will be going ahead with its debut at Sculptures by the Lakes, promising ‘a safe and enjoyable experience.’ 

Despite the cancellation of almost every outdoor event across Dorset in the wake of the coronavirus, organisers are confident that their plans to cap visitor numbers, enforce social distancing and manage crowds will enable the event to go ahead without compromising safety. Vitally, the government has given permission for the festival to make its debut as originally planned, from 3 July – 5 July 2020 in its 26-acre location. 

There will be exhibitions from more than 40 Dorset-based artists and crafters, alongside workshops and demonstrations, as well as the opportunity for visitors to watch artists at work in individual temporary studios, painting, making pottery, creating jewellery and more.

The Gallery Cafe will be offering an outdoor takeaway service with contactless payments only. 

Simon and Monique Gudgeon, owners of Sculpture by the Lakes, are the organisers behind the exciting new festival. The park, located near Dorchester, features over 30 of Simon’s own internationally-recognised sculptures, in beautiful gardens that have been carefully maintained by his wife, Monique, and a team of gardeners. 

Talking about the event, Simon said: “We’re very pleased to be bringing the inaugural Dorset Arts Festival to life in 2020. We deliberated over whether the festival should go ahead, but we’re confident that we can provide a very safe experience. It’s certainly not a mass gathering – we have sensible crowd control in place, acres of space and it will be easy for visitors to adhere to government guidelines around social distancing.

“Dorset Arts Festival will be a true celebration of Dorset’s expansive artistic talent. All of the artists exhibiting are incredibly talented and you’ll be able to watch them in action creating their masterpieces, which is not something you get to see everyday. We hope the festival will bring some welcome relief to those looking for an uplifting experience away from the crowds.”

One of the artists who will be exhibiting at the festival, Jayne Tricker, has spoken of how she is looking forward to the event, where she will be showing her paintings and ceramic art: “I am pleased to be attending the Dorset Arts Festival. I feel privileged to be able to spend 3 days engaging with the public through my art work in such idyllic surroundings. I’ll be bringing some of my paintings and will offer demonstrations and the opportunity for visitors to have a go themselves.”

To make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend the grand debut of this event, book your ticket online at the Sculpture by the Lakes website


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