This summer, take a ride on a dodgem with a difference as London’s Somerset House launches a new open-air experience.
Set in the courtyard of Somerset House, Dodge will be an inventive and arty twist on the traditional fairground. The dodgems will feature bold installations from acclaimed artists, making it a bright and fun-filled space to spend your summer. In addition, there’ll be plenty of street food and refreshing drinks available. So, you can tuck into super sundaes and weekend waffle brunches backed by a lively, music-filled atmosphere.
The courtyard will be reimagined by artist and designer Yinka Ilori, who will transform the space into a joyful spectacle of colour, sound and energy. So, your days will be bright, even when the weather isn’t!
Bumper summer entertainment
At the centre of this immersive courtyard installation will be the buzzy bumper car track, complete with its artful dodgems. But that’s not all. The cars will play Bumps Per Minute, an interactive musical composition by award-winning artist Anna Meredith MBE. Along with the other dodge riders, you can control this unique composition as you race around the course. Each crash and swerve is tracked by wireless technology, so the individual impacts of the bumper cars create a new sonic composition. Manoeuvres will manipulate the music, resulting in an explosive three-minute performance of electronic sound every hour. Determined by what you do on the dodgems, every single performance will be unique.
And nestled within Ilori’s vibrant open-air art installation will be a variety of brightly-coloured outdoor seating booths, where you can take time out and indulge in tasty summer fare and sup delectable drinks. At Jimmy’s Pop-Up food and drink restaurant, take a seat in a booth and use the ordering app to enjoy delights such as the Bumper Summer Feast sharer and artisan, locally-sourced light bites. Eat freshly made burrata with English heirloom tomatoes, smoked almond pesto and basil cress or tuck into London-cured smoked salmon with lemon creme fraiche and pickled cucumber.
Prefer to sample some street food? There’ll be everything from bone marrow beef burgers and chermoula spiced lamb koftas to organic halloumi wraps and smoked aubergine hummus bowls. Of course, it wouldn’t be summer without ice cream. So, why not build your own seriously extra sundae? Top generous scoops of Madagascan vanilla gelato with brownie chunks, crushed meringue, fudge pieces, jelly tots, fresh summer berries, toasted nuts, salted caramel sauce or raspberry puree. Yum!
Lazy weekends and evenings at Dodge
At the weekends, you can also enjoy Dodge’s Bump & Brunch package. It gives parties as many rides on the dodgems as they wish, before being welcomed to a booth to sip a Pink Grapefruit Spritz cocktail and tuck into a stack of homemade waffles with fresh summer berries, maple syrup and Chantilly cream, plus crispy bacon or vegan bacon. DJs including Jonbenet Blonde (Sink the Pink), Zakia Sewell (NTS) and Jazz re:freshed, will provide the soundtrack to this lazy way to spend the summer.
Want to perk up your evenings instead? The Dodge Lates series will feature DJ courtyard takeovers with queer bops, throwback pop and techno clangers, plus Desi beats and hip-hop. Anna Meredith will also perform a live set. And there’ll be an array of Hennessy-soaked cocktails to enjoy.
You can also explore the phenomena of skateboarding at the free No Comply exhibition over the summer. Bringing together film, art, fashion, design, photography and archive material, No Comply tells the story of skateboarding’s dynamic and diverse influence on culture and communities in the UK over the past 45 years.
Dodge is designed with Covid security in mind. It will operate safely and visitors can switch their booking to another date (subject to availability) or receive a full refund if restrictions change.
Looking for more quirky outdoor happenings? Try these!
When: 15th July – 22nd August 2021
Where: The Courtyard at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
£: Admission is free. It costs £5 to ride on the dodgems and booking in advance is recommended
More info: www.somersethouse.org.uk