A Futuristic Fairground With Musical Dodgems Has Opened At Somerset House

Ivy Richardson Ivy Richardson


Bash away any lingering lockdown frustrations at Dodge!

Somerset House is ensuring that our 2021 is a year to remember, because quite aside from the dining domes and pop-up forest we’ve been blessed with already, they’ve just launched another summer happening for us. The iconic courtyard has been transformed into a fairground with a twist, and entry is free for all! At Dodge you’ll find interactive bumper cars, art installations, tasty treats, outdoor seating booths and a few surprises along the way. We may still be riding the pandemic rollercoaster, but this fairground sounds a lot more appealing…

Photo: Stephen Chung for Somerset House

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The star of the show is definitely the dodgems, codenamed Bumps Per Minute here. However, these bumper cars aren’t like any others you’ll have experienced. The random movements of each car will be tracked by wireless technology and turned into epic displays of light and electric sound. Every time you hit someone (or thud into the wall, depending on driving skill), “explosive new musical material” from Mercury Prize-shortlisted musician Anna Meredith and sound artist Nick Ryan will spring to life – and with each dodgem having its own unique sounds, it’s going to be quite the cacophony of noise.

Photo: Stephen Chung for Somerset House

In addition, the fairground features an immersive installation from artist Yinka Ilori, along with colourful seating, and a fantastic food menu has been curated by culinary star Jimmy Garcia. Think bone marrow beef burgers, green chilli sriracha fries, spiced butternut squash falafel wraps, and majestic ice cream sundaes. Might be an idea to tackle these after the bumper cars though…

Yinka Ilori poses in front of a colourful wall at Dodge, the new installation at Somerset House.
Artist Yinka Ilori stands in front of his creations. Photo: Stephen Chung for Somerset House

Dodge will also feature a weekend Bump & Brunch, at which you’ll enjoy cocktails, DJ sets, and unlimited rides on the dodgems. It’s our new favourite way to spend a Saturday, to be honest! The fairground may have been delayed several months by the lockdown (it had originally been planned as a colourful way to open the New Year), but it’s finally here, and will definitely be a fair to remember!

Practical information

July 15 to August 22, 2021.
Free entry and £5 per dodgem ride.
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